You guys are effen lucky

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You guys are effen lucky

Postby quadraspleen » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:03 pm

Appropriate props to engineerbender for the title - wanted two posts with that word in

A short (english) history lesson. Some of this is a bit gloomy. I'm making a point. Please bear with me. Or not. Whatever.

Back in the UK in the 70's a load of hippies started setting up and going to large, mostly free, festivals in the UK (the land of starchy suits, teacups and bowler hats, remember)
This developed over the years, and other sections of the "hippy community" started to get involved. By 1980, however, the festivals had (in the "mainstream") dwindled to two: Stonehenge and Glastonbury. They represented two sides of essentially the same coin. But, crucially, one side was free. The free side, Stonehenge, started to attract a different kind of devotee; the same kind of person that makes up a large part of the Burner community - people who, for most of the year, live their lives in the same way that they lived, for a month of the year (for the hardcore) at Stonehenge. They had no "down-time"; they lived their lives, mainly on the road, in groups of travelling n'er do wells called affectionately "crusties" by the population at large. They had no money, and made their money by selling whatver they could make or cook. A few of them made music and sold it. A few had jobs. For a few years in the 80's and early 90's I was one of these "band of medieval brigands" as Margaret Thatcher called us. We were hated by most of the UK because we represented something that for the large part has been erased from the British "spirit" if a nation can have a spirit. we were free. Simple as that. People were scared of what that represented. They still are in the UK.

Glastonbury, on the other hand, attracted the kind of people who could afford to pay a lot of money (£160 now I think) to camp in a field for a weekend and listen to Van Morrison. I went to Glasto (as it has been unfortunately re-branded by the British Bullshit Corporation) once, in 1982, to see the aforementioned Van Morrison. He was shit. Glastonbury was shit. It rained. I was grumpy.

Stonehenge got Hawkwind and The Enid (find The Enid; he needs to be at BM!)

Over the years, Stonehenge grew and grew. (the crowd, not the place :) ) By 1984 there were 25000 people there for a month It was, as the burn is to a lot of people now, the highpoint of their whole year. It had it's own economy (drugs 8) ) it had it's own police (the Hells Angels, who, for all the bad press, kept heroin off the site for years) and it WORKED. Weekend hippies, as we called them, would trek down to the stones for a week or so, to laugh at the hippies, buy cheap drugs (don't do drugs, kids) and listen to bad music. Much like the yahoos do at BM now. (especially the bad music bit - last year not so bad but please stop with the dubstep - it's not cool anymore...didn't you get the memo?) It had no shops, nothing on sale bar that that had been made by people.

Anyway, in the UK, we couldn't have BM. It just wouldn't be allowed to go on. In 1984, Stonehenge had been going on for twelve years in the same place. There's some arcane medieval by-law in the UK (surely not) that says that any festival that has taken place on the same ground for thirteen years is to be granted a Royal Charter, and therefore to be allowed to continue in that same place ad infinitum. Well, we couldn't have that, could we. So, in 1985 a major police operation began to clear out the hippies. It had started at smaller free festivals in the N of England a few months earlier. The Old Bill, as we britishers like to call our feds (not bobbies anymore, sadly) basically went round smashing shit up. Big time. Homes (which were all mobile dont forget) vehicles, people and anything they could lay their hands on basically.
This culminated, in June 1985 in a massive "corral" of about 1500 people and vehicles on their way to, and not far from, Stonehenge, that were railroaded up a small country lane into a field and basically beaten to a bloody pulp. Along with their vehicles and homes. In front of their screaming kids. And the british press, who were as dumbfounded as everyone else. Helicopters hovered at 30 feet and goaded on the rampaging pigs with megaphones. They all had no police badge numbers on and boiler suits. It was carnage. Google it. It is a shameful episode in the british police's history. It's our (very small) Wounded Knee, if you like.

