What is burning man REALLY all about

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What is burning man REALLY all about

Postby angrykittie25 » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:29 am

I had read and heard a lot about burning man before I began posting questions on the eplaya. I have noticed that many of the newbies, myself included, had the impression that burning man was about acceptance and creativity and being able to be yourself without the worries that people will ostracize you. But I have noticed that here on the eplaya, some people seem to be overly rude and judgemental as well as telling people that burning man is not about the things I have mentioned above. So I am wondering what some of the "veteran burners" if you will, feel burning man is all about? What is its purpose, if it even has one? Since some seem to consider me the definition of a newbie, maybe my question will clarify for all newbies.
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Postby precipitate » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:36 am

Radical self-reliance.

Doing really cool shit.

Being yourself.

It has no purpose exept itself, and that which its participants confer
upon it.

Questions, Tony?
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:45 am

precipitate wrote:Radical self-reliance.

Doing really cool shit.

Being yourself.

It has no purpose exept itself, and that which its participants confer
upon it.

Questions, Tony?


One word.

wittyness.:lol:
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Postby precipitate » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:49 am

Huh. Didn't know that was in your vocabulary. It's certainly not in your
spellcheck.
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:08 am

precipitate wrote:Huh. Didn't know that was in your vocabulary. It's certainly not in your
spellcheck.


I'll admit I spelled it wrong and not only did I get lazy but I'm using one of my computers that does not have spell check. My laptop will be back online after it finishes it's chkdsk/f. it has spellcheck.
:lol:

no biggie though.....you got the message huh?

http://www.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/ ... y&va=witty
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Postby Lilly Flower » Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:26 am

So precipitate,

since you caught that little mistake does that make you smarter than DVD?
You are watching too much TV.
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Postby Zephryus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 4:22 am

[Attention: The following is composed entirely of well-meaning conjecture and unasked-for advice. If that sort of thing pisses you off, please dismiss it as the ramblings of a fool. If any of it is wildly divergent from reality, don't hesitate to check me on it.]

If there's anything I've noticed about these boards, it's that they are filled with people who have been to/helped create the event a bunch of times and thus have a very good idea of what works and what doesn't, logistically, and they really enjoy being ornery. Combine the two, and you have a group that gives good advice but is perhaps a bit overly gruff about it. Don't take it personally; they're that way to everybody, including themselves, and they like it. Read the archives, learn to communicate on their level and you'll be a lot more sucessful.

As far as the general response you revieved when you asked for help, try looking at it this way: when you join the event, you're stripping yourself of both restrictions and the support systems of the greater society. This is, I think, what they mean by "radical self reliance". In order to make it work, you have to be able to fully take care of your own shit, with room for a little extra. Self-suffiency, and nothing less. Now, once you've covered that (admittedly large) base, you've opened a whole field of possibilities that are normally difficult to realize in everyday life. But if you read through the archived threads, you realize that the people who criticized you for portraying yourself as not self-sufficient are the same people who help build some of the most critical pieces of the event, and are consequently having to pick up the slack for those who arrive expecting to be cared for as they would in the greater society. So maybe you can understand why their hackles raise a bit when someone asks them for help without offering something in return. It's a survival reflex.
But at the same time, don't ignore those who stood up for you. Their support was earnest, and if you haven't yet written people privately, I suggest you do so. really, this is waht you can expect from any group: a set of mixed reactions, based on personal experience and prejudices. Seize the opportunities, ignore the slag. And for the love of god, don't ever take anything you read on a messageboard personally.

(Oh, and my perceptions of the event roughly correlate with Precipitate's, with an extra helping of psychadelic adult playground on top.)
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Postby Last Real Burner » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:15 am

Thank you Zephryus. I don't think any of us could have given you a better clue Kitty. The event , and people are every thing you said and more. I just want you to know that you are accepted here, wanted here, and admired here. We love you Kitty, and want only the best for you, and anyone who attends the event, or gathers here on this board. But a simple warning, here fools are not suffered easly, Here there be Dragons....

