"So, it's like the Burning Man, right?" That's the first question usually I get from someone when they first hear about the Junk Mail Burn. That's to be expected, as it's helpful to have basis for comparison when trying to figure out what is a Burning Event. Here are some of those contrasts that have been observed over the years.
Most are of the "Well, it's like the Burning Man, but.." variety:
* It's freely admitted that our sculpture is a type of Wicker Man, rather than trying to pretend that we invented the idea of burning a giant human figure.
* The head organizer of the event is also the designer and lead builder of the central artwork.
* No organizer dares to drive around in an undecorated golfcart.
* There's more cellphones, but less expectations.
* It cost $7 bucks a night to camp vs. $165 or more for the week.
* There's no Walmart-sized Center Camp Cafe, but we're working on it!
* Participants have a cordial relationship with local authority.
* There's no bureaucratic restrictions on moving vehicles, just physical ones.
* It's pretty hard to want to say "Fuck off, Ranger" when he's got a surfboard strapped to his truck.
* It's pretty hard to say "Fuck off, Ranger" when she's got a loaded 9mm pistol strapped to her thigh.
* Our staging area is also called 'The Ranch', but it's a 160 sq. foot storage unit.
* Junkmail Man is an experimental temporary community, but not according to the BRAF.
* 'Place' this...
* Federal laws on land use at the beach are more lenient than Black Rock's.
* Shitty techno music is drowned out by the engines of off-road vehicles.
* Piss what ?!?!
* It's still important to read the email updates.
* Driving UNDER 5 m.p.h will get you into more trouble than driving OVER 5 m.p.h.
* Interfering with someone's immediate experience can only prove to them that they're actually having one.
* The 'Trash Fence' that surrounds the Base Camp actually is a trash fench.
* No Rangers to stop you from approaching the man on fire, get as close as you are stupid!
* Your don't need to spend $1000 or more 'off playa' to feel like you're keeping up with the Harvey's.
* A distinct lack of operas involving a giant phallus.
* Feather boas still haven't been banned on the beach.
* Off-road driving still hasn't been banned on the beach.
* Pistachio nuts in the shell still haven't been banned on the beach.
* Dogs on leashes still haven't be been banned on the beach.
* Sodomy is not yet considered a publicly acceptable art form.
* No hot springs, but there are fast food joints within 20 minutes of base camp!
* No giant mobile platforms to run your ass down, just motorcycles, atv's, SUV's, trucks, jeeps, humvies, and dune buggies.
* Your help is actually needed in building this man.
* Not only are no spectators allowed, no one is allowed to participate as a spectator.
* People actually have to work together and pull on a big rope in order to raise this man.
* It actually takes less legal and bureaucratic wrangling to burn a wicker man on a State Beach in California, than it does on public land in Nevada.