Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

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

Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby trilobyte » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:02 pm

The 'let me google that for you' snark probably does have an equivalent on the playa. If you're at your camp with your campmates, and there's a big set of community tools for the group to set up their tents and gear, and instead of just using it you grab someone who's in the middle of doing something else and ask them to get you a hammer so you can stake your tent... you might be met with some sarcasm.

Or go into a bar's camp and ask them if they've got extra cups, or where the trash can is at because you've got some stuff to throw away... I bet you'd get an answer dripping with sarcasm. You'd get help, but there'd be that verbal 'slap upside the head' that serves as an indicator that you weren't as radically self reliant as you could have been. I agree that Burning Man definitely has more of a fucko/prankster spirit than other events. It was born out of cacaphony... literally. I also think that, getting deeper into the psychology and philosophy, there's probably something collectively very very wrong with people who would intentionally go out to such a remote and inhospitable place. I'm reminded a bit of Bill Murray's 'mutant' speech in the movie Stripes... I think it applies here. :)

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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby BBadger » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:26 pm

trilobyte wrote:I think I completely disagree with Andy's post as well. People on the boards were significantly more vicious in years past than they have been in the last 2-3 years.


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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Apr 21, 2014 8:43 pm

Nothing like a meatcake gnawing at everything to class up a joint... Um. ... computer bulletin board.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby ^Rhino! » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:51 pm

Trilo, you're intelligent and wise, but I have a problem with this:

"I agree that Burning Man definitely has more of a fucko/prankster spirit than other events. It was born out of cacaphony... literally. I also think that, getting deeper into the psychology and philosophy, there's probably something collectively very very wrong with people who would intentionally go out to such a remote and inhospitable place."

Are you kidding? One of the reasons that man goes intentionally to remote and inhospitable places is the simple reason that man or woman CAN. To quote Himalayan explorer George Mallory, "Why does man climb the world's highest mountain? Because it is THERE." The challenge to the human spirit of adventure is enough.

Halfway between Salt Lake City and the Bonneville Flats is a place on the map labeled as "Aragonite". To me that's a mineral that you find in evaporate basins, the orthorhombic form of calcium carbonate. I would love to have a crystal or two in my collection. SO, I pulled off at the appointed exit to look for a dirt road that would lead me to the margin of the basin, where it was most likely to occur. There were no places to get gas, no food, no water, but I went anyway. I spent a couple hours in the middle of nowhere looking for this stuff, and found nothing. Nonetheless, I satisfied my curiosity. I did find one piece of alabaster that would be suitable for carving but it wasn't aragonite, my primary goal. Will I go back? Maybe? Was my trip successful if I didn't get what I came for? Absolutely. My mind was open to the experience and I learned. ANYONE who goes to Burningman whose mind is open to the experience and learns is successful for making the attempt. I would point out that Teddy Roosevelt once said that it's not the critic who counts, it's the person who's in the arena, who, though they may come up short again and again and again, is still more successful in attaining a goal than one who never tried (a poor paraphrasure on my part, but I hope you get the point).

The fucko/prankster spirit is not as prevalent as it once was; maybe that's why we're very very wrong as a result of not having fun in our pursuits. As long as it hurts no one, I have no problem with the pranks. Putting a dollar bill on the end of a fishing line and reel to go hippy fishing is still a huge laugh getter, though now I've added a glow stick at night to go raver trolling. You never know what you can catch.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Sic Pup » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:37 am

^Rhino! wrote: You never know what you can catch.


Decisions.... decisions

a)....... nor how much fun one might have throwing it back.

or

b) ....but if you;'re lucky it;'s easily remedied with a strong dose of penicillin.


