Lifting The Ban On Feathers

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Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby trilobyte » Tue Jul 01, 2014 2:43 pm

This decision was made and announced in 2013 after the Survival Guide went to press, and the topic bears repeating now. I'm lifting the below from this week's Jack Rabbit Speaksnewsletter and the post on the Burning Blog.

ou may have heard that Radical Self-Reliance is one of Burning Man’s Ten Principles. And so is Leaving No Trace. When you put them together, it means that whether it’s a costume, a vehicle, or an art installation, your food, camp, bike, trinkets, or whatever, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE YOUR STUFF DOESN’T BECOME MOOP (aka Matter Out of Place).

And that brings us to the subject of feathers on playa.

Back in the day, folks would show up at Burning Man with cheap feather boas, and they’d inevitably fall to pieces, blow all over the playa, get stuck on the trash fence, blow past it, and generally create a super MOOPy headache for everybody.

So, to prevent a MOOPocalypse, we’ve long had a warning in the Survival Guide to not bring feathers (primarily this was directed at those cheap boas, since it predates when the headdress and fedora fads kicked in), and even had the Gate crew prohibit them from being brought into Black Rock City.

Now here’s the thing … some feathers are super MOOPy and others, well, aren’t. What we’re saying is this: if you want to wear feathers, that’s fine … but make sure they’re attached in ways that won’t fail, and if you can’t then don’t wear them, because it’s on YOU if they become MOOP. (And that goes for anything you bring to Black Rock City.)

So be smart, use good judgment, and be careful about what you do and don’t bring to (and wear on) the playa. In order to help you make sound judgments, here’s a list of things that are known to be especially MOOPy:

  • wood chips, splinters and sawdust
  • pistachio shells
  • cigarette butts
  • live plants
  • burn barrel ashes
  • feather boas
  • sequins
  • mylar (once it dries out and cracks)
  • firecrackers and fireworks
  • anything that may dry out, break up and/or blow away in the wind
  • loose glitter
  • Astroturf
  • styrofoam coolers
  • plastic bags
  • sheets of paper
  • string
  • disposable drink cups
  • hay bales
  • straw
  • gravel
  • confetti (duh)
  • swimming pools (soaked playa = moop)
  • glass containers (they can shatter)
One last thing … we’re keeping our eye on this ball. If feathers prove to be a MOOP problem in the future, we may be forced to ban them.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby mdmf007 » Tue Jul 01, 2014 5:32 pm

The best indicator of what is really moopy is to head to the trash fence on the NE corner of the event. This tells you what blows out of camps and eventually makes it to the fence and caught. Post event drive to the very NE corner of the playa where the playa meets the sage brush and you find a whole new realm of bits. Mostly cinders from fires i am ok with that since its just burned wood bits. The ittly bitty sequins, and feathers and llittle fluffy plastic things though add up.

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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby trilobyte » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:29 pm

There's that, or follow along with The Hun's incredibly awesome MOOP Map Live blog series. She and the whole playa restoration team kick serious ass, and as the actual people who clean up after us all, are in a position of authority to say what kind of stuff that camps and individuals should be working on.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 1:14 am

There are things other than MOOPines to consider when it comes to wearing feathers though... :roll:
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:55 am

Jovankat wrote:There are things other than MOOPines to consider when it comes to wearing feathers though... :roll:


Im half cree and I think that blog is a bunch of whiner's , I have a german motorcycle helmet , I have a cowboy hat , I have a turban , etc etc etc ....

IMHO you dont mess with someones religious stuff , like a cross , or a eagle feather . But their are other crosses that arnt religious , and other feathers that arnt sacred . Their is the southern cross in the sky , the hawk has wonderful feathers . The nazi swastika used to be a goodluck charm , and still is if drawn in the right direction . All seems silly .
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:06 am

In the case of Native American war bonnets they are pretty much up there with crosses etc as a cultural symbol. And you're welcome to think it's just whining but there are plenty of people who think that asking people to respect items of cultural significance is entirely reasonable and it's those people speaking out and explaining their rationale that's going to change things. It's not that long ago that blackface and using the n-word were widely acceptable. These days it's widely accepted that those things belittle and degrade people of colour and are not ok. Cultures are more than a costume and people of colour are more than a caricature of their culture. There are so very many ways to be creative and express oneself without blatantly ripping off someone else's sacred imagery, to do so just smacks of laziness and entitlement.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby TT120 » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:28 am

So if I walked around wearing a Nazi uniform with an Eagle feather headdress carrying a baby Harp Seal nailed to a giant cross, that would be unacceptable?

