Burning Man in the 40th century

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Burning Man in the 40th century

Postby Severian » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:41 am

I'm currently reading "Ilium" by Dan Simmons, his latest in hardcover. If you're an SF fan, Simmons does some killer work in the genre. Even if you're not, Simmons is simply a fine writer, worthy of your time.

"Ilium" is already too complicated at 80 or so pages into it to summarize here, but some of it takes place on Earth in the 40th century, and the few humans left on the planet lead an Eloi-like existence. I'm currently at a part in the book where some of the characters are trying to go to the next Burning Man.

Burning Man is a "Lost Age" ceremony, and it's now run by the "Burning Man Cabal", who hold it at irregular unannounced intervals (a few weeks apart to over a year and a half apart), and always in different-but-remote locations, for five days. The last one was held in Antarctica and drew about 10,000.

The characters are trying to go because they want to re-locate somebody that might have some information they want. Unfortunately the character who met this person at the last one didn't (surprise!) get their name because they were both pretty fucked up (no!), and in any event, he had gone not actually to participate but because he had heard that there were many interesting young women who go, and because he had heard that they have orgies on the final night.

Hilarious.


--Severian
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Postby Badger » Tue Nov 04, 2003 8:44 am

The characters are trying to go because they want to re-locate somebody that might have some information they want.


I only hope they don't have a Playa Info in the 40th century or those sojourners are totally fucked.
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Postby Kinetic II » Tue Nov 04, 2003 9:58 am

Would anyone care to comment on why Playa Info was so screwed up this year? With the exception of Flux that was a pretty lame group that I run into. There's one guy who worked over there on Sunday that made me want to break my "no violence" rule. I was half tempted to deck the guy.
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Postby Tiara » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:32 am

I've only had positive experiences with Playa Info, so I have no gripe with them at all.

If I had to guess as to why one of the volunteers on their crew may have seemed unhelpful to someone, these are the reasons I'd propose:
He/she was tired
He/she was hot
He/she was borderline dehydrated
He/she had not been eating enough
He/she had been getting rude treatment from other participants
He/she had answered the same question (which was addressed in the Survival Guide or the Welcome packet) for the 101st time.
He/she was tired of being expected to know/find someone's bike/keys/friend/camp

Playa Info, like virtually all the other groups out there, are just a bunch of volunteers trying to help. They never promised to have all the answers. and they've never been responsible for finding lost items. Furthermore, one individual's bad day shouldn't define the efforts of an entire dedicated group.
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Postby Isotopia » Tue Nov 04, 2003 12:52 pm

Um Tiara,

He or she for the third year running was not a member of Playa Info. That's the inside joke.

There's been this fool that sits there after the place shuts down and gives out very detailed, very bad advice. Usually done with a very ba attitue.
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Postby Ivy » Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:37 pm

There's been this fool that sits there after the place shuts down and gives out very detailed, very bad advice. Usually done with a very ba attitue.


Now why didn't i think of that??
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Nov 04, 2003 4:58 pm

Isotopia wrote:There's been this fool that sits there after the place shuts down and gives out very detailed, very bad advice. Usually done with a very ba attitue.


It is people like this that give me humor-envy.
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Postby Badger » Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:01 pm

It's pretty funny actually. Well, in a twisted sort of way.

That is unless you're on the receiving end of the irate participant who has taken the advice, traversed half the city looking for a particular place (or camp), realize that there is no 11:00 (or 1:00) and Avenue of the Agnostics, walk back to 6:00 and head to the Palace of Bad Advice known formally as Ranger HQ with steam pouring out of your ears because you took that fuckwits advice and bad attitude just so you could meet up with that babe you met last night.

Honestly, I don't know who the joker is but he's pulled it off perfectly for two years straight and has done so during multiple evenings.
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Postby Don Muerto » Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:04 pm

Badger wrote:It's pretty funny actually. Well, in a twisted sort of way.

That is unless you're on the receiving end of the irate participant who has taken the advice, traversed half the city looking for a particular place (or camp), realize that there is no 11:00 (or 1:00) and Avenue of the Agnostics, walk back to 6:00 and head to the Palace of Bad Advice known formally as Ranger HQ with steam pouring out of your ears because you took that fuckwits advice and bad attitude just so you could meet up with that babe you met last night.

