300 watts bullshit

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Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:57 pm

So djmattoc, After your rant. I'm sure you will not mind when I blow you out of the water. I will be using my talent to key the mike on my feed back squealer. It will work this way. Using the freedom you squawk about. I will ride to your sound area. Then key my mike and let it feed back through my speakers. It will cost me good money to bring my art to the playa. But I will enjoy infleckng it on people. You can stand up for my right to do so.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Fri Sep 16, 2005 6:57 pm

I have no problem with being proven wrong...especially in this case.
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Postby Zulegoona » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:20 pm

djmalloc and others

I have to preface this by saying I’m a visual artist rather than a sound artist, and the music I tend to like paints a visual image in my head. I never danced much and don’t have any desire to dance. That said, One of the most important things about Burning Man for me is diverse interests and expressions of the people in the community. I enjoy the exposure to things I wouldn’t seek out, and not all art should be easy to be around in some cases the oppressive nature of the art is what the art is all about. But I would guess in most cases sound artists aren't out to be oppressive.

Any social connection requires a trade off. Within a community there are written and unwritten agreements we have in order to be a part of the community. I agree I won’t hurt or kill you, or steal your stuff, and you agree not to do those things to me, and so on. On that list of trade offs, is an agreement about not oppressing others, with the assurance that others in the community will not oppress you. It’s not as easy as it might sound because things you might find liberating others find oppressive. At some point every one has to draw a line, on one side is behavior and expression that is acceptable by the community and on the other is behavior and expression that isn’t . Since every ones lines differ to some extent it tends to fall to a consciences of what is considered antisocial .

I’d be interested in hearing where you would draw that line, as regards to sound camps, and other modes of expression as well, when does one persons, or groups expression become so oppressive that it is antisocial?
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Postby DVD » Fri Sep 16, 2005 7:33 pm

Zulegoona wrote: when does one persons, or groups expression become so oppressive that it is antisocial?


I don't know that antisocial is a decent characterization of the sound issue. Part of what they believe they are doing is providing a social environment for dancers or their camp - and people do gather.

But are you asking that particular hypothetical question? At what point does a person or action become completely offensive to everyone?

I have an answer to that- Limp Bizcit.

Or, Battile said that only in ultimate oppression can true beauty be realised. Only when you are most oppressed are you most creative. But he was French.

Or, in our sound case, after a few attempts at the right way- a few visits with fruit or tobacco or dope as bribes to play quieter during these times- a few visits to the rangers- it comes time for cords to start disappearing. Speaker cords are the most brutal as they usually have special connectors and are not easy to replace.

I do not approve of any damage however- no cutting cords or coolant in the generator gas. That is a behavior I see as antisocial.

Forgive me my incoherent rambling.
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300 watts bullshit

Postby can't sit still » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:43 pm

I read the whole thread. Zoolagoona, as usual has great clarity. One thing that I felt might be mentioned is this. Damage. "It will make your ears bleed" We all know that noise or music past a certain point causes tissue damage. Balancing freedom with doing damage to another is a difficult equation to perform. Second-hand-smoke drew these same observations and arguments.
Someone said that they had 100K watts. The Beattles did their first US tour with 30 watts. Somewhere in between is a reasonable number.

Maybe you need 100k to draw people from a distance. You can't justify that power for a dance floor of a few hundred square feet. I see a bit of one-upsmanship in the watt-wars.

I don't understand. Is music more enjoyable if your entire skeleton is vibrating in harmonic resonance?? I'm happy enough using my tymphanic nerves. I must be missing something
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Postby djmalloc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 8:51 pm

unjonharley wrote:So djmattoc, After your rant. I'm sure you will not mind when I blow you out of the water. I will be using my talent to key the mike on my feed back squealer. It will work this way. Using the freedom you squawk about. I will ride to your sound area. Then key my mike and let it feed back through my speakers. It will cost me good money to bring my art to the playa. But I will enjoy infleckng it on people. You can stand up for my right to do so.


HAHAHA I probably would support you! My musical tastes run the gamut from Bob Dylan to Noisecore, the latter of which would probably make your mic squeal sound like a lullaby! However, if I understood that your intention was to accost me I don't think I would actually support you. But if I believed you loved what you were doing, and were having the time of your life doing it, I would not try to inhibit you. I would hop on my bike and go sleep at center camp or I would pop in some ear plugs and try to make the best of it.

Case in point: Some crazy fuckers started in with some truly horrible amplified folk music that was louder than hell and pointed directly at me at 6am right when I went to bed one night. Some guy comes flying out of his tent asking where the Rangers are swearing his head off saying he was gonna get the Rangers to stop them or he was gonna kick some ass. I was blown away! I was certainly inconvenienced, but I certainly didn't ask them to stop. I went out and checked on them and they were having a blast! I didn't feel like my right to sleep in my camp outweighed their right to party in theres. They might have been planning this all year! How could I think I had a right to stop them? I really don't understand this sentiment that obviously so many of you share! Honestly, it sounds a little selfish.