J/K....relax....I would never harm a baby Harp Seal.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby VultureChow » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:38 am

Bearded seals, though.... Those hipster douchebags are just begging to be clubbed.

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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:39 am

Jovankat wrote:In the case of Native American war bonnets they are pretty much up there with crosses etc as a cultural symbol. And you're welcome to think it's just whining but there are plenty of people who think that asking people to respect items of cultural significance is entirely reasonable and it's those people speaking out and explaining their rationale that's going to change things. It's not that long ago that blackface and using the n-word were widely acceptable. These days it's widely accepted that those things belittle and degrade people of colour and are not ok. Cultures are more than a costume and people of colour are more than a caricature of their culture. There are so very many ways to be creative and express oneself without blatantly ripping off someone else's sacred imagery, to do so just smacks of laziness and entitlement.


war bonnets made out of dyed chicken or turkey feathers are not special to any culture. People write in blogs that they dont like bikers wearing German helmets , no one has ever said that to my face. They write that Im honoring the nazi's , I say not , we whipped them and its my trophy , also Im half german , so to some that make me entitled . After 59 years of being a part Native and part German if someone ever says they are offended by my dress ,I will tell them " So fucking what"
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 9:45 am

tatonka wrote:war bonnets made out of dyed chicken or turkey feathers are not special to any culture


They're a cheap imitation of something that is important, and as such they're disrespectful, I can produce a tonne of links to Native Americans expressing how disrespectful they find it and why they adamantly believe it's not ok but it really sounds like you're not at all interested in anyone else's opinions other than your own.

You're entirely within your rights to say "So fucking what" but don't be surprised if you get a lengthy and articulate response laying out the specifics of someone's objection.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:01 am

then ill inform them that im am native and to mind there own buisness :) My last name is tatooed on my back BIRD so I have never had troubles even at pow wows and if they did I would tell them they are racist just cause I have lite skin color :)
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:08 am

And what if two Native Americans come up to you and express dismay? Does two beat one? :P I'm not convinced this is a numbers game sorry, if minorities were only afforded rights and respect if they had the numbers for it society would look very different.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:22 am

Jovankat wrote:And what if two Native Americans come up to you and express dismay? Does two beat one? :P I'm not convinced this is a numbers game sorry, if minorities were only afforded rights and respect if they had the numbers for it society would look very different.


Been to 100's of pow wows in my lifetime and I got more raceism there when I was younger cause of my lite skin color . Works both ways , many know who I am now and I have lots of friends that I see every year. The natives are winning something right now with the redskins name thing , they (the many that I have talked with) dont really care about the name thing , it just that they are winning something for once.
As a kid Ive fought some bullys cause of me being half german , So if 2 NDN's came up and something was offence to them I would inform them who I was and tell them they are racist to asume you have to be a certain color red to be native , then I would tell them " so fucking what "
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:24 am

You're kinda missing my point :roll:
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:29 am

Jovankat wrote:You're kinda missing my point :roll:


more than likely cause I dont see any problem with wearing what ever you want . If I was so inclined I would wear a samuri outfit or anything else for that matter.



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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:48 am

People are what's important, not the things they wear.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 10:50 am

FIGJAM wrote:People are what's important, not the things they wear.



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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:03 am

Yeah it's lucky humans don't have thousands of years worth of evolutionary brain wiring that makes it essentially automatic to judge people based on their appearances. :roll:

You're right though, if I see someone walking around on the playa in a war bonnet I'm just going to assume they're as ignorant and culturally insensitive as if they were in blackface.

