Notes from this year

Share your pictures and video. Tell us about the sights, sounds, and scents, as well as the rumors and truths found at Burning Man.
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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:55 am

Well, I received the e-mail of the JRS the other day which I ignore most of the time, but sure enough they have in there a link asking for comments/suggestions about the event open until Oct. 15. I submitted the above 3 short and sweet suggestions so we'll see.

Also, I submitted the term "Turner" to Adryan of BRC Weekly and he loved it. 8)

happybeenz
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by happybeenz » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:22 pm

My overall perception of this year was that there WERE too many tourists and bucket-listers.... and it was frustrating but it certainly won't make me stop going.

As an experienced burner, one tends to reach out to the obvious newbies - tell them about the principles they are blatantly ignoring (like LNT), and to enlighten them to be a better burner. But if this is a one-off, those people aren't interested in hearing it. They won't even engage in the conversation with you, "ain't no one got time for that"!

We had a first year theme camp at 3:00 and D, and with that came a front row seat to the action on the avenue. I did see many people picking up moop on the street. But I also know that we had an awesome neighborhood of people who were proud to keep it clean (and probably keep their placement next year)

My camp was The Hangry Bishop, and we an open door hospitality policy - several de-hydrated people would come in for water, and although it wasn't an offering of the camp, we happily shared it. Others would sit down and enjoy the shade, etc. There were definitely some interactions that struck me as very odd, and also annoying/unsettling.

Like the group of four people who came in on Sunday and asked for whiskey shots. We are not a bar, nor was anyone hanging out in our lounge except my husband and me. Of course, being the natural hosts that we are, we did invite them in for their whiskey shots. The four of them huddled up, each took a shot, and left. They also left their cup behind, yay!

It was moments like these that made me realize I can't expect everyone to "get it", or even to like Burning Man. I have to set things up so that we, as hosts, don't get used and abused. Those newbies who ARE looking for the advice and friendship of a veteran will know where to find it. Those who are just rolling through will get a luke-warm and short-lived welcome.

Also on Sunday, a guy came asking where the dumpsters at 3:00 were. We told him there were no "public" dumpsters, that he should be bringing his own garbage out. He replied that there were definitely dumpsters at 6:00 and he was looking for the ones at 3:00. We told him that there may be dumpsters around the plazas, but that they belong to camps like the medic and ranger stations and are not for public use. He did not want to hear any of it. His "I'm right, you're wrong" attitude really rubbed us the wrong way.

So next year, I also plan to make a bunch of signs about LNT, civic responsibility, etc. It's something I had wanted to do this year, but never got around to. Now, I know there is a real and urgent need for it. As a camp that provides shelter for those on playa-journeys, I also have to expect a large number of clueless folks rolling through. I'm going to do my best to educate them, but if it falls on deaf ears I'm also not going to get myself frustrated.

These strange and annoying interactions will not make me stop going. I agree that one person cannot shed light on a crowd of unresponsive party animals. However, as theme camp leader, I'm definitely taking note and making improvements for next time. There are many new festivals that are dealing with these issues, too. They want to encourage the principles of BM and avoid becoming another EDM party. I am actually pretty fascinated with it all, and I think these sociological trends are one of the things that keep BM interesting year after year.

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Bless
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Bless » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:54 pm

I was riding around the city solo on Sunday and was feeling a little backed up... really needed a cup of coffee to get things flowing again.

As I'm thinking this to myself, a guy comes out of his camp and yells, "WILL TRADE ANYTHING FOR CIGARETTES!"

I immediately rode over and whispered, "Do you have any coffee?" in my best Gollum voice. He said, "For sure."

We went into his camp and exchanged goods. He explained that his campmate was staying behind for a couple of days and had run out of cigarettes. I gave him what was left in my pack.

As I'm riding away, I hear him excitedly tell his campmates, "A barter! An actual barter just took place on the playa!"
FUCK YOU, I'M A WIZARD. FUCK YOU, I'M A SHARK.

Roy333
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Roy333 » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:50 pm

I just have one thing to comment on right now. That is your continued reference to 2nd year burners as being the same as virgins, also contributing to the problem.

This was my second year. Last year being the first. Last year I came with my daughter and son-in-law, who had been going for a number of years. This year I came back alone, as they didn’t come.

My concern before coming, both last year and this was, “what can I contribute?” I have read about Burning Man for years, and before there were 10 principles I understood it was not a spectators event.

True, last year I ran around trying to take it all in. But I contributed by passing out goodies I had brought. Helping when I could, and being myself.