That one act, called The Battle Of the Beanfield went down in legend in english traveller lore. I was there. I didn't even get into the field, thank god..I was stuck in the lane and arrested, along with about 800 other peaceful hippie dopeheads, in the largest civil arrest in UK history. Ever. Just for going to a festival. A lot of my mates were in that field, and had their kids "stolen" soon after by social services because of their parents way of life (and the fact that their homes had been smashed up by the old bill). They stopped going to festivals after that. They started living in nasty yards in small trailers, taking heroin and stealing shit. That one act can be traced as the start of the demise of "proper" festivals in the UK. There was a brief kick at the end of the 80's with the Acid House scene but that was stopped with the Criminal Justice Bill which actually made it illegal to gather in groups of more than about twelve people and listen to "repetetive beats" Can you imagine?!! Sure, there are still loads of festies, but they're like Coachella. 100000 people in a field for a weekend at best. Big, sponsored corporate troughs. And they aren't very good IMO, even if you can ignore the rampant commercialism.

My point?

You have something very, very special here (you already know that) Stop beating up on the tix situation. Stop beating up on the BORG. From where I'm standing they've done an amazing job getting so many years out of it. Allow them this one (semi-serious) fuckup, but my second point:
You can't keep a good thing down - Stonehenge took about three years to go from about 5000 to 25000 people. It had NO advertising bar some weird photocopied posters that went on about The Illuminati (!) that got handed around..The genie is out...the horse is long gone...Not the BORGs fault. Not the BLM's fault. Not your fault.
My last point: How the fuck do you get away with having BM? me and my englandish mates stand there, having been through what we have, and are dumbfounded that, in the same country as Gitmo, Dealy Plaza and Charlton Heston's Cold Dead Hands, you can have BM. What gives? America is known for it's beauty; it's proud (slightly deranged?) spirit; it's pioneering attitude for life, but not its parties! That's what I thought when I first stood on the Playa. Jesus, I thought; Imagine Stonehenge festival HERE. With THESE people. I'm home. - Oh yeah, that's what that bloke said to me as he rolled my arse in the dust and made me swing that rebar and ring that bell...I got it, right then.

Cherish the fuck out of BM while it lasts. Don't pine for what went before. Make it better next time. Everything changes; nothing stays the same. If it did, it would be boring. Move on.

Peace.

jake out
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby junglesmacks » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:17 pm

Image
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby VultureChow » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:24 pm

We are a weird country aren't we?

The absolute shit-ton of land that we have is, I would say, the biggest defining factor in our history and our national identity. That and our relative youth as a nation.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby quadraspleen » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:31 pm

I fuckin' love your country. It is probably the most varied and the most beautiful place I have yet been in the world. It, like the UK, has more than its' fair share of dickwads though. It's a shame.

Still, who gives a shit. The Man burns in 194 days! :D :D
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby Drawingablank » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:14 pm

With a great deal of foresight our founding fathers made it our right to bear arms to protect themselves from opressive governments - including the one they founded if necessary.

Sadly, the Brits seem to have surrendered most rights they had to own firearms though.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby quadraspleen » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:17 pm

LOL - I'm not even going there, except to say: You seem to be doing really well saving yourself from opressive governments. Keep it up! :wink:

I'm not sure we ever had the right to bear anything in the UK. A sword once upon a time, maybe?

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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby quadraspleen » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:21 pm

Oh, and I just googled it. I got my numbers all wrong LOL. apparently it was only 537 people arrested. Just out of interest, does anyone have the figures from last years Burn re arrests?

jake out
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby Sandstorm » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:46 pm

Quadra: Great effen post. I sadly remember when the CBJ was passed. It should have been called the "We Are Scared Of Contemporary Electronic Music & Youth Culture Bill". Ugh.

