what about the burn?

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what about the burn?

Postby ouraybound » Wed Sep 24, 2003 7:03 am

i read allot about the experience, but what about the actual burn of the man. i have not been to bm yet so i have no idea what the actual burn is like. if possible share what that experience is like and what meaning if any it has for you.

how long does he burn?

is the crowd loud or quiet?

what is the croud like after the burn? before the burn?
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Postby JezebelinHell » Wed Sep 24, 2003 7:19 am

Let's see, I've been to two burns and can answer sort of, but it's different for everyone.

How long does the man burn? See, we'd have to measure that in playa time, and if you've never been to BM, playa time would be a difficult thing to explain. Let's just say, it's got no handhold whatsoever in regular time, and there's no method for translation. You'll understand when you get out there. The answer is: Just long enough.

Is the crowd loud or quiet? Um...we're talking about 30,000 people here, most of whom are not particularly sober. Does this mean everybody's loud? Surprisingly, no. Everyone lets out a good yell when the man goes up, but prior to the burn everyone's mostly in a state of eager anticipation.

What's the crowd like? Ummm....dusty!
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Postby multiple » Wed Sep 24, 2003 9:15 am

this was our first year....wonder, confusion, eagerness, gifting and the gifts, yearning, giggles, friendly encounters.....sexual awakings

the burn?
standing far from the man (there was a barricade to keep people at a safe distance) he was bigger than life...anticipation felt...yes...mingling made easy everyone is there (most folks) to feel......meet and be heard, seen, loved by other playa people...

the show began with fire spinners dancing between and around the man and the people.....
the fire works came into grand show and the fire tornados began...
and the heat...intence heat that warmed you from the inside out...boom boom went the base....
shouting loud monsters everywhere? not that i noticed...
love burned bright in the middle of the desert....sorrow replaced with renewal...

walking away from the crumbling mass of red hot coals was a little sad, the man gone, direction lost --- we traveled around the entire esplanade (sp?) and the night grew to intense levels of playa funkyness....

The actual burn was not the highlight of our time, being there, trying to figure it out, seeing the incredibleness that flows through BRC, needing to be a part of it....
we were not experienced with the ethics of BM but became aware of what it is and what it holds for us in the future....
call me a seeker....

I suddenly feel the need to CREATE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:
....do it again!
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Postby TheJudge » Wed Sep 24, 2003 10:07 am

Its a lot more than a big wood statue being set on fire.

But it was pretty to watch go up this year. A little meloncholly for me, but a great burn.
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Postby III » Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:23 pm

> Its a lot more than a big wood statue being set on fire.

yeah, the base for it gets bigger every year, and they burn that too.
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Postby glam_daddy » Wed Sep 24, 2003 1:28 pm

are the people quiet?

not really

are the hundreds of parked sound systems simoltaniously blasting different house music loud?

a wee bit.

still it was another good burn.
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......

Postby gabegirl » Thu Sep 25, 2003 12:09 am

It was one of the most beautiful sights I've ever laid eyes on. There was an army of firedancers surrounding the base of the man, and we were nearly, all 30,000+ of us, there. I caught my breath as the flames took him and I felt the heat reach me from within. My lover was yelling for joy, and many of the throats around us were calling, singing, or screaming, but some of us were quiet. It was not only the hugest and most beautiful fire I've ever seen, it seemed so very fast. The structures relented and gave way to these incredible spiraling flames that reached and spun out above the collapse like spirits leaving fallen bodies... I missed the buring of the Temple of Honour, but I think next year, I'll stay for that too.
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Postby shitmouse » Tue Sep 30, 2003 3:18 pm

i've participated in 7 burns and they are all mostly different. also where you stand can make a diff too. -- like the "sit down" crowd thing for a while that was getting pretty old. it keeps changing, and that's good.

some years it's time to get your ass burned by the people, other years it's "happy burningman", and others it's quiet and sleepy. -(more recently that is).
in general, the fire has died down a bit with true cacophony and now it's more elegant and laid back, so to speak. before, it was a bit more raw, and firey.
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Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 4:01 pm

All the years I've been there, I've never once been close enough to The Man to see the fire dancers' performance. This year I was invited to be in the Fire Conclave...but a few weeks before the event I got a form letter E-Mail message from Crimson Rose un-inviting people like me from participating.

Still haven't seen their big show.
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Postby Kinetic » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:17 pm

PJ wrote:All the years I've been there, I've never once been close enough to The Man to see the fire dancers' performance. This year I was invited to be in the Fire Conclave...but a few weeks before the event I got a form letter E-Mail message from Crimson Rose un-inviting people like me from participating.

Still haven't seen their big show.


Not to stir up trouble but why did they do that? Did she give out ideas why you were un-invited?
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Postby ragnar1963 » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:20 pm

The Burn itself was by far my best ever (this was my fourth year). I've never been crazy about the stand-around part first (a little fire-spinning goes a long way for me), so two friends and I decided to walk around and look at more art installations far, far out on the empty playa. We went out again to the Chandelier. Have you seen photos of this? It was an enormous Victorian-style red glass and iron chandelier lying sideways and broken on the playa--with a huge ten-foot-wide chunk of "ceiling" nearby, with a chain attached and crumpled on the ground, as if the chandelier had fallen from the sky and torn out a piece of celestial roof with it. Just an unbelievably beautiful and cool work. We were the only three people out there--everyone else was mobbed around the Man. We could see nothing--nothing at all--beyond this installation, but the velvet-black sky, strewn wildly with diamond stars, and the utterly empty playa. I’ve never had the feeling of truly being on some other world more strongly than that night. So after having had our fill of this feeling, we walked back to the Man--and saw it catch fire as we approached. Rather than being there from the start, we saw the spectacle crescendo slowly as we drew nearer. Then the usual giddily insane mob scene running around and around the blazing wreckage in the infernal heat. (a tip: make plans for a post-Burn rendezvous time and place with your friends, because you WILL lose them in the crowd.)

