Here and there wrote:Time to shrug and move on.
As, indeed, it was. I've since closed down the Flickr Users
group on Burning Man Chicago. The group still exists, and can be reactivated if anybody ever expresses a serious interest, but I seriously doubt that anybody ever will. In another month or two, I'll decide whether or not to do the same with the Burning Man in Chicago
group on Flickr. I expect that I'll probably come to the same conclusion - that I don't have the time to monitor a group that will never become active - and lock the discussion and photo pools for that group, as well.
In another discussion
, somebody amused and irritated me by bringing up the tired old cliche about Burning Man being a "do-ocracy", the same stupid line that gets brought out to shut down discussion any time somebody offers a constructive suggestion about something that could be done, and tries to get anybody interested in doing it. Some of the "true believers" ™ wanted to know why I didn't just start my own event, and also why I didn't just join the Burning Man LLC, as if I could join just by sending in an email, and saying "sign me up". Also, there was some vague personal issue somebody had with the idea of my having anything to say about what somebody else might do, so I guess that I'd be putting on this event, and setting up an event for maybe a thousand burners out of pocket, all by myself, collecting all of the MOOP by myself after it was done? Yes, that sounds practical.
Hard to believe that there's a lot of drug use taking place at Burning Man, isn't it?
I find this non-argument amusing because somebody was acting like I had never tried to get anything going on my own, and this is nonsense. I most certainly have, as others have, and almost invariably with the same results - without name recognition, nothing really gets started, because almost nobody can be persuaded to get involved in anything resembling a constructive manner, or even to show up, at all, no matter how little would be asked of those who did participate. Take the Flickr group as an example. It's not just a
Flickr group for Burning Man participants in Chicago, it's the only such group in existence on all of Flickr. Only one person has ever posted to it. You've seen some of his work on this board, in this thread. It's nice work, and I've thanked him for it. When I have a working camera, I'll post some work to it, too, which probably will not be as good as the other person's work - and that will be it, in all likelihood. Only two people willing to post anything about Burning in Chicago out of a community of ... how many people?
How much effort is needed to upload a photo, and how many burners have cameras? One might wonder, out loud, if ePlaya or Flickr tend to be visited by the kind of people one would want to have come to an event - I have done so, myself - but this pattern seems to have persisted, and it's really only being perpetuated by cliches like the ironic one I just cited. "Burning Man is a do-ocracy". Not when that cliche is accepted as an excuse to shout down anybody with a suggestion, it isn't, because it gets the "participants" in the habit of thinking that all requests that come from those who aren't members of the LLC are to be rejected, out of hand. The cliche is ironic, because it promotes the very same passivity that it pretends to protest. Nothing much is going to get done in this so-called do-ocracy if nobody can ask anything of anybody, even in the mildest sense of the word "ask", because real projects tend to require the efforts of more than one person, as real events almost inevitably will.
What I've found, as others have before me, is that the last thing that I want to do, if I do get something going, is tell other burners about it, because at best, they're going to be a net liability. Best, at that point, to forget that Burning Man even exists, and if somebody at a Burning Man event asks me what I'm doing on the day something happens, to just lie and say something like "a family gathering", so that further questions don't get asked. If everybody were to do likewise, then on these terms, Burning Man, as a cultural phenomenon, would be left in a death spiral, but it is a rational response to the perverse incentives the community has chosen to put in place. If the "nice" people in the community are going to do their level best to empower the trolls, then this is what happens.
Here's the cause, there's the effect. Love it (the effect), change it (the cause), or shut the fuck up.