I did not know about The Battle of the Beanfield. It reminds me of the fascistic government and para-military endeavors that took place here in the US around the time of the great depression when it was clear to the powers that be that the jig was about up for what was then modern capitalism. Sadly, 80 years later the bad guys are still in charge and the masses have their smart phones and high speed internet with which to numb their pain and distract themselves. :)
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby JStep » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:46 pm

quadraspleen wrote:please stop with the dubstep - it's not cool anymore...didn't you get the memo?



Don't you realize this fact is a reason we like to keep playing it? If Dubstep were cool, it would have died as soon an Justin Bieber made his go at it.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby Herring » Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:56 pm

Beautiful post, very interesting history to be educated about, thank you!

But yeah, dub step is the only dance music I've actually enjoyed for a while, much better than typical oontz oontz. Dub step DJs actually do something interesting with their oontzes. Very danceable.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby vargaso » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:05 pm

Every time I leave BM, I always think, they won't let us get away with this again. It just shouldn't have happened, and certainly shouldn't have been happening for so long. But it did and it has. Thank fucking christ.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby moonrise » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Powerful, humbling and inspirational message.
I'm the MAN in a truck, burner who is stuck, you're in luck! I'll whip out my BIG tow chain and not charge you, not even one lousy buck!
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby JStep » Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:12 pm

Cheers on a great post, BTW.

Just couldn't resist snarking at yet-another-DJ-Dubstep-electronic music-cooler-than-thou remark. :P
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:45 pm

In some sense "Gitmo" is not in this country...

I don't have last year's arrests on hand, but I'd be surprised if it topped 2 dozen. This does not include citations.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby moonrise » Mon Feb 20, 2012 7:57 pm

I understand the point of view from the Brits much much more now! :cry:

I'm curious, is there any other country on the planet that could pull off something such as Burning Man has come to be?

I guess the right combo of land and money could do it.

I've heard South Africa did (or still does) a fantastic Regional burn. What about Australia or New Zealand?
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby RedHeaven » Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:58 pm

FUCKIN CHEERS MATE!!! (in my best british accent)

Thank you for the perspective......I cried at BMan last year....I just felt a sense of Super Powered Temporary Mortality and cried tears of joy. I'll never forget it.
Even if I couldnt go to Bman there is so much to celebrate around this area, so many great gatherings of peace and unity. (I know, spare the hippy throw up but I am being serious)

BTW I appreciate the history lesson, I am a huge fan of the Levellers and nobody has heard about them out in California. Battle of the Beanfield is one of their earliest songs, always wondered about it's history.

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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby knowmad » Mon Feb 20, 2012 10:20 pm

Oh! We have "Free" culture (festivals).
Why even on this site there are threads about "Rainbow gatherings". I am not going to go into the Burner/Hippie/Babylon debate; it is not really what you have addressed here any how.

The topic; autonomous culture is alive and well in both the U.S of A and Europe. World Wide it is found anywhere People make a conscious choice to disenfranchise their expectations they hold the “Mass Culture” to deliver by making investments into a more personal and immediate culture comprised of their families and friends.

In a lot of ways, autonomy is, a core American value. Our history is a story of the new beginnings of a dissatisfied populous; working to create a nation of unity while protecting individual rights.
I believe the largest dividing difference between what the UK experiences as “Civil liberties” and what America experiences is; time. What the UK experiences The U.S. is posed to accept as a (grim) “fact-of-life”.
But the timing has everything to do with the perceived differences.

Radicals often think they are out in a wasteland, disconnected from society, when in fact they are its cutting edge—though not necessarily moving towards the goals they espouse. Resistance is the motor of history: it drives social, political, and technological developments, forcing the prevailing order to innovate constantly in order to outflank or absorb opposition. Harnessing such drive we contribute to tremendous transformations without ever achieving our object.

Once, one could speak of a social and cultural mainstream, and subculture itself seemed subversive. Now “diversity” is at a premium for our rulers, and subculture is an essential motor of consumer society: the more identities, the more markets.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby gyre » Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:43 pm

The new law they are trying to pass here would sentence 'occupy' protesters to a year in prison.