Let me be clear. My sound camp agreed to shut down earler than we wanted to some nights because a single individual was having a hard time sleeping. Heck, we turned the music off at 11am one day because he was having a hard day! Can you imagine! A camp of 30 shut off their tunes in the middle of the day cause one guy was having a case of the grumpies. Why? Cause we believed in building a community and working with our neighbhours!

We were certainly not one of those camps that played 24/7 even though we would have LOVED to. This poor guy wanted quiet and we wanted loud and we did everything we could to accomodate him while still making the most of our time there. What is frustrating to me is when people fall back on BS rules like the 300w rule as opposed to trying to work things out as a community.

It was a real bummer too because we thought we had everything worked out and then he pulled this 300w rule and tried to get the Rangers to get us to move. The rangers saw that we were being respectful and allowed us to keep our space which ruled. But it was a real let down to see him, as many of you seem to have done, fall back on arbitrary rules setup by a governing body. That's how America does things, not BRC!

It is really sad that certain camps were so irrespectful of other's needs for peace and quiet. However, this does not mean we should slam all sound camps and enforce a 300w limit across the playa! I think Zulegoona's post really hit home. I feel that BurningMan is about community and cooperation and it is so frustrating to see people try to inhibit someone else either through an oppressive sound system or by falling back on rules that inhibit free expression. Bah!

All I am trying to say is that when you go and ask that person to be quiet please understand that they are NOT trying to piss you off. They are trying to have a good time, just as you are. So just be aware of that. And like I said earlier, I bet if you approach them with that attitude they are going to be a lot more respectful of your wishes. Treat them with respect and you should expect the same.

Or, go attack their electronic equipment with water cannons.

But watch out for us, cause we have flamethrowers.
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Postby djmalloc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:04 pm

Zulegoona wrote:I’d be interested in hearing where you would draw that line, as regards to sound camps, and other modes of expression as well, when does one persons, or groups expression become so oppressive that it is antisocial?


I realised I didn't answer Zulegoona's question, which is a good one. Perhaps it's the core issue we should be discussing here.

My opinion is that it becomes oppressive at the point at which we turn our back on our neighbhour and decide that our enjoyment/liberation/happiness comes first and theirs comes second if at all.

When our neighbhour played the 300w card and decided to get us shut down entirely I believe that was oppressive. As we worked towards compromise he worked to get the "law" to remove us from the equation entirely. In this manner, he seeked to satisfy his needs with no regard to ours. And this I believe is oppressive. Making one's own needs paramount with no respect to the needs of others is probably pretty close to the definition of oppressive.

Similarly, if a sound camp plays 24/7 at top volume and will not lower it's volume or agree to certain hours of operation and does so at the expense of others, then this is also oppressive. If they make no efforts to respect the needs of others then they are not doing their part.
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Re: 300 watts bullshit

Postby Mr. Mellow » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:37 pm

retropsycho wrote:Did you like more unreserved space close to the Esplanade held back till Monday midnight? What about the 4:30 and 8:30 zone reaching Theme Camps deep into the body of BRC?.


That was good for me, the virtue of that was that is that was a little more community between us veteran burners (who usually organize into theme camps) and the virgin burners. The only drawback I saw was that it located some of the camps right across from the porta-potties, which depending on the wind direction garnered my deepest sympathies for them. On the sound situation, it was quieter for us this year than previous years.

retropsycho wrote:I camped in non-reserved theme camp area, across 3:30 from Omar's Otter Oasis. A dome across the street had poor live guitar playing with an audence of zero...


My sympathies, there was a lot of bad acoustic music this year, but I don't mind that so much cuz at least there was more, and some was good.

Our camps had very well attended events in current and previous years and a in previous years during live acoustic events our guests were rather angry with the neighbooring sound camps, to the extent that we haven't done anything live in the past three years. We stick with pre-recorded music now with amplification. Personally, I don't want to deal with people talking about sabotage, so we just try to keep up with the ravers best we can in the escalating output war.
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Postby Ranger Genius » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:24 pm

Here's the guideline I use when trying to determine whether I should talk to someone about their sound situation (whether as a neighbor OR as a Ranger): is their sound installation taking the form of a GIFT to the community and their neighbors? I don't really have any sympathy for anyone who camps at an address farther to the fringes than 1:15 or 9:15. You should expect what you get there. In the rest of the city, the real question is whether your music is something you're offering people, or whether it's something you're inflicting upon them. The edges of the city are designated for massive scale sound art installations. If you plan on making a whole lot of noise, that is where you need to request placement. In the rest of the city, the COMMUNITY STANDARD is a limit of 300w. And you are obligated under your SOCIAL CONTRACT as a member of said community to follow it. It is possible, though, to still be a considerate neighbor even if not technically compliant with this standard. I give Black Rock City Animal Control highest regards in respect to their willingness to take a few steps to help build a community with their 2004 neighbors in Hushville, Kidsville, and the AEZ. A few members of AEZ came over and asked me to talk to BRCAC about their sound level (as self-declared neighborhood Ranger) on Monday night, having done so themselves only cursory success. When I went over and talked to them, they were genuinely concerned that they were putting off their neighbors, and immediately rectified it, by taking their speakers off the tall poles they were on and placing them on the ground, facing inwards towards the dance/lounge, backing them with crates, plywood, pallets, and other handy materials to reduce backwash, and reducing the volume slightly. The Db level on the dance floor was about the same, but where ten minutes before the noise was deafening half a block away in the quiet camps, it was virtually undetectable. I still wear the dog tag they gave me that night with utmost pride. Proud to have them just as neighbors.

