NO KIDS ALLOWED!

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

Postby Kinetik V » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:10 am

For smaller scale events I like the wristband system but for an event the size of Burning Man at BRC...yeah I can see all sorts of potential abuses popping up. It's going to be hard to beat the simple just check their damn ID system..do like Circle K does here in Denver with their posted signs: We card everyone of any age, no exceptions. I grumbled about that at first but it simplifies compliance and insures that the staff if they are following the policy has their asses covered. In short it works.

(At my age and as fugly as I look these days, getting carded is something special, I take it as a rare compliment!)

Thinking even further about it, how would one address the issue of fake ID's? Or perhaps I shoudn't go there and borrow trouble...but with this creative crowd you know someone's going to try and fake it if the bars crack down.

Going off on a tangent, the Pershing County Sheriff Ron Skinner was overseeing law enforcement on the playa this year? Isn't he the same one who raised a ruckus over the now legendary Jiffy Lube sign back in the day? One thing that I did during the last election cycle was to donate to his opponent...granted Skinner still won but if a bunch of us who opposed all this heavy LE enforcement made donations to opponents...perhaps Skinner could be sent into retirement...where he belongs. It's just an idea....and for the cost of a bottle of Patron or two multiplied by a few of us who wanted to make an impact...we could influence change. Think about it!
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:47 am

theCryptofishist wrote: My personal feeling is that the problem isn't having children on playa under the supervision of their parents and that banning children because of this issue is like driving a tack with a sledge hammer.


you only refer to drinking, you dont address the full issue of how things change in the presence of children.
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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:37 pm

wrong - you are expecting people to change what they are doing to accomodate an environent for children, you avoid what is enforced.


Actually Burningman was always a family event, and hopefully always will be. There are many people who want others to change for many reasons. If someone is doing something that is harming supervised children that cannot be prevented by supervising parents, then those people do need to change, it's not their event to change into "adult only". Now what constitutes something that hurts supervised children? I can't think of anything that would harm supervised children that wouldn't also hurt sane adults as well. Responsible parents should be able to easily deal with anything I've seen at Burningman. If there are self-righteous whiners who think nudity or drinking hurts their kids I sure hope they don't have TV, radio, newspapers, or the internet, because it's likely they'll be exposed to more drugs, sexuality and violence than at Burningman. Hopefully no one actually takes people like that seriously, just like most people don't take the "no kids" people seriously either. Irresponsible parents exist everywhere and I see what appears to be irresponsible parenting every year at Burningman, and at the grocery store, the beach, restaurants... I wish we could ban irresponsible parents from having children, but I don't know if that's scientifically possible yet.
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:51 pm

MikeVDS wrote:Actually Burningman was always a family event, and hopefully always will be. There are many people who want others to change for many reasons. If someone is doing something that is harming supervised children that cannot be prevented ..


no, its been an all inclusive event. it is not promoted, endorsed, or represented as a family event.

you only refer to safety, you dont address the full issue of how things change in the presence of children.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:32 pm

spectabillis wrote:
theCryptofishist wrote: My personal feeling is that the problem isn't having children on playa under the supervision of their parents and that banning children because of this issue is like driving a tack with a sledge hammer.


you only refer to drinking, you dont address the full issue of how things change in the presence of children.

True, I was just responding to one point.

I agree with you that children do totally change the context. However, I disagree with you that this is a bad thing. I think with no children we in sense become a sterile, dead-end "culture," frantically doing dangerous things in the desert in order to convince ourselves that something is happening. I find the idea that groups of people in which there are too many (and I'll admit right here that this is a fuzzy qualifier) young men have all sorts of behavioral problems and acting out and violence to have merit. For whatever reason having women and older men and children around tends to tamp down on that mayhem. Now, admitedly banning admission to children is not banning it to women and older men, but Sail Man, for instance, might not come if he couldn't bring his son. So to me, banning the children is a road post on the way to becoming something as common and banal as a frat party. And if bars are not going to protect themselves by making sure they follow Nevada law and end up getting popped for it, well, that's sad, and I'd prefer that the cops were after the sexual predators, but there were decisions along the way, decisions about having a bar camp and about how they are doing to address the fact that some underage people are going to try and get drinks and what their safeguards are.