Ah....never mind.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby AntiM » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:07 am

Indeed, eplaya is a mild little milkmaid these days compared to the raging bitch she used to be. Most of the old timers can tell you about the polite little notes asking them to play nicely. Simply insane at times, even literally.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:39 am

"Polite little notes" on almost a daily bases!
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:48 am

mutant and proud...
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:14 am

"Live with the hand that you're dope slapped with!!!"
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:52 am

"Live with the hand you slap your monkey with"?
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Lonesomebri » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:56 pm

Now that we have settled the snark problem, and everyone's hand is held gently by counselors for some support group or another, can we get on to the offensive dust? Off playa, the dust does not whip at my flesh or tear down my living space, it doesn't get in my bed and in my food, it doesn't make the thought of sex uncomfortable. Having something hard, unforgiving, in opposition to my clean plans, is something I can't face. My parents never taught me that the world is not here for my comfort. It's almost as if the very desert was being snarky to ME!!!! I don't get why everything isn't nice and pleasant and confirming of everything that makes me like me. Snarky dust really pisses me off. I have heard that some people, in the real/non-hippie world, after a good decent life, actually die !?!?!? How snarky is that? Who do I complain to?
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby moonrise » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:34 pm

burner von braun wrote:
BBadger wrote:
Yeah, the fact that the event is not just some hippie, your-rights-end-where-my-feelings-begin, preachy, kumbaya thing-in-the-desert (though not for lack of trying by some) is one of the things that kept me impressed with this event and the people surrounding it. -



I'm reminded of one of Fishy's quotes when speaking about the event...

"It has a rainbow facade with a Sturgis core"


.



Yea, I like Fishy's (loosely phrased) description of the Big Burn and it went more like this, BVB "Burning Man is hippie-esque with a Sturgis core", as I recall.
Anyhow, it leaves out some of the many other burning man walks of life, but it does help me describe the burn to virgins in one quick sentence ;)

I also like to use Fishy's term "Big Burn" to describe the big burn on the playa...nothing like it and going at least once in your lifetime is a real treat (for most of us, if/when prepared) but if you can't actually go then there are the regionals and making friends with Burners is usually a great thing. Not to mention the world is full of beautiful places and things to do and see other than just the burn itself (go with a prepared burner when you travel) it'll usually be more fun and interesting imho <grin>
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby ^Rhino! » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:37 am

moonrise, I'll have to absolutely agree with you that it is, indeed, the 'Big Burn'. When I go to my local regional, I consider it the precom to the 'Main Event'. The fall burn is the decom. As of tomorrow, my local burn, Interfuse, is TWO WEEKS AWAY (PANIC, PANIC!). And indeed, it has a rainbow facade with a Sturgis core!

The regionals are a good place to learn the ethos. BRC is where you put it all into practice.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby ZaphodBurner » Mon May 05, 2014 9:52 am

"I just get a bunch of twatrags"

I like this person already. You need to come to The Green Hour and pour some absinthe on that fire. Twatrags. I love you.

Here's the absolute, dirty truth about snark. Invented by the dot com equivalent of Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons, snark is a passive-aggressive way for hipsters to bully you and make you feel bad while showing their elite intellectual chops on the interweb. Its laconic nature makes them feel superior because you obviously don't have a clue. "RTFM" used to work, but now they have to decorate it with hostility.

It doesn't matter whether you're on the playa or off: In reality, few if any of those people will ever have the courage to confront you with that shit personally because, as you pointed out, they're twatrags, angry wankers, Pop-Tart-eating aggro-office people and others who appear to have invested their entire lives in the Burning Man culture such that the only way to validate themselves is to beat other people up.

The problem is they probably don't realize it. The internet is a culture where you can say anything you want about people because you don't have to say it in front of them. It's dehumanizing, so they dehumanize you, but they rarely do it in person. If they end up getting the shit smacked out of them because of it, well, that's why they bring the police with handcuffs and guns so that Big Brother or their boyfriend will come kick your ass.

