Handling friends interested in BM?

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

Handling friends interested in BM?

Postby Rezl » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:49 pm

I have a close friend I've known for many years. He was present when I first started learning about BM and has seen me go the last few years.

I recently started working with him and we've become much better friends. He's also expressed a lot of interest in coming out to the event, but he's played the "next year" card a few times in the past. I've also known him for starting projects and jumping ship in the middle of the trip.

He's also an amazing artist. I'd love to have him along, I just don't to encourage him for selfish reasons. I have my own friends out on the playa too, but I get a certain high from seeing my childhood lifemates get all fiery-eyed and mind-blown from the playa.

How do you deal with your own friends? Who either want to go and need support, or don't? and why?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:11 pm

This is a tricky issue. The common wisdom is that if he's not going to make that commitment within himself, that it wont really "gel." I don't know I disagree. From 2002 to 2006 I went, one way or another, for my husband's sake. In 08 it was to prove something to myself, and 2009 it was because for the first time in 08 I had fun. Now I'm having a stupid drama and because I haven't bought my ticket, I'm wavering.

Okay, I'll just put the useful stuff in blue type, I guess.
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Postby Rezl » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:55 pm

Hey fish, thanks for your response.

My girlfriend went for the first time last year as well, for similiar reasons. I think I ended up putting so much work into giving her the best experience I actually wattered it down somewhat.

Maybe I have a complex and I want to re-experience the event through newbie eyes or either exert my more control over my environ.ent.
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Postby Eric » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:19 pm

Rezl wrote:Maybe I have a complex and I want to re-experience the event through newbie eyes or either exert my more control over my environ.ent.


Best way to do that: just follow the newbie, don't lead. Let them adventure & follow along with them, it's amazing the rush you can get. They'll go places & do things you never thought of, and it will bring you back to a fresh experience.
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Re: Handling friends interested in BM?

Postby Fire_Moose » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:21 am

Killl em. we are already over populated
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Postby Jackass » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:10 am

But then who's supposed to help you break camp? I don't think sparks/reno dump takes bodies...Do they??
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Postby flatlander13 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:39 am

I had a friend that became interested in Burning Man 5 years after my first burn. He knew one of our other campmates, so I finally took him. I didn’t see him for most of the burn because he was out having fun.

The next year he went by himself…..he hooked up with someone……..came home…….6 months later left his wife……..got divorced…….moved to San Francisco…….all of which is none of my business.

Many of my friends blame me for my friend leaving his wife…..(which is funny, because his now ex-wife doesn’t blame me)………so, now I don’t get invited to most “eventsâ€
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Postby Savannah » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:54 pm

My tales of the Burn have been sufficient to motivate the two virgins I have traveled with in two different years. One decided without any encouragement on my part, the other got dumped by her fiancé and all I said was "you should come with me to Burning Man . . " and she leaped at the idea. There were no further enticements necessary. Good results both times. Neither were the sparkle pony type, so that helped a lot.

However, if I were unsure of a friend's commitment or emotional/financial (etc) fitness for the event, I would not try to do any convincing at all, & wouldn't risk counting on them for camp labor, cash or camaraderie. Better to be happily surprised by the addition of those things (by a cut-off date you specify, if it would change the nature of your rental or plans, etc) than be disappointed or inconvenienced when they disappear.

The enthusiasm needs to be organic within them, because it's not the world's cushiest vacation. I cannot imagine the irritation and guilt I would feel if I gave someone the hard sell, & then they had a lousy time.

flatlander13, that sucks. You're better off without "friends" like that, but still, that must've hurt. At least the ex-wife is smart enough to realize there's no way in the world it was your fault. Cheating was not invented at the Burn.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:21 pm

Take responsibility about how you talk about BM to your acquaintances. It's not Disneyland, it's hard work, it's dirty and hot, very expensive.... requires enormous committment and dedication.

If they're still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after they hear your horror stories, then you can tell them about the brutally cool art, the community, beer and boobies. :)
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Postby swampdog » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:45 pm

Last year I talked my old friend into coming. He and his wife are the only friends I still keep in touch with from growing-up time. We were teenagers together and we stood best man for each other. We see each other every couple-three years for brief visits.

Burning Man did not go well. 'nuff said - there's a very slim but non-zero chance he reads here. The song lyric that, for me, always had his name on it was this, from Gordon <blush> Lightfoot - "and we talked and we rambled and gambled to win, and the livin' was good"

Sigh.

No, don't talk anyone into it. If they come to you, that's different, but still make sure they are going on their own enthusiasm.

ETA: Bman wasn't great for my friend, but I still had a great time.
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Postby Elorrum » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:47 pm

Friends I've talked to just say EWWWW when I say how hot and dirty it is. I'd like for some of them to experience it, but it's so true you cannot convince somebody to go. It just doesn't work that way. Then my nephews got a bit interested, and I have not encouraged them beyond saying that I think they'd like it. I'm not going to take them. I don't want to take on that responsibility or report to their mother about it. If they can get their money together, and get their kit together, I'd love to see them there, but I hope they finish school and have some grownup skills under their belts before they go. we'll see.
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Postby Savannah » Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:02 pm

Take responsibility about how you talk about BM to your acquaintances. It's not Disneyland, it's hard work, it's dirty and hot, very expensive.... requires enormous committment and dedication.

If they're still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after they hear your horror stories, then you can tell them about the brutally cool art, the community, beer and boobies.


Excellent approach.