So you may have gained a point in that I'll agree that the presence or absence of children makes a difference in the tone of the event; you may have lost one in that I think it's a change for the better.
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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:42 pm

no, its been an all inclusive event. it is not promoted, endorsed, or represented as a family event.

you only refer to safety, you dont address the full issue of how things change in the presence of children.



True and true, if you want to nit-pit, but all inclusive includes families, no?

Things may change in the presence of children, yes, but it's always been that way. They are actually keeping the event, "the same" in that respect, it would be you who's proposing to alter things by removing that part.
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Postby Kinetik V » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:43 pm

I think it's time to go back and look at the 2004 Summer Newsletter that the LLC put out. Here's the full link:
http://www.burningman.com/whatisburning ... _sum1.html

The first paragraph states:
Kids have always been a part of Burning Man. When Jerry James and Larry Harvey first burned a Man in 1986, they included their sons, Trey and Robin. Trey was five. Robin was about to turn six years old. On that afternoon the boys worked alongside their fathers. With a little help and the aid of a glue gun, they produced the Burning Dog: the Man's best friend. Since then, children have always participated in our community. Burning Man has become a gigantic playground for children as well as adults. Seen through a child's eyes, Burning Man can be a wondrous experience. Playing alongside grownups and freely expressing one's self in a world that's so receptive is not only healthy — it is healing. Viewed in contrast with a world where children are routinely segregated from adults and parked in front of television sets, Burning Man can be revelation.


Long story short Sheriff Skinner's efforts to make BM an 18+ event are going to run right smack into a 25 year history of having kids at the event. When one looks at the 25 year track record...many of the safety arguments and such will not hold up. I'll let the article do it's part to enlighten everyone and offer feedback in a bit.

Spectabillis, I've got a question for you. Are you a parent or a parent to be? Have you had direct exposure to bringing children or teenagers to this event? I'm asking not to stir up trouble but to simply gain a better understanding of things. It's a question I've wanted to ask since Page 1...so I'm asking.
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:49 pm

MikeVDS wrote:
True and true, if you want to nit-pit, but all inclusive includes families, no?


its not meant to nit-pick. these things rarely have a single root cause or effect. but we have a tendency to pick and choose one part of it to justify or rationalize a conclusion, so that conclusion its never adequate.

i also keep an eye on the end result and work backwards.
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Postby Das Bus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:14 pm

As a member of Kidsville for the past 9 years, and Mayor for the last 3, my opinion is that children are valued members of BRC. If the event were to become 18+ or 21+, I think it would evolve into a giant rave, and that would be the death of the event.

In Kidsville, we have worked very hard these last few years, to educate parents that they alone are responsible for their childrens' safety and welfare 24/7, and that children must always be accompanied by an adult at all times.

We instituted a wristband program, which identifies our kids as members of Kidsville, so that should they ACCIDENTALLY become lost or separated from their parent, they can be reunited with their parent quickly. This works amazingly well and Kidsville is no longer blamed for all the lost children at Burning Man.

However, no matter how much you try to educate some parents, they just don't care, and allow their children to do whatever, whenever, wherever. These parents give the rest of us a bad name and jeporadize the event.

As for 'adult' camps, bars, etc..., it's simple: If you are out with your child and you come across one of these camps, you simply take your child and LEAVE. If you go to a camp that says they don't want/allow, feel comfortable with children, you simply apologize and LEAVE. It is not a camp or bar's responsibility to police the children. It is the PARENTS responsibility to accompany their child 24/7.

Burning Man is a wonderful experience for families - meaning parent and child are exploring the art, participating and enjoying the experience TOGETHER. It is NOT a place to let your children run wild and alone.

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Postby mdmf007 » Wed Sep 16, 2009 4:01 pm

Its not BMORGS problem - they have decided to have the event open to all ages, its up to LE to enforce the laws. I dont like the idea of wristbands, and feel that its up to each bar. just like in the real world to excercise their judgement about whom they serve, look under age - show ID. carry it, dont carry it thats your right.

I like the idea of less restrictions and laws dictating what can be done and cant be done.