Snark is nothing more than a way to get away with abusing people while you're looking down your nose at them, and I guess it's how those type of people get out their aggression.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Lonesomebri » Mon May 05, 2014 11:17 am

How dare that wind/dust storm blow away all my well meaning plans. I deserve respect and coddling, everyone knows that. I think the elements of nature did it to prove how superior it is to me!!!! Anyone complaining about snark has never been in a mosh pit or actually had to defend an opinion against any odds. No teasing in your family? No give or take among friends? How boring. Life is hard, snark is funny.
Ps. I take pride in being able to handle snark.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Eric » Mon May 05, 2014 1:40 pm

ZaphodBurner wrote:[snip]It doesn't matter whether you're on the playa or off: In reality, few if any of those people will ever have the courage to confront you with that shit personally because, as you pointed out, they're twatrags, angry wankers, Pop-Tart-eating aggro-office people and others who appear to have invested their entire lives in the Burning Man culture such that the only way to validate themselves is to beat other people up.[/snip]

[snip]Snark is nothing more than a way to get away with abusing people while you're looking down your nose at them, and I guess it's how those type of people get out their aggression.[/snip]


Pardon the language, but this, quite frankly, is bullshit. Snark, done well, is an artform, and far beyond "abusing people". It's less passive than sarcasm, less cruel than just calling someone an idiot - it's rapier wit combined with insult. It's has existed long before the internet, it will exist long after it's gone - you can even find snark in Shakespeare ("You are as a candle, better burnt out" - Henry IV, Part One). You've obviously never been in a gathering of drag queens, where the speed & sharpness of your snark can determine whether you are respected or pitied. You have also apparently never spent time on the playa at camps like Fandango or Piss Clear/ BRC Weekly, where people will more than happily use snark on you in person.

I pity the person who doesn't understand snark - how cold and boring their world must be, where only positive words can be heard or their worldview will be shattered.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby lucky420 » Mon May 05, 2014 1:41 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:How dare that wind/dust storm blow away all my well meaning plans. I deserve respect and coddling, everyone knows that. I think the elements of nature did it to prove how superior it is to me!!!! Anyone complaining about snark has never been in a mosh pit or actually had to defend an opinion against any odds. No teasing in your family? No give or take among friends? How boring. Life is hard, snark is funny.
Ps. I take pride in being able to handle snark.



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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby tatonka » Mon May 05, 2014 2:05 pm

if you obey all the rules , youll miss all of the fun ")
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Eric » Mon May 05, 2014 4:21 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:Ps. I take pride in being able to handle snark.


Ditto. Hell, when I met one of my closest friends at a club it was basically an instant snark-off. He asked me a stupid question, I responded with snark, so did he, we went at it a bit & have been friends for years now. Basically, someone who is willing to call you out with snark is also generally willing to speak truth to you when you need it.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby GreyCoyote » Mon May 05, 2014 6:03 pm

Eric wrote:Basically, someone who is willing to call you out with snark is also generally willing to speak truth to you when you need it.


Well, with that in mind Ol' Bean, I should gently mention the Burning Man Fashion Police have determined your tie doesn't match your avatars outfit. :mrgreen:

But they like the hat. :mrgreen:
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby A-RockLeFrench » Mon May 05, 2014 6:05 pm

Snark, well done, as an art form, usually takes two participants and happens in person. Witty banter at clubs, the hilarious conversations I have with strangers at BM are fine examples of fine snark.

However, there is the line that gets crossed, on the real playa and more so on teh eplaya when it isn't about a fun interaction with another person anymore. It becomes about berating and insulting someone else, to make them feel stupid, to make oneself appear 'right'. It is a passive-aggressive bullying technique.

It's hard to detangle the fun snark from the asshole snark, but whether anyone wants to deny that it exists, or dismiss it with notions of "this ain't nearly as bad as it used to be" it is still there, the fact remains that there are assholes everywhere. The internet is a place where they can display their full plumage without fear of the real world consequences of looking down their noses at people and treating them like they're stupid.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Eric » Mon May 05, 2014 8:18 pm

A-RockLeFrench wrote:It's hard to detangle the fun snark from the asshole snark, but whether anyone wants to deny that it exists, or dismiss it with notions of "this ain't nearly as bad as it used to be" it is still there, the fact remains that there are assholes everywhere. The internet is a place where they can display their full plumage without fear of the real world consequences of looking down their noses at people and treating them like they're stupid.