This year I spent more time picking up moop, still contributing when I could, and still enjoying myself. I imagine over all I contributed much more than many “vetern” burners. Many of the long timers are there just to party and could care about anything else.
I have also met many virgins who were doing a lot more than I was to contribute and keep the Burning Man spirit.

So there is no way you can blame the ‘changes’ and downfall of Burning Man on virgins and second year people. It’s in the individual, not their ‘status’ that determines how well a person respects the idea of Burning Man.

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Aurelia
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Aurelia » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:54 pm

Yes of course


You are loved dear Royal333

xoA.

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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:21 pm

Oh really?? So 2nd year aren't contributing to the demise of the culture. Again, you think you were lucky getting a ticket where 5, 8, and 12 year people weren't? Debatable. I'm sorry you take offense to any of this, but hear me out.

Of the hundreds of people we talked to during the week, a HANDFUL were 3rd year or more burners. That's strange isn't it? I think so. My favorite quotes from 2nd year people this year were:

"Is the guy who gives out playa names here this year?" as in it's something officially dedicated to just one person.
"Aww Man, deep playa," a guy was referring to uncompacted berm of playa dust as he was riding his bike through it and slowing him down, not knowing deep playa is the area way the fudge out away from the artwork, camps, and streets.
"Where are you camping?" a guy asked us. "4:30 and I," we said. "How did you reserve your spot?" "We didn't," we said. "So, you like just like grabbed a spot out there?! OMG, you're expanding my mind so much!!"

Here's my point, and again, I know I'll probably get flamed or made fun of someone will come up with some joke or whatever. Anyhoo, there's an old story I hear of a woman who would trim the ends off her ham every year. Someone asked her why she cut the ends off of her ham. She said, "My mother always did." They went to her mother and asked her why she trimmed the ends off of her ham. She said nearly the same thing, "That her mother always did." They went to the first woman's grandmother and asked her why she cut the ends off her ham. She replied, "My pan was too small."

No one is blaming you, I blame the system that is in place and the downward spiral of uprooting the experienced people year after year, over and over again. I hope you understand the difference, and again, if you think everything's fine, there's no issue with MOOP, bartering is in full effect, feathers are A-Okay, and the BM culture is on cruise control (takes little or no effort), then Godspeed to you. Good luck in all of your planning for next year and have a great time.

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ChicoTerri
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by ChicoTerri » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:29 pm

Not every virgin is a clueless abuser of the Principles. This was my first year to attend, preceded by YEARS of research. I, and my camp of three virgins were very prepared and participated all over the place. We volunteered, picked up loads of MOOP, and made lots of folks happy with our little Playa Mart. I understand your sadness at the change in the culture, but please recognize that not every virgin in a loser, it's just taken some of us years to finally be able to attend.
I fully support the idea of assigned tickets, and I love the idea of no arrivals after Friday morning. We arrived Monday morning and stayed until Tuesday, MOOPing the whole neighborhood as folks continued to roll out.
Welcome to Playa Mart! You forgot it? We've got it.

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Nekoyanagi
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Nekoyanagi » Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:42 pm

Having only recently become initiated into the culture of Burning Man, I've been following these conversations about the changing nature of the festival with much interest. Until 3 months ago, I only knew that BM was some kind of counterculture art festival in the desert. A friend whose daughter is a burner offered me a ticket and an opportunity to go to BM seemed like something one cannot say no to and I'm glad that I didn't.

Having had only about 2 months to plan, I spent most of my time figuring out the physical logistics as I was planning on camping solo, until my friend's camp had a spot open up so I could camp with them. I was impressed by the 10 principles as they align with many of my own values, but I came to the festival with no plan, no agenda and no expectations, just an openness to whatever there was to experience there.

My experience at BM greatly exceeded what I had even imagined and even though at the end of the week, I felt broken down by the relentness dust and non-stop EDM (seriously folks, blasting people with loud music 24/7 is a recognized form of torture, just ask Manuel Noriega), I left feeling very positive about my experiences there.

Anytime you get 70,000 people together, there will be a full cross-section of humanity, good and bad. The playa is not immune to people's prejudices and bullshit, but I do think that BM does provide opprotunities for people to push their personal boundaries and get in touch with their better selves. However, people will only get as much out of it as they put into it. If some people don't get it, well that's too bad for them. But I don't think that these people necessarily ruin it for everyone else. I experienced the magic of BM and I believe in the value of the BM spirit. I volunteered at the Temple, washed dishes, gifted bracelets to children, took care of drunk/stoned friends and shouted out compliments to strangers. I feel like as a first-time burner, I got a lot more than I gave and feel a great debt of gratitude to my fellow campers and all of the beautiful people I encountered on playa. I left BM with a desire to return and do more.