Just my 2 cents.
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:10 pm

Das Bus wrote:As for 'adult' camps, bars, etc..., it's simple: If you are out with your child and you come across one of these camps, you simply take your child and LEAVE.


still doesnt solve the problem, and the result of your suggestion means people confine themselves to thier camps.

mdmf007 wrote:Its not BMORGS problem - they have decided to have the event open to all ages...


its not thier problem only by decision, it is entirely within thier ability to limit age access to the event.
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Postby Das Bus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:21 pm

spectabillis wrote:
Das Bus wrote:As for 'adult' camps, bars, etc..., it's simple: If you are out with your child and you come across one of these camps, you simply take your child and LEAVE.


still doesnt solve the problem, and the result of your suggestion means people confine themselves to thier camps.

.


Not so, unless you're saying that all camps are sex camps or bars.
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:27 pm

its not what i say, its what leo's enforce.
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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:48 pm

several years ago i opened discussions about the effects of people bringing in children, and there were quite a few who said they never feel comfortable knowing whats acceptable to do in front of them.


So what? There are lots of things at Burningman that make some people uncomfortable, should we ban all of those things too? Isn't that sometimes the point? I say get over it and do what you want, those parents should be able to deal with what you do, and if they can't that's their problem.

If hardcore Christians come in and are offended and don't know if they'll offend gay camps, should gay camps be banned?

given enough kids, i dont think federal and state standards would allow for public nudity in the presence of children. so now you want that to go away too?


Which laws are those? I don't ever hear that being applied to nude beaches, though they are still unfortunately getting shut down.
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Postby spectabillis » Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:12 pm

MikeVDS wrote:If hardcore Christians come in and are offended and don't know if they'll offend gay camps, should gay camps be banned?


one is confusion to whats appropriate around children, the other is strict intolerance based on sexual affilitation.

Which laws are those?


nudity, lewd behaviour, anything sexual in public view, etc... i find it hard to believe you're not aware of those.

but since you're not, then consider that each is too open to interpretation for any understandable boundaries and limits within an environment at burningman. this results in law enforcement applying themselves arbitrarily at will with no limits and guidelines to issue citations or orders.
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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:27 pm

one is confusion to whats appropriate around children, the other is strict intolerance based on sexual affilitation.


I'd say they are both confusion and intolerance. Is intolerance based on age not very similar as intolerance based on sexual preference? There should be no confusion on what's appropriate, it's the parents responsibility to make that call and avoid those situations, I'm not sure where you get the idea that it's the worlds responsibility to ensure that kids parents are happy with everyone else.

nudity, lewd behaviour, anything sexual in public view, etc... i find it hard to believe you're not aware of those.


Yes, yes, yes I know of laws related to those, but what's that have to do with kids? Those laws apply regardless if kids are there or not.
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Postby actiongrl » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:36 pm

I for one don't want to see anyone screwing in the street whether my kid is with me or not.

I am 100% with Fishy's post above.
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Postby Das Bus » Wed Sep 16, 2009 10:54 pm

actiongrl wrote:I for one don't want to see anyone screwing in the street whether my kid is with me or not.

I am 100% with Fishy's post above.


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Postby spectabillis » Thu Sep 17, 2009 3:56 am

sorry mike, but going to discard the discussion on your example because the relevance still doesnt strike me as being worth it.

.... but what's that have to do with kids? Those laws apply regardless if kids are there or not.

those were never enforced, now they are, and you didnt acknowledge the rest.



i cant respond to fishy's post very well because i know from previous discussions how strong her need is for security, and commenting could likely invalidate something that might be a personal issue. i can only ask - if you want a safe and stable environment, how isnt it already? and say - if you think children are the best way to achieve something, at least state it as an obtainable goal, admit whats lost without invalidating it, and admit that many people are not prepared to accept an outcome that children unfortunately impose on things.