Here's a hint: if you have more people complaining about your music than dancing to it, you're not providing a gift. You're being an asshat. Plus, your band sucks anyway.

Other camps who get the official Hushville Flounder-at-Large Seal of Neighborly Approval: Hair of the Dog. Golden Cafe. Gigsville (yes, Gigsville! Except for the Wagon Artcar).
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Postby djmalloc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:56 pm

Ranger Genious, your post discredits the 300w rule better than I ever could have. You stated that Animal Control had a greater than 300w sound system in an area designated as a non-noise zone. As such, they were an illegal sound camp.
EB wrote:Rules are rules.
And they are not meant to broken!

Yet you applaud their efforts to work with their neighbhours to find a compromise in spite of their obviously flagrant disregard to the 300w rule.

I don't mean to cast disparagement on your actions. On the contrary, I find them applaudlable even though I cannot spell that word! However, they are in direct contradiction to the stated rules of the organization. So if we find your actions applaudable, and those of the organization deplorable, what are we as concerned citizens meant to do?

This year my camp was also very concerned about ruining anyone else's time. We too took our speakers off their mounts. We too turned our speakers away from the street and in towards our camp. Heck, we even one-upped your scofflaw friends by placing giant vans and trailers between the speakers and those that they were offending.

And yet, after all this effort, we find ourselves working ceaselessly to defend our right to our space because of a law deeming that 300w is the only allowable wattage in a non-sound zone.

Your story, and I hope my story, demonstrate that the rule is meaningless. You supported a camp that was well beyond the limit because they made good efforts. Other camps were shut down entirely or proscribed to certain hours of operation despite their good efforts. This rule is being applied wily-nilly (and I hate to use that term because of it's pegorative connotations (but in this case, they are appropriate)) and only in cases where the community cannot come to agreement. It should either be abandoned or revised so that it is meaningful.

The 300w rule is BS* from the point of view of the sound camps and from the point of view of the quiet camps. It is useless, or worse yet oppressive. It needs serious re-evaluation. It's not really being enforced, as your story and my story both illustrate. But it is being used as a catch-all clause when mediation and discussion fail.

*BS stands for bull shit which is a slang term, the meaning of which can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullshit
And DAMNED be those who stand in the WAKE OF THE MACHINE when those discussions fail! For it shall be FAR WORSE then the wrath of a woman scorned when the FATES take their REVENGE upon THEE!

HA ha!

I doubt there is anything that can be done about this. But I honestly believe it will become *the* point of contention as more and more newbies come to the event and seek rules and guidelines to resolve their issues as opposed to finding collaborative ways to work their issues out.

The more folks rely on these rules the more it will become apparant that these rulese (when enforced) severly and adversely affect a significant portion of the community (that portion which represent medium-sized sound camps). This will either result in these folks abandoning the event or finding another way around the problem.

When first I came to the playa I didn't know you could buy ice. I didn't know there were rangers who would arbitrate your discussions for you. Based on horrible math I built a 3' high dome and bartered my ass for sunscreen as I tried to find a way to survive despite the harsh sun, the dry climate and the oppressive beats. And DAMNIT, that built character! Or at the very least, it did not kill me.

As a resident of BRC for 8 years I certainly hope we can find another way around this ever-growing problem other than rules and regulations handed down from the ...organization.

In years past there were no rules. As the population has grown we've added rules. Perhaps there comes a tipping point at which the rules need to be removed and the community needs to fend for itself or find itself in ruins?

Or perhaps there is a way in which the Burning Man organization can solve these societal issues for us; a challenge which our "real life" government has been unable to surmount without a massive restriction in personal responsibilty?

Regardless, I seriously hope we don't have to use our flamethrowers to figure it out.

p.s: Did I mention the flamethrowers yet?
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Postby Ranger Genius » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:30 pm

BRCAC was definitely not pumping five kilowatts. They were probably more in the 800 watt (potential) area. And they certainly did not have the knob at eleven. Furthermore, camps like the Golden Cafe turn their music off or way down when it gets late, rather than blaring it until 6 AM as you admit to doing. I really doubt you had a big enough crowd by that time to justify the irritation you were clearly causing your neighbors.

