This is interesting, 'cause I had my first David Best experience in 2007. We were on an art car passing by the Temple shortly after it opened. Some people on our car were shouting through megaphones; I forget what. Mr. Best was being filmed by a film crew nearby; he came over and told us, "Out of all the places on the playa, here is where you do NOT use megaphones." The film crew filmed the interaction between him and the bus guys--and interestingly, the film crew did not turn their cameras away when the bus guys asked that he not be filmed (isn't that a BM media requirement--that if someone asks you not to film or take pictures, you don't?). Anyway. It raised an interesting issue that came up again and again for me this year. 1. Yes, the Temple can be considered "sacred space" 2. Yes, Mr. Best built the Temple 3. It's probably considered rude to shout through a megaphone (or play heavy-metal music, or dance, or fuck) around the Temple. On the other hand, 4. does an artist really have the right to control what happens around (not "to") a piece of artwork, especially after it's been "gifted" to BRC? I can see *asking* someone to be respectful of the space, but TELLING someone they MUST be respectful...? Was he being that way just because the film crew was there? It raised no little amount of internal conflict in me--I'm very respectful of the Temple, and felt badly that there was the sense of disrespect...but on the other hand...BM's freedom of expression, yeah?
Reading the story of the air horn adds even more to this. What if I had come up to the car and told the driver, Mr. Best, "Hey, this is morning and people are sleeping. You MUST keep the noise down." Obviously, he didn't think so.
Sorry, Best supporters, but it sounds like a double-standard. He can tell people to be quiet when it's in *his* interest (around the Temple, when he's being interviewed on film, when he's trying to sleep), but other people can't tell *him* to be quiet (when he's blasting an airhorn in the morning). I know his intent was to bother the dance camp, but he *knew* that he was disturbing lots of people that weren't in the dance camp as well. To be so cavalier about being that rude to that many OTHER people...well, I don't see how that can be defended.
I vote in favor of the key removal. If he didn't want people to "touch his tools", then he shouldn't have been using them the the aggressive, antisocial way he did. Civic responsibility, anyone?