I find that showing storm photos ("this here went on for . . . about 7 hours") is a wise thing to do. :)
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:31 pm

I am a firm believer that a lot of people have no business at Burning Man. Hell, I'll go so far as to say MOST people don't have any business being there. Apart from the obvious (i.e. asthematics, sparkle ponies, obnoxious assholes, ultra-liberals or ultra-conservatives, Nazis, yahoos, child molesters, asshats, morons, divas who insist on room service, and over-the-top evangelical preachers) if someone has to be "convenienced" or can't get their shit together in due course, or bitch about the cost or heat or dust or hippies or frat boys or lesbians or weirdos or clowns or the homosexual agenda or not being able to find out how the San Francisco Giants are doing, then by all means encourage them to stay home. In fact, discourage them from even entertaining the thought of coming, because they will have a miserable time. I've gone for the past 11 years and trust me, I've seen about every stripe of knuckle-dragging bozo imaginable out there. Do us all a favor and keep them the hell away.
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Postby thisisthatwhichis » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:06 pm

My goodness, Doc.... I hope you are doing that sermon this year at the meet-n-greet...... God bless you........... :D
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Postby ygmir » Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:14 pm

praise Jeebus, it's doc Pyro

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Postby ibdave » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:57 pm

Doc, The new "Hat".... :shock: :shock: 8)
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Postby ygmir » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:19 pm

I always thought it was a purple helmet.......
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:27 pm

Hay, say what you want, but you know that, for the most part, I impart the truth to the true believers. Now, make those checks payable to Mutual Of Doc.
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Postby archeolojust » Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:28 pm

My best friend in the whole world wants to come with me but the short of it is:

He can't stand heat - gets ornery and becomes a real ass
He doesn't like the outdoors that much
He doesn't like lots of people
He likes to be able to retreat and you can't do that at BM
He always ditches at the last possible minute.

My solution? You have someone who ditches, don't depend on them. If he makes it on his own, he does. If not, don't expect it.

Needless to say this friend isn't coming with me this year.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:25 am

archeolojust wrote:He likes to be able to retreat and you can't do that at BM

I'm going to disagree with this one, or at least partially disagree.
I also need to retreat at times, I'm one of those who hit "overload" pretty easily.
Shade structures help. Not in a dust storm, but being in shade structure during the heat helps. It may not be enough for your friend, and having some camp infrastructure is a must, but people who need to retreat can and do manage it.
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Postby gerlachedNloaded » Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:27 am

leave them at home. go by yourself. period.
i'm nervous as hell to do this my first time solo, but i'd MUCH rather actually enjoy (and possibly even figure out) myself then spend my time listening to bitching and moaning from a drag along.
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Postby flatlander13 » Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:24 am

Hey….Archeolojust……..I don’t think I know you, but your description of your “friendâ€
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:21 am

I use rubber gloves when I handle my friends.
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Postby knowmad » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:08 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:I use rubber gloves when I handle my friends.
ya know a little lube wouldn't hurt. :o but really, I have a prob. Off playa drama with a vegan food Nazi who is .. well nuts. but really makes me think, do I really want to hear "yer not really going to eat that?" right as I roll out a bacon explosion. so the question boils down to Vegan Sparkle ponny, or bacon eating slut. :P
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Postby Fire_Moose » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:11 am

bacon eating slut ALWAYS wins.


on another note, this guy invented a new product this weekend.


it's called Ignore
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Postby archeolojust » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:21 am

[quote="flatlander13"]Hey….Archeolojust……..I don’t think I know you, but your description of your “friendâ€
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Postby curiousgnate » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:33 am

I only will take people who are radically self reliant in the default world. One friend whom i took for the first time in 08 has RA really bad so by taking her i accepted the fact that i would have to load and unload and set up for both of us, even though I have a joint disease that also makes me hurt. Anyway it was great, she made friends immediately as she is a true hugger (i know) and I saw her briefly the whole week. I like it when i don't have to entertain the virgins. I was a little resentful with the packing up, but that was because of the heat. This year I am taking the most self reliant person I know, he is a great friend of 17 years. he has an apocalypse kit just in case. I know he will have a great time. I think that its all in the right people going for the first time for the right reasons, and them being completely over prepared and having little to no expectations, except having an amazing time.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:34 am

archeolojust wrote:He and I live together, he is my best friend in the whole world. But by retreat I mean he doesn't want people anywhere around him at all. He wants to go back to his WoW and hide in his room and have quiet. THAT can't be done at BM. Plus by ornery in the heat, I mean we fight so bad we nearly end our friendship sometimes. He would want to go sit in the tent for the entire period and never leave it except to eat food or pee. Plus he can't pee in public. So there goes that, too. Hah. NOT a burner.


first off, get him off the WoW..maybe switch him over to meth to handle the withdrawals.

Secondly, he wouldn't last more then 10 minutes in his hot-as-shit tent

Thirdly, You shouldn't be peeing in public anyways, that would be pissing on the playa witch can land ya a ticket, they provide port-o-peeholes

Leave him alone with his faggot Alliance friends....I'm assuming he plays alliance because of how lame he sounds.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:35 am

fourthy, dont double post
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Postby FaeTora » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:02 am

I've never been out to the playa so this will be my first year. But when I was explaining to a friend where I was going he got excited and asked to come. I explained their is not a/c, dust and wind are common and its a huge camping trip and I didn't see it being for he. He agreed.

I'm more outdoorsy than most the guys I know. lol.
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