how do you define "burner"?

All things outside of Burning Man.

how do you define "burner"?

Postby III » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:16 am

(prompted by a discusion in this thread)

i've seen many people and groups use the term "burner". the easiest definition is simply people that go to burning man, but there seems to be a lot more implied than just that. a lot of times, the way it's used gives me an itch between my shoulder blades, and i'd like to figure out why.

so, gimme your definitions, and we'll see what makes the itch flare up...
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Postby fnord » Fri Mar 26, 2004 11:49 am

I often use "burner" interchangeably with "stove". ;)
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Postby robotland » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:40 pm

I use "Burner" to describe the one quirky, artistic oddball on the build crew in TV shows like Junkyard Wars, Monster Garage, Monster House....The conversation usually goes like this:

Me- (watching show).."You see that guy welding the samovar to the vacuum cleaner to make a chandelier?" (pointing to bluehaired guy in "Junk Band" t-shirt.)
My Wife- "Let me guess- He's a Burner?"
Me- "Yep. He built the Taxidermy Carousel in '02."
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Mar 26, 2004 12:58 pm

bur-ner(n) individual with pyrosexual afflictions, ie playa monkey.
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Postby stuart » Fri Mar 26, 2004 1:55 pm

a burner is a person who attends burning man.

if you take the definition beyond that it gets into the mucky (back itchy) realm of peoples prejudices. Proceed at your own risk.
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Postby actiongrl » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:20 pm

FWIW, Larry is not fond of the word.

I use it to apply to anyone who has been, unless they hated the experience and would not attend again...I think. I dunno.
"Participants" is too unspecific.
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Postby Rob the Wop » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:23 pm

Actually, I was going to place an image of Thich Quang Duc here- but I thought better of it. There's tacky, and then there are a couple lines that shouldn't be crossed. Wow, I have limits. Whoda thunkit?

I define a Burner simply as someone that goes to Burning Man. Not the 'I've been once and that's it' type, but the folks that live it daily. And they run the gambit of 'refreshingly different, artistic, or unique" personalities to 'annoying religious, unrealisticly idealistic' cult mentalities. Or I call something a 'burner' crowd or function if it's bizarre and mostly composed of Burning Man attendees.

I think I used to call a well-made joint I was going to light up this, back when I was a wee tyke.
"Yup, this one's a burner."
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Weighing in on the discussion....

Postby joel the ornery » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:40 pm

actiongrl wrote:FWIW, Larry is not fond of the word.


I recall Larry's discomfort with the term "burner" while driving Marian and him to the playa in '01. Unfortunately, he wasn't able or willing to articulate a noun more appropriate or desirable.

I like to think of myself as Black Rock City citizen more than as a "burner"

I am not sure this contributes to the thread.

Joel the Ornery

P.S. Marian, I still feel bad about scratching the right side wheels of the RV against the curb in San Francisco.
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Postby Guest » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:42 pm

actiongrl wrote:FWIW, Larry is not fond of the word.


not unique, so not able to be trademarked? (*grinning, ducking*)
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Postby DVD Burner » Fri Mar 26, 2004 2:51 pm

actiongrl wrote:FWIW, Larry is not fond of the word.


Well then,

why does'nt he post his opinion on eplaya? :wink:
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Postby Chai Guy » Fri Mar 26, 2004 4:30 pm

why does'nt he post his opinion on eplaya?


Maybe he already has?
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Postby Last Real Burner » Fri Mar 26, 2004 6:23 pm

How about...
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Postby Bob » Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:07 pm

"Burner" is what you are until you torch all the decals off the truck.
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Postby actiongrl » Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:31 pm

He lurks, he lurks.
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Postby Silver » Sun Mar 28, 2004 9:42 am

Larry is not fond of the word.


Ok, but he or someone better come up with an alternative right quick because the term is starting to filter out into the general population. Last week a bunch of us were invited to very artsy party and at one point I overheard the following: "Who are they?", "Huh, oh, those are the burners". The majority of the crowd were uniform; white, 25 to 35, styled hair, expensive clothes. The Burners were: mixed-race, 19 to 51, hair from shaved head to longer than mine to strange wigs, clothes from designer to rummage sale.

On a related note, in the web comic Sluggy (www.sluggy.com) today one of the characters says to another: "Burn! You go girl!"

As far as definations go, I largely agree with Rob the Wop but with one major exception; a Burner does not necessairly have to have been to Burning Man. I know more than several people who have been to our local burns but who for various reasons have never been able to make it out to Nevada. As long as you didn't talk specifics; if you met these folks at PDF or one of our functions you would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a five timer and never been. As time goes on and there are more and bigger regionals I think that numbers of Burners who have never been to Burning Man will increase.

There that should cheer Larry up.

On the other hand I think that the term Burner is now so firmly entrenched in the community that there is no way that it can be supplanted
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Postby AntiM » Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:21 am

A burner is open, open-hearted, open-minded, open-handed. But paired with that is the hidden ... costumes, masks, playa names. An enigmatic dichotomy, just as BurningMan defies explanation, escapes description, and requires the experience of participation, a burner is someone you must meet and interact with rather than define. Some folks have apparent burner potential, others have it hidden. I've met people at the burn, and they're in costume and telling all about this artist and that they know, all take and no give, I just got the oddest feeling they were trolling for in-crowd status, like club kids. I kept thinking, " Gee, this is such, well, unburnerly behavior." Then I wondered if it was just me being tired, weird and paranoid. Probably.