... but its been interesting to guage the opinions over the past few years over this, and taking note which types of people have which opinions that hasnt changed much. its the numbers in each type that have been changing, so its not surprising i think thats what ultimately defines the outcome. unfortunately i still think this all comes down to a struggle where the winners might be happy with the outcome, but at the expense to anything significant.
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Postby ygmir » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:08 am

I could see some of this discussion coming down to two different ideas:

one:
"it takes a village" mentality. where, all are responsible for children

two:
"parents know best", where, it's up to the parents.

both valid, but, quite different......
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Postby goathead » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:26 am

ygmir wrote:I could see some of this discussion coming down to two different ideas:

one:
"it takes a village" mentality. where, all are responsible for children

two:
"parents know best", where, it's up to the parents.

both valid, but, quite different......


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Postby Risky » Thu Sep 17, 2009 5:37 am

Kinetic V wrote:Going off on a tangent, the Pershing County Sheriff Ron Skinner was overseeing law enforcement on the playa this year? Isn't he the same one who raised a ruckus over the now legendary Jiffy Lube sign back in the day? One thing that I did during the last election cycle was to donate to his opponent...granted Skinner still won but if a bunch of us who opposed all this heavy LE enforcement made donations to opponents...perhaps Skinner could be sent into retirement...where he belongs. It's just an idea....and for the cost of a bottle of Patron or two multiplied by a few of us who wanted to make an impact...we could influence change. Think about it!


Sheriff Ron Skinner is one of the nicest men I have ever met. His department is made of some that have actually laid their career path so they can work with him. His salary is embarrassingly small. He will treat you fairly and with respect.

In 1997 he asked the BLM to deny BM the land permit citing "incompatible community values" which was disregarded.

He comes from a more conservative mindset. I read about the Stiffy Lube sign being removed and the stated reason was because it was within view of KidsViille, and depicted a sex scene. He does seem to side with the viewpoint that some of the adult activities are not for kids.

Right back on subject.
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Postby goathead » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:07 am

Risky wrote:
Kinetic V wrote:Going off on a tangent, the Pershing County Sheriff Ron Skinner was overseeing law enforcement on the playa this year? Isn't he the same one who raised a ruckus over the now legendary Jiffy Lube sign back in the day? One thing that I did during the last election cycle was to donate to his opponent...granted Skinner still won but if a bunch of us who opposed all this heavy LE enforcement made donations to opponents...perhaps Skinner could be sent into retirement...where he belongs. It's just an idea....and for the cost of a bottle of Patron or two multiplied by a few of us who wanted to make an impact...we could influence change. Think about it!


Sheriff Ron Skinner is one of the nicest men I have ever met. His department is made of some that have actually laid their career path so they can work with him. His salary is embarrassingly small. He will treat you fairly and with respect.

In 1997 he asked the BLM to deny BM the land permit citing "incompatible community values" which was disregarded.

He comes from a more conservative mindset. I read about the Stiffy Lube sign being removed and the stated reason was because it was within view of KidsViille, and depicted a sex scene. He does seem to side with the viewpoint that some of the adult activities are not for kids.

Right back on subject.


He is a good man, have had breakfast with him at the counter at Bruno's a couple of times. He DOES represent HIS community, and THEIR values, of Pershing CO. very well. Don't fuck with them. One of my pet peeves, fucking people, fucking with locals, local politics, or local issues.
You are GUESTS, You Don't live here. So far Pershing CO. has done a great job of allowing US into their county.

The sign was on the same side of the city as Kidsville, but it was more offensive to one of his Deputies, back then.

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Postby Kinetik V » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:59 am

I happen to strongly disagree with his super conservative mindset and unlike the multitudes who just whine and mew and bitch, I've went out and raised funds for his opponents with the express intent of seeing him tossed out of office. We didn't accomplish our goal last time but we learned a lot of things in the process and made many new contacts and friends that will make our next attempt certainly get his attention.

This is America. If you don't like this then donate to Skinner's reelection efforts. Might as well cut a check to Focus on the Family and all the other over the top right wingers while you're at it. The bottom line...the approach works, and at the minimum it grabs their attention and moderates them a bit. At best they get to sing happy trails, turn in their badge, and we get a more open minded law enforcement officer in there...usually a younger one at that, and create opportunity for growth all through the ranks. It's a win-win.

And for the record I have a parent and my sister in law enforcement so I am not anti-LE, far from it. Skinner's track record is what warrants the special attention.
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Postby MikeVDS » Thu Sep 17, 2009 8:36 am

those were never enforced, now they are, and you didnt acknowledge the rest.