So I get now why veteran burners are so passionate and protective of BM. It is something very special and that fact is not lost on all of us birgins.

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Major Mallet
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Major Mallet » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:13 pm

jadewombat wrote:Lastly I compared the What, Where, When guides from years ago and there used to be an intelligent atmosphere of camps with puns and well thought out themes (remember Flight to Mars?). I compare this year’s guide and it has degraded to the lowest common denominator of genitals, drinks, and allures of “doin’ it.” And no, I don’t have a problem with sex, nudity, or people having a good time but there is a difference of genuinely appealing to people’s intellect or their sense of “just out to get fucked up.”
This quote got me thinking. I took a look at the 2007 theme camp list (my first year) and compared it to the 2015 list of theme camps. I took all of the camp names and descriptive text listed for camps lettered A through F for both years and ran them through a word counter. I limited my analysis to the first 6 letters of the alphabet because it seemed to give me plenty of words to work with (~10,000 for 2007 and ~15,000 for 2015).

The results (limited to the top 100 words by volume per year) were interesting.

For example - the word "Dance" was the 51st most popular word in 2007. In 2015, it was the 24th most popular term (46 mentions or about .8% of all words in 2015 vs 22 mentions or about .5% of all words in 2007). It was the term with the 2nd highest percentage increase of usage of the terms that appeared in the top 100 both years (60%). "Open" was the term with the highest % change for 2015 over 2007 (67%).

Some of the words that made the 2015 list that were absent in 2007: yoga (#68), dust (#81)and dusty (#57), reno (#65), drink (#69), oasis (#70), coffee (#97), friends (#84), games (#86) and party (#76).

Some of the words that made the 2007 list that were absent in 2015: artists, free, performance, life, sound, body, energy.

The term "Facebook" didn't make the 2007 top 100 list. "Yahoo", "hotmail" and "tribe" made the 2007 list but were absent in 2015.

One other stat struck me. In 2007 the term "camp" appears 201 times and "contact" appears 125 times. In 2015, the term "camp" appears 324 times and "contact" appears 138 times.

For the sake of argument, lets assume that the term "camp" is indicative of the relative number of theme camps in the sample group and the term "contact" appears because the camp has provided a public contact email. If we assume these conditions are correct, then we see that the number of camps that are providing contact information to the public has dropped from 62% in 2007 (125/201) to 43% in 2015 (138/324). I'm wondering if camps are becoming increasingly private and inward looking based on this data.

Something to consider. Perhaps another person could do a complete and formal word analysis to get a more accurate picture.


2015
Words
(w/ no 2007 Match)


hometown
facebook
orghometown
info
dusty
reno
drink
yoga
oasis
area
oakland
party
tea
provide
dust
bay
friends
deep
games
best
relax
groups
portland
station
coffee
self
support

2007
Words
(w/ no 2015 Match)


ca
yahoo
green
nethometown
hotmail
wa
tribe
net
body
artists
down
big
light
free
since
nv
good
sound
performance
little
life
htmlcontact
off
don
energy
how
well
. yourself


Edited to note that the analysis is limited to the top 100 terms by volume per year.
Back to Burn in 2016 or Bust!

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CyanEssence
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by CyanEssence » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:26 pm

Nekoyanagi wrote:However, people will only get as much out of it as they put into it. If some people don't get it, well that's too bad for them. But I don't think that these people necessarily ruin it for everyone else.
I disagree.

Over time, people have formed communities off-playa, these communities develop ideas, and these ideas turn into camps, performances, art installations, service organizations (HeeBeeGeeBee Healers, Zendo, BR Rangers, ESD, Bike Repairers, etc.) and the like.

When a large proportion of the population consist of people who just come to party (ie. people who don't "get it" as you put it), some of the people who are involved with creating art, camps, installations, service organizations, and the like don't get tickets, and then the culture of the event suffers because these can not exist without the people who make them possible. In fact, some have even said "why bother working on a project this year, I/we can't get a ticket(s) anyway?" which stops some awesome things from happening before they even start.

In a nutshell, people get so upset when they see Sally Saucereyes cruising past MOOP on her segway with a selfie-stick because that was one ticket that didn't go to someone who was working very hard to make BM awesome, and this does affect everyone because it can cause projects to suffer (not reach their full potential), or stop them from happening at all.
Last edited by CyanEssence on Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Molotov
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Molotov » Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:30 am

Lots of darkwads this year, both on foot and on bikes. A recipe for disaster during the dust storms. It was so bad at times, I turned on my headlight and flashing taillight on my trike during the day time.