We are talking a two weeks or more of serious commitment, and a hardship unlike any you will ever undertake in your life. The desert does not coddle. If you walk into this situation not prepared, woe be unto you for you will suffer, and in that suffering, you will make others suffer. Just like you are not always the nicest person you can be, every moment of every day, I see also you do not take easily to fools and their folly, and you sound like a woman who can take care of herself, and plenty of others, and still party on. I salute you for being here, I admire your tact and fortitude of not backing down and confronting the situation head on. If there was ever a thing called "Burner Spirit", you can rest assured, you possese it. Good Luck at your first burn, your gonna love it.

"We love you Angrykitty25"

frankly,
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Postby djaded » Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:21 am

Im a newbie and I just thought burning man was about C O W S and R U G S. Whew! I was way off :oops:
It's those Swedes again....get the hose.
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Postby headquarters » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:32 am

i think it's just the way people communicate on forums in general. I've been on many differant message boards and there is always a little smart ass to each comment. It's just the way the internet is. I assure you the event is NOTHING like this forum.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:39 am

djaded wrote:Im a newbie and I just thought burning man was about C O W S and R U G S.
No, that's the BBQ contest in Reno just after.

*synergy*
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Postby stuart » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:18 pm

'what is burning man' or 'what is the spirit of burning man' is sticky for many reasons.
first, on these boards, we find many folks who have never been to the event trying to espouse or give descriptions of the above. For those who have been, this is the most obvious folly. We react accordingly.
When you step out of your vehicle of choice onto playa and look around for the very first time you will have a strong reaction. That reaction is as varied as the people who attend the event. For my wife it was 'holy shit, this was a mistake'. For me it was 'holy shit, this is fucking awesome'. My wife and I, in many respects, are very similar. We are best friends, and yet we have an opposite reaction to the playa. Smart, sensitive folks wrestle with giving a decription for the event because they know it is a matter of personal perception. The only perception of the event that you, as a virgin, have is what the org has fed you and what you may have read here or heard via singular anecdotes. None of these are adequate lenses. Some chastise you for thinking they are. The experience is VAST and immensely multi-faceted. You have to process it for yourself.
In the end, burning man can be a blank slate for you. It's all about return on investment.

For me...
A great escape. A fine time with good friends. A chance to be extraverted. A great big bucket for a massive art project. Working with power tools. Seeing a hairbrained plan get pulled off. Dancing while watching a beautiful sunrise. Smiling most of the time. Biking out to the trash fence and watching the big picture. Getting way fucked up every now and then. Dodging the whiners. Watching shit burn. Seeing things that make me giggle and say 'wow, that's fucking awesome'. Zoooom. Being stalked by a sparkly thumping thing trailing 100 mindless revelers. Putting my body and mind through the wringer.

none of this and maybe all of this is applicable to you, the newbie. But I expect that your experience will not be a thing like mine. That's just the way it is.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:23 pm

burning man is an elephant.
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Postby dman » Mon Mar 29, 2004 1:49 pm

III wrote:burning man is an elephant.


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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 29, 2004 3:39 pm

What is it REALLY about? It's about whatever you want it to be and DON"T let any of these burnier than thou types tell you different. It has a very different meaning and purpose for each person that attends.

It's a big party, it's a spiritual journey, it's a life changing experience, it's boring, it's dancing, it's sitting and staring, it's an experiment, it's a chance to be someone esle, it's building stuff just because, it's bringing way too much crap, it's bringing nothing, it's meeting tons of new people, it's being alone, it's the greatest show on earth, some people think about it EVERY FRICKIIN' day, it's love, it's forgetting about problems, it's stressful, it's freedom. It is many many things, and no one has the right to think that they can tell someone what they feel about it is wrong.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:15 pm

>>DON"T let any of these burnier than thou types tell you different.

well it's about what you want to do until what you want to do starts to interfere with other people's IMMEDIATE EXPERIENCE. or at least that's how my propaganda reads...
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Postby Guest » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:35 pm

Yes, it's about that too...

I agree that one's individual experience shouldn't hinder someone else's, that should be a given. What should also be a given is that other people's idea of what it's about is going to differ from your's (not you specifically) and they shouldn't be judged for it. Unless they are just complete moron's then have at 'em.
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Postby _tears_ » Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:57 pm

Everyone has a thought on this matter. Something they feel is right.

