Just what ARE Burning Man's Core Values?

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Just what ARE Burning Man's Core Values?

Postby Badger » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:03 pm

Put it out there folks.

Newbies, Old-timers, lurkers.... What are your ideas/impressions of Burning Man?. What is it about. What isn't it about.What guides the day when you show up. Is it a party? Is it about 'community'? Does it need to change? Why? Why not?

C'mon, toss your roses or throw your eggs. I for one wanna know. What the hell ARE we doing here?
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Desert dogs drink deep.

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Postby Rob the Wop » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:08 pm

Titties and beer, dude.

Party on.
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Postby dragonflyannie » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:10 pm

what are we doing here?
i think we are being as human as we can possibly be... for once this world has offered those of us who need it, a place we can be ourselves. i think it's as simple as that.
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Postby Spokes » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:26 pm

It is a proposition that we make a safe place to reveal the self, grow it, share it and celebrate it.
One of the mechanisms that I have personally experienced from the event is a peeling of the onion. A means of getting to the core. The ordeal can tear you down, make you raw and ready for that lightning bolt, revelation or general renewal of self if that is what you are looking for.
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Postby Lydia Love » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:36 pm

It all just seems so personal... i can barely answer what it means or has meant for me - there's no way in hell i can say what it should be. And it's evolved, changing for me, changing overall.

urm... sorry for the non-answer but its what I got.
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Postby clandyone » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:43 pm

What Spokes said.

I do not think any of the core "values" and/or concepts that are associated with Burning Man are in any way absolute, nor should they be. F'rinstance, the "no commerce" rule is a big grey area, because of course we spend a lot of money to get there... but it's an interesting grey area, that kind of compels one to reexamine the place commerce has in one's life. And so on.

For me, Burning Man is a blank canvas with vague edges. The "core values" should exist to define the blankness, not the edges. If that makes any sense at all.

I realize that this post does not answer the question in the OP at all.
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Postby PJ » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:48 pm

It's a lot of things. It might or might not be everything that Larry pontificates about. For many people it's one or more of the many things that are going to be mentioned in this thread, sometimes articulately and sometimes less so.

What I wonder is: Aside from all that's mentioned in the posts above and below, if it wasn't the week-long party in the desert that it is, how many of us would show up?
Last edited by PJ on Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lydia Love » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:52 pm

if it wasn't the week-long party in the desert that it is, how many of us would show up?


Not me! For all of my thoughts on art, community etc etc a big part of why i go is for the big naked silliness of it all.
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Postby Booker » Sun Sep 28, 2003 5:57 pm

The "core values" should exist to define the blankness, not the edges. If that makes any sense at all.


I like the sound of that. I don't know what sense it makes to be, but it sounds like it SHOULD make sense. I'll think about it. Which may point toward what I regard as a core value. Along with big naked silliness, of course.
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Postby joel the ornery » Sun Sep 28, 2003 6:50 pm

We, monkeys sure entertain ourselves with our perceived intelligence, sophistication and civilization.

sheesh, fucking people.
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 6:57 pm

ALWAYS take care of your own shit


do not leave
even a cig butt
or a match-stick
in my camp

even if
you are
with me
& we are
sitting peaceably

when you leave
~no trace~

or you instantly suck

or You Are A Hero

for tucking match stick
in your sock

butt within
your mouth

that is about it for core values as far as i can see, Badger. however.... i am myopic & rather simple & believe (still) in reagonomics style trickle-down effect, too.

a case in point:

john doe leaves a partially full deluxe mixed-nuts can in my camp after opening it.

john doe is later found DEAD in a JOTS (johnny on the spot), clutching a partially un-wrapped toilet-paper-roll cardboard core, having found himself in the unseamly postion of more than he was assured of upon disertion (of his bowels) a coincidence, perhaps, to an attitude of concert supposed but not in fact reality when faced with the advent of waddling out of the JOTS (he has a panic attack followed by a coronary embulism) door to the next one in line, pants around ankles, all for want of what?
not taking care of his own shit.
Last edited by nipples on Mon Sep 29, 2003 6:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby clandyone » Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:11 pm

While I'm figuring out how to clarify my earlier points -- no mean feat, as i'm working on a Christawful hangover and feel like my head is full of fiberglass insulation instead of brains -- I'll answer this:

What I wonder is: Aside from all that's mentioned in the posts above and below, if it wasn't the week-long party in the desert that it is, how many of us would show up?