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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:35 pm

Interesting stuff, Major. What about the word "Twerk" or "Twerking"?

Thanks for all of the input again. Good discussion going here. I believe that there's a fundamental difference of viewpoint here I'll test the waters on. Let me know which phrase you agree with more:

X) BM culture is somewhat chaotic, fluid, and adapts to the times and people. Although not perfect, the experience is unique and like absolutely no other on the planet.

Y) The event is well run, open and bringing out more good than bad in people but could also be seen as "Controlled Fun" by and large geared for adult crowds--inspiring creativity but up to a point.

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somebodys-mom
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by somebodys-mom » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:06 pm

jadewombat wrote:Interesting stuff, Major. What about the word "Twerk" or "Twerking"?

Thanks for all of the input again. Good discussion going here. I believe that there's a fundamental difference of viewpoint here I'll test the waters on. Let me know which phrase you agree with more:

X) BM culture is somewhat chaotic, fluid, and adapts to the times and people. Although not perfect, the experience is unique and like absolutely no other on the planet.

Y) The event is well run, open and bringing out more good than bad in people but could also be seen as "Controlled Fun" by and large geared for adult crowds--inspiring creativity but up to a point.
I vote for X. Nothing stays static forever. Everything, and everyone, constantly evolves, sometimes in ways we don't like or agree with.
Beware of inviting trouble. It usually accepts.

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Aurelia
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Aurelia » Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:57 pm

PLEASE

ramp up your smart

xoA.

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Major Mallet
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Major Mallet » Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:06 pm

I didn't see Twerk or Twerking hit the list (fortunately or unfortunately depending on your point of view).

I thought it was disturbing to see words like "artist" and "participation" dropping in usage while "drink", "dance" and party" increased in usage over the last 9 years. I certainly have nothing against drinking, dancing and partying. However, I think this data points to a disturbing trend: the rise of the party culture at the (apparent) expense of the participation culture that makes Burning Man unique.
Back to Burn in 2016 or Bust!

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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Mon Sep 28, 2015 4:51 pm

jadewombat wrote: X) BM culture is somewhat chaotic, fluid, and adapts to the times and people. Although not perfect, the experience is unique and like absolutely no other on the planet.

Y) The event is well run, open and bringing out more good than bad in people but could also be seen as "Controlled Fun" by and large geared for adult crowds--inspiring creativity but up to a point.
I agree with X and Y, but in terms of past and present. As in, up until 2006, 2007, or 2008 the event was more like X, but now it’s become Y somewhere along the way. In those 2 options are whether or not you believe the BMORG has or does not have control of the event and steering the direction it goes. I’m firmly of the opinion that if you’ve been organizing this for 25 years, you already know what works and doesn’t work. Newer people complain less, I get it believe me I do.

My point is the toll this Logan’s Run system has been taking on the event as whole has eroded the quality of the experience.

There’s one other aspect that’s been touched on of Burning Man is like no other. Hmmm. Last week after I wrote the above 2 options I started to do some checking around. I had heard that other events, musical festivals, etc. the past few years have steadily been becoming more and more like BM and vice-versa; BM has been looking and feeling more like Bonaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, etc. There was even a spin-off festival this year of Robot Heart called Further Future http://www.furtherfuture.com/

Coachella even markets themselves as a “Music and Arts Festival,” not just a music festival. Even the same artwork is at Burning Man and Coachella. Remember the giant red robot at Center Camp this year? It’s on Coachella’s main page next to the Astronaut:

https://www.coachella.com/

OK, so there's overlap of the same people attending the same events. What about camping in the desert, gifting of food, drinks, etc.? Doesn’t look so different than a NASCAR campout or football tailgate to me anymore--although the crowds are different and the focus of course.

Image

Gifting? Pretty much nonexistent at BM now. Ever been to Mardi Gras in the state of Louisiana, Mobile, or Galveston, TX? I've taken home far more stuff there than I ever got gifted on the Playa.

Image

But you're free to create and do WHATEVER you want at Burning Man. Oh, really? Spend several months out of your life the "rest" of the year to make an art car or theme camp you could still not be approved for either at the event. That sucks. No guarantees, no assurance for either. Great, at least my outfits have no rules on them.

I know I'm venting again, but here we are. Come one, come all Douchebags! There's still plenty of room on the bandwagon and plenty more to go to water down this once unique festival out in the desert.

http://burners.me/tag/sherpa/

I always have the memories and thanks for that. Pleasant dreams everyone.