But i believe no one is right and no one is wrong. What burning man is all about should be left up to that person. Burning man is what YOU make of it. FOr everyone it id different, and in your own personal life, it may change from year to year.

My suggestion, dont listen to anything anyone says here. And just go experiance it for yourself. You will find out all the answers and yet come back full of questions.

Good luck

--Tears--

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Postby Badger » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:21 pm

But i believe no one is right and no one is wrong.


You're wrong.

I'm right. Always.
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:24 pm

damn rangers with their authoritarian attitude problems...
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Postby Badger » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:26 pm

It has nothing to do with Rangers Trey.

It has everything to do with, well, being right.
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Postby PurpleKoosh » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:30 pm

Badger wrote:It has nothing to do with Rangers Trey.

It has everything to do with, well, being right.

...sounds more like the Chupas to me....
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:31 pm

>>It has everything to do with, well, being right.

well, yeah - if you rangers could ever figure out how to do that, i might believe you on something.

%%smooch%%
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Postby Badger » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:31 pm

...sounds more like the Chupas to me....


Shhhh!

First Rule of the Chupas....
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 6:32 pm

>>First Rule of the Chupas

cry at every opportunity?
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What's it about?

Postby vic » Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:28 pm

Burning Man is about what the participants bring to it. Keep in mind that this event draws an amazing group of artists, exhibitionists, voyeurs, idiots, saints, organizers, disorganizers, stoners, those who know it all, and the totally confused. Only a few of these characters bother with the eplaya.
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Burning Man is all about

Postby Goatfoot » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:12 pm

Giving ...Sharing......Planning to Give and Planning to Share!
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Postby Zane5100 » Tue Mar 30, 2004 3:09 pm

Zephryus wrote:[Attention: The following is composed entirely of well-meaning conjecture and unasked-for advice. If that sort of thing pisses you off, please dismiss it as the ramblings of a fool. If any of it is wildly divergent from reality, don't hesitate to check me on it.]

If there's anything I've noticed about these boards, it's that they are filled with people who have been to/helped create the event a bunch of times and thus have a very good idea of what works and what doesn't, logistically, and they really enjoy being ornery. Combine the two, and you have a group that gives good advice but is perhaps a bit overly gruff about it. Don't take it personally; they're that way to everybody, including themselves, and they like it. Read the archives, learn to communicate on their level and you'll be a lot more sucessful.

As far as the general response you revieved when you asked for help, try looking at it this way: when you join the event, you're stripping yourself of both restrictions and the support systems of the greater society. This is, I think, what they mean by "radical self reliance". In order to make it work, you have to be able to fully take care of your own shit, with room for a little extra. Self-suffiency, and nothing less. Now, once you've covered that (admittedly large) base, you've opened a whole field of possibilities that are normally difficult to realize in everyday life. But if you read through the archived threads, you realize that the people who criticized you for portraying yourself as not self-sufficient are the same people who help build some of the most critical pieces of the event, and are consequently having to pick up the slack for those who arrive expecting to be cared for as they would in the greater society. So maybe you can understand why their hackles raise a bit when someone asks them for help without offering something in return. It's a survival reflex.
But at the same time, don't ignore those who stood up for you. Their support was earnest, and if you haven't yet written people privately, I suggest you do so. really, this is waht you can expect from any group: a set of mixed reactions, based on personal experience and prejudices. Seize the opportunities, ignore the slag. And for the love of god, don't ever take anything you read on a messageboard personally.

(Oh, and my perceptions of the event roughly correlate with Precipitate's, with an extra helping of psychadelic adult playground on top.)


Dig what Zephryus said.

Beware of expectations--you will rarely meet them out there, and when you do, they'll be in disguise. (IOW, go with the flow--don't be too focused on what you think "should" happen).

You tend to find out more about yourself and others then you first planned on. Sometimes that's a good thing. Other times, it can hurt like hell.

Above all, Burning Man is what you want it to be (even if you don't admit it to yourself), and you tend to get back more than what you put in--but you've got to put something into it for you to get anything back.

Remember, it's fun--even if it's just a fucking camping trip.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Mar 30, 2004 3:27 pm

Mourning my parakeet.
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Postby Zane5100 » Tue Mar 30, 2004 3:29 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Mourning my parakeet.


That works too.
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