Old and Cynical

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JohnnyA
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Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Mon Oct 16, 2017 12:04 am

I absolutely hate these kind of Group Introduction messages, but since there is actually a fairly small group of regular-posters here and since it seems to be the polite thing to do, I'll try to get over my reticence, especially since I've already posted in a couple of threads.

I think that I first heard about Burning Man in the late 90's or early 2000's. But that was from some people that I wouldn't cross the road to drink with, let-alone spend a whole week with out in the desert.

In 2012 I (briefly) dated a wonderful lady who was a regular Burner, and who made me aware of all the beautiful Art at TTITD, and that it wasn't just a week-long Rave in the desert. I saw ... but I still wasn't convinced.

In 2013, a friend came out to Burning Man to join an old school-mate's camp at BRC, and came back with wonderful stories of Art, Community, Volunteering, and the Temple.

My interest was finally aroused.

It wasn't until 2016 that my friend was able to get tickets again, but now I've returned from my 2nd year there, and will be coming back again next year (whatever it takes).


I was very lucky in that I'm both old-as-sin, and cynical-enough, to fit in with a camp of BRC folks that has existed for nearly 20 years.

That's given me both the opportunity of arriving early, and leaving late (in order to set up and take down our camp); and also to chat to camp-mates who volunteer in a lot the different BRC departments.

I arrogantly thought that I had things figured-out this year, but the Playa proved me wrong ... there was still plenty to learn! :wink:

I'm looking forward to next year! :-)

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lucky420
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by lucky420 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:34 am

Hola and hello...

Yeah, I lurked and posted before I properly introduced myself. Sometimes I’m quite shy
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by ygmir » Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:41 am

lucky420 wrote:Hola and hello...

Yeah, I lurked and posted before I properly introduced myself. Sometimes I’m quite shy
.............
YGMIR

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by lucky420 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:42 pm

ygmir wrote:
lucky420 wrote:Hola and hello...

Yeah, I lurked and posted before I properly introduced myself. Sometimes I’m quite shy
.............
Ha! Well until you get to know me...
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Savannah » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:02 pm

Welcome! :D

Just as well you didn't make it in 2017 . . . it was 110F, every damned day. :lol:

You sound like you're surrounded by Burner wisdom and acculturation. This bodes extremely well.
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Ratty » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:48 pm

Welcome. It sounds like you DID make it this year. Don't feel all alone. Mother Nature taught us all a lesson. Many veterans, (including me), went down for the count. So many ended up in the med tent getting hydrated. Events were cancelled. The cool nights were glorious.

Old is a frame of mind. As the event ages so does the population. We were considering Having a 'Shady Rest' old folks home with walkers. Alas, I'm old but she is not. The Census now puts me in a minority slot. Not for my age but for how many times I've attended.

YOU young man are not old. Certainly you're not a 20 something but who is? The great thing about THITD is that you can dance, drink, ride mutant vehicles, art cars, stay out all night and be part of the community.

Dinners ready so I leave you now. Come see us at Tiger Man Camp. Across from Kidsville. Ratty
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Elderberry » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:39 pm

Hey there, welcome to ePlaya!

How old?
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:42 pm

lucky420 wrote:
lucky420 wrote:Sometimes I’m quite shy
Ha! Well until you get to know me...
Yep, me too! :wink:

Savannah wrote:Welcome! :D

Just as well you didn't make it in 2017 . . . it was 110F, every damned day. :lol:
Oh ... I made it out this year, and yes, it was extremely darned hot! :shock:

I spent a lot of time hiding under the camp's shade structure, and pounding drinks of cold water. I didn't get out to Deep Playa anywhere near as often as I wanted to.

My biggest mistake was in volunteering too late, and then having to juggle different department's available timeslots, and so ending up with less "play" time than I wanted.

Savannah wrote:You sound like you're surrounded by Burner wisdom and acculturation. This bodes extremely well.
They were very old-fashioned about it ... they went and tied me onto an old saw horse, and then beat me until I could I sing Larry's Principle's backwards, to the tune of Yellow Submarine! :?