Honestly, I don't know who the joker is but he's pulled it off perfectly for two years straight and has done so during multiple evenings.


*despite uncontrollable laughter, humor-envy continues to grow*
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Postby Flux » Tue Nov 04, 2003 6:37 pm

Isotopia wrote:He or she for the third year running was not a member of Playa Info. That's the inside joke.

There's been this fool that sits there after the place shuts down and gives out very detailed, very bad advice. Usually done with a very ba attitue.

This year there was going to be a sign (although I don't recall whether it was actually there or not) saying something to this effect: "Playa Info open from x am to y pm. Information provided at other times may be unreliable."

I wandered by there, moderately drunk, around midnight one night in 2002. There was a guy there talking out his ass and fucking with people's heads. I stayed there for an hour or two giving out good (or at least better) info.

It's amazing what people will believe if they think it's coming from an "official" source.
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Postby Badger » Tue Nov 04, 2003 11:45 pm

Hey Flux,

Wanna be a Ranger. You really don't have to give info that's all that accurate.
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Postby Flux » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:14 am

Badger wrote:Hey Flux,

Wanna be a Ranger. You really don't have to give info that's all that accurate.

No thanks! I don't think I'd touch that job with a ten-foot pole. Sounds too much like work for me.
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Postby III » Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:47 am

and there hasn't been an edict from on high to stop this? cool.

in: lack of negativity.
out: cacophonist pranks.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:48 am

Isotopia wrote: Usually done with a very ba attitue.


Clarification please. Is that "baa" as in sheep vocalization or "bah" as in humbug?
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Postby Flux » Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:51 am

BlueBirdPoof wrote:
Isotopia wrote: Usually done with a very ba attitue.


Clarification please. Is that "baa" as in sheep vocalization or "bah" as in humbug?

Or maybe as in B.A. Baracus. "I pity da foo' dat thinks he can get his RV serviced out here!"
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A second recommendation on Simmons

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:52 am

Although I haven't touched Ilium yet--reading a book and then waiting forever for the sequel makes me poofy. And the Endemion duology weren't as good as Hyperion. But some of his stuff just kicks butt and there was a great amount of vicarious joy in the golf course haunted by man-eating hawaiian gods. . .

I just have a sneaking suspicion that Burning Man in the 22nd Century will resemble nothing so much as Bohemian Grove. But with women.
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Postby BlueBirdPoof » Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:56 am

Flux wrote:Or maybe as in B.A. Baracus.


There, I knew I was missing something. Thanks for helping me. Of course it could mean B.A. as in a college degree, but that would be BFA, I think. . .
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Postby Severian » Wed Nov 05, 2003 11:15 am

I have now finished it and it was a great read--nothing to do with Hyperion, although there are tangential references. You are correct in that it ends at a major unresolved confrontation, and now I'm dying to read "Olympos".

Simmons must be a previous attendee or a fan--ultimately the characters don't go to the Burn, but rather to the last site it was held to find any clues to their problem, and they end up having to wear ultra-thin skinsuits to protect them from the environment (a familiar piece of tech to Simmons readers)...and nothing else, because the suits won't work well with clothing over them.

The suits are brightly and individually colored for visibility and identification, so to an outside observer of the scene, one would have seen four naked people painted head to toe in four different fluorescent colors walking around on the Antarctic 'playa'. I thought it was a nifty wink to all Burner readers.

And no, no word on what, if any, Playa Info or theme camps continue to exist in the 40th century.

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Postby Severian » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:12 pm

...and as of today, Digital Domain and Barnet Bain Films have optioned the rights to "Ilium" and "Olympos", with Simmons as screenwriter, so maybe in a few years we'll get to see Burning Man in the 40th century on the big screen!
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Postby stuart » Fri Jan 09, 2004 2:50 pm

don't hold yer breath. It is pretty standard practice to option even mediocre genre works. Great books like enders game have been optioned for years and years and only occasionally get some rumbling about actual production.
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Postby Guest » Mon Jan 26, 2004 6:02 pm

i'm just thrilled about the b.a. baracus comment. heh.
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