Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

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Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:34 pm

This year was my first burn, and while I loved every minute of it, I have to say I loved Sunday through Wednesday a hell of a lot more. Waiting in line and building my 2,300 square foot camp in the dark were more enjoyable than a lot of what I saw Saturday night. It started around Thursday when the city pop started not only to grow, but to shift. The people coming in seemed less friendly and the amount of MOOP I started to see exploded much faster than the population did.

In getting back home and talking about Burning Man to a few friends at work, I attracted the attention of a few coworkers who seemed interested for all the wrong reasons. They asked me questions about the event and I somewhat reluctantly gave honest answers. My worst fears were confirmed when the conversation ended with something to the effect of "Damn, that sounds awesome, but I would never go the whole week, probably just the last weekend."

I know that as a relatively new burner myself it would be pretty hypocritical to bemoan the growth of the city year to year, but has there ever been any thought or discussion put in to filtering out (or at least discouraging/"informing") certain types of attendees with "late" entry policies?

Personally I'd be okay with them posting signs in Empire/Gerlach and cutting off the line there on Wednesday night and leaving the gate shut to newcomers for the remainder, but then I'm strangely bitter as I write this while reflecting back on the number of empty beer cans I found Saturday night. Still, I think something as small as charging a late-entry "surcharge" could go a long way to at least sending out a message to the "frat" types that tend to show up late.

It could start small and ramp up, say $5 a person for late arrivals on Thursday before noon, $10 Thursday evening, $20 Friday morning, $50 Friday night, $100 Saturday morning.

My goal isn't to punish burners who might not be able to attend as long as they'd like because of work/family obligations, but to send a message to people who view the event as one big party. When you aren't forced to plan to survive for a week in the desert I think you view TTITD as less of a home and more of a destination. As a result you don't have even short term LNT-sustainability on your mind. Similarly, you aren't contributing as much to the community, you're a drain on its resources.

The late entry fee would simply put it in their heads that showing up late is frowned upon while the surcharge money could be spent to increase portopotty service, water truck service, restoration, etc so that the late comers have less of an impact on the people who started calling the city home 5-10 days prior.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby VultureChow » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:50 pm

According to the census, fewer than 5% of the total population arrives after Wednesday.

Early arrival does not mean one is more conscientious of playa protocol. My personal theory on the escalating craziness of Thursday, Friday and Saturday is:
a)Acclimation - This first 24-72 hours can be tough, even for experienced burners. So quiet shady drinking is the best thing on earth.
b)Apocalypse - Friday and/or Saturday night, there is no need or desire to hold back anymore. The food must be eaten, the drink must be drunk. The event literally burns down over the next two days. So it's drink all you can, dance all you can while you watch the world burn.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:12 pm

VultureChow wrote:According to the census, fewer than 5% of the total population arrives after Wednesday.

Early arrival does not mean one is more conscientious of playa protocol. My personal theory on the escalating craziness of Thursday, Friday and Saturday is:
a)Acclimation - This first 24-72 hours can be tough, even for experienced burners. So quiet shady drinking is the best thing on earth.
b)Apocalypse - Friday and/or Saturday night, there is no need or desire to hold back anymore. The food must be eaten, the drink must be drunk. The event literally burns down over the next two days. So it's drink all you can, dance all you can while you watch the world burn.


I find this hard to believe, and deeply depressing since I know you're probably right. 5%? Wow... Even as the world burns, there's no sense in fanning the flames. Is not throwing empty beer cans on the ground really such a difficult concept?
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Savannah » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:13 pm

I don't find it hard to believe at all.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby VultureChow » Mon Oct 14, 2013 1:34 pm

Well to be fair, the census is probably self selecting to a certain extent. But Gate and/or greeters could tell you how relatively few late arrivals there are.

In the most recent discussion of the MOOP map, either Eric or Trilo mentioned seeing pre-event moop. Beer cans littering the playa even though those who are there early are supposed to be the most knowledgeable and die-hard builders of the city.

To clarify, I don't think people are consciously making the decision to toss the beer can because they figure the event is over soon and who cares? But inhibitions are down and its easy to forget the rules. Even your own rules.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:26 pm

I notice a more carnival/gawker atmosphere as the weekend arrives. I really love the early week also. I kind of see it as the people with art and the spirit to give show up early, the tourist show up for the weekend. The census is filled out by the more engaged, so, yeah, it's self-selecting. Guys showing up on Friday to ogle tits might not have taken the time to fill out a census form. Personally I do my best to discourage late arrivals by already being there when they show.