Well, maybe not. :)


More just a case of lots of afternoon and evening group bullshitting sessions with frosty beveridges, seeing folks head off to work a shift, or come back from one.

It's awe-inspiring to meet folks who use up their year's vacation, and spend lots of money, to come out into the desert, only to volunteer 30+ hrs of their time helping to make the city run.

The Rangers and ESD teams in particular, are absolutely amazing!

But personally, I've had fun working with the BPSG and Temple Guardians, and feel at home with those two groups, although I *may* add a LampLighter shift or two next year to see what those folks are like.

Ratty wrote:Welcome. It sounds like you DID make it this year. Don't feel all alone. Mother Nature taught us all a lesson. Many veterans, (including me), went down for the count. So many ended up in the med tent getting hydrated. Events were cancelled. The cool nights were glorious.
Yep, a tough year for the heat, but at-least we didn't get much in the way of dust storms at the same time.

This year I could leave my old trailer's windows open most of the day to help vent the heat. If I'd tried that in 2016, I'd have ended up with a dune on my bed!

Ratty wrote:Alas, I'm old but she is not. The Census now puts me in a minority slot. Not for my age but for how many times I've attended.
I was really happy to see that nearly 1/3 of folks (2016 census) are over 40.

That gives me plenty of interesting people to talk to, and plenty of camps to visit that aren't blaring out incessant EDM.

Ratty wrote:The great thing about THITD is that you can dance, drink, ride mutant vehicles, art cars, stay out all night and be part of the community.
You most absolutely do not want to be around when I've finally had enough alcohol that the thought of getting up on the dance floor seems like a reasonable idea ... it's a frighteningly horrible spectacle to behold! :lol:

But the rest of that all sounds good, as long as you can find an art car without a DJ. :wink:

I hope that Planet Earth will be back next year; I really missed them this year.

Ratty wrote:Come see us at Tiger Man Camp. Across from Kidsville. Ratty
I'll have to stop by and say hello next year.

We've been located on A, fairly close to Center Camp for the last two years, which has been very, very convenient as a newbie.

Elderberry wrote:How old?
Mid 50s ... so my body is *finally* just beginning to get close to the right age for my inner-curmudgeon! :wink:

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global village idiot
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by global village idiot » Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:23 am

Good to "meet" you!

I'm glad you're around.

When my ex and I were dating (mid-90s), we decided to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We were in our late 20s and EASILY the oldest people there by several years.

We felt like chaperones.

It's encouraging to know I'm unlikely to feel this way in BRC.

I'll be 49 at the event, turning 50 a few months after.

Cheers!
gvi

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by gaminwench » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:57 pm

Hello and welcome.

I'm old, but not cynical.

Half of my camp is 'old', the other half is 'kids'.
Works well.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:10 pm

global village idiot wrote:Good to "meet" you!

I'm glad you're around.
Thanks!

I hope that you get your wish and manage to get out to the event next year.

Your initial problem will just be in getting tickets. Good luck, and best wishes!

When my ex and I were dating (mid-90s), we decided to go see the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

We were in our late 20s and EASILY the oldest people there by several years.

We felt like chaperones.

It's encouraging to know I'm unlikely to feel this way in BRC.
Hahaha ... good old RHPS! :)

I was bummed that I missed a full dress-up audience-participation performance of it at one of the camps on Thursday this year.

I'm about age-appropriate now to go as the Narrator ... which reminds me to take a costume for that next year! :wink:


Nope, don't worry about your age, you'll fit right in.

While the Esplanade and the 10:00 & 2:00 EDM zones seem to be targeted more to the younger folks, you'll find plenty of older folks hanging out a little further back in the city, or at places like the Playa Jazz Cafe.