A burner is on a continuum, someting akin to any of the following terms in their time: bohemian, hippie, beatnik, etc.. Some folks are, some ain't, and some more so than others, but who is to say overall? I stayed at Project Artaud in the 70s, and that was so (pre?)-burningman in spirit and daily life, that when I fianlly attended burningman, it was like a flashback. I kept expecting to see Summerwind and Aquarius, Birdie and Chastity Antoinette. Maybe I did. Welcome home indeed.

A burner is a person who is at home/whose home is in Black Rock City, whether in the flesh or in spirit, whether they have always attended or have never heard of the event.

Like the old definition of obscenity: I knows it when I sees it. (yeah, misquoted, I know)
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Postby Lydia Love » Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:18 am

A burner is open, open-hearted, open-minded, open-handed



What you've just described is not what burners *are* but what you want them to be. The population at Burning Man is not made up of any one thing, it's not just angelic hippy spirits out there. The environment is harsh, people get cranky, some people just *are* cranky - hell, one person's "open-handed" is another's bitch slap.

But hey, if we're gonna sit around and describe what we *wish* defined a burner I'd have to say "A burner is someone who takes care of their own shit, ensures their independence, shares when plans go awry, and knows how to get down with their funky-ass self"
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Postby III » Sun Mar 28, 2004 11:36 am

smooches to lydia.
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by all means...

Postby Last Real Burner » Sun Mar 28, 2004 5:27 pm

totally crush Lydia Love...


mmmmmmmm,
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:29 am

i'm beginning to think that liydia hit it on the head, or at least between the lines.

"burner" means whatever the person saying wants the people who go to burning man to be like, regardless of how they really are...
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Postby Rob the Wop » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:32 am

Lydia Love wrote:What you've just described is not what burners *are* but what you want them to be. The population at Burning Man is not made up of any one thing, it's not just angelic hippy spirits out there.


Praise the Lord, I'm hearing ya sister. Amen.

A dash of assholes here, a sprinkle of post-acoplyptic punkers there, and voila! Something more amusing than a Rainbow Festival.
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Postby precipitate » Mon Mar 29, 2004 12:41 am

> A burner is open, open-hearted, open-minded, open-handed.

See, the thing is, I'm all of those things. Just not to all people.

I'm not your mother. I don't love you unconditionally.
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Postby AntiM » Mon Mar 29, 2004 7:36 am

Sheesh. That's why I said dichotomy. Actually, that's not accurate either. There's as many descriptions for burner as there are people who go to or have heard about the burn. Hmmm, so in this discusson, you have to define what a real burner is, not what we wish burners could be. No wonder the hat hates the term. Is a real burner an absolute?

My poor idealism. Crushed, crushed. I never said angelic hippy angels or your unconditionally loving mother, nor did I mean to come across that way, but what can you do with disjointed messages in written form? Too rich a subject, too limited a medium. How about "burners are OFTEN open-rararah .... but just as often raging assholes .... often creative but just as often indistinguishable from yahoos." Then we'd get to define yahoos. And add on one who follows the survival guide and leave no trace guidelines. Somehow defining yahoos seems easier. Oh, and I am not calling anyone an asshole. Honest. I want to crush all emoticons beneath a distainful heel so I have to use too many words instead, and then there are too many lines to read between.

I'm the wicked bitch of the west a lotta time on the playa. I'm still steamed at the bithces who nonchalantly helped themselves to my cold bottled water without asking. (Yes, I had it put away) And I'd have to be drugged and tied to get me anywhere near the rainbow festival. Long other story there.

Glad the playa is big enough for every type of burner, including angelic hippies, loving mothers, and us poor idealists. Even when we get cranky. Maybe I should be drugged and tied at burning man, might be interesting and enlightening. Would give my campmates a needed break more likely.
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Yes but does it really matter?...

Postby Last Real Burner » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:35 am

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) for all, I am the last real burner.... Image

finally,
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:45 am

I still say one word;

witty!



http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?witty
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Postby AntiM » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:46 am

I can hardly wait for the fiilm: "Mr. Smith goes to Burning Man."

Fortunately, (or unfortunately) for all, I am the last real burner....

finally,
mr smith



Must suck for you, being the last one on the playa, you have to pick up all the MOOP. Is a lost or unconscious person POOP?

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Postby Zephryus » Mon Mar 29, 2004 9:53 am

Only if they're unconscious. Even then, they tend to go through the "cheap date" and "food" stages before they're considered MOOP.





(All together now... EWWWWWWWW!)
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Postby III » Mon Mar 29, 2004 10:40 am

>> Is a lost or unconscious person POOP?

actually, getting rid of the late leavers (as opposed to dedicated clean up workers) is part of the whole cleanup problem. fortunately, they tend to be kinda dense and are susceptible to fairly simple manipulation. it's still time away from pickin up cigarette butts and pulling left behind rebar, though...
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Postby DVD Burner » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:40 am

glad to see you on eplaya AntiM.




well I've never seen you on eplaya before but if you have been on eplaya before....skip it.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Mar 29, 2004 11:45 am

Silver wrote:On the other hand I think that the term Burner is now so firmly entrenched in the community that there is no way that it can be supplanted
Ah, never underestimate the time and energy of a prescriptive grammarian with a bug up *his* butt. For instance, I "know" better, but I want to do "something" about spurious quote marks.
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