Image

Ano
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Ano » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:34 pm

I'm pretty jaded, too (about as much as you can be after five years, due to a lot of things) but I don't think your assessment of various things about the event is very fair.

On the topic of gifting - it might be hard to find an art car to ride, but there are still many out there that are very open and awesome. The Forest House, new this year, was one of the easiest vehicles to get on, and they actively worked to get folks on it to ride. Sure, cars like Robot Heart are nigh-impossible to get on without knowing someone in camp, but that's the way it goes when an art car has a crowd the instant it turns itself on. I still came home with a Ziploc full of trinkets and pins and patches and bracelets - perhaps you didn't luck out and find folks giving them out? I do have a tendency to get gifted a lot of stuff as a volunteer with Gayte in the lanes, but I still find stuff throughout the event. Alcohol and music events and performances also remain completely open and gifted, 99.9% of the time.

I also don't think it's fair to expect artists to keep their art exclusive to Burning Man. Building art is insanely expensive - INSANELY. Especially with the scale of things at Burning Man nowadays, I don't think it's fair to tell someone who builds something awesome that they are only allowed to bring it to the desert, and nowhere else, ever again. Mutant Vehicles as well - Mayan Warrior likes to tour other festivals and events, and I think it's awesome. Quite frankly, I think the culture creep of Burning Man on other festivals is expressly a good thing. Robot Heart is it's own brand now, and I don't understand why it's a negative thing that they do their own festival now, as I know of many theme camps that have done their own festival/party for awhile. It's not like Burning Man is in any way underground. I first heard about Burning Man in 2003 when I was a freshman in high school from a teacher who told me I should look into it when I was complaining about something teenagers complain about. It isn't a secret, and it hasn't been for a very long time.

And your NASCAR tailgate picture lacks people on megaphones. ;)

But seriously - I understand where you're coming from. I feel like there's a verifiable amount of people who come to the desert and just party, chase DJs, ignore the "culture," and get drunk/high for seven days straight. I'll admit - that was my first year, almost, but then after coming out here and being overwhelmed by the event, I've now become a force in my region, I work 40+ hours a year during the event for Gate, I run my own theme camp that gifts stickers, trinkets, alcohol, nap dome, and interactivity - and we also don't care to get approval from BM to bring ourselves, we just get tickets and do it because we don't care about being placed - and I still have a good time with it all.

This was a weird year, for sure. I have a thread about how weird it was. I actually consider this year my second worst year and I'm considering not coming back next year to get a year off from the prep and actually have a vacation for the first time in five years.

But I don't think we're totally watered down and vanilla-flavored yet. Could that happen? Definitely. I'd also agree with the statement that it seems like the festival is on a one-way course to that eventual end. But, aren't those of us who have attended for more than one year the ones who need to be stewarding the culture and directing it in a cohesive way? Personally... I'm a raver, I'll admit it, and I went to Robot Heart one night near sunrise wearing my Gayte Stuff (had just gotten off shift.) I eventually ended up talking with someone who asked about all of my cool patches/pins/etc, and I told them about Gayte and what we do. Told them about our bar on Playa. Saw them in the bar later that week, and they were asking about how to sign up for next year. :)

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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Meat Hunter » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:51 pm

My note to myself from this year for next year:

Don't bring so much "stuff".......
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Jackass
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Jackass » Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:10 pm

That's my note to self every year, the problem is that by the time next year rolls around I tend to forget what exactly too much is.
It's very much relative, thus the cycle repeats itself...I'm not the only one who experiences this strange phenomenon.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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CyanEssence
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by CyanEssence » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:54 pm

jadewombat wrote:they asked us “which camp we were with.” “Which” is the operative word there, there’s a difference with “where are you camping.” “Which” means that you have to belong to something, know so-and-so, or have contributed something significant. Hmmm.

I agree, “which” is likely said to determine one's cool factor and that is just as whack as taking selfies in front of the man to prove your status on social media.

Though, I am not above asking someone if they worked on anything this year. It allows me to learn about stuff I might not know about yet, and it is an easy opportunity to highlight the location of the project(s) I'm on, and encourage them to go see it with me. Great way to connect with like-minded people if you ask me.
jadewombat wrote:now there’s a sense that you HAVE to belong to something at BM

I think that ticket scarcity plays a part in some of this. There is an attitude about participation and who gets tickets. I am guilty of thinking this way myself, because it is a bummer to watch someone on your project stress out about getting tickets when they have given up countless hours of their free time, and quite likely a chunk of their own money, in order to create something for the playa. I think it is a good thing that people want to get involved in creating something, instead of just showing up to party.
jadewombat wrote:if we assume for a moment that the intention of bringing in a very large percentage of virgins every year to expose the world to BM culture (or something along those lines), then at least realize what the effects are having on the culture and community.

