What is better than Burning Man?

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

Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby wh..sh » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Nipple wrote:The mild yelling was ok... it was the implied physical threats that got to me.

:( I can see how saying "strike 2" (with a smile) to the waiter who poured water on us for the second time might have scared you.
Last edited by wh..sh on Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:08 pm

Building on what Mr Badger said, if you have the opportunity to visit a friend on station in the Peace Corps, especially after their first year, you will have a great experience.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby ygmir » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:09 pm

Nipple wrote:The mild yelling was ok... it was the implied physical threats that got to me.


one hopes there was no threat of "whipping with wet noodle" play..........well, threat may be the wrong term...........
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby Candybox » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:36 pm

What a great post. Maybe what you mean is other ways to have peak experiences?

Rather than Peace Corps (2 year commitment, no real choice of country), you can sign up to teach English for a year in pretty much any country you want. Really low work commitment (usually under 20 hours a week), TONS of vacation time (due to following a school / break schedule), and the experience of actually living in a different culture is amazing. You can basically have your pick of any country in Asia that I know of. I ran off to China for a year after college (though to be fair, I'm Chinese-American... but the adventure part still applies).

My favorite thing I did there was go to Lijiang and hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge with my friends. Tiger Leaping Gorge is the tallest / deepest river gorge in the world, and it is a 2 night trip with a stop in a guesthouse along the way.

Another favorite memory of mine is tripping all night in Florence. When my boyfriend and I got there, we'd been robbed and pick-pocketed and utterly defeated, but exploring and being constantly surprised by the vasty vastness of that great city made it all better.

This past year, when we (initially) didn't score tickets to BM, we decided to make it up to ourselves by going on vacation. We went to Death Valley in the spring, rented a Jeep, and went off-roading and camping for the better part of a week. We'd wake up and climb sand dunes and watch the sun rise in the raw and early morning. Every moment was real and every moment was amazing.

Oh, and we topped off that trip with an overnight visit to Slab City. It's sort of like Burning Man. Sort of. But with a high dose of reality.

In essence, it's a squatters colony on an abandoned military testing base, a few miles off the shores of the Salton Sea. Some people live there because they have to, most people because they want to. It's the "last free place in America". There are the really scary looking homesteads, and the amazing.

A big ol' burner had set up an his base there. Shipping containers and solar panels and installation art. A really remarkable permanent desert camp. Called it East Jesus. He passed away last year, but his friends were trying to keep it going. We donated to their IndieGoGo, and as a result they fed us and we spent the night. In the distance we could see the glow of bombs (there's still a testing base nearby).

And the most amazing part about my trip to the slabs was getting to see Salvation Mountain. An old desert prophet spent 30 years building his technicolor monument to God's love. I walked in an atheist and walked out agnostic. Inside, it was so pure, so full of pure naive artistic intent, I wept. Salvation Mountain is pretty much my favorite place in the universe.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby Bob » Thu Sep 27, 2012 12:51 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:
graidawg wrote:...the more i travel the more i find its not where you are its who you are there with that makes the experience.

As the hippies say, "Wherever you go, there you are."


"Wherever you are, there you go again," Tom wrote recursively.

Everything is better than bunringman, because for everyone other than its full-time employees, it's year-round.

I'd hope the difference is that bunringman demands that you bring something to it for others to take away, and I'm not talking about feeble little trinket gifts.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby Desert_Rat » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:30 pm

Already mentioned above: southern Utah. Thirty miles or more from asphalt. Nothing bigger. Nothing better.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby RedHeaven » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:38 pm

I'm a Montana Glacier girl.....I want to go back sooooooooooo bad, before shit melts entirely
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:39 pm

some seeing eye wrote:World travel has had a much larger impact on my thinking and actions.


I agree 100%.

When I finally got out to Burning Man this year, I had done so much research into the event that I came with expectations (shame on me) that fit the actual experience almost exactly. I felt very little of the wonder and astonishment I think most first-timers experience. I had, in effect, cheated myself out of my virgin year at Burning Man.

I've had the great fortune to travel a fair amount as part of my career. Compared to my experiences at, say, Ha Long Bay in Viet Nam or World's View in Zimbabwe, my raw response to Burning Man didn't register as much more than a blip on the emotional radar. I enjoyed my time very much, but overall I was more comfortable than swept off my feet.

I regret that.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby misfit » Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:48 pm

RedHeaven wrote:Anyone ever see that big event in Europe where it's like a week long adult spring break like beach camp out rave? Can't remember the name.....looks.....not my thing ;)


The Brighton Festival Fringe
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby graidawg » Thu Sep 27, 2012 2:17 pm

misfit wrote:
RedHeaven wrote:Anyone ever see that big event in Europe where it's like a week long adult spring break like beach camp out rave? Can't remember the name.....looks.....not my thing ;)


The Brighton Festival Fringe


glatonbury, reading, virgin the secret garden party - the UK is full of festivals
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby Candybox » Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:58 pm

BoyScoutGirl wrote:When I finally got out to Burning Man this year, I had done so much research into the event that I came with expectations (shame on me) that fit the actual experience almost exactly. I felt very little of the wonder and astonishment I think most first-timers experience. I had, in effect, cheated myself out of my virgin year at Burning Man.