Heck ... a lot of us older folks even like certain forms of EDM!

global village idiot wrote: Driving home from work tonight I thought about the community ethos I sense from repeat attendees. They seem to have a sense of ownership in the event. I like this and would like to pitch in next year, at least for the time I'm there - I won't be part of the "advance echelon" or the stay-behind effort.
...
Any ideas how I might be able to make a decent contribution, and whom I should reach out to?
The most obvious way of getting involved is to create your Burner Profile on this site, and then fill out the Volunteer Questionnaire.

First-Time Volunteers


With your military background, I understand your drive to be a part of things, and your willingness to be one of those participants who actually makes a difference and helps out.

But ... may I respectfully suggest that you consider not filling out the Volunteer Questionnaire in your first year, before you've really got a feel for what each group does, and which of them you are really drawn to?


I'd personally recommend that you attend your first Burn with no prearranged volunteering or expectations, and just get immersed in the feeling of the place. Whatever anyone tells you about the place beforehand ... how it hits you personally, and which aspects of it all appeal to you, is likely to change focus when you actually experience the reality of BRC! :D

Talk to lots of folks early on in the week, and then, if you are so inspired that you still want to contribute later on in the week, you'll find lots of on-site opportunities to volunteer posted daily at the V-Spot in Center Camp (also at 3:00 & 9:00 this year). Then there are also places like the LampLighters and Arctica that always seem to need extra help during the week, too.

Finally, as someone mentioned in another thread, art teams usually appreciate getting some extra help with their cleanup on the morning after their piece burns.


That's the path that lead me to end up working on burn perimeters with the BPSG in my first year ... which I found out that I really love doing it, as my personal way of giving back something to the amazing artists who create such beautiful things on the Playa.

global village idiot wrote:I see attendance at Burning Man as a sort of grown-up version of the Roman rite-of-passage where I hang up my bulla and bordered toga - or in my case, probably my dog tag and uniform - putting the past where it belongs. If I can, I’ll ask if I can get them put in the pyre where the Burning Man is lit up at the end of the event – that seems proper.
I think that you may be confusing the Man burn with the Temple burn. :?

Helping folks celebrate or come-to-terms-with a transition is definitely more of a Temple thing than a Man thing, and the Temple is the last thing to burn, on Sunday, marking the end of the event.

global village idiot wrote: As for the bike or trike, I've decided against it for a couple reasons. First - and probably most important - my high-school partner-in-crime has attended for the last ten years or so, and he was very adamant about the abandoned bikes, the lost/stolen bikes, the gargantuan effort of trying to find something to do with 5,000 cheap, worthless, sandblasted bikes.
May I suggest that you reconsider, and just take some simple advice? (Sorry if the following sounds a bit strident, I'll get back to the polite explanation in a minute).


Don't bring an expensive bike that would be a target for actual thieves, and do always lock it up all of the time that you're not riding it, so that it's not a target for someone too lazy/drunk/altered to have a sense-of-decency. Put your name, phone number and camp location on it, in the form of a dog tag or something else that's not going to wear off during the week.

And if you bring it in ... then take it back out with you, except for one specific circumstance ...

... if you literally can't take it back with you for some reason, then the only bike to bring is a new Huffy Cranbrook Cruiser 26", which you can then donate to the Yellow Bike Project at their camp. Do NOT abandon it out on the playa!

Yellow Bikes: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

How We Solved the Great Bikeageddon of 2017

global village idiot wrote: I looked at a map of the place and nowhere is more than 2 miles from anywhere else.
2 miles isn't a long way, especially if you're in no hurry.
Ah, but it's less about going from point A to point B, and more about having the ability to easily explore the event. :)

At a quick estimate, there were 12 streets this year in BRC, forming 2/3 of a circle, at an average of approx 3/4 miles from the Man ... which is approx 37 miles of streets.

That's just one trip around the city, and it excludes visiting the art out on the Playa, or visiting the Deep Playa.


The reality is that you're more likely to be criss-crossing from place to place, and visiting some of your favorite places multiple times.


Yes, you can certainly go to Burning Man without a bike, or just rely on finding a convenient Yellow Bike, but, for what little my opinion is worth, neither of those would be my recommendation.


