2003 Burning Man Compared (In General) to Past Year(s)?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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2003 Burning Man Compared (In General) to Past Year(s)?

Post by Bunnymonkey » Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:05 am

How did your 2003 Burning Man experiences *compare* to those of last year's Burning Man and Burning Mans prior to it? We're talking in *general terms,* such as you'd judge/articulate the mood of a community or city or public space. For instance, how'd you find the mood, vibe, group behaviors (desirable/undesirable?), ease of social interaction, events, etc.? What lovely or not so lovely Burning Man social or cultural patterns or trajectories emerged, faded, returned, or disappeared? Curious.

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Post by nymphgonebad » Thu Sep 04, 2003 1:30 am

this was my third year and i certainly felt more comfortable, than my two previous years. after talking with many newbies this year, i realize that it takes that long just to get fully acclimated. this year was crazy - i'm getting married oct 18 and going to bm was certainly a challenge in that regard. also, my finacee, who loves bm, still has a difficult time there. he's a fish out of water and i'm a desert bunny. so next year i get to go out early and volunteer for the dpw and set up our camp and so forth. i'll prolly meet him in reno on wed or thurs - whenever he comes in. god, i can't wait! it seems cruel that another year has to pass before i can go back and do all the stuff i didn't have time to do.

plus, we camped with krotus this year, in the igs. 60 people just in our camp alone and twice that many in igs. great fun, but we're doing a smaller theme camp next year.

hrh - the princess

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Post by blyslv » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:11 am

This was my second year and I was there twice as long as my first, but it seemed shorter. It wasn't a non-stop love fest, but something much deeper and realer, because I had to deal with both good things and bad. Creating something felt much better then merely consuming, and when I got my changes to go out and see what others had done, it made it all the richer. I went with intent and held true to that. I was more judgmental of spectators, like the 3 twenty somethings I poured organge juice for who then proceeded to brag about paying only $40 to get in and asked if I could sell them some cigarettes.

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Post by bschlong » Sat Sep 06, 2003 2:48 am

This is my 7th Burn. All the Burns exist as one if you do a mind meld and recoqnize time exist all at once, it is just our need to make order of things and linear thinking that juxposes "past" , "present" and "future".

Aside from more ( nessecary) structure, rules, theft, selfishness, greater self and tribal survival instincts, diversity, anomity etc. that come with any increase in density and population, the Burn has the same spirit as when the first early man discovered and shared his fire with his neighbor.

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Post by Epiphany » Sun Sep 07, 2003 2:44 pm

How did 2003 compare? About the same as it ever was, for this 9-time burner. I found that the experience just didn't change significantly, and hasn't changed significantly for me the past several years. I won't be returning. Too many other places in the world to see, too many other things to experience to keep dedicating limited time, energy and money to having the same experience over and over again. I know it's me, and not the event -- I saw the reactions of the newbies, and they were saying the same sorts of things I said my first time out. I have no interest/intention of bashing burning man -- I think the event is great -- and will continue to encourage people to go. It's just not floating my boat any longer, so I'm off to find other things/places in the world to amuse myself with (and maybe actually have a vacation on my vacation time...).

I will say that the organization seemed to run really, really smoothly. The gate, box office, greeters, lamplighters, rangers, commissary, media mecca and theme camp placement were all rocking. Years of experience on their part are definitely paying off. Blessings to all who put in so much hard work to make it happen.
Freaks, party of 30,000...your playa is ready.

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Post by PetsUntilEaten » Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:46 pm

repeat from other threads:

great - its taking me this long to become zen or emotional teflon or whatever . . . .

I'll agree with the boardies who say that what you give out comes back in spades - even when the intial problem is an accident or totally unsolicited nastiness - how you respond has everything to do with weither or not it improves.

I'm usually looking for a fight - but this year I didn't find the multitude of reasons to slap someone. I'll agree that some things get much better - some get worse - we get better at handling it.

I even was the voice of reason in regards to our young & unthinking neighbors & their garbage-truck-sounding genie. I talked my campmates out of using sugar in the gas tank. I said to our neighbors something like - "look - I've been in a big camp & wrestled with a genie baffle - I'm sure we can come up with a plan & the supplies to fix this for both of us." Can you believe it?! It worked well enough when it could have been a battle - even though we personally switched the genie off every night we came home - they never complained when their whole camp went black & soundless at 2am every night.


I spent more time being at peace in my own skin.

I do love a fight though . . . .

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Past Burn Flashback !

Post by bschlong » Mon Sep 08, 2003 11:01 pm

For what its worth here's my impression written in '97

In retrospect... my first thought is that the Temple Burn, not there in the 90's gives the entire event ying/yang balance...the climatic, manic burning of the man vs. thr more introspective, reflective burning of the temple .

Otherwise sAmE hiGh !!!

BM 1997 (long and self indulgent...apologies)

The Playa ... barren dry lake bed in the Desert. Nearest town ... Gerlach, Nevada population 200. Temperatures to 100 degrees. Free range of scorpions and rattle snakes. Even these are few. Stark naked canvass on which to create.

Necessary preparations before they arrive. Roads are graded, avenues scratched out in the dirt. They come in jeeps, cars, trucks, buses, trailers, motorbikes packed with bundles and tarps lashed with bales of string, straps, cord. Towing bicycles, rickshaws, rocket-cars, sail-cars , art cars, (one man) gyro-helio-copters, motorized para-gliders, cannons, roving sofas on electric wheels and entire stand-alone living rooms, self-propelled dens and bars on platforms of running car chassis. They bring what's needed for survival, and more.

They build. Dusty brown empty canvass of the playa. Now paint.

