Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

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Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby JCarter » Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:07 pm

If so, what did you think?

I'm almost done with it and I'm not 100% sure I like it.

On the one hand there is a lot of good information there and the author really went deep into the particulars of Burning Man, especially the years of 2004-2010. There were some areas in which he was quite frank which was very refreshing(for example, I think he is one of a fairly small number of people who argue that sexuality directly involving genital contact is actually not all that common at Burning Man*) and the pictures were really good. It is written in such a way as to make the reader feel like they are there with the author which makes it an easy read.

On the other hand, I think that the choice of seriously non-objective journalism was not a very challenging or innovative one. Most of the resources in regards to Burning Man that I have found seem to consist of either breathless praise with a very small amount of criticism so that it isn't classified as fawning or hateful rants that are usually put out there by someone with an axe to grind. I was hoping that this would be a little closer to the "as close to objective as we can get" report about Burning Man and in that it falls a little short.

Overall I think that it was a good book and well worth the money although it should be taken with a grain of salt.

*Playa sex was referred to as "gross" at least once, maybe twice in the two pages where it was talked about.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:10 am

Ha, I bought that book, read enough to decide the author was a doosh, and gave the book away.

Hey wait what?

JCarter wrote:
There were some areas in which he was quite frank which was very refreshing(for example, I think he is one of a fairly small number of people who argue that sexuality directly involving genital contact is actually not all that common at Burning Man*)

*Playa sex was referred to as "gross" at least once, maybe twice in the two pages where it was talked about.


Is he with the same chick all the way though? IIRC he brags about not wanting to wake her for sex in the morning, because, she needs her sleep. :roll: Reading about him pampering that sparklepony made me drop the book, actually. Oh and pissing on the playa as his personal work of art, skiving off on set-up after arriving early, totally justified as radical self-expression...

JCarter wrote: It is written in such a way as to make the reader feel like they are there with the author


No thank you!
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby Savannah » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:11 pm

My local library doesn't have it, but I'm relieved to hear I'm not missing anything. :shock:
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby JCarter » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:16 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:Ha, I bought that book, read enough to decide the author was a doosh, and gave the book away.

Hey wait what?



I'm still undecided as to the author's doosh-ness. I think part of it is that my doosh-meter is pretty skewed and would include people that everyone else thinks are dripping sweet, tasty awesome sauce.


MyDearFriend wrote:
Is he with the same chick all the way though? IIRC he brags about not wanting to wake her for sex in the morning, because, she needs her sleep. :roll: Reading about him pampering that sparklepony made me drop the book, actually. Oh and pissing on the playa as his personal work of art, skiving off on set-up after arriving early, totally justified as radical self-expression...



Well, I didn't want to go much into detail about "why I wasn't a fan" but since you "insist".

He did go through at least two, maybe three girls through the span of the book(which since he wrote it over 6 years isn't unreasonable but I did wonder why I as the reader had to know about each one, AND the fact that some porn star clown tried to chat him up).

However he interviewed a few people in the sex-positive community who basically said that playa sex is gross like woah. This, of course, made me wonder why he is getting people on the record to say how gross something that he did(or at least really, really wanted to do. I can't be bothered to look it up) in the first 10 pages is. Since I made the post and have had time to ruminate over