To show that scale visually, and to leave everyone with something happy to watch ... here's my favorite Burning Man video on YouTube.

It's one of the few videos out there that's a personal message of love for TTITD, and not just a "look at me being cool and partying in the desert" video.


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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Token » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:32 pm

Holy s’mores... you got this in audiobook format for the morning commute ;)

Far out!

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:48 am

Token wrote:Holy s’mores... you got this in audiobook format for the morning commute ;)
Yeah, I can be a bit long-winded, can't I? :wink:

gaminwench wrote:Hello and welcome.

I'm old, but not cynical.
Hi there!

Don't feel too bad about your lack of cynicism, it doesn't come naturally to everyone. But, if you keep on practicing, I'm sure that you can the hang of it, eventually! :lol:

JohnnyA wrote: I'd personally recommend that you attend your first Burn with no prearranged volunteering or expectations, and just get immersed in the feeling of the place. Whatever anyone tells you about the place beforehand ... how it hits you personally, and which aspects of it all appeal to you, is likely to change focus when you actually experience the reality of BRC! :D
OTOH, you may be less of a Lone Wolf than me, and perhaps you're looking for something that's both fun, and that you could potentially do with your daughter ... in which case, signing up for some shifts at Arctica, or with the LampLighters, might just be perfect for you.

Although I haven't volunteered with them yet myself, the LampLighters in particular are a group that does a useful and important job in the city, does it with a sense of style and class, and since they also have one of the best bars in town, you can socialize together with co-volunteers and get an immediate intro to the culture, even if you don't camp with them.

I guess that it all depends on what you're looking for, and whether you like to be free-flowing and just wing-it, or whether you're someone that feels more comfortable with some structure.

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by global village idiot » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:34 am

I reached out to BRC3PO (post office) a few weeks ago. I used to do Postal work in the Army and I liked it.

Helping at the Post Office seems like a harmless and yet rewarding way to say, even if in only a token and insignificant way, that "I contributed."

gvi

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Aurelia » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:20 pm

:mrgreen:
OK I wasn’t going to post ever again or go to BRC ever again but of course I am we have to do and my favorite people have been getting involved as well XOXO Aurelia

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Aurelia » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:24 pm

:mrgreen:
And I am not repeat not cynical there’s way too much to do once you turn the corner which I have this week… Get busy adapt Contribute to our universe

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:29 pm

I was with BRCPO back in ‘00-‘01-ish.
It wasn’t a serious place. It was all about schtick... satirical exaggerated red tape.
You waited in line and when you finally got up front we’d slam the window shut and say Sorry, this window is closed!”. Or we’d make you fill out all sorts of ridiculous forms, then critique your penmanship... shit like that.
Sobriety was not a requirement to work one of the windows. In fact it wasn’t recommended.
The Postmistress, Sylvia Dutch, passed away several years ago. She was awesome.
Her name should get mentioned from time to time and not forgotten.

I don’t think it’s the fun theme camp it started out as. It’s become what the new burners thought it was, a real god damn post office.
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Token » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:37 pm

What Cap’n said plus...

Fuck Volunteering!

It’s a sham way to pretend like you are contributing.

Unless you plan to culture jam the volunteers, then it’s OK.

The truth about the big BORG lie.

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by AntiM » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:11 am

Ah, RHPS. The Six Minute Players do a shadow cast on Friday at midnight at Videorgasm. Audience participation, but it doesn't mean joining the cast. We had a second Frankie for a moment or so. LOL, Narrator, my ass. It is Criminologist, please and thank you. Yes, I have no neck.
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:57 am

global village idiot wrote:Helping at the Post Office seems like a harmless and yet rewarding way to say, even if in only a token and insignificant way, that "I contributed."
Excellent, I hope that you enjoy it!