One of the voter suppression states can cost you over $2000 to meet the requirements to vote.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby Trishntek » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:53 am

gyre wrote:The new law they are trying to pass here would sentence 'occupy' protesters to a year in prison.

One of the voter suppression states can cost you over $2000 to meet the requirements to vote.

I'm wondering who "they" are and, how can a state charge for voting rights?

But the chief reason for my post is to point out the State of Nevada is one of very few places we could enjoy the total freedoms of BRC. Not only the topographically and geographically unique location, but the laws of the land grant more freedoms. Plus the cultures of Inter-Mountain West pretty much beckons people,,,, nay,,,, EXPECTS people to be self-reliant, creative and resourceful.

We are a land of laws. One of the great features of our laws is the Constitution and Bill of Rights which are laws which, rather than laying down a bunch of laws which the people must obey, are laws which limit the government's authority over the people. Over time there have been manipulations and loop-holing these prohibitions of government intrusion. But it does make a unique dynamic for a civilization.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby aka'aka » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:05 am

Great effen Post! :)
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby gyre » Tue Feb 21, 2012 4:59 am

Trishntek wrote:I'm wondering who "they" are and, how can a state charge for voting rights?

But the chief reason for my post is to point out the State of Nevada is one of very few places we could enjoy the total freedoms of BRC. Not only the topographically and geographically unique location, but the laws of the land grant more freedoms. Plus the cultures of Inter-Mountain West pretty much beckons people,,,, nay,,,, EXPECTS people to be self-reliant, creative and resourceful.

We are a land of laws. One of the great features of our laws is the Constitution and Bill of Rights which are laws which, rather than laying down a bunch of laws which the people must obey, are laws which limit the government's authority over the people. Over time there have been manipulations and loop-holing these prohibitions of government intrusion. But it does make a unique dynamic for a civilization.

In this case, 'they' would be the republicans in the Tenn legislature, copying repressive law from other states, much as laws to repress festivals were passed all over the country in the past.
Burning man ran into these in the early days in nevada.
I'm not sure I consider nevada a shining legal example in any particular way.
The anti-protest law hasn't passed yet, so 'they' will be defined if it passes.


Voter suppression is a long running republican conspiracy, long denied, now fully exposed, and miraculously embraced as "the secret national campaign to prevent voter fraud".
A similar pr campaign labelling repression of individual rights as "the campaign to protect the rights of the church" is making news lately, surely a Big Lie worthy of any medieval pope.
I don't remember a long history of the republican party embracing the catholic church, but an organization stressing its "rights" over those of individual citizens?
Born to be partners, perhaps.

There is plenty of news coverage of the clever devices intended for these rules.
Most are not in use yet, but it is usually a gradual erosion, and the original plans and intent are worth attention.
There are many prongs to the conspiracy, but it all adds up to making it as costly as possible to maintain voter identification and rights.
NC was recently covered in a docko as one state with a more advanced set of these laws.
Do not be deceived that any of this is finished.
ID requirements are one facet, and then punitive legal twists that suspend the ID rights are another part.
In a state with many births not recorded by birth certificate, that is naturally one of the requirements.
Many laws now deceptively require state ID, even for people from another state.
This is another part of it, to tie as much as possible to state ID.
I know of cases already where people have been unable to buy pseudophedrine with ID from the next state (we border two other states).
They were forced to have a TN citizen purchase the cold medicine for them.
This is now a criminal act for both parties.

That is another facet of the campaign, often embraced for other reasons, such as revenue.
Heard about $1000 traffic fines for minor offenses?
Common in some places.
Just watch the news, for heaven's sake.
It's all old news now.

Pay attention to the number of civil acts now criminalized, often heavily so.
Strangely, the type of legal actions wealthy people are commonly involved in, carry no voter penalties, but many minor issues do.