Maybe you were being completely reasonable about your sound levels and you just had bitchy neighbors. But I doubt it. Is what you're doing a gift to the community? or just an ego trip for you?

BTW, I know someone who has a train horn mounted in the undercarriage of his truck, with a dedicated air compressor. I'm sure he'd be happy to "gift" you with a performance some morning around eight o'clock.
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Postby djmalloc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:38 pm

Our parties ranged from 3 to 500. 500 was the massive one. We gifted at least a thousand bucks worth of booze and food to the playa during these parties. Yeah, it was a serious freaking party the whole goddamn time. People had amazing times. Our djs and live musicians rocked their fucking nights. It was fucking awesome!

But I don't even see why the crap that should matter. Should my art be judged by how many people attend my opening? Sure, we were succesful. We were the life of the party. But I should be able to stand here and defend myself just as well if we weren't.

Damnit, when did this become a popularity contest? Jesus, you people are beginning to make me feel kind of sick.

There seems to be anger and hostility in your response to my comment which I really do not understand. Why do you accuse me of being an egotist? Why do you suggest airhorning my camp at 8am? I already mentioned in the above post that we bent over backwards to accomodate the one individual who was having a hard time with our camp. There were at least 200 people who were equidistant to us as him who did not complain. And yet your post seems to assume that we were not civil with out levels.

How did you make this logical jump? Was there something in my post that lead you to believe my camp and I were anything other than team-players? I hope not, cause we really bent over backwards to ensure that this one individual had his needs met EVEN AFTER THE ORGANIZATION RULED IN OUR FAVOR.

Due to my ignorace of your situation and the the thought models you were laboring under at the time you wrote that post I can only assume that you are an ignorant fucktit. I doubt this is the case though, and would love to hear the well thought our arguments you have prepared to the contrary.

Quite honestly, I don't understand why your post was so disparaging of my camp considering you had never been there.
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Postby Ranger Genius » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:49 pm

Obviously all of my comments here are purely as a participant, not representative of any form of authority or official body whatsoever.

But there's a place for large sound groups. It's at the edges of the city. You bitch about being drowned out by the larger sound camps, and yet don't take a hint about how your neighbors feel when you set up your 5kw system next to them, well outside of the limits established for that section of the city. People who are trying to have a conversation, or sleep, who simply can't because you feel the need to fulfill your desires while ignoring the concerns of your neighbors.

If you KNOW you're bringing a 5Kw system, you also know that you need to request placement at the edge of the city. There's a place for that, just like there's a place for quiet camps. You wouldn't like people forcing you to be a quiet camp against your will, why do you think it's okay to force people to camp in a loud space?
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Postby djmalloc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:58 pm

Ah. I see. 200 watts over the allowable limit is acceptable. For a total of 800 watts being the allowable limit. Fair enough, I'll just drop the volume on my 1000 watt sound system to 8 out of 10 and be done with it. And don't expect me to turn my speakers inward, or block the sound, or agree to reasonable hours of operation. Dude?

As a Ranger I am suprised you are taking such a narrow and uninformed view. We did eveything in our power to ensure our neighbhours were happy, and in the end our local ranger gave us the green light to play based on these measures. We're happy, he's happy everyone's happy all around!

Except for your threats to airhorn us in the morning! WHo the fuck are you?

Holy crap you jackass, isn't there some kind of test you need to take before becoming a ranger? And if so, doesn't it include a "not making uninformed opinionated posts on the eplaya" subcategory? Fuck! You are soooo voted off the island. And by island I mean playa. And by voted off I mean carried off indignantly by donkey. And by Fuck, I straight up just mean Fuck. Fuck!

Sorry, what I meant to say was I would gladly give you and your camp the benefit of the doubt were any allegations cast against your camp regardless of the wattage of the stereo equipment you happened to bring to the playa especially if you made it clear that you had gone above and beyond to ensure that your neighbhours were happy. Let's grab a quick bit of tea and some crumpets and talk about how accepting and open minded we are and how we hate folks who make misinformed judgemental decisions about people they've never met. Sounds just swell, doesnt it you judgemental assfuck titsucking fucktard?

Oh...maybe that was a little harsh. But let's let it stand for the nonce.

Anyhow, regardless of Ranger Jacktard's (if that is your real name) one-sided view of my individual situation this whole conversation brings us back to the origin of this discussion. Our registration questionarre made it clear that we were a medium-sized sound camp. Our neighbhours registration questionarre made it clear the he abhorred all sound. And we were placed directly next to each other. We worked it out, and a lot of other camps will do so as well. But there was an ugly moment where we were almost asked to pick up 3 days of work and move it to ...Gerlach? It wasn't even clear. But the truth of the matter was <b> no one believed strongly enough in the rule to do so</b>

So, as an FYI to the next ignorant fucktard who responds to this post without reading the entire thing please be aware that the case I am making is just as much for the sound camps as it is for the quiet camps. You asstards. My God I hate all of you.
<rant>
That was harsh. But can't you read? If you can and you do I love you. And even if you can and don't I still love you. You are OK. And it's cool if you can't and don't. That's cool too. But at least you should like preface your statements with:

While I may have not ready any of the content posted previously I would like to ignorantly claim that...


and then just go right on ahead.
</rant>
Sorry! Sometimes I get overheated! What I <b>meant</b> to say was:

The placement system is fucked and does not explcitly invoke the 300w rule. When arbitration fails, the 300w rule is invoked and it unfarily penalizes sound camps who made their case clear in their registration questionarre.

