Well Clint...Your right, that's pretty fuckin' cynical. But you know, I can see how you perceive your time in BRC that way. I'm neither rich nor poor. Just your basic health care professional supporting his family and trying to make ends meet. Yes, it is a time of excess, thank a diety. I don't get much excess through the year so I revel in it.
If the organizational efforts and sweat you put in for the event reinforces your self worth and abilities, far out and great for you. But personally, I think you need to get out more and interact with your community. For me, that's where the gifting starts.
It's not necessarily the object that's given. It's the opportunity to interact with a new intellect, the opportunity to fuck with someones head, to make the gift meaningful beyond the object it self. During the time of the Floating World we provided our fellow Burners with In-Sanity Preservers. If you wanted to be In-a-Sane state it helped. If you needed to maintain a state of In-Sanity, it preversed that for you. The other side of the pendent was a Free Pass Home. When we found a person who obviously needed a Preserver/Pass he got one, along with the knowledge that if he got lost during his trip in the Unknown World, or if the aftermath of the Burn was too much, the Pass Home would help him get back to his space. Upon hearing the purpose of the pendent, peoples eyes would light up and a typical response was "Oh man, I needed this so bad last night", or "Alright! this will help on my next trip out past that line".
Last year we brought sacred white shells that had been retrieved from the Unknown World. All year we had been working them, saturating them, imbueing them with the spirit of the Burn. I gave one to a guy soon after the Burn and told him the story. You would have thought he had received a gold bar. Of course, he was probably tripping, as I was, but you just know when he pulled it out of his pocket the next morning it would have meaning to him.
The gifts I give are for people who need them or deserve them. You can tell usually, either through conversation or just the look of them. The gift is already theirs.
Is it time to Burn yet?