I'm just skimming this subject.
It's better covered in the news, including the long denial of the voter suppression campaign, and it's full exposure as a planned device, then the magical embrace of the secret plan as patriotic.
It is not a fluke, or isolated.
Or over.

The pattern of chipping away at rights was the technique used against music festivals, and has a long and nasty history prior to that.

Want to protest that?
Oops.
You'll need a permit.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby BBadger » Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:14 am

gyre wrote:In this case, 'they' would be the republicans in the Tenn legislature, copying repressive law from other states, much as laws to repress festivals were passed all over the country in the past.
Burning man ran into these in the early days in nevada.
I'm not sure I consider nevada a shining legal example in any particular way.
The anti-protest law hasn't passed yet, so 'they' will be defined if it passes.

(accusations)


Citations please.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby quadraspleen » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:44 am

JStep wrote:
quadraspleen wrote:please stop with the dubstep - it's not cool anymore...didn't you get the memo?



Don't you realize this fact is a reason we like to keep playing it? If Dubstep were cool, it would have died as soon an Justin Bieber made his go at it.


LOL - I know I keep beating up on Dubstep..You'll still play it whatever LOL...It had its day over here about three years ago and it's all a bit old hat now...Knock yourself out tho'..That's BM!

Thanks for all the replies BTW..Yes, this is what drives a lot of the Brits that I know that come to BM (obv I can't speak for anyone bar my camp) We had such a shit time of it in the 80's/90's that BM really is a breath of much-needed fresh air for us. I often worry that UK burners are seen as "hangers on" and don't pull their weight..Not in our camp!

jake out
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby quadraspleen » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:06 am

@CryptoFishy - Thanks for that. Wow. two dozen? If true, that is a low number - a citation would be for speeding; littering; parking etc? What we calll a civil offence as opposed to a criminal one...
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby ygmir » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:15 am

BBadger wrote:
gyre wrote:In this case, 'they' would be the republicans in the Tenn legislature, copying repressive law from other states, much as laws to repress festivals were passed all over the country in the past.
Burning man ran into these in the early days in nevada.
I'm not sure I consider nevada a shining legal example in any particular way.
The anti-protest law hasn't passed yet, so 'they' will be defined if it passes.

(accusations)


Citations please.


good luck with that request.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby gyre » Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:25 am

As i said, I've just skimmed over some well known points.
Watch the news.
I can't do that for you.

The anti-festival laws have come up more than a few times with regionals.
There's plenty on eplaya about it.
Mostly, they are aimed at costing people more money than they can afford.


http://www.wkrn.com/story/16951427/occu ... =printable

Citations on things everyone is aware of?
Google or search news sources directly.
Or american history.

None of this is secret material.
Old news, except for the new occupy laws.
Just part of a very old pattern.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby BBadger » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:38 am

gyre wrote:Citations on things everyone is aware of?
Google or search news sources directly.
Or american history.


The very fact that I'm asking for citations fundamentally refutes your "everyone is aware of" claim. Also, requesting citations is just as much about confirming that your sources are legitimate, as the information itself. As of now your statements are unsubstantiated.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:39 am

quadraspleen wrote:@CryptoFishy - Thanks for that. Wow. two dozen? If true, that is a low number - a citation would be for speeding; littering; parking etc? What we calll a civil offence as opposed to a criminal one...

Citations are tickets written, without an arrest being made. It is an obligation to go to court at some yet to be specified date.
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:40 am

Heh, heh, two competing conversations on the meaning of "citation".
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


Get a Taint, you pathetic cur!
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Re: You guys are effen lucky

Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:44 am

Any of these things started with a few people (A) sitting around bored and thinking of something cool to do.
Then, for years, along come some people (B) who see them doing their cool thing and want to join it. After a while there are so many B's that it loses something of its original spark.

I challenge you to be A's rather than B's. Make you own spark, watch it grow until you need to hire people to control the crowds. May you all be so blessed.
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