Token wrote:Unless you plan to culture jam the volunteers, then it’s OK.
:lol: :wink:
AntiM wrote:LOL, Narrator, my ass. It is Criminologist, please and thank you. Yes, I have no neck.
Touché! It could be a side-of-the-pond thing, my university, or just my poor memory. :P

AntiM wrote:I would like, if I may ...
You may ... and I suspect that you may be wanting to take us on a strange journey.

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Elderberry » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:02 pm

JohnnyA wrote:
Elderberry wrote:How old?
Mid 50s ... so my body is *finally* just beginning to get close to the right age for my inner-curmudgeon! :wink:
Oh please, I've got you by 20 years you young whippersnapper you. You're too young to be a curmudgeon, you must just be a spoiled brat. :)
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Ratty » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:06 pm

And I've got you by 15.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:17 pm

Ooo... then I might be just young enough to call you a cougar...
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by global village idiot » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:42 pm

It’s become what the new burners thought it was, a real god damn post office.
Hope I don't piss in your Cheerios, Skipper, because that was what I was hoping it was. ;)

Cheers!
gvi

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:59 pm

Elderberry wrote:Oh please, I've got you by 20 years you young whippersnapper you. You're too young to be a curmudgeon, you must just be a spoiled brat. :)
Yes, dad. (Followed by the typical younger-generation eye roll.) :roll: :wink:

How about I just try and claim to be a child prodigy in the "curmudgeon" department, then?

Ratty wrote:And I've got you by 15.
Captain Goddammit wrote:Ooo... then I might be just young enough to call you a cougar...
Now you're all getting out playa-certified dust-proof motorized walkers to gang up on the youngster! :lol:

That's what makes Burning Man fun (from my POV) ... despite all of the PYT "look at me being wild at the World's Biggest Rave" videos, there is actually some real beauty, creativity, bizarre wackiness, and community out there.

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by gaminwench » Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:14 am

Come hither, young(ish) man ... 8)

We're contemporaries; give all the OldGens the side-eye, and we're off into the white out! :shock:

We'll knock their socks off!
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:00 am

global village idiot wrote:
It’s become what the new burners thought it was, a real god damn post office.
Hope I don't piss in your Cheerios, Skipper, because that was what I was hoping it was. ;)

Cheers!
gvi
Gee how fun...
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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:42 pm

gaminwench wrote:Come hither, young(ish) man ... 8)
We're contemporaries; give all the OldGens the side-eye, and we're off into the white out! :shock:
Hahaha ... a bit of innocent flirting always raises the ... ermmmm ... spirits. Be still my beating heart! :lol:

To think that we may well have passed each other at the LA Decom last week, like ships in the night, never actually fated to meet.

<wistful sigh>

Now it will be another 10 months before we can take the opportunity to ditch the parents and disappear off into that beautiful dust together! :wink:

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by gaminwench » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:54 pm

Innocent??? :shock:

Are you local to SoCal?

What was your LA Decom experience like?
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Old and Cynical

Post by JohnnyA » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:45 pm

gaminwench wrote:Innocent??? :shock:
Honestly ... I'm pure as new snow ... really ... look, the factory-tags are still attached! :lol:
Are you local to SoCal?

What was your LA Decom experience like?
Yep, just north-west of LALA-land in Ventura County.

I'm sorry, but you asked a direct question, and so I'll give you an honest answer.

To be honest ... I was a bit let down. I preferred going to Artwalk in Ventura the week before.

I met some fun burners at the LA Decom, there were a few pieces of lovely art, the Conclave was putting on a really nice show, the Destiny Lounge was impressive, and it was nice to meet Topless Deb after seeing Ranger Beauty leave camp to officiate at Deb's wedding on-playa this year ...

... but it still felt awfully small; and with so much of the space being occupied by the 2 DJ stages that started blaring EDM for the 20-something locals that turned-up at sundown, it just wasn't very representative of the parts of BRC that I care enough about to go back and revisit.

So sorry, but you asked, and I did mention "cynical" in the subject-thread! :wink:


Now, what was your LA Decom experience like? :)

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