Early Burn: What We Missed

Early Burn: What We Missed

Postby dcooper2 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:04 am

I tried hard to think about what hurt the most about the early burn. Here is what I think.

The man burned early. That was a significant event. That was an important event. One of the most impotant events ever in our city. I started to breath and think about the beautiful black burnt man. I began to love him. He was stunning.

His significance and the importance of the act was almost sinking in when the real world crept in. It came in press conference, it came in the DPW's reaction (we can rebuild him). It came with the flood lights on all night long. It came in the gossip about the suspect. It came with the stupid bashing of the current guard. It came exactly like it comes in the outside world. It did not come in a new way. The reaction to the early burn was not creative, it was practiced and learned. It came from outside.

I lost track and missed the points. There was no time. The man was being rebuilt. The man is dead, long live the man.

What I missed:

Why did the Man burned early? Why did the Temple not? Why did we need a New Man? Why can't we release Saturday night? Why did we rebuild? Why did our carbon footprint for the man double during a green year?

Finally, and I loved this moment. I realized that only two groups "official" groups on the playa have never lost my trust. They are the Lamplighters and the Black Rock Rangers. I went and asked them why.

The Lamplighters said it's because they are mostly poor, they have no real resources, power or ambition.

The Black Rock Rangers said, and I pray that the DPW hears this, that their very first reaction to a playa crisis is to...do nothing.

I like that - next time the man burns early, let's try that.
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Postby Wrath7sins » Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:59 am

That's pretty deep. I actually liked the burnt man too. However, not being able to navigate the city by man made for a few confusing turnarounds at night. "Which way is the middle?"
*poke* is it flammable?
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Postby Lassen Forge » Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:41 am

I agree. The Black Man, being the evolutionary successor to The Green Man, was pretty kewl. Problem was, he was structurally unstable - no one could predict how he would react in a windstorm, and if he collapsed with people near him... well... you can dig that. His left leg was pretty much toast, and when you looked at him from the side he had a wierd "kink".

Why not let it go? Almost had no choice. But letting it go was.... um... unsafe. No formal perimeter, people could have gotten hurt. Hell, it could have been put out and *then* collapse. Fire damage is pretty unstable by nature. You want to go stand under something that could well fall on top of you and kill you to death??

Anyway... they made the logical (and safe) choice to pull him down, which, in light of the windstorms later in the week, was a good thing. I mean, the wind killed the bamboo tower at 3:00 (right in front of me, I might add), no question it would have pulled the man down too. Probably on top of people who hunkered there, and then you would have had injury and death Not a good thing.

Then you had the adrenaline rush of the challenge. Which said "Fuck this, we got the people and the tecnology and the availability of materials, let's see if we *can* rebuild him and get him back up before Saturday". Why not? Sure, everyone involved was wiped out from pulling a 48 hour awshit, but they beat the odds. THAT was kewl.

Fuck it. It's all part of history now. Can't change it, can't redo it, so ya just go with it. Admittedly, this whole "Green" theme, from 2 men to that stupid WWW book to a lot of other things were so NOT green it's not funny. BUt hell, it's all part of the gig. Part of our collective memory. Just llike those of us who saw the 1.0 man burn Tuesday Morning. THAT sight is still stuck in my mind!

Next year?? I can't wait to see what history shall be to wrought.

bb
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Postby MikeVDS » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:39 am

The reaction to the early burn was not creative, it was practiced and learned. It came from outside.


What would have been creative? What would not have mimicked some "outside" reaction? All of your reactions seem to come from the outside as well, especially the carbon footprint one. Don't be so quick to think that your reactions are inherently more creative than others.
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It was history

Postby Shebatt » Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:46 am

I have been going to BM now for 9 years and I thought it was wonderful to see the Man burn early. My boyfriend was sad, I laughed. Why? Because I knew it was history in the making.

I also use to manager the Man crew. I knew we would pull together and build a new Man right away. I have not worked on the Man in the last few years but I went right to the DPW Depot and checked in. I knew they would need people who knew how to re-build and fast.