I couldn't agree more. I like to compare the massive amount of virgins being thrown into the burn to pouring too much ice water into a boiling pot, it stops the roll. Granted, if the fire keeps burning, all those new molecules will get up to speed, eventually. More to the point, there has to be a sweet spot as far as how many can be added without adversely affecting things.


All this being said, I first heard about Burning Man about 9 years before I started. I found out about it because I was at another event, and it dawned on me that I would really like to do something like it out in the desert. I told the friend who was sitting next to me, and he said that people do desert campout events just like I was talking about. Talking to more people, asking around, someone eventually told me, “Yea, it's called Burning Man.”

Unfortunately, Burning Man had changed a lot by the time I got there, and the changes you are talking about are along the same lines as the things that bother me about the event. The biggest perhaps being that I like when there is a leveling effect – in other words, the class-system doesn't exist, at least during the event. I like when the kings and queens mix in with the clowns and peasants, especially if they switch outfits and roles, and share whiskey. Then there is the catch and release tax system - I won't go there.

I've thought a lot about walking away, maybe just for a year. I have also thought about what it was that I was originally looking for when I told my friend about my vision of a desert campout. Burning Man is great for it's own reasons. I've made a lot of wonderful memories and friends. But Burning Man wasn't the fulfillment of the yearning that I had, at least not completely.

I once worked with Jerry James' son, a year or so after I first heard of the burn, and he told me why the split between Jerry and Larry happened, from his perspective. Larry's vision has become a global movement, but I am starting to see the beauty in Jerry's vision of keeping it low-key.

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CyanEssence
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by CyanEssence » Mon Oct 19, 2015 1:24 am

CyanEssence wrote:I like to compare the massive amount of virgins being thrown into the burn to pouring too much ice water into a boiling pot, it stops the roll. Granted, if the fire keeps burning, all those new molecules will get up to speed, eventually. More to the point, there has to be a sweet spot as far as how many can be added without adversely affecting things.
I realize that some of you first and second year folks are really with it. In fact, I have a several friends who built projects for the Burn and SF Decompression for multiple years before going to the Burn. When I met one of them, and found they had worked on more projects than me, even though my number of burns was more than double theirs, I felt that they were burnier than me.

What I wish I had said instead of "virgins' in my last post was "unacculturated and non-creating/yet-to-be-creating"

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skbz
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by skbz » Sat Oct 24, 2015 3:01 pm

You can stuff your whole discussion about Virgins. I'm here to stick up for them...

I was a virgin this year and was also appalled about the MOOP situation.

Two of us (a regular UK couple) didn't go with any camp, we went alone and had a wonderful time amongst other non campers,

I can see the problem your talking about, and have similar stories about seeing people kicking plastic bottles around in a pack of bikes, terrible attitude.
At one point I had to go back and empty and then go out again with more bags. After that I vowed not to let it spoil my day, but I also learnt that I will be vocal and confident and take the lead a bit more next time.

I dont think I'm a typical virgin though, we saw a lot of young americans taking the piss basically, and being quite blatent in their disregard too, I dont know if they were virgins or not.
Whereas coming from another continent required loads of research on everything about the trip, the 10 principals were ingrained in me by the time we arrived and we happily rolled in the dirt and rang the bell.
We overprepared in the end, but that level of planning made it massively successful despite the wind and it changed out lives in only positive ways. Financially it was very expensive and we cant afford to come back next year. We learnt a lot and it can be a lot cheaper next time.

In the meantime there are regional burns springing up in EU :)



My summary is that maybe the demographic you need to look at to solve the problem isnt virgins, but the demoraphic of virgins is cloulding the issue.

On our way home, we met a regular and local Burner who said 'I have to ask... How much did you pay for your ticket'
(I bought them in the presale I admit.) Whereas he had decided to go a week earlier because ' a ticket came up...' or something. Nice if you have the option.

To back this up, when we returned our tiny old beaten up RV to the rental company, we cleaned it inside 3 times and went to a carwash to have the outside detailed so we didnt loose our deposit.
The manager was actually uspset when he offered his apologies for the failures in the truck, gave us a refund and showed us photos of a big brand new rental that had been returned by some kids, stinking of weed and with a cm of dust and moop on the floor, absolutely trashed with no regard for any BM attitude we had come to encourage. The vehicle hadnt been seen for several hours by the time we left. The manager wasnt hopeful it would be returned at all.