Almost completely agree.
I will say, though, that unlike most forums on the internet, the vast majority of people here go to the same place and have either met directly, or with one or two degrees of separation. While that doesn't shield a newer member who's not part of that chain from snark, it does mean that people tend to use it more on newbie questions that are easier to research, instead of treating every new poster like an idiot (which is sort of how this place was when I joined in '03).
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon May 05, 2014 11:29 pm

I was learning Oscar on my mother's knee... She also love The Gentle Art of Making Enemies...

So, I was raised to snark. There is a heart of somewhat tarnished silver under the scaly exterior. Two-chambered, of course.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Tue May 06, 2014 5:01 am

'FRENCH'




nuff' said.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby ^Rhino! » Tue May 06, 2014 7:32 pm

Lonesomebri wrote:How dare that wind/dust storm blow away all my well meaning plans. I deserve respect and coddling, everyone knows that. I think the elements of nature did it to prove how superior it is to me!!!! Anyone complaining about snark has never been in a mosh pit or actually had to defend an opinion against any odds. No teasing in your family? No give or take among friends? How boring. Life is hard, snark is funny.
Ps. I take pride in being able to handle snark.


The point of the dust storm on the playa is getting us to remember that it's been that way long before we were there, and will be long after we're worm food. You have to engage in acts of defiance against overwhelming odds, in the hope that by defying the odds, you can eventually BEAT them. I used to get some grief from a few people at work that I attend that 'pagan' hippy festival in the desert (the majority of the folk that work in my building are hardcore Catholics). I simply told them off with a couple of classic lines (for me):

" You demonstrate your ignorance when your lips move on that subject"

"Have you ever made your presence count within the community? You sure aren't here, and I get the opportunity to do it there."

and finally,

"Burningman is like Sturgis for hippies with dust storms on steroids. Come on out...if you think you're capable of an open mind!"

After a few major successes in design, inspection, engineering, and the like at work, they now want to know where I get the "neat ideas".

I tell them that Idea Mart is next to Eridu Society on the Esplanade, and they're in the swap box out front. Take an idea, leave an idea....that sort of thing. Their faces glaze over with "what the fuck?" looks, and I get a good laugh out of the subject.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Wed May 07, 2014 7:05 am

The internet is a place where they can display their full plumage without fear of the real world consequences




ding ding ding...


wrong again frenchie...

everybody knows who i am and where to find me....i do not hide from my words, on the web or in person.


you wanna come at me mon frere? please do, my snark is pure.


now sit down, shut up, and enjoy the fucking show, monsieur...
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby H.G.Crosby » Wed May 07, 2014 7:15 am

je l'aime quand vous parlez français, ça me fait chaud ...
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri May 09, 2014 8:38 am

.
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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby tatonka » Mon May 26, 2014 9:28 am

GreyCoyote wrote:
Eric wrote:Basically, someone who is willing to call you out with snark is also generally willing to speak truth to you when you need it.


Well, with that in mind Ol' Bean, I should gently mention the Burning Man Fashion Police have determined your tie doesn't match your avatars outfit. :mrgreen:

But they like the hat. :mrgreen:



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Re: Snark, is that really something burners take pride in?

Postby peace » Mon May 26, 2014 10:44 am

Zum
I'm a perennial lurker but since you're a newbie I'm compelled to reply. If you are expecting to have a good time at The Burning Man you might want to reconsider the trip. If you are the kind of person that has a good time no matter where they go then you might be okay. Seeing that you are getting your panties in a bunch just sitting in the comfort of your home on Facebook I'm thinking you're in for a long week. (hint- spend more time on surrendering than preparing- it will serve you better). And you better bring a fucking cool gift. You Don't want to bring a shit gift.
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