I knew this was the chance to show the rest of the world (and all the BM haters) that we were a strong community and show them we know what we are doing. We are NOT just a bunch of drugged up hippies running around naked in the desert. We are a wonderfully resilient group who WILL NOT let the antics of some crazed A-hole bring our community down.

My boyfriend and I helped re-build Him and come the night of the burn we were proud to have helped and proud of our city and it's people.
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Unstable

Postby dcooper2 » Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:45 am

I think the rush to declare him unstable seemed like a bit of a brush over; an easy end to the conversation. After seeing the 6 Million Dollar Man *not* fall on Saturday - I have ever confidence in the Black Man's robustness, the builders certain expertise and The Man's resolve to stay standing.

If only to have him in my face all week, to spur the sort of conversation that only he could, I would have helped errect cool leg, waist and body braces and would probably have been happily reminded of that kid in Elementary School that was at once scary and attractive.

I think we needed him up to talk about him.

On a side note...my camp mused about taking our empty 52 footer (Deep End Garbage Collector) - picking up The Black Man and rushing him to Northern Nevada Regional's burn unit. I mean, did anyone even try the paddles? Ahoe?
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Re: Unstable

Postby CapSmashy » Fri Sep 14, 2007 9:30 am

dcooper2 wrote:I think the rush to declare him unstable seemed like a bit of a brush over; an easy end to the conversation. After seeing the 6 Million Dollar Man *not* fall on Saturday - I have ever confidence in the Black Man's robustness, the builders certain expertise and The Man's resolve to stay standing.


I would presume that the 2 different builds are what kept Man 2.0 from coming down so fast.

Man 1.0 was built for the express purpose of being consumed and coming down in a relatively fast, organized manner. Pre-built and allowed plenty of time to dry in the sun so the flames spread fast and hot and consume the wood quickly.

Now, I was not part of the rebuild crew, but I surmise that Man 2.0 was built of "green" wood. Wood that did not have the same length of time to dry out, etc. so naturally, it burned longer and retained more integrity during the burn.


I for one was thrilled to witness and be present for a 20 minute burn Saturday night. Especially for my first Burn. The length of the burn and the basic, primitive base structure of stacked logs beneath him was magnificent.
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Postby KitsuneCaligari » Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:19 am

Cap is right - the Man is built a good month in advance, stored in containers and left to dry out. Man 2.0 didn't get that chance, which is why 80 gallons of diesel fuel ignited in the base during the burn....
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Postby trilobyte » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:57 am

I'm glad it burned early. I'm glad the torched man was pulled down (especially in light of the dust storms later in the week). I'm glad a new man was erected in its place. It added a certain element of the unknown to the experience, we were treading new ground. While some of the experiences and responses might have been similar to what you experience in the default world - it is what you make of it. The experiences and responses from my point of view were different and fun and clever and creative (my campmates and the people I met were good like that).

Woulda been cool for it to have been a different color, though.

Woulda been nice for it to have had a proper pyre. I can understand the desire for a smaller burn for burn scar prevention, but it seems that the top of the pile should at least be as wide as the legs are apart.

Woulda been nice for there to have not been any kind of corporate involvement whatsoever underneath the man. If having those companies participate was so crucial, why couldn't it have been done someplace else? Center Camp, perhaps?

~Trilo~
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Postby dcooper2 » Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:01 pm

[quote="KitsuneCaligari"]Cap is right - the Man is built a good month in advance, stored in containers and left to dry out. Man 2.0 didn't get that chance, which is why 80 gallons of diesel fuel ignited in the base during the burn....[/quote]

OUCH! 80 gallons of diesel to burn green wood at the Green Man. The irony conks me on the head like only iron can. Tin?

Funny story...every five years or so we declare "Fat Man Burn" during which we climb up high on the Outer Ring and watch The Burn. Sort of "White Man Build Big Fire, Sit Way Back" - this year we sent our FNG's into the fray and gave them a general idea of positioning and end-flow when He Falls.