I was going to say something about, yes, there is a system in place to discourage late arrivals; it's called the greeters, but they also discourage all arrivals.

But I now know better, love the greeters!
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:28 pm

VultureChow wrote:In the most recent discussion of the MOOP map, either Eric or Trilo mentioned seeing pre-event moop. Beer cans littering the playa even though those who are there early are supposed to be the most knowledgeable and die-hard builders of the city.


I know I did, Trilo may have as well.

This is not a new discussion or complaint - you hear people bitch about "weekenders" all the time, I've heard that complaint since I started going in 2003 (along with people loving the event up to Weds or Thurs, before it "changes"). Sorry, those weekenders have as much a right to be there as you, and just because their life or job doesn't permit them to attend the whole week. or even the fact that they just don't want to attend that long, is no reason to punish them for not being able to attend longer. Besides, if you think about it, they already are paying a surcharge just to come for a few days - they still had to buy a full price ticket, and there's no discount because you can't attend the whole thing. They paid as much as you for half (or less) the time out there.

FossaFerox wrote:In getting back home and talking about Burning Man to a few friends at work, I attracted the attention of a few coworkers who seemed interested for all the wrong reasons.

[snip]

My goal isn't to punish burners who might not be able to attend as long as they'd like because of work/family obligations, but to send a message to people who view the event as one big party.


THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO BURN* - there is only the way a person chooses to Burn. People who see the event as "one big party" have as much right to be there as someone who thinks it's the redemption of the fallen world (hell, I fit a lot tighter into the "party" aspect on playa than I do the "redemption" aspect: I go to have fun). You're co-workers didn't have "the wrong reasons", they have different reasons than you. You don't have to camp with them, why they are there isn't your concern. The MOOP is a problem, but as you can see from the MOOP map, it's becoming less of a problem as time goes on because people who do come again (usually) learn how to keep it down. Public shaming for MOOP is fine, telling someone else how to Burn is ... not so much.


*as long as you're not harming the person or property of another
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Savannah » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:46 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:I was going to say something about, yes, there is a system in place to discourage late arrivals; it's called the greeters, but they also discourage all arrivals.

But I now know better, love the greeters!


*wishes you into the Cornfield*
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby VultureChow » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:48 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:I notice a more carnival/gawker atmosphere as the weekend arrives. I really love the early week also. I kind of see it as the people with art and the spirit to give show up early, the tourist show up for the weekend. The census is filled out by the more engaged, so, yeah, it's self-selecting. Guys showing up on Friday to ogle tits might not have taken the time to fill out a census form. Personally I do my best to discourage late arrivals by already being there when they show.


I still say it's way less than the common perception. Even if it was say 10%, 90% should be enough to moderate the atmosphere. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights are when the big burns and events are held. The big name DJs. The big themed parties. More people are out and about. The camp that got there Tuesday midday might finally be ready to hit the city rather than just chill with their neighbors.

It's human to look for "the other" to blame. It's the weekender, the frat guys, the virgins. But society doesn't work that way. The monsters live among us. The serial killer is the deacon next door. The rapist is one of your brother's friends. The playa pooper is that awesome guy who serves ice cream.

Maybe I'm a bit sensitive to it because I was prepping for my first burn during the ticketpocalypse that was 2012. A very, very common sentiment expressed (and still expressed) was that too many virgins would spoil the broth. The subtext was that virgins are not as worthy of the tickets as the veterans. That we bring bad things into the city and culture. I'm glad I went. I hoped I contributed more than I took. But Burning Man loses when people think they are not welcome. You never know what they could have brought.

Weekenders too.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:58 pm

Savannah wrote:*wishes you into the Cornfield*


but...but....I'm on your side now in this best of all possible worlds! oh....that's the problem........
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:04 pm

VultureChow wrote:It's human to look for "the other" to blame. It's the weekender, the frat guys, the virgins. But society doesn't work that way. The monsters live among us. The serial killer is the deacon next door. The rapist is one of your brother's friends. The playa pooper is that awesome guy who serves ice cream.

Maybe I'm a bit sensitive to it because I was prepping for my first burn during the ticketpocalypse that was 2012. A very, very common sentiment expressed (and still expressed) was that too many virgins would spoil the broth. The subtext was that virgins are not as worthy of the tickets as the veterans. That we bring bad things into the city and culture. I'm glad I went. I hoped I contributed more than I took. But Burning Man loses when people think they are not welcome. You never know what they could have brought.