So now they are being enforced, but there have always been kids, so that was not the changing factor. You do not make a valid argument. I don't see any evidence that kids presence at burningman have anything to do with drug and decency laws being enforced at the burn. It's probably more due to increased law enforcement over the years. Regardless, yes they could change kids being there, if you could provide some evidence that they cause leo's to enforce the law (which you haven't shown), but why would they ever want to say, "We'd prefer illegal activity to be done in public over making this an all inclusive event"?

Also, what exactly is "the rest" that I failed to acknowledge? I feel like I'm missing your point, and that is probably the case. Or are you just arguing the your giraffe repellent must work since you haven't seen any giraffes? "Must be them darn kids, making 'em enforce those darn law thinger majiggers"
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:17 am

MikeVDS wrote:You do not make a valid argument.

Oh boy, an argument! Does anyone want to borrow a double-bitted axe?
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Postby actiongrl » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:28 am

"expense to anything significant."

Significant to you, you mean. Significant to the future of our world when this community raises its next generation? I've watched kids growing up in this, and becoming adults - they're the kind of people I want running the world, frankly.

Lose kids, lose old folks, and the whole thing becomes a party. I have never heard any argument as to why kids shouldn't be there that rang true before *or* after I had a kid of my own. Sure, I've heard plenty of complaints that some people don't like to deal with their presence, or complaints about people who aren't good parents (which exists everywhere, sadly, but is a straw man - if you're so concerned, intervene and lend a hand for the sake of that fellow human being. If one is not willing to do so, fine, but one has zero right to expect anyone - the government, the BMan Org, etc. - to just legislate such unpleasantness out of existence because it's harshing one's good time. True child neglect is a human problem, not a Burning Man problem.)

Burning Man without kids is not Burning Man - this community has always included children. Larry Harvey's son was at the very first burn, and the kids would build a little Burning Dog to go alongside the man.

They're here to stay, as in any other city.
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Postby LostinReno » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:34 am

Kinetic V wrote:(At my age and as fugly as I look these days, getting carded is something special, I take it as a rare compliment!)

Thinking even further about it, how would one address the issue of fake ID's? Or perhaps I shoudn't go there and borrow trouble...but with this creative crowd you know someone's going to try and fake it if the bars crack down.


I hear ya Kinetic! If you're still remotely at the age to be carded, enjoy it while you can. Believe it or not you'll spend more of your adult life not being carded....anyhoo, on the fake ID front. I don't know if the laws have changed in Nevada since my day but back when I had one in the mid 80's, if the fake ID does resemble the individual. You as a bartender are no longer responsible. It's the fake ID holders responsibility and thier fine. Not the bartenders. I mean if it says "McLovin" on it, there's your sign. :wink: As far as kids being there. I'm totally cool with it if the parents are responsible. I don't have children, but personally if I did, I'd leave them with the grandparents for the week. That's some serious full time responsibility out there that I don't know if I could personally cope with. One of my campmates did witness a Pershing County sherriff ticket a woman because she turned her back for two seconds while her 5 year old wandered off about 20 feet. I thought it a little extreme on the LEO's behalf (ticketed her for child endangerment), however, it is an extreme environment and can really kind of see both sides of the arguement. I also think it depends on the kid. Some kids adjust quickly with thier surroundings, others....not so much. I would have loved it as a kid, but my parents partied their asses off in the day and I would have been left with the grandparents because at least they knew there were going to be times during the event where they didn't want the responsibility.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:18 am

spectabillis wrote:i cant respond to fishy's post very well because i know from previous discussions how strong her need is for security, and commenting could likely invalidate something that might be a personal issue. i can only ask - if you want a safe and stable environment, how isnt it already? and say - if you think children are the best way to achieve something, at least state it as an obtainable goal, admit whats lost without invalidating it, and admit that many people are not prepared to accept an outcome that children unfortunately impose on things.


??????
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Postby Kinetik V » Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:21 am

I didn't get my question about if he's got kids or has taken kids to the event answered either. ????'s indeed!
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Burning Since: 2002
Camp Name: Sanctuary West

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