Honestly, I still would. I've moved away from the party aspect. If I just wanted to booze and drug and carouse and hop on random strangers, I could do it all at home.
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Postby PJ » Sun Sep 28, 2003 7:23 pm

clandyone wrote:...if it wasn't the week-long party in the desert that it is, how many of us would show up?

Honestly, I still would. I've moved away from the party aspect. If I just wanted to booze and drug and carouse and hop on random strangers, I could do it all at home.


I don't "party" (as most people seem to define it) at home either. Makes me feel too lousy to be worth it. So that can't be it. Never was.

Must be the naked women, art, a chance to fly to an ass-kicking interesting destination, and seeing friends. (But I suspect that if the week-long party weren't there, there wouldn't be enough people to have an event. Hell, even DPW wouldn't show up for the requisite several-month effort if there weren't no partyin'.)
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Postby antron » Sun Sep 28, 2003 8:07 pm

to me (not necessarily for any of you) the core values that i find include:

welcome extended to all and sundry who show up
encouraging participation on a (nearly) blank canvas
self-reliance or at least small group reliance
emphasis on the variety of human expression
providing an environment for testing personal limits
a really grand spectacle and crecendo
keeping the place so that we can do it again

nothing mystical. but enough to spark the emergent phenomenon that brings us back to the playa.
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Postby antron » Sun Sep 28, 2003 8:08 pm

oh, and it does make for a kick-ass party.
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Postby Kinetic » Sun Sep 28, 2003 8:22 pm

Core Values:
Hmmm....I'll screw this up as usual but in the spirit of open mouth, insert foot.....

Self sufficiency / Preparation. Your going to a very hostile environment, one that most pansy asses can't handle. You gotta plan to be on your own for a week. You learn logistics. Survival skills. A bit of engineering. A dust storm like the one on Sunday tests out how well you did. If you paid attention and got it right, you rode out the storm and had a beer with your friends. If you fucked up, you chased what was left of your tent / shade / whatever halfway down lake lahontan.

Spirit of community. Sure you can go out and be shy, isolated, on your own, no interaction with others. But the event thrives on a sense of community. Your there for the art / party / beer / drugs / inspiration, whatever, the fact is your there because of all the others that are there. Your part of a community just by hauling your ass all the way out there.

I'll stop with those but the top one is my big one...that value of self sufficiency and preparation are what transformed me outside of BM for the past 2 years as I recovered from my car accident. I used BM as a motivator to get me off my ass, learn new things, and push many boundaries. Without BM I might have believed the doctors that I would be drawing disability and sitting on my ass for the rest of my life at 31. I told them to fuck off, poured myself into preparing, and the confidence gained kept pulling me up, helping me relearn, it brought me back to life.

Sorry to go off on a tangent but while I might have found another way to do the transformation, BM, e-playa, and the friends I made accelerated the process. I owe a lot to BM, without the event I wouldn't be where I am now.

Other things I thought were values are actually not...Ivy posted about the gifting idea in another thread...it's not really a value in a way. I'm still thinking about this thread. It's a good one.
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Postby Ivy » Sun Sep 28, 2003 8:53 pm

I don't recall posting anything to the effect of gifting being a core value of BM. Perhaps you have mixed up my posts with someone else's.
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 9:01 pm

i've got your post
right ...umm... okay...~flonk~. here!
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 9:07 pm

this is my bad post
this is my bad post refute
thrust for argument
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Postby Kinetic » Sun Sep 28, 2003 9:20 pm

Mea Culpa.
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:33 pm

proceed with abandon
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:41 pm

always about sex
post slamming between your legs
when you least expect
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:44 pm

oh gee what was that
thought i was quite safe to moop
nipples home base camp
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:49 pm

perhaps you said hi
or misted me with fragrance
take your gift & go
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:50 pm

bitter you call me
just because i leave you none
remnant of myself
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Postby Bob » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:51 pm

I'm just doing for the kids.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 10:57 pm

matter out of place
what you are i dare not guess
only just to wait
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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:07 pm

one sweet question mark
red smile dotted with brown spots
watermellon rind
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Postby Bob » Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:10 pm

I's just doing it for the skids.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby nipples » Sun Sep 28, 2003 11:10 pm

did you leave me so
parked against the barrel
kickstand up to go
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