Trust me, we learned our lesson. We are not registering as a camp next year. We are going to find like-minded theme camps and find a spot somewhere off the grid. Bman has proven themselves incapable or unwilling to reesolve these issues for us so we are taking them into our hands.

And perhaps, that's the best way for these issues to be resolved after all. I will certainly feel better about this than if I petitioned the MAN to solve my problems for me.

That said, if any of you ignorant sleep police fucktits come near my fucking sound camp I swear to GOD you are getting the flamethrower right in the face.

HA HA HA ha ha HA!

...I mean that in the nicest way possible. Which (I am aware) is still not all that nice.
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Postby Ranger Genius » Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:10 am

Like I said, I'm not specifically familiar with your situation, and maybe you simply had particularly bitchy neighbors. (I've had people come complain about a small (12v, 40 watt) slow strobe light on a 15-ft pole that acts as a homing beacon). That sometimes happens too. Mostly what I was responding to was the general tenor of your posts (It's fucking burning man, fuck you all, I'll do whatever the fuck I want!) which I have heard used as an excuse for outright anti-social auditory behavior.

I believe you did make reasonable accomodations, and your specific case WAS a failing of placement, if what you say is true. I have, however, seen people set up sound systems in 3kw+ capacity level in open camping, disregarding even the most basic courtesy sound protocols to play uninspired pigswill at unreasonable levels, and for an audience of one drunk raver, who was more teetering than dancing. His response to the request of about a half dozen neighbors who were there at the particular time I was asked to go out was that "this is my art. I just got here, I've worked hard to get here and I can do what I want. You shouldn't be sleeping anyway when there are such great tunes going on!"
Sound familiar?

300w is not really a hard and fast rule; more of a guideline. As evinced by my seal of approval on the BRCAC camp which was not compliant with that "rule." If the Rangers who were asked to come out and talk to you gave you the green light, then it's safe to say you were making reasonable attempts to alleviate problems with your neighbors as well. It's hard to say whether that's the exception or the rule with music camps. The mix wavers pretty close to the middle.

If I were allowed to write the rule regarding the level of noise camps in the open camping or village areas are allowed to make, it would be thus:

"Don't be a dick."

Difficult one to quantify though. It's kind of like obscenity in that way: hard to define, but you know it when you see it.

Incidentally, you're the one who has been unclear here, not specifying that you were a placed camp, when most of this discussion has been about camps in open camping. Also, your first description of "bending over backwards" was that you turned the music off for a little while a couple times. Describing your sound-dampening techniques would have been much more informative. So, were you being a dick? If your description of your setup was accurate, I'd say probably not. Which makes you compliant with my personal sound level rule. Good 'nuff?
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Postby Mr. Mellow » Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:34 am

Ranger Genius wrote:If I were allowed to write the rule regarding the level of noise camps in the open camping or village areas are allowed to make, it would be thus:

"Don't be a dick."



You got my vote. That and "Your placement by the BMORG is not a license to be a dick."
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Postby logan5 » Sat Sep 17, 2005 1:45 am

What I have noticed in this more than amusing thread is a lack of locations attached to the arguments.

Were you out at ego or fetish trying to sleep and getting blasted by inconsiderate noisemakers? Or were you sitting on the esplanade?

If you were out in the burbs, catharsis on backwards, then I agree, loud'ish' sound should be less prominent. However....

I think it's the obligation of anyone placed on the main drag, (aka the esplanade, the plazas, the 2:00/10:00 sound zones) to be providing something to the community consistently. If you're placed somewhere 30,000 people are going to walk by numerous times, you had better well live up to that real estate.

If you are anywhere close to these locations then you have a very poor arguement for wanting sound turned down. It is the duty of camps at these locations to be providing interactivity with the playa, at any and all times. There are still many people walking the strip looking for fun at 7am, noon, 6pm, midnight, and 3am. That's what's expected when you have choice placement like that. And I have to agree that the 300w rule is pretty dumb. Wattage isn't even a measure of loudness.

You then say what about my non-sound art that wants esplande placement too? No problem, bring it, set it up, just don't sleep there. Half the people I spoke to who were working on loud sound art had dual camps, the sound art and the secondary camp.


Is having another camp a block or 2 deep such an inconveneice that you will force the thousands of people walking the strip to miss someone's sound?


Personally I am disappointed when I walk by a camp on esplanade and its dead. A tent city with nothing going on. What they hell are you doing on the esplanade?