Another reason this Burn was so powerful was--OK. I’ll admit it-- the pharmaceutical enhancement. Inadvertently I’d timed it perfectly so that the effects came on as we were walking toward the Man. I watched the crowd as much as I watched the flames--everything, of course, was completely fascinating and absorbing. . . I stayed blissed out in the heat of the waning bonfire for at least an hour, trying not to be too much of an e-tard while trying not to be too self-conscious about not being an e-tard and censoring my reactions and behavior (lots of solipsistic inner-voice blather). Soon after walking away from the Man up the promenade toward Center Camp, I had a quintessential BRC experience: I ran into a group of six or seven twentysomething friends (friends among themselves, I mean, strangers to me) who obviously could tell what I needed at that point; they surrounded me before I was quite aware of what was happening and I got the best group hug of my life. Then a voice asked me my name and said, "Can we kiss you on your bald head?" Which they all did.
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Postby PJ » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:40 pm

Kinetic wrote:Not to stir up trouble but why did they do that? Did she give out ideas why you were un-invited?


Found the letter; sounds like her ability to manage it had been surpassed:

FIRE CONCLAVE FOR THIS YEAR
To help me manage the Great Circle that surrounds the Man, I have to
start changing the way I have been doing things. What I am about to
express will not seem fair to some people, but I just can not manage
things as they have been in the past, our numbers are growing by leaps
and bounds. Unless you are an amazing solo or duet, I will only be
placing established groups in the circle. That means you need to be
part of a group that I have been speaking with. The Shin (what used to
be called the Lead has signed onto the Extranet).


I have no clue what the last sentence of that paragraph means.

There are no groups near me I could join--I'm it in this town. I wasn't devastated by being cut-out--it's not like I'm particularly skilled at it. Not everybody makes Carnegie Hall either. As Burning Man grows it's inevitable that the mediocre participants be dropped from the sanctioned participatory art.

Still, the initial letter I received nine months earlier said:

Hello Pat
Welcome to the Fire Conclave....


thus getting culled a few weeks before the event didn't make me feel particularly warm and welcome.


The final letter didn't say that there would simply be too many fire performers to fit around the man without pruning the quantity of performers. I wonder if it could have been more participatory if some management tasks had been delegated to an underling or two?
Last edited by PJ on Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: The Burn!

Postby Dustdevil » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:41 pm

My first burn was in 1997. I have been to all of them since. My first was to this point my most memorable burn. I stayed back a little ways and watched the crowd approach the Man shorty before burn time. It reminded me of a movie that I have seen many times. The original Frankenstien. As the crowd in Frankenstien approached the windmill to burn the monster they were angry, carrying torches and yelling. The crowd at Burning Man that year was identical. It was truly a moving experience for me. There were no barriers. You could get as close as you dared to the fire. It was truly magnificent. I have enjoyed each burn since, but nothing has moved my soul as the first.
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Postby Kinetic » Tue Sep 30, 2003 5:47 pm

PJ: The extranet is the new ORG system that is being setup for the regionals. I can't link to the thread right now but there is a discussion on it. Trey I think posted a letter from Larry for the regional coordinators detailing the extranet. Your e-mail might have been referencing it before the rest of us even knew it existed...at least that's my hunch on it.

After reading it I can understand now. She was shellshocked and that is a big performance. Thanks for finding and posting it for everyone to see.
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Postby Lothar » Tue Sep 30, 2003 8:45 pm

Wouldn't know...

I had to drive to Reno on Saturday morning, fly to LA to give my mom away at her wedding, and then fly/drive back to BRC on Sunday to drive my campmate home. Planes, trains, and autos baby!

So I'm not really sure if my playa hymen is intact or if I can be a virgin burner two years in a row.

I heard the man did a pretty good John Travolta impression.
Eschew obfuscation.
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Postby TheJudge » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:01 pm

shitmouse wrote:in general, the fire has died down a bit with true cacophony and now it's more elegant and laid back, so to speak. before, it was a bit more raw, and firey.


That's an interesting way of putting that. Well said.

I'd rather have more raw and firey than something thats scripted, choreographed and looks like a half-time show.
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Postby blyslv » Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:18 pm

The first year I saw the man burn it was pretty, cool, hot, neato a spectacle. Lots of sexy beautiful people fire spinning. Then I went back a second year an did stuff, committed myself, worked hard. And I understood a lot more, and was glad to see him burn, and felt a release and renewal.

Santa Fe has a burningman. He is called Zozobra and is about 70 years old. He wears a dress, and this year I saw an advertisement for something or other featuring the old guy, with the question -- "What's under Zozobra's dress?" One of the answers was BM's DNA. But they are not the same.

However, the second full day I was back, still a bit dazed and meloncholy I went to a party and drank lots of free beer. As I was walking home, the announcer was getting the crowd frenzied --

"He must burn! This man must burn!" and the crowd went wild. Understand I was not that close, but they had a great amplification system. By the time I got home, Zozobra was ash and they started a 20 minute funk-a-mo techno set, that I could hear plain as day from my backyard. It was disorienting, I wondered if I had really left BRC. The party had made me sad, 'cuz I couldn't see the fire and the joy in the eyes of my companions and I missed conecting to all the wonderful energy.

As usual YMMV.
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