Well, long burn short...they came back before he fell. It took The Man, they said, took too long to fall and they got, well, bored. Funny.

Anyway, I need to congratulate everyone in this thread for their opinions, I think that having them here is as good as it would have been having them out there. Still - the next time something happens I hope that we all stop and ask WWTBRRD?

"Nothing is a prefectly fine alternative." - Nobody
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Re: Unstable

Postby Token » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:41 pm

CapSmashy wrote:I would presume that the 2 different builds are what kept Man 2.0 from coming down so fast.

Man 1.0 was built for the express purpose of being consumed and coming down in a relatively fast, organized manner. Pre-built and allowed plenty of time to dry in the sun so the flames spread fast and hot and consume the wood quickly.

Now, I was not part of the rebuild crew, but I surmise that Man 2.0 was built of "green" wood. Wood that did not have the same length of time to dry out, etc. so naturally, it burned longer and retained more integrity during the burn.


Nope, that be some wild ass guessing on your part. Simple lumber, like 2x4s, 2xWwhatever will dry out in a couple days of playa time. Plywood of any thickness - ditto.

... don't believe me, go out there and don't drink water for two days, let me know if you are all dried up...

Nope, the man being pulled down via cable was a result of lack-of-combustion-itis, i.e. the man base was less than combustible. Remember that the man used to be placed on hay-bales in the olden days for a reason.

I think it is safe to say that Starving Marvin was pulled down deliberately and forced into a less than dignified death.

In my 6 years of BM, this was by far the most anti-climactic Man burn.

T
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Postby MikeVDS » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:55 pm

The first man was removed so quickly to hide what really happened. It was George W. and his cronies.
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Postby diane o'thirst » Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:03 pm

How about...

Spend the year meezing up the materials, and spend 5 days building the Man right there during the festival? Burners coming forward to volunteer labour, tools, materials. Raise him on his pedestal Saturday afternoon, go back to camp for cocktails and dinner, then burn the fucker at dark-thirty.

Bring the Man's Burn back to the citizenry of Black Rock City. Give 'em a stake and, in whatever small measure, take away some of the stigma of spectatorship that's sprung up around the Man. I fuckin' <b>loved</b> it when we would all gather at the Man's pedestal on Monday afternoon, grab that big rope and lift him up with that big lever.
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Postby Fixxxator » Sun Sep 30, 2007 7:10 pm

My two cents regarding sped of the sat. burn and the need for mechanical assist. The trees used for the base were recently felled in my town by a local contractor/burner and given to all of us. As one who in the past has dropped trees for my own firewood, I assure you that trees of that diameter, still in log length were very green(high moisture content) and are quite hard to burn. Anyway, here nor there, just a little redneck knowledge.
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Postby Greenblazer » Mon Oct 01, 2007 6:28 am

Happaaaay!

From my perspective the early burn caused the Burning Man Event to once again BLOW MY MIND. I have been 6 times since 1999, and the event has not once let me down. I was worried that the event would not be able to top last year's waffle burn. That fire was like holy crap. Burning Man just keeps getting better for me. I was not happy about what Addis aledgedly did, but the community that rebuilt it is truly an amazing thing, and the pictures of the fire department's water spraying the Man were so surreal. I was saddened at first when I was standing there in front of the scorched Man after they put it out. My friend and I aggreed that if there was any community in the world that could fix it it was BRC, and I was thrilled to hear that they were going to fix it.

The other side of my thinking is that I love the color GREEN, and this year was my year, but I really missed enjoying looking at a Green Man all week. The early Burn was not a happy thing, but the resurection was truly an amazing thing. Addis could be severly punished for what he did, and if he get's a severe punishment it serves him right. If he get's a slap on the wrist justice will not be served. He aledegedly commited a serious crime, and should be seriously punished.

I vote we have another Green Man next year to make up for all that time we missed. I suspect that it will probably be red white and blue next year, and those colors will not make me as happy as the Green color did. I am a freak for the color green and very biased towards it.

Later,

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