On a side note, the descendence into pathetic and shallow arguements has me a little worried. Cutting speaker wires, stealing gennys, and firing water at electronics... are you people serious??? If not, well, I didn't catch the joke. If so, well.. damn.. grow up.

Also the $ & time argument is pretty poor too. Is time & money the valuating trait for art these days? God I hope not. We dropped over 2k just on gasoline this year. Does that make my art better than then $50 game of giant pick-up sticks? I think not, I liked the pick-up sticks more. And what about uniqueness? Does the giant croquet (a unique and fabulous installation) rate higher than the blinking lights (of which there are many) ?

I think if you are grouping many camps into categories... 'thumpy thumpy', or 'more blinky' you are just lacking an appreciation for it. I heard a few people talking about 'just another blinky setup' whereas I found the same installation wholely unique. Same for the sound. I visited 6 or 7 sound camps and found every one unique, their sound was different, their setup was different, their lights were different, their scene was unique.
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Postby jevfro » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:28 am

I like Logan5'spoint here...[quote]I think it's the obligation of anyone placed on the main drag, (aka the esplanade, the plazas, the 2:00/10:00 sound zones) to be providing something to the community consistently. If you're placed somewhere 30,000 people are going to walk by numerous times, you had better well live up to that real estate.
[/quote]

I believe many folks that were subjects of noise complaints were rightfully adding to the community.

I've always viewed one of my favorite parts of BRC as the city that "really" doesn't sleep. I understand some of you are weak and must sleep so don't camp near these areas (esplanade, the plazas, the 2:00/10:00 sound zones)... if anything the loudness needs to expand not contract.

This is my own view however and must compete w/ the view of 30,000+ others. If you want the loud art to get smaller, don't worry it will. Just keep hassling artists and it will disappear and go somewere it will be apreaciated. I saw a post bitching about lights too... if you don't want light sound and art go visit a field somewhere, it's cheaper and you will sleep great.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:34 am

HEre I sit @ 2:30 in the morning reading this shit. Am going to have to call the police back to shut the peple nxt door down.
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Postby Davoid » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:50 am

djmalloc wrote:assfuck titsucking fucktard


Hey, heyyy, titsucking? Let's leave the beautiful things in life out of the put-down category.

And quit with the flamethrower stuff. "Threatening, ha ha" to inflict massive burns and death is creepy.

Unless there's a proximity suit involved...maybe executing precision dance moves in competition...
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Postby Mister Jellyfish Mister » Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:56 am

Our neighbors, Summer Camp, were very diplomatic with us. Came over to explain their intent and hours of operation and understood when I quoted the 300 watt rule that they would be breaking. Then it began, and I realized just how loud and how close to my pillow those speakers were.

I went over there and talked to Andy after I spoke to some Rangers, and he started working with us by pointing the speakers in a different direction, a little irked, but still maintaining diplomatic relations. Maybe it was that open, cooperative attitude that made me start noticing something... these guys were good! There was huge talent hovering around those turntables, the kind I don't get to be close to in the default world. The young lady spinning the morning tunes really had pinache as well.

Yes, rules were probably broken. Together we worked it out and all got to leave feeling fully self-expressed. There were others in my camp that may not feel that way, and the big sound camps do belong elsewhere, but I'm still happy with how it all played out with a lesson in tolerance for me and my burn.
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Postby Major Roosevelt » Sat Sep 17, 2005 8:47 am

Mister Jellyfish Mister wrote:Our neighbors, Summer Camp...


Mr. Jellyfish....what you don't tell this group is that you are one of the nicest, easiest to get along with people (I have ever met). That should be an important factor here.

We camped with you but were on the opposite corner of our massive camp. Our pillow was across the street from a different "dusk til dawn" rave camp (3:00 and Amnesia, Mr. Ranger) that, upon request, refused to consider lowering their volume and also refused to rotate their speakers inward. They had a huge outdoor dance area and could easily have adjusted their speakers to flood inward and probably reduced outward volume by 70%. But nooooo.....the fact we could not carry on a conversation in our camp, hear our own music or sleep meant nothing to them.

Sounds very familiar to the rest of this thread.

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Postby Ron » Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:18 am

OK, apparently my writing isn't working. I am *not* advocating dousing expensive electronics with water. I am saying that those who insist on having loud sound 24/7, even after neighbors have asked them to turn it down, are acting with the same disregard for others that one who did douse said electronics would be putting into effect. In other words, when you insist on keeping your sound levels up you are being just as rude and disrespectful, for the exact same reasons, as would be someone who drowned your system. That's not the same as advocating for said drowning, for those keeping score at home.

And location is only secondary to me. Yes being on the Esplanade, say, does require 24 hour interactivity. No that does not require ear bleeding sound 24 hours a day. In fact, the louder the sound in a given space, often times, the less interactivity there is as folk can't talk to each other. Truthfully, there are lots of ways to provide "entertainment," that do not involve making your neighbors physically ill by keeping them from sleep for a week. The connection between the expectation of Esplanade placed theme camps and loud noise 24/7 is a faulty one, IMHO.