For all you people who think the spirit isnt still there, our newest lifelong freinds and neighbours had amongst them, a 20 year consecutive veteran living in just a campervan, a retired teacher in an SUV with a 15 year history and a great art bike, and a huge couple who introduced themselves as being quiet, and then went off and DJ'd nearby for 5 hours, and cooked us burgers. We learnt so much from all of them, we had an epic time.

Thank you, we'll be back x

maladroit
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by maladroit » Sun Oct 25, 2015 12:45 pm

Expectations ruin burns, and if you go there expecting to be disillusioned by Mark Zuckerberg and the Kardashians then that's the burn you'll have.

Focus on the awesome, BE awesome, and you'll find more than you imagined.

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BBadger
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by BBadger » Sun Oct 25, 2015 6:53 pm

I think the number of years people have attended is a ridiculous metric for measuring a burner. Sure, there are clueless burgins who didn't put any effort into preparation, and there are also those who hit the playa running like they had been there since the late 1980s. Likewise, some burners are a gift to the city each year they once again attend, others are a cancer in a constant state of remission. I'd find the repeat-visiting ass-hat a greater tragedy than the first-year bucket-lister.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

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Simon of the Playa
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Simon of the Playa » Mon Oct 26, 2015 4:01 am

Next Year...

Camp Ass-Hat.





come visit us.


we're keeping black rock tragic.
Frida Be You & Me

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jadewombat
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by jadewombat » Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:42 am

Jeeves, land the jet a minute. I'm not getting a good wifi signal.

Not sure if it was missed getting away from what was actually said further back up in the topic, but this is not about virgin bashing. Bear with me a minute, but here's a scenario: You're manager of a team of 20 people.

At the beginning of each year the owners of the company will cut roughly 60% of your team and replace them with new workers and as manager you have no input on who should or should not be replaced--regardless of experience or performance level these decisions are made by the owners. The owners also allow you to hire 1 new person each year.

Accidents and mistakes happen and weird, quirky rules are enacted. These rules are posted, but not everyone reads them. After 5 years how productive or effective do you think your team would be vs. if only 1-3 people were replaced each year?

I'm not trying to start a pity party and yes of course there have been people sponging off of others since, well the beginning of time. Unless you're one of the BM organizers reading this, again, it's just opinion and probably a waste of time at that as there are several, several examples of BMORG saying one thing and having something completely different in practice. If you bought a brand new car and drove it off the lot and I noticed one of your tires is really low, does it make sense to debate the rights of the tire to maintain low air, or say to me "Well that shouldn't impede your ability to have a good time driving down the road," or condemn me for pointing out in the first place that you have a low tire and might have a blowout, etc. The sensible thing to do is take the car right back to the dealership and have them fix the problem.

And
CyanEssence wrote:
I once worked with Jerry James' son, a year or so after I first heard of the burn, and he told me why the split between Jerry and Larry happened, from his perspective. Larry's vision has become a global movement, but I am starting to see the beauty in Jerry's vision of keeping it low-key.
as polarized as our society has become, I'm not about promoting divisiveness but you hit on something key here also in the bigger thought process. Smaller event or a bigger event spreading BM to the rest of the world? As great as BM is, is it for everyone? I don't think so. By the same token, Stanley Kubrick's films are not for everyone either, but that doesn't make them any less great than they are.

BTW, I love the term ass-hat, too.

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A-RockLeFrench
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by A-RockLeFrench » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:09 am

Image

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BBadger
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by BBadger » Mon Oct 26, 2015 10:31 pm

jadewombat wrote:Not sure if it was missed getting away from what was actually said further back up in the topic, but this is not about virgin bashing. Bear with me a minute, but here's a scenario: You're manager of a team of 20 people.

At the beginning of each year the owners of the company will cut roughly 60% of your team and replace them with new workers and as manager you have no input on who should or should not be replaced--regardless of experience or performance level these decisions are made by the owners. The owners also allow you to hire 1 new person each year.

Accidents and mistakes happen and weird, quirky rules are enacted. These rules are posted, but not everyone reads them. After 5 years how productive or effective do you think your team would be vs. if only 1-3 people were replaced each year?
Yeah, but we're not talking about a monolithic company. Burning Man is a conglomeration of camps, and a lot of people who fill in the spaces between. For the most part, camps are in good shape and many benefit from Directed Distribution and other systems that ensure the cohesion of camps and villages.

