Is Burning Man dead?

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

Postby Parasitoid » Fri May 28, 2010 4:12 pm

to answer your question... yes, that is selfish
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Postby AntiM » Sat May 29, 2010 6:35 am

bm_cricket wrote:
gyre wrote:I wouldn't stereotype the rainbows too much.


Thank you,
Last year I camped with 4 Rainbow gatherers. I got a little tired of their tinctures and alters of protection but they knew how to take care of themselves and they respected people and the environment. I make fun of them to no end but they did contribute to Burning Man. Just not the way I did. It takes all kinds.


I just haven't met too many good ones then. I'm certain there are good individuals out there, and I'm willing to change my views, but my experiences say otherwise at this time. I'm not exactly in love with all burners either.

Just sayin' there's some ideas about "community" in the two cultures which can be at odds, usually over material goods and sharing. Is my experience less valid because we have enough money to pay our way and be very comfortable? Does that mean I must support those who have less?

Anyway, the excessive amount of "crap"? That's where the technology comes in, people talk about the crap more, and raise awareness of it. Word of mouth may spawn rumors just as well, but doesn't spread them as well. Whether it be rumor or fact, more people hear it and repeat it. Hence more crap? More awareness of crap on the playa which would have gone blissfully unnoticed if not preconceived?

As for volunteers, well, sure they could be paid, but wouldn't that alter the event too? Paid flunkies holds a very clear social meme. Volunteering provides a deep perception of ownership of the event. A mind game with a desired outcome? Or people who truly do enjoy pitching in and making things better?

That's why I'm here every day.
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Postby gyre » Sat May 29, 2010 4:11 pm

Chances are you have met many.
You usually won't know if you don't ask.

I even met one burner in my camp in the mountains.
It was the guy with the loudest curtains on the planet.

And there are plenty of idiot burners with magickal thinking.

The only universals I see at rainbow gatherings is live music, including tubas in the rain forest, and most are vegetarian.
And the strong moral conviction that it is wrong to pay for access to federal land.

Some of the best sculptors I know go to the gatherings and they won't go to burning man, in spite of an intense interest in the art, because of the moral objection to compromising with the authorities.

And I am sure that we have an easier time because the government know the alternative approach they take is always an option.
Effectively, they are the thin, stubborn wedge that makes burning man possible.

If any of the hardcore rainbow folks make it out, they would be compulsively volunteering, as usual.

The rainbow events do have a totally different paradigm of sharing that makes burning man seem quite selfish to them, if they show up without knowing how different it is.

And you may not be aware of this, but they have a ghetto that they refer anyone that is too much trouble to, usually for heavy drinking.
Shrieker girl (wtf) would have definitely been thrown out of my camp.
Camps vary a lot.
Mine tolerated a fair amount of drinking, mostly beer, as long as people were sane.
My meat eating was ignored, though the canned manatee wasn't really considered acceptable.

The people I meet at the burn that do both, I would never have guessed.
I am sure there are exceptions.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Sat May 29, 2010 5:15 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM975_Ld9S0[/youtube]


RIP Burning Man!
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Postby Playa Foot » Sat May 29, 2010 5:34 pm

Burning Man has been going to hell ever since the first one was held on Stinson Beach and the Man was made of kelp.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Sun May 30, 2010 10:29 pm

Playa Foot wrote:Burning Man has been going to hell ever since the first one was held on Stinson Beach and the Man was made of kelp.
I guess you approve!
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Postby rangerLEO » Mon May 31, 2010 3:21 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6Lq771TVm4[/youtube]
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Postby rangerLEO » Mon May 31, 2010 3:47 pm

Image
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Postby MyPlayaUserName » Tue Jun 01, 2010 12:24 am

Burning Man isn't dead as long as there are people like us who are there for something more than a party...but then i am also torn by this idea, because i believe burning man IS open to an individual's interpretation, and if someone sees it as a massive rave (exactly what i try to tell people it isn't) well, they have a right to see it their way. but as long as people are going for other reasons, it will exist for those reasons. the magic of burning man is creating our own reality. Well, for me at least :)
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Postby lambert13 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:42 am

I first heard of Burning Man back in the late 90s. I was a late teenage raver back then who thought it would be cool to go to that "big rave out in the desert". I had no idea about the survival guide or any of that important stuff because I never really looked into it. At the time, it just sounded like a neat rave.

I never made it out there back then.