DJ, in terms of your camp, I have no clue and am not disparaging. I did adopt the whole "I worked hard for this," line that you started in order to illustrate how wrong headed it is. It doesn't matter how hard anyone has worked for their camp, it doesn't matter how many other camps are similar, or so on. What matters is that those who insist on keeping their sound loud, in the face of complaints from their neighbors, are choosing to be assholes, IMHO.

Sound pollution is just that, pollution. It causes actual physical harm, not only to the audio system but all across the board via a loss of sleep. Just as there's a time, place, and manner for having a fire on playa to reduce the harms associated with it, I believe there's a time, place, and manner for loud camps on playa. And it isn't when the neighbors are complaining, for the most part.

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Postby djmalloc » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:16 pm

I cannot agree with you more, Ron. There should be a time and a place for all sound art including medium-scale sound art. But there isn't.

To whit:
A medium scale sound camp will not be able to be heard at 2 or 10 because of the enormousness of the rave camps there.

A medium scale sound camp can't run anywhere else due to the ill-advised 300 watt.

Therefore, these is no place for us. And there are lots of us. And it seems it's not working out for any of us. Some of us are getting shut down and some of us are making enemies. All of this is sad-making.

We were right on the Plaza this year. The Ranger's told us that we had to shut down at 1am. They told us they were doing us a favor letting us even play at all because we were in violation of the 300w rule. And this was after we had turned our speakers in, built sound walls, agreed to stop playing the Melvins etc etc.

On the flip side, other camps seem to have been able to be total dicks and make no concessions to their neighbhours and apparantly had no problems for the Rangers.

This rule is not working.

Oh and check this crazy crap out: I asked if they would have done the same thing if we had been on the Esplanade. And they said yes.

"For rizzle?" I rejoined, my voice straining with perplexity and dismay.

"For rizzle" he replied, a stern look on his face and steel in his eye.

How does this make sense? Let's say I camp on the Esplanade next to say...Pangea (a huge camp with a crazy live band and giant sound sysetm that threw parties with hundred of peoples). And I decide I want to go to bed at 1am that night. Or I want to take a nap at 3 in the afternoon. With the current system I can walk up to a Ranger and get them to pull the plug. At least, this is what the rules say. The truth is it seems it is totally random whether they will get shut down or I will have to deal with it.

I guess what I am trying to say through all the swearing and ranting and expletives is that the current system does not make sense and needs to be revised. It can, will, and has already, ruined people's times.

Maybe we can try to guide this discussion to a discussion of other options we might propose to the org?

I suggest the official rule be taken from the suggestion of my esteemed colleague: "Don't be a dick". This makes sense. It could be "enforced" via community mediation.

Or (and I don't really like this option) the playa could be more zoned. If Bman provided a space for medium scale sound camps and they all gathered together (like an inverse hushville) then these problems would dissapear. If a sound camp was outside of this area they'd have no excuse because there is a place for them. And if you camp in this area you know what you are getting into so you can't really ask people to shut down.

I don't like the latter option (even though I think it would work) because it solves the problems with yet more rules handed down from above and I feel like that is not in the spirit of the BurningMan that I love.

However, I am already being affected by the 300w rule which was handed down from above so I would rather be affected by a rule which made sense.

And also, that was a mis-spelling in my other post. I wrote titsucking when I mean shitfucking. Common mistake, I'm sure you've all made it once or twice.
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Postby DVD » Sat Sep 17, 2005 2:57 pm

djmalloc wrote:Therefore, these is no place for us. And there are lots of us. And it seems it's not working out for any of us. Some of us are getting shut down and some of us are making enemies. All of this is sad-making.


This is simply not true. Go through the registration process. The placers do very well. Not perfect, but very well.

djmalloc wrote:We were right on the Plaza this year.


At 9:00? Were you in a dome? If so- I loved your music.


djmalloc wrote:This rule is not working.


There are many rules not working. How about joining me with some volunteering this year? I'd love to get the sound rules strightened out and also have some suggestions for exodus that came from another thread.

djmalloc wrote:"For rizzle" he replied, a stern look on his face and steel in his eye.

I got a lot of this vibe from different arms of the Org this year. It's the primary motivator for volunteering, as I said before, to rid the org of the festering stink of Bureaucracy.

djmalloc wrote:How does this make sense? Let's say I camp on the Esplanade next to say...


It's no fun to work hypotheicals about this last burn at this point. It's just making you mad. What if a number of the conditions in you scenerio worked out differently?

djmalloc wrote:Maybe we can try to guide this discussion to a discussion of other options we might propose to the org?


Come down with me sometime and I introduce you to who I know and see wwhat happens. If you volunteer you get to go to the meetings for the arm you volunteer for. Maybe you'd like to see how placement works.