Weekenders too.


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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:08 pm

I get what you're saying, Eric, and well I understand that everyone's burn is different I really do believe that there are varying degrees of "wrong" as far as burns go. The 10 principles exist for a reason, after all.

That being said, I didn't mean to discourage partying. Heck, I raged well past sunrise both Wednesday and Saturday night, but destructive, disrespectful partying is another matter entirely. I'm talking about the kind of partying that in the default world would consist of someone's house party getting crashed and the place being trashed so badly that the building has to be condemned.

Now, admittedly when I think of the dreaded weekender I call to mind an exaggerated caricature who doesn't even know much less abide by the 10 principles.

Still, there is no denying that as the week progresses and these people show up "self reliance" turns to "selfishness" while "radical inclusion" and "leave no trace" fade away dramatically. This is largely because these people do exist and do show up in greater numbers on the weekend without understanding that they simply aren't getting what the burn is supposed to be.

I cringe when I use phrasing like that. "Supposed to be" sounds very prescriptive, but again, there are 10 principles for a reason. I get and embrace a certain level of anarchy, but you can have community and responsibility alongside it without harshing your buzz, mellowing your harsh, or losing whatever other mindset you're after.

Circumstantial case:

A large theme camp had reserved the space next to our camp which sat empty through Wednesday. The section started filling Thursday with mostly RVs and included one brazen vehicle that used some of our greywater and blackwater bottles to tie down a canopy without asking. The space emptied out mostly before the temple burn, and in the process they left a 12v deep-cycle lead-acid battery that was audibly hissing and leaking battery acid sitting on the playa surface. We only found it Monday morning at about 3 AM when we were doing our camp's final MOOP walk-through since we noticed they also left stakes and caution tape all around their perimeter. We were scared to touch it and tracked down a ranger to deal with it (no easy task at that time), but this is who I think of when I think of weekenders...

As for what the weekenders bring, what is someone who shows up on Saturday going to contribute? One more body on the dance floor?
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby VultureChow » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:26 pm

FossaFerox wrote:As for what the weekenders bring, what is someone who shows up on Saturday going to contribute? One more body on the dance floor?


Yes. Or no. Who cares?

The playa is full of artists and none of us make our art for no one to see and appreciate. My most meaningful moment my virgin year was two Rangers who stopped by and thanked me for my ridiculous art project as I was taking it down.

This year? Grabbing a virgin who asked for directions, introducing her to the death camp and basically spiriting her off on the mobile whore house.

You don't have to build something, or sing something, or hand out physical gifts to contribute. You could spend a week there and leave an immaculate campsite and still add nothing to the event. Or you could show up for 36 hours to shake your furry hot pink ass and absolutely make someone's burn when you offer them a hug on a lonely night in the deep playa.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:33 pm

Fair, I'll concede that point. I know it didn't take much for someone to make my night in deep playa on Tuesday, just some honest conversation.

The fact remains, though, that if they are going to contribute it would be better if they could be there for more of the event, and I hardly think at $5-$20 nudge is going to be a deal breaker for an event that costs most people in excess of $1,000 to attend between ticket, transportation, supplies, and logistics.

What it would do is send a message that "tourism" is discouraged and potentially have the people that are piling on when the city is at its most crowded contribute a bit more money to soften the impact of their being there. Again, ideally the money would go to toilets, dust abatement, and restoration.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:36 pm

FossaFerox wrote:Still, there is no denying that as the week progresses and these people show up "self reliance" turns to "selfishness" while "radical inclusion" and "leave no trace" fade away dramatically. This is largely because these people do exist and do show up in greater numbers on the weekend without understanding that they simply aren't getting what the burn is supposed to be.


"These people" are us, like it or not. You're also missing the point - it's not a "them" showing up later in the week, it's us doing this. Re; your example. A theme camp is a placed camp - that means they were probably there before the Burn setting up. If they reserved space for people that MOOPed, that's on the theme camp. Placed Burners had people in their camp & didn't teach them LNT or clean up after them. Making sure your space is clean is the responsibility of the camp as a whole, so even though it may have been specific people who left the mess, they weren't taught otherwise by the people they were part of. Your anger is at the "weekenders", mine is at the assholes they camped with who let them get away with that behavior.