Fast forward 15 years or so and now I have a renewed interest in going. I am a different and hopefully more mature person with different reasons for wanting to go for my first time. I want to see the art. I want to meet interesting people. I want to see lots of fire breathing blinky shit. Hell, I did not even bring the idea to go up. My Father called me one day asking if I wanted to go to Burning Man with him. We were going to go this year, but My wife and I just had our first kid a month ago. I am far too into being a dad right now to go hang out in the desert for a week. Next year is the plan. Mom and daughter might even get a spa week in Reno to sweeten the deal of me going to play in the sand.

Burning Man has changed. I have changed. It took all this time for us to meet in the middle.
It's pointless to walk when it's past time to run.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:02 am

If a man burned on the playa nobody say it happen.... ?
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Postby Ranger Genius » Tue Jun 01, 2010 10:17 am

That's the second time today I've seen someone refer to the contents of the playa as "sand." Seriously, it's like sifted flour. It's not sand at all.
“We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.”
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Postby rangerLEO » Tue Jun 01, 2010 2:26 pm

i'd say it's more closely related to sand than flour. flour is made of cereal grains, other seeds, or roots.
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Postby peacefulhuman » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:03 pm

Having wanted to go to BM for the last 16 years, this will be my first year, and I am consumed with thoughts about finally getting out there. Because of this, I have spent the better part of the last week reviewing hundreds of posts here on ePlaya, trying to get information, suggestions, tips, etc. I have seen several posts from people who wrote about situations that were (I will lump them together in one general descriptive term and call them) "negative". Either "negative" experiences with individuals, or "negative" views of what BM has become, things like that.

I am often reminded by a mountainous man with white hair that "nothing is good or bad until we so say". And when I am reminded of this, I think back on the times when others have told me things like, "Oh, man, you're gonna work with so-and-so? He's SUCH a dick!" or "Don't go to such-and-such-place, it's way overrated and totally sucks!" or "God she's a bitch, don't turn your back on her for a minute"... I invariably find out that these people --while probably justified in their views-- have completely different experiences than I do. And to take their judgments as "fact" prior to my own investigation does not serve me. I have found that often, what one perceives in or "gets" out of a situation is largely affected by what one brings to that situation in the first place.

I could take all the commentary about BM here to heart and let it color my perception - or I could choose to reduce my expectations about something I've never done and wait to experience it firsthand. I will likely experience it in my own way that might be great, might be terrible, but will be of little interest to others in any case. The bottom line is that I am the one who decides if it is great or terrible - for me.

But I keep reading these posts because many of you provide helpful information and useful insight, and damn, some of you folks just crack me up. I can't wait to meet you.

Well, most of you.

Some of you.

You there. :lol:
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Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:12 pm

There is no thing good nor bad but thinking makes it so.........william shakespere.
"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me
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Postby AntiM » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:22 pm

Yep. Nothing more than a dusty camping trip.

I think some of the attitude originates with folks who have never been who build up huge expectations of joy and enlightenment and non-stop peace and love, and they are bitter when disappointed. Or those who cannot recapture the amazing feelings of the first year experience. Or ... well, some expectation has not been met.

I expected little the first year, I knew nothing of the eplaya, I knew no burners. I only had the main site, the survival guide and the article in Via magazine. I had no idea I would someday think of Burning Man daily for a decade, that I would take up art again, make lifelong friends, identify personal ideals, live a burnery life (however sedentary and mundane).

Yep. Just an endless dusty camping trip.
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Postby FaeTora » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:29 pm

As I have stated time and time again, I have never been on the Playa. I don't know the ins and outs and all that of Burning Man like the vets do. I just know the basics. I am planning it like an extensive camping trip and what does or does not happen, happens. I have seen some pictures and gotten a few tips for prepwork to make sure I have all I need and will not be a drain on the community. I see no point in make extensive plans or to say it is or is not something. Everyone I talk to has a different experience.

Personally, I first heard of Burning Man when I was in high school. Some kids I knew where talking about this big party in the desert with all the booze you could consume and more. I told them to have fun and went about my day. That wasn't my scene. Then about two years ago, I was sitting in the ICU waiting room and the kids of the lady who is like my mom were on their computers looking at these massive tents. I asked why one would need a tent that large and they explained that they were going to Burning Man again. I am a curious person who thinks textbooks are SEXY so I asked what it was. The thing that struck me most was the art and the respect they had for not just the land and each other but their fellow man who they did not know. This mixture of self-reliance and gifting was fasinating.

I was once given a great gift of food as a starving child and can not and do not want to shake the desire to help others every day. I know the massive impact a small gesture can give because I was given so many though they may never know how much they have impacted my life.

