Another newb's views on the Burn...

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.
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Another newb's views on the Burn...

Post by caveatlector » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:14 pm

I was honoured to be selected for a scholarship ticket this year, and without that generous offer of a reduced cost admission, I probably wouldn't have made it to the Playa.

One of the conditions of the ticket, however, was that I send a post-burn report about my experiences, which I've included below for the general community to see, since it seemed silly to write the thing and only send it off to the folks at the BMorg...



I just spent the last week waiting for the other shoe to drop. Every person I know who’s ever been to Burning Man has described a decompression state, where “returning to the default worldâ€

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Post by ygmir » Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:25 pm

interesting........I'm happy you shared this, and, appreciate your thoughts.
I'm sure, it'll be help to others.


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Post by The Bass » Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:56 pm

very interesting.

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Post by thirt33n » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:18 pm

great personal account my brother.

of course, you know the event does not "end" on does get somewhat overrun by said "consumers" but the pockets of pre-thursday people are still there......they're most likely not touring the statue of liberty or the eiffel tower(so to speak).....retract into the city...into the smaller glows. plan to zig when "they" zag. go into a different mode.

happy travels.

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Post by gyre » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:55 pm

Not barter based, though it happens.

Universal reciprocity.
A traditional subsistence hardship economy.

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Post by mars » Mon Sep 13, 2010 11:13 pm

For me, the event is happening the entire time I am there (not to mention the all year ponderings of and creations that I will bring to BRC).

The event doesn't end when the tourists come, it just changes.

I try to see as much art as I can in the early days. Once I am filled up and oriented to what's around and what's happening, I volunteer for various city services where I interact with new people and tourists and give them as much positive burner vibe and education as I can.

Then, on the weekend, I cozy up with my campmates, share experiences and love and enjoy the burns with them.
Live as if everyone loves you and thinks you look great. Dance as if no one is watching.

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Post by teardropper » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:46 am

Frat boy Friday. Yeah, it does change.

But it is not a barter, but a gift economy.
/..\ Furthur

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Post by caveatlector » Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:33 am

But it is not a barter, but a gift economy.
Metaphor. Not actuality. People bring energy, themselves, their concepts, their creativity in return for being part of the event.

I'll make an edit in my actual report to make it clearer.

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Re: Another newb's views on the Burn...

Post by LostinReno » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:03 am

I love your views on the burn, for me....this one nails it!
caveatlector wrote:For the first time since they were kids, many people are empowered by being at Burning Man to actually play freely with each other on what ever terms that they deemed acceptable without fear of reprisal or censure.
I remember Saturday night riding around after the man burn. I was really disoriented directionally since the man was no longer a point of reference and there were lit up art cars all around me, I had no idea which direction I was headed. At first it was a little un-nerving, then I finally "just went with it" and realized that I haven't had that feeling of wonder since I was about 16 years old! It was the first time in a long time that I was able to let go of constantly being in control.
I get so much more out of the friendliness of others than the art or the gifting of materialism. My post playa funk is mostly due to the douche bags I have to deal with when I get back.

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Post by Artemis » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:05 pm

Thanks for sharing

I thought it was clear that you were speaking figuratively when you said barter, but couldn't hurt to clarify it.

I too was impressed with the whole essay, but in particular the discussion of play. LiR's description of "letting go" also rang true. The feeling of acceptance out there is quite amazing, liberating and empowering.

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Post by Lassen Forge » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:12 pm

Well put. I suspect that you did experience change, and may not realize it until later. I notice it in your words as you describe your week.

Frat Friday is a reality, and actually is just as much a part of it as the rest. For me, it's *my* decompression - like you, I never really feel like I've had the same decomp feeling like most people claim, but the Friday and saturday Tourist specials put me in a different space - like I now have to deal with the outside world in my home. Sure, I go thru about 2 days of snark - but it's more of what I want to do next year rather than a morosity of having to go back to Default Camp... maybe it's because I have a job I find a total blast, maybe it's because I have a spouse who I love superdeeply (and vice versa), maybe because, like the woman you spoke about - for me, the burn goes on 52 weeks a year.

My personal 2 favorite times to be on playa is the week before the event, and the week after. See, as a kid we used to camp in Central Nevada, so in a real sense it is like returning to my childhood. There's a sense of purpose, a drive, and excitement of what we're first building, then mooping, that is different than the 7 days of the event. Sadly, this year, due to circumstances beyond my control I missed both; while this burn was in a way far better than any I've had yet, I missed the closeness and camaderie and... solitude... the other times give me. If I could, I'd volunteer for DPW (in a stone cold heartbeat) to be out there building the city infra, and the Guardians after, but alas... I have a job and bills to pay!

SO yes... come back. But volunteer with, yeah, someone like DPW and come out early... because it will change your view of the playa from that point forward...

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Re: Another newb's views on the Burn...

Post by bluesbob » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:17 pm


I met a woman at Ogribar near 4:00 and C who’d been a veteran burner of over a decade. This year, she said, would be her last. I asked her why and she responded:

“Look. I’ve done this thing for a long time. At first, it was an escape, but eventually I ended up living here all the time-- even when I was at home. All my friends are burners. I go to pre-and-post burn events. I changed my career to something creative. I’ve gone from living here on the Playa 1 week a year to expanding it to the other 51 weeks. I really don’t need to come here to experience the event any more.â€

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Post by C.f.M. » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:25 pm

I don't know that too many will disagree with your statements/observations.

I don't really care much about Friday and Saturday night...everything 'til then, and Sunday night.

I didn't even see the Man, this year. Walked by it, once. Saw nothing but dust Saturday. And had a BLAST.

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Post by masho » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:32 pm

Thoughtful and sincere. Thanks.

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