And, again: the Burn isn't supposed to "be" anything. You're using your interpretation of what you think it is to judge how other people do it. I completely agree on the MOOPing, and that's when you have either polite discussions with the neighbors (we had to this year, they were excellent about it) or you use your megaphone to shame people into picking up their crap on the open playa or carry your MOOP-bag to do it yourself. Do-acracy, take charge of correcting what you don't like, don't find ways to limit others access to the Burn because you think they're a problem. We're not a gated community, like any city we have to learn to work with all the elements who live there.

As for the 10 Principles - they're guidelines, they're not rules or laws (other than LNT & No Commerce, which are requirements of the permit). Like all guidelines they even contradict each-other. If people who call themselves "Christian" are incapable of following the 10 Commandments, there's no way the multitude that makes up "Burners" are going to follow the Principles the same, if at all.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Oct 14, 2013 3:57 pm

If people who call themselves "Christian" are incapable of following the 10 Commandments, there's no way the multitude that makes up "Burners" are going to follow the Principles the same, if at all.



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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:33 pm

Some years, people who have been going to the event, contributing to the event, for years--even decades--are weekenders, because even though they cannot stay all week because of circumstances, they just have to go for that weekend.
And post 2007 event, it seemed to be long-time burners who lionized poor Paul Addis, mistaking mental illness for artistic daring, and welcoming his disruption of the plodding burn schedule.
And I didn't see Vulturechow's virgin project, but even never being there before, she zeroed in on something really important.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:35 pm

Simon of the Playa wrote:says the Jew...


Not like a whole lot of us follow 'em either. Hell, look how many Hasidim fall short...
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:44 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Some years, people who have been going to the event, contributing to the event, for years--even decades--are weekenders, because even though they cannot stay all week because of circumstances, they just have to go for that weekend.


There are also people contributing tons of work off-playa who can only go for the weekend, but they still help build art, art-cars, theme camps, cool shit...

Humans have a strong ability to make others the scapegoat for what we don't like in a society. We also have the ability to recognize that we're doing it, and start looking for real problems. The only consistent problem is MOOP, and even that is improving. No where near close to "good enough", but a hell of a lot better than it could be (just look at other large events).

People coming in on the weekend is part & parcel of the culture of Burning Man - everybody was a Weekender originally, from Larry on down, since it was only held over a 3-day weekend. Think of the Weekenders as an homage to the Original Burners, maybe it will make it will change your perception of them.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Oct 14, 2013 4:48 pm

Eric wrote:Humans have a strong ability to make others the scapegoat for what we don't like in a society. We also have the ability to recognize that we're doing it, and start looking for real problems. The only consistent problem is MOOP, and even that is improving.

Um. Sexual assault*. And I bet they do their level best to be there for the whole week.


*Or did I just take it way out of the conversational path?
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:29 pm

Eric wins this thread. I concede I was probably using weekenders as scapegoats for some of the things I was reflecting on that left me bitter.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Elliot » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:33 pm

Eric wrote:... Think of the Weekenders as an homage to the Original Burners,...

Eric, my friend, this is not an attack on you, the person. But this statement strikes me as a preposterously desperate last gasp attempt to sustain your case. Truly ridiculous. You are a better man than that.

I'm with FossaFerox (-- but most of you knew that). Our "purist" philosophy (for lack of better definition off the top of my head) is a tiny minority, and I do believe in majority rule. All I ask is that our opinions be fairly listened to -- not dismissed as irrelevant or "wrong". We are burners too. (...for crying out loud. :wink: ) :D
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Eric » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:00 pm

It was dry sarcasm, Elliot, but I'm probably going to run with that idea now. :D I also don't view it as a desperate last gasp, because my case is simple - there is No Correct Way To Burn, and Everyone Who Has A Ticket Has A Right To Be There (unless they are harming the person or property of another, which I mentioned in my first post in this thread).

I have no problem listening to, and learning from, the opinions of others. When it comes to Burning Man I do have a huge problem when that opinion is predicated on the concept of there being a "correct" way to Burn. We are all doing it wrong according to somebody else (hell, go look at reddit & see the tons of hate ePlaya can get there), there is no way for there to be a "pure" philosophy because the event wasn't founded on one. Hell, even the much vaunted 10 Principles didn't even get written down until 2004 as guidelines for the Regionals.