Sure, in 2012 with the lottery we saw severe fragmentation that impacted camps and playa projects; however, those were special conditions where BMOrg severely misjudged the effects that a truly random distribution of tickets would have, and a large amount of uncertainty created a large ticket recession. As it is now, however, established camps and builders are able to secure their tickets early, and also have sufficient community mechanisms to obtain tickets if needed. In my own circles, we've always been able to find tickets for people, even to the last moments. Most of the ticket scarcity problems hit the very people that you want immigration quotas on -- those people who lack the connections to secure their tickets, etc.

What about those unwashed new people? Let the playa sort them out. Sure, in the filtering process there might be some shit that gets stuck in the sieve, but that's just how it goes. After all, how will you know beforehand? If the answer is that only people who have been vetted by others can attend, I don't want a part in that kind of playa. Who would get to decide? Does it become some big nepotistic club? That'd be the real end of Burning Man.

I think this is a self-correcting problem. The people who create good things will more than likely have their minds blown and return to find the camps and groups who do likewise. The people with little invested will fill their bucket list and be gone. The sparkleponies and other dead weight will either shape up or need to find someone else to carry their burden. Even Plug and Play camps are too expensive for fair weather attendees to remain repeat customers. It'll all work out okay.
"The essence of tyranny is not iron law. It is capricious law." -- Christopher Hitchens

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Aurelia
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by Aurelia » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:31 am

joining camp ass hat
in my new hat
bringing all my original hats

xoA.

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CyanEssence
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Re: Notes from this year

Post by CyanEssence » Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:35 am

BBadger wrote: Sure, in 2012 with the lottery we saw severe fragmentation that impacted camps and playa projects; however, those were special conditions where BMOrg severely misjudged the effects that a truly random distribution of tickets would have, and a large amount of uncertainty created a large ticket recession. As it is now, however, established camps and builders are able to secure their tickets early, and also have sufficient community mechanisms to obtain tickets if needed. In my own circles, we've always been able to find tickets for people, even to the last moments. Most of the ticket scarcity problems hit the very people that you want immigration quotas on -- those people who lack the connections to secure their tickets, etc.

What about those unwashed new people? Let the playa sort them out. Sure, in the filtering process there might be some shit that gets stuck in the sieve, but that's just how it goes. After all, how will you know beforehand? If the answer is that only people who have been vetted by others can attend, I don't want a part in that kind of playa. Who would get to decide? Does it become some big nepotistic club? That'd be the real end of Burning Man.

I think this is a self-correcting problem. The people who create good things will more than likely have their minds blown and return to find the camps and groups who do likewise. The people with little invested will fill their bucket list and be gone. The sparkleponies and other dead weight will either shape up or need to find someone else to carry their burden. Even Plug and Play camps are too expensive for fair weather attendees to remain repeat customers. It'll all work out okay.
These are good points Bbadger. The self-correcting idea is something I hadn't thought of before. It makes sense that people who prove that they will pull their weight will be more likely to get directed tickets, either because they run a camp/project, and get tickets from the org, or because the project leader/mayor/etc. sees that the person is worth getting a ticket to, because they will bust their ass to help make the project a reality.

At the same time, this year some of our lead people didn't hear back about tickets until late July/early August, and if we don't know if we can get these tickets until the end of July or early August, that can make committing to a project difficult...

One thing that I have thought for a some time is that throwing too many non-burners into the burn would result in more changes to the burn, than it would to changes in those future-burners. In retrospect though, thinking on my own, based on what people have said on here, and reading through old Piss Clears in "Burning Man Live" (I love your work Adrian, if you read these boards, thank you), I have started to realize that the greater culture has been able to withstand, or at least it has retained some of its essence despite, the influx of douchebags, frat boys, NBOMErs, yahoos, spectators, yuppies, drone pilots, coachella girls, crust ponies, tech bros, shirtcockers, muppet punks and whatever other groups have been, at some point, seen as the inevitable downfall of our culture at Burning Man. Adrian and the Piss Clear writers were writing about these same issues back in '96, and we still have a pretty awesome culture nearly 20 years later.

Despite this, for my own reasons, I am still interested in finding something more low-key, more remote, more survivalist, yet still arty, fun, community building, and all around awesome. I may or may not continue with Burning Man, I will most likely keep helping make art for Burning Man, even if I skip the main event, but I will definitely keep looking around for a more intimate, less cell-phony, more survivalist, more "i'm on some deserted planet" (and how can I feel that way when someone is sexting next to me...), camp-out-in the desert/forest/ocean/etc.-art-event. Worst case, I will just try and rope people into doing a "just for the hell of it" free event somewhere in the spirit of the zone trip.

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