I know Burning Man is not somewhere that's particularly hip to this stuff, especially with the theme being what it is this year, but it really does make me sad that for all this community has going for it, it sure is chock full of cultural appropriation, white entitlement and just generally unchecked privileged. But we give hit about the environment and try to eave no trace so I guess thats something. :|
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby remi » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:10 am

I thought there was already a thread on people bitching and complaining about headdresses.. There are plenty of other ways to incorporate feathers into a costume.. can we please fuck off with the headdress talk... or keep it in the appropriate thread.

I saw the most epic feathered costume in the robot heart youtube video (search "burning man robot heart." and it's about 5 minutes into the video.. this chick in a full feathered bird costume. That is the most epic costume.. but I instantly wondered why that was allowed on the playa. It's nice to see that they are putting trust back into the attendees to control their feathers.. lets see if we can make them proud, or fuck it up and have them take away this privilege next year.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:15 am

remi wrote:I thought there was already a thread on people bitching and complaining about headdresses..


As a very wise man once said to me, "So fucking what?"
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:16 am

Jovankat wrote:Yeah it's lucky humans don't have thousands of years worth of evolutionary brain wiring that makes it essentially automatic to judge people based on their appearances. :roll:

You're right though, if I see someone walking around on the playa in a war bonnet I'm just going to assume they're as ignorant and culturally insensitive as if they were in blackface.

I know Burning Man is not somewhere that's particularly hip to this stuff, especially with the theme being what it is this year, but it really does make me sad that for all this community has going for it, it sure is chock full of cultural appropriation, white entitlement and just generally unchecked privileged. But we give hit about the environment and try to eave no trace so I guess thats something. :|


so if ya seen me in a headress and seen I had lighter skin of what you think a native should have , you would auto think Im a ignorant ,culturally insensitive person.
That would be your problem cause I am a native . You watch to much TV , I have found their are many natives that dont look like the TV version . I have served in the military and one of my M.P. buddys was a red headed and frekkled black guy. I judge people by their actions not looks. You are missing out , cause I have met wonderful people that dont look right to society.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:20 am

I wasn't talking about judging people based on their skin colour but on what they've chosen to wear. That's pretty different. And you've just proven in this thread it's entirely possible to be of native american decent and not care that other natives find wearing headdresses at festivals to be culturally insensitive and damaging. I too am talking about judging people on their actions.

Edit - I also don't watch all that much TV actually but the lack of representation of minorities outside of very narrow stereotypes like you're talking about it also a problem that is related to this issue.
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:22 am

Jovankat wrote:I wasn't talking about judging people based on their skin colour but on what they've chosen to wear. That's pretty different. And you've just proven in this thread it's entirely possible to be of native american decent and not care that other natives find wearing headdresses at festivals to be culturally insensitive and damaging. I too am talking about judging people on their actions.




but how would you know if they are native or not?
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:23 am

Again, totally missing my point. But Remi is right, this is not what this thread is supposed to be about. It's very clear you're not going to take anything I have to say on board so there really is no point me repeating myself or trying to explain it any further.

So what does everyone think about sequins?
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:25 am

you stated that if you seen someone wearing them you would think they are culturaly insenitive , I asked how you would know they are not natives .
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:26 am

That was my point.

If you're obsessing about the (place appropriated cultural THING here), you missed the possibly amazing person underneath.

You don't know who you're judging till you've talked to them and you have pre-programed yourself before the conversation has even had a chance to take place!
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby tatonka » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:27 am

ok we will let it go :) huggs to ya
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:31 am

Brought to you by "Thread Drift", a proud subsidiary of Headress Inc. :lol:
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby Jovankat » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:35 am

tatonka wrote:ok we will let it go :) huggs to ya


:)

I'm actually really disappointed the feather ban has been lifted, not because headdresses but because I had a couple of smart arse remarks to make about feathers in regards to my camp's theme of flamingos. I even named the camp cocktail "The Featherless Flamingo" because of the ban.


FIGJAM wrote:Brought to you by "Thread Drift", a proud subsidiary of Headress Inc. :lol:


Actually in this particular instance, for my part at least, I think the thread drift has been brought to you by the meeting I have with my accountant in about 12 hours. I haven't looked at my taxes AT ALL in about 3 years... :shock:
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Re: Lifting The Ban On Feathers

Postby FIGJAM » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:53 am

I think I last looked at my taxes in 1980 and decided I didn't want any. 8)
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