We are going to have to agree to disagree about this, because when it comes to limiting who's "allowed" at the Burn, or placing blame on a specific group for "ruining" it, I am pretty much always going to be on the side of Inclusion, which I heard about somewhere...
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby BBadger » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:08 pm

Something to remember with all these proposed ideas is that: if you enjoy certain aspects of the event now (e.g. the first half of the week), forcing a change on people (e.g. "weekenders" must attend at the beginning of the week) is going to change the event. It may even change the event in ways you don't appreciate or desire. The law of unintended consequences should always be considered.

In this case, if you force "weekenders" to attend earlier in the event with the assumption that it'll attract "better" people, consider: maybe that will just attract those same "weekenders" you don't want, to ruin that part of the week you most enjoy? The event can't keep people in the city against their will anyway (only temporary stall them in exit lines). What I expect would happen is that all the events, parties, raves, or whatever stuff you might associate with the "lesser half" of Burning Man would be pushed up to the beginning of the week. Then those people would leave, leaving a mess for everyone else to deal with the remaining half of the week. Is that really a better solution?

Also take for example the reaction to scalpers in 2012: was the cure (the lottery) worse than the disease (the scalpers)? How many camps were fragmented to the point that attendance was worse than if scalpers had operated freely?

Reactionary thinking is what I expect will destroy the event if it ever is destroyed. It won't be the scalpers, weekenders, tourists, plug and play camps, spectators, ravers, hippies, eurotrash, or any other individual group or phenomena. It'll be people calling for massive change in reaction that destroys the fundamental fabric of this event that kills Burning Man. This kind of thing is what kills nations and cultures. Except perhaps in cases of colonialism, great nations and cultures are rarely destroyed by outside forces. They instead destroy themselves.

So in that light, while we shouldn't squash or curb ideas that may change Burning Man, at the same time we should not be too hasty in embracing change in reaction to perceived threats -- at least not without fully understanding the nature of the threat, and the effects of the reaction.

On another note, I like this "solution" to late arrivals:

Lonesomebri wrote:Personally I do my best to discourage late arrivals by already being there when they show.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:09 pm

Um, yeah....


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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby FossaFerox » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:28 pm

Disclaimer: I've already abandoned my position, just discussing minutia at this point.

Eric, my goal was not to exclude anyone, just nudge them. Like I said, I highly doubt that $20 added on to a $1,000+ trip would be a deal breaker for anyone. I just think that paying a "tourism tax" might make people rethink their behavior somewhat.

As for unattended consequences, I honestly believe that planning and preparing to survive in the playa for longer makes you respect it more. If people who would have shown up on Friday instead show up on Wednesday it means they'll establish more of a home, feel like they're more a part of the community, and hopefully respect the playa, the portos, and their fellow burners a little bit more. This is probably foolish optimism on my part, since apparently people were chucking beer cans before the gate even opened, but personally I didn't notice anything particularly egregious until Thursday...
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby BBadger » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:43 pm

I do wonder... who is really responsible for the investing in the playa? I've seen rules and exceptions for both, and usually it's hard to tell what is the rule, and what is the exception.

Take for example the early-week weekenders in our camp: they stayed only until Wednesday, but didn't shit up the place. Was it because they arrived on Monday that they were better citizens? Or our weekenders from Austria who equally didn't shit up the place but could only stay at the end of the week because of logistics? What about my first year when we arrived Thursday morning (2AM), but were among the most "useful" that year (according to the camp leader) in taking home the mess that the other full-weekers left behind? What about the people in the plug-and-play camps who simply pay for the help to make sure the camp is clean no matter how they act within their own camp grounds? Ends justify the means right? And what about those full-week campers? Are they really invested in the burn, or just their own burn? Maybe they just shit up the place at the end of the week and the weekenders receive the blame.

So what is the proof here? The census is unreliable. The early week campers leave at the same time as the weekenders. The MOOP map is only at the camp-level and after the fact. Witnesses only give anecdotes...

I think it's really just a big tautology: the only people who care will be the people who give a shit.
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby Elliot » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:57 pm

BBadger wrote:...the only people who care will be the people who give a shit.

I take that as a marvelous compliment. :D

(Now I will look up "tautology".)
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby BBadger » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:31 pm

Elliot wrote:(Now I will look up "tautology".)


I just hope I used it correctly!
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Re: Has the LLC ever actively discouraged late arrival?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Oct 14, 2013 7:41 pm

BBadger wrote:
Elliot wrote:(Now I will look up "tautology".)


I just hope I used it correctly!

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