That is just too bad. I went to my first burn almost on a whim. I had no idea what to expect besides some the basic survival guide stuff. I didn't even know there was such a thing as art cars, never mind that you can ride them. Didn't know about events or classes either.

The entire week, I was in a state of having my mind constantly blown.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby BBadger » Thu Sep 27, 2012 9:50 pm

Candybox wrote:
BoyScoutGirl wrote:When I finally got out to Burning Man this year, I had done so much research into the event that I came with expectations (shame on me) that fit the actual experience almost exactly. I felt very little of the wonder and astonishment I think most first-timers experience. I had, in effect, cheated myself out of my virgin year at Burning Man.


That is just too bad. I went to my first burn almost on a whim. I had no idea what to expect besides some the basic survival guide stuff. I didn't even know there was such a thing as art cars, never mind that you can ride them. Didn't know about events or classes either.

The entire week, I was in a state of having my mind constantly blown.


Hell yeah!

I arrived without any clue about what it really was. I had heard about BM long ago, but my impressions of it were mixed up with the Rainbow Family gathering and other such gatherings, so I thought it was just a bunch of dirty, weirdo hippies, who shit in ditches, hanging around in the desert holding hands in a circle watching some straw-baled "Man" burn while chanting Kumbaya--or something like that. Later when a friend mentioned his adventure, about working a bar and seeing some people dressed as cows storm the place and mooing, I thought it was just a crazy place but mostly made of a big bunch of camps that you wandered between like state fair booths. Another friend who I actually visited with didn't say a single word about the experience (his gift to me!), so it was still new.

Essentially I went in blind, and left blinded. So don't show any picture, video, detailed stories or anything expectation-providing to anyone you intend on bringing!
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby MacGlenver » Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:30 am

BBadger wrote:Essentially I went in blind, and left blinded. So don't show any picture, video, detailed stories or anything expectation-providing to anyone you intend on bringing!


Great advice that I didnt follow before going, nor did I keep the pics away from my virgin friends before they went. That said, their minds were still blown, and my virgin year (last year) was still mind blowing for me. I had worried that I over-prepared and wouldnt be impressed, but, luckily, that didnt happen.

wh..sh wrote:To me, it's almost sad when people are unable to see beauty and life outside BM.
Personally, some of my best time offs was not even at BM...


Agreed. I certainly see beauty outside bman, and I love a great range of experiences. I think Candybox put my intention well by saying I'm searching for what others have found to be "peak experiences" so that I (and others) might have them as well. I tend to be a pretty emotionally detatched person, so I don't often have experiences that profoundly impact me or make me consider changing anything I do. Many of these great events/experiences are only discovered through word of mouth or the friends one associates with, so I wanted to expedite the discovery process. It almost feels like cheating :).

Thanks for all the great comments, everyone. Just what I was hoping for.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby Snow » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:47 pm

Nevada Test Site, they really know how to blow shit up there (yes I've been there)
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:59 am

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Maybe the waning of the summer has its introspective spirit.

Imagine that you have visited a museum, in which you looked at a painting by Monet. His way of seeing and capturing light on canvas captivated you. Subconciously you realized that the world is more full of magic and beauty that you ever conceived, but conciously all you can think of is Monet-worship. Now, in your mind, you must return to that museum again and again, and look upon that painting again and again. If that museum mounts a special Monet show, you go berserk and evangelize all of your friends.

The reality is that you have been shown a new way of seeing the world. It's not about Monet, or about the museum.

You know what I am saying here. The magic of Burning Man is that it takes us outside of our flawed culture, and suggests that there may be another way. For each of us, I suppose the definition of "another way" may differ. But I would hesitate to equate Burning Man with any tourist expedition. Admit it, it's a life-changing experience. So, your life has been changed. Fucking act like it.
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Re: What is better than Burning Man?

Postby MacGlenver » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:13 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Maybe the waning of the summer has its introspective spirit.

Imagine that you have visited a museum, in which you looked at a painting by Monet. His way of seeing and capturing light on canvas captivated you. Subconciously you realized that the world is more full of magic and beauty that you ever conceived, but conciously all you can think of is Monet-worship. Now, in your mind, you must return to that museum again and again, and look upon that painting again and again. If that museum mounts a special Monet show, you go berserk and evangelize all of your friends.

The reality is that you have been shown a new way of seeing the world. It's not about Monet, or about the museum.

You know what I am saying here. The magic of Burning Man is that it takes us outside of our flawed culture, and suggests that there may be another way. For each of us, I suppose the definition of "another way" may differ. But I would hesitate to equate Burning Man with any tourist expedition. Admit it, it's a life-changing experience. So, your life has been changed. Fucking act like it.


Well put, and I fully admit that my life has been changed by Burning Man. Thank you for that explanation, I think it is right on point.

I am a pretty tough rock to move, though, in terms of my habits, typical ways of thinking/interacting with people, etc. The changes to how I think & act have been noticeable, but somewhat limited. I know I have more room to grow. I want to strengthen and cement the new way of thinking that I've touched so that it doesnt fade into some distant memory. Finding new and similar experiences will help me do that. The friends I've made and kept are a big part of that too. I didnt have any real problem with who I was before, but I really like who I am becoming.
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