Now on my first trip I get to bring someone home for the last time. And though I do want to see it all, I'm not going to party all night and day, just going to see the "strangeness", to mooch off people, or just to say I've been. I honestly don't know what will happen to me on the Playa or if I will have his massive yearn so many describe to me when I leave. But I do know I have lived for 27 years with only one regret and not going would be one more.

I don't know what Burning Man is like out there or how it will change in the future or how it has changed this year, but I do know I am going with an open mind and heart and I am willing to see where that takes me.

Yours Truly,

Another Newbie Outsider[/b]
We break to remind us how to mend.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:25 pm

rangerLEO wrote:i'd say it's more closely related to sand than flour. flour is made of cereal grains, other seeds, or roots.

Dang, you weren't privileged to eat stalinist bread. Or the pancakes at Apokalyptika.
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


Get a Taint, you pathetic cur!
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Postby swampdog » Thu Jun 03, 2010 8:01 pm

Years ago I asked a friend of my in-laws if he thought all the big hotels going into the area of Hawaii that he lived in was good or bad for the area. He said, "You know, everyone always wants to be the last haole in to Hawaii." Every desirable place or event changes as more people come, and not always for the better. Some people move away or stop coming because "it's not like it was". Still other people START coming because however changed ("degraded", if you like) the place or event is, it still beats the hell out of where ever they come from.

Some places/events maintain a high level of desirability for decades (San Francisco) and some come and go with the rain.

So: Go, don't go. I don't care. Burning Man is (still) a valuable and important place for this old fart. I really don't give a rat's ass if you think I'm a tourist or a contributor. Maybe I'm trying to relive my youth. Maybe I'm trying to open my seventh chakra. Maybe I'm only here for the beer. Maybe I come because it's the only place I know of where I can cry. Maybe I just want to get laid and haven't figured out yet that it would be a WHOLE lot cheaper and easier to just go to the Bunny Ranch. But that's really not any of your business. I'm here, and I'm staying.

I work pretty hard to help Burning Man to be stronger. I try to contribute more every year I come. I could do more. I'm glad to talk about what could make it stronger. But dead? Dying? Not to me.
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Postby Playa Foot » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:10 pm

Yes, Virginia, as long as there are people willin to pay $300 for a week in the God forsaken desert, and as long as there are ravers who are attracted to anything shiny, and as long as there are pyros who get turned on by the sight of something burning there Will be a Burning Man. Yes, Virginia, there is a Larry Harvey and yes, Virginia, there is a Burning Man.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:28 am

Find your comfort in knowing that it will be worse next year.
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Postby swampdog » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:39 am

Next year was better.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:10 am

i heard that 3 burns from now is gonna be better then 8 burns ago
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YES

Postby Zona » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:14 pm

Yes Burning Man is dead, because something is going to happen, and too many people will want to go in one year.

You heard it here first.
Laika and me went on a ride.
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Postby Mojori » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:26 am

rangerLEO wrote:. . .
keep in mind that burning man is for-profit corporation. your volunteer efforts may please you, but they primarily benefit the corporation by helping to make burning man a greater spectacle. it's this spectacle that attracts greater press and attention and increases ticket sales (more yahoos).


What an intriguing and informative observation. Depressing, but still intriguing and informative. It puts into greater focus an amorphously cynical feeling I have been having for some time about the profiteering that goes on at this ostensibly volunteer-based, anti-commodification event.
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

- Epicurus
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Re: Is Burning Man dead?

Postby The Drifter » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:16 pm

After having attended Burning Man for many years I'm sad to say that I agree. 2009 was especially bad for police harassment and nasty people going for free handouts and to steal. In fact my message board once dedicated to loving Burning Man has become more of an anti-Burning Man board.

http://shoestringvagabond.activeboard.com/index.spark?aBID=128826&subForumID=465987&p=2

I too would LOVE to have my mind eased that Burning Man is as great as ever. But my heart tells me the party is over.

Ashta wrote:Organized bike theft rings.
Nevada state laws.
Police enforcement on every corner.
Undercover narcotics officers ON MY BUS.
Drunken Fraternity Fucks in for the weekend (lets go make fun of those hippies, and see if we can get some hairy poon!)

Facebook albums.
Facebook groups.
Facebook announcements.
Facebook comments.
Facebook photos posted with no privacy settings.

THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of un-permitted photos surfacing online for the world to see....
It was said that if you're taking photos at Burning Man, and once you have them developed, you should show them to your family and friends (at your discretion) in the privacy of your own living room (or the like).