Overlay a transparency of a nomadic city of the curious, the jestors, the dancers, the bewildered, the driven, the obsessed, and the repressed. Gay, straight, tall, short, fat, thin, beautiful and ugly. Later they will dress in costumes of cardboard, cloth, foil, warpaint, or any combination of things, or partially clothed, topless, bottomless or with no clothes at all.

Tents, awnings, shades, shelters of cotton, silk, plastic, bamboo and skeleton poles and are secured with rope, billowing and shaking in late afternoon hot wind.

And the art, city of art.

Think Fellini, think Twilight Zone, think Dali, think Oz, and think nightmares and dreams, think fantasies of playful or twisted visionaries that come to life in icons and mask's of plastic, cloth, wood, bone, steel, ferrocement and reinforcing bar. Miniature diorama's of the obscure, dolls, mannequins, robots, heads, arms, feet, legs, faces deformed and decorated into otherworldly parodies .

Larger than life size beings, androids and humanoids, damsels and beast and warriors and machines of all dimensions both prehistoric and future recently arrived, coming in on starships, time machines, transporters, passing through vertexes, looking glass's and wormholes, touching down, some poised with frozen expressions.... some of intimidating terror, some of curiosity, some of perplexity, some blank and barren starring out onto the pilgrims of the desert and the pilgrims starring back.

Larger then life, some three stories tall; tents, temples, pyramids, Trojan horses, iron monsters, windmills, monoliths, towers of wood, bone, cloth, plastic.

Night comes and the City changes. Stage lights down. Overlay a transparency of a giant, mad, lighted carnival. Think Vegas, over Los Angeles over Times Square, over Mardi Gras. Moving, burning, blinking, twirling, lights, candles, lanterns of every color, shape, size pattern and orientation. Explosions, flares, fireworks, flarmethrowers, giant napalm like balls of fire explode and cackle over the crowds through the night.

Think Strawberry Fields, on, top of Mad Max, on top of Total Recall, on top of whatever fantasy moves you . Fill in Your own blanks. Some variation of it will be here. Only this is no movie set ... this is real with a cast of 15,000 (30,000+ in 2003...editor). Even if you have come just to look, forget it. After a couple of days the energy is infectious, it gets inside you and you start living it. Black Rock City: population 15,000 and one!

And ... The Man.

Sunday night. Wild procession of lights, fire twirlers, drummers lead the crowd, march up to the neon Man, he who has given definition and center to Black Rock City.

Dance of fire. The frenzy builds. The crowd is manic. Burn the Man. Burn it. BURN IT! ! ! A human figure clad in protective suit, aflame from head to toe does a wild happy dance at the crotch of the Man, igniting him.

Flames and fire works emit from the arms, legs and hands. Napalm blast billows up through its skeletal innards, igniting pyro-packed wicket bundles that are The Man's veins, arteries, heart, lungs and faith . He cracks and shrieks like a pine tree that has been super heated and has reached flashpoint in the midst of a million acre forest fire. The man does NOT burn. It Nova's. Super Nova. The front line rushes back fleeing front the heat. It's amazing that humans are not trampled in the stampede, but somehow those behind them know and make room

The Man crashes in on itself, slow motion-wise like those old hulks of building they demolish in one swoop with precisely set charges of dynamite

The crowd disperses, crazy charged up mass of souls. Not willing to power down, they go to plunder.

Think the L.A. riots. Think Rome burning. Think the Apocalypse.

Fires are ignited throughout the city. They burn the camps, they burn the mannequins, and they burn the art. Up all night, the City rages. Music blares. The smoke settles back over the us, it's hard to breathe as we try to sleep that night.

The morning after. Smoldering piles of black ash, remnants of twisted plastic and metal... I see a young girl dressed in formal black; gloves and a veiled hat bending over the cinders . She is lookng for remnants, for souvenirs. Something to take back, something to prove it happened. Something to hold on to, because after it ends, one goes away mourning when faced with the prospect of going back to real life

Sept 1997

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hard to compare

Post by babblingfreak » Tue Sep 23, 2003 12:53 am

This was my fourth time. I loved it. I missed BM last year for a wonderful job, but felt like I was missing a limb. When I arrived on the playa this year, I felt like I'd never left.

Each year, I go without expectation. The playa always offers something I need. This year, I made some amazing friends and glad I came expecting nothing, because whatever I could have expected could not have been better than this.

This is not to demean prior years. They've all been awesome.

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Post by Dr. Pyro » Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:58 am

As a fifth time burner, it just keeps getting better and better. I did enjoy hosting the eplaya meet & greet because it gave my campmates a good chance to meet the people I've been talking about that I've met in cyberspace. I did feel that this year was more sexually charged than in years past, and I'm not sure just why, maybe I'm getting more comfortable with everything. But I do want to pass my regards on to several of my favorite burners (and if I left you off this list, you know I didn't mean to): sunsetred, booker, tiara/r-pod, eli eli eli, desert pearll, barney [thanks for the outerwear, it will return next year], borris, das bus, rebA/glenn, dyna-lite, mayfield, tempest, ivy, and everyone who came by Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro just to say hi. Maybe that's why it just gets better: As we come to know one another better, the community as a whole expands and our own environment's borders expand. That's my story and by God I'm sticking to it.

The Doc

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Post by Kilmore » Tue Sep 23, 2003 9:59 am

Damn, didn't know that was going on so close, my tent was just behind Barbie Death Camp and Wine Bistro. I had some first timers I know drop by to visit me, so I told them they 'had' to see BDC&WB! Took them there immediately... So I am certain we met, albiet briefly, Dr. Pyro...

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