I suggest the official rule be taken from the suggestion of my esteemed colleague: "Don't be a dick". This makes sense. It could be "enforced" via community mediation.[/quote]

I asked this question before- why does it seem so difficult for some people to interact directly with the community? I guess that's like asking "Why are you so shy?"- there's no real answer I guess.

I like if the rangers get enough complaints, the rangers calling the community together- if they want to come -and seeing if the music or flame thrower or slow strobe camp warrants an enforcement of the limit according to the community. If so the ranger enforces enforces the rule.
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Postby mo_corleone » Sat Sep 17, 2005 4:59 pm

DVD wrote:This is simply not true. Go through the registration process. The placers do very well. Not perfect, but very well.


please go re-read my original post in this thread. we did exactly that - for the first year ever - and found that the reaction to our sound setup was even less favorable than in the years we simply set up our theme camp renegade-style in the inner burbs. in fact, this is the central source of contention for me - the fact that we did register and we did state our intentions for sound and parties clearly ahead of time. in fact, the org was initially quite encouraging of our plans, at first stating that we would be placed on the esplanade before eventually changing their minds. we got plenty of support for our concepts early on, and then the placement team did a complete 180 once we actually arrived on the playa and powered up. the fact that they fell back on this 300-watt small print after giving our camp the green light, after we had booked 40+ DJs to perform, and after we had hauled a buttload of gear to the desert is why i am so disappointed with the 300 watt "rule".

if we had just showed up unannounced and started blaring music in a random spot, i would be infinitely more understanding about being forced to comply with the 300 watt standard, even though i still do think 300 watts is a ridiculous measurement of actual sound. as it was, our camp still made a number of concessions to our (one or two) offended neighbors. we moved our speakers. we set up sound barriers that effectively blocked the entrance of our camp. when the neighbor came over to check our levels, we turned them down until he was comfortable and then actually left them there for the remainder of the night.

we were not dicks. yes, our sound system may have boasted over 300 watts, but you have to realize that we were lead to believe this was acceptable given our pre-playa discussions with the placement team. it's one of the reasons we got sweet real estate to begin with. we wrote up a detailed plan that we thought was pretty awesome and then submitted it to the org for review. they looked at it, talked with us, and agreed that it was pretty awesome. we did everything we could to live up to the awesomeness we had outlined in our application. and then, on the playa, after all was said and done, the org flipped on us and decided we were not awesome after all! and then they dropped the iron fist of 300 watts.

it was fucking weak. it was a betrayal of the trust that we had built with the org over the past months. and to see camps like The Deep End, who were directly opposite from us and even a couple streets farther back from the esplanade, operate their booming sound system without any repercussions only served to pour salt in the wounds.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:06 pm

While The Deep End was pretty damn good, it sure as hell wasn't operating at any measly 300 watts, that's for damn sure. No wonder you're pissed after doing all that you did and then the ORG flipflops and essentially screws you over. I'd be pissed too.
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Postby dj chai » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:39 pm

DVD wrote:
At 9:00? Were you in a dome? If so- I loved your music.


the 9:00 plaza seemed to have much more going on 24/7 and it was also up and running days before the 3:00 plaza.

with that said to answer you question no we were on the 3:00 side, which i hadn't noticed until this year is the quieter side.

people keep saying keep sound above 300 watts at the 2:00 and 10:00 streets, but what everyone doesn't seem to notice is that there is only so much space there. you can't just set up shop over there, it's reserved for theme camps placed by the org. they decide if you have enough sound to be out there. if you don't get placed there and you're a medium sound camp what are you suppossed to do? cancel your theme camp?

our camp did everything we could do to accomidate our neighbors and still function as a sound camp, but in all reality blocking an entire side of our camp with vans, trucks, and trailors made it closed off and unappealing for people to enter. this made me very sad for the djs we booked to play. and the tension we had early on in the week ruined the first half of my burning man, something i had been looking forward to all year long.

it's becoming increasingly more obvious to me that my art is just not welcome at burning man. that's fine, i don't want to waiste my energy offering something to a community who rejects it. it's just dissappointing because burning man touts itself as being a radically inclusive event.
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Postby DVD » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:41 pm

mo_corleone wrote: we were lead to believe this was acceptable given our pre-playa discussions with the placement team.


Ok. But, out of curiosity, what exactly did they say to you? This does smack of what I was talking about in my reply.

It seems like the Org needs to straighten out 'intended meaning' in its correspondance. I think you can see this in other Orgs as well, like when trying to interact with the Government- They stop communicating in your language and make you use theirs.

Back to the issue here- what did they say?
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Postby DVD » Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:50 pm

dj chai wrote:with that said to answer you question no we were on the 3:00 side, which i hadn't noticed until this year is the quieter side.


Gah. I actually meant the 3 side. Were you opposite the rickshaw people on BiPolar? there was some great music on our side when it was happening.

There was a beautiful red dome up toward 2:30 on BiPolar.

We were at 3 and Fetish across from the Shark Car people.
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