With the advent of public social media forums, and the fact that photos dont get developed anymore (in fact, they are just bits if easily copied information, now as opposed to a Physical Something) and careless privacy settings, I fear Burning Man is getting into the wrong hands.

I used to be so excited whenever I would begin telling my stories of Burning Man. Now I don't tell those stories at all. I dont want one additional person to show up there.
Is this selfish?

I have hope for the Human Person... but in the meantime, I can't help but wonder:

Is it dead?

What do you think?
Please PLEASE someone ease my mind about the demise of this great place...
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Postby alt12 » Sun Jul 18, 2010 10:31 pm

I don't know if burning man is dead or not, but I've been going since '03 and 2009 was my best burn yet.... A couple of years earlier I almost threw in the towel due to the tremendous amount of effort involved to make it all happen....but I'm glad I didn't.

I try not to analyze the trends but take each year as a separate event with a completely unique experience. Some years are shitty, some are amazing deep spiritual experiences, some years are bland and uninspiring, and everything in between.... Essentially, I try not to have expectations.

I'm back this year and fuck who knows how its going to go down? I hope it is another amazing life-changing experience but am also cognizant that it could be a total clusterfuck or a hohum experience.


ps - I can't help but analyze the trends on eplaya though and it seems to me that there has been noticeable increase in fear, judgement, and anger that I can't help but think are related to the current economic uncertainty and divisive political environment in our nation....
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Postby Masqued1 » Mon Jul 19, 2010 3:54 pm

Is Burning Man Dead? God, I certainly hope not!

This year will be my first and I would certainly be disappointed to find that that the acceptance and community that seem to characterize BRC are no more.

My friends (whom I love, chill, and spin with when I'm home) have been giving these earth shattering, "my life has changed" reports, and as a result of the impact it's had on them, I feel like I've already been touched by the playa.

A close friend of mine who's been going for the past 3 years recently wrote a note on (brace yourself) Facebook describing his experience and encouraging people to go. I already had my tic, but the quote he ended with has been stuck in my head ever since.

"You'll know when you're free when you no longer have to be you."

He wrote this whole essay about his feeling that Burning Man was an event at which he could truly escape the confines of his socially constructed identity, truly be himself, and as a result, truly connect and give to the people around him.

I'm certainly hoping to experience something similar to this. But, I do understand that the people who are going to be there are just that: People. I don't expect everyone I encounter there to be some highly enlightened being with no preconceived notions and motives forged of gold; I just hope that the majority of people there will try.

What troubles me the most is not the idea that a huge pile of fratty, thieving, mooching, pervs will flash my picture as a distraction while they steal my bike. I don't know, maybe it should be. What troubles me is that there seems to be a lot of experienced burners here who are putting a great deal of time and energy into judging participants they don't feel live up to there ideals.

I understand it's frustrating to have people who don't take something seriously or share your views shit on your good time, but, not a lot of people are going to Burning Man who don't really want to be there. I think a lot of people go because they're hoping to find something beyond the normal crap of our daily interaction. I don't really see how anyone will be able to find it while constantly sniffing for "unburnery" burners.

So anyway, I'm writing this long ass post to say, I think it will be hard for the spirit of burning man to die if there's thousands of people going every year and living it; keeping it alive. But hoping to guard the playa from unclean hands and moaning about the fact that the event is growing, that just seems to be driving the steak in to me.

All this from a total noob, but I kinda hope it will serve to help ease your mind Astha.
"We are all one. And if we don't know it, we will learn it the hard way."-Bayard Rustin
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Postby robrob » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:43 pm

So anyway, I'm writing this long ass post to say, I think it will be hard for the spirit of burning man to die if there's thousands of people going every year and living it; keeping it alive. But hoping to guard the playa from unclean hands and moaning about the fact that the event is growing, that just seems to be driving the steak in to me.


i'm a n00b too, though i've had burners in and out of my life for the past 15 years or so. One thing that seems to never change is how much "better" burning man used to be :)

Personally, i'd rather look at figjam's thread about building a homemade swamp cooler in his backyard (or any other cool/interesting/informative thing) than participate in a circle jerk about the glory days. But to each his own :)
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Postby bm_cricket » Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:10 pm

robrob wrote:.....than participate in a circle jerk about the glory days. But to each his own :)


Well put. My camp motto is "It was always better next year." Maybe that's because we always make huge plans for unattainable projects. ;-)
)'(
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