My first years were 91 and 92. Ehhh, I think 91 was the first year on the playa in Black Rock Desert. I then managed to somehow stay away for nine years and returned in 01 and again in 02. 03 was filled with a few of lifes larger lessons and so I took last year off from BM.
So,,, given that everytime I have gone has been magical in one way or another (burn night in 91 and 01 were off the charts magical), I have to say that I totally appreciate what BM has morphed into,,, yahoo's and all.
Way back, the event, I feel, was a bit more dangerous. There was no entrance to speak of, you just pointed your vehicle towards the middle of the playa "until you see the light of the man," camps were spread out, there were no streets, vehicles were driving/racing around freely, gun use was not an issue but then again it was. Uncontrolled chaos if you will,,, but the participants mostly kept it together. It was not an environment for the weak, still isn't in many regards, and yahoos were a much smaller portion or percentage of the BM population.
So after nine years it was a pleasant surprise to see BRC's infrastructure; the streets with signs, center camp (COFFEE!!!), all of the wonderful peeps that give their time to BM in one way or another, MEDICAL FACILITIES, etc. etc.... I feel that having all this allows people to become much more participatory with their art and music and whatever. It is now a controlled chaos and again, I feel this is a good thing, yahoos and all. If at least one yahoo becomes enlightened, so to speak, while attending and becomes more aware of what BM is about (of course what BM is about is different to all), and becomes a PARTICIPANT in the process, then we can all feel proud of that fact. That is a portion of what BM has morphed into,,, turning peeps on to a different way of thinking about themselves and others. The BRC infrastructure helps a bigger percentage of attendees to GET IT... Thus, future burners...
SO,,, getting on to Stuarts original post/question here:
This reversal scenario is quite interesting. Same gripes different polarity, I would think.
This reminds me of reading about the great '"Boomtowns"' or the great '"Industrial mecca's"' here in the united states. These towns/cities grew very rapidly. Then when resources evaporated or when the great industrialists began to die off, these towns/cities did exactly the same thing. Thus we now have ghost towns and cities that seem like ghost towns. The inhabitants of these towns/cities talk of the prosperous days with kind regard. Ask them what their town/city is like currently and they may still hold much love for it only now it is bittersweet as things have become more difficult.
Is BurningMan following this same pattern, or will the event have staying power like some of the other great world parties like Carnival, Oktoberfest, Mardi Gras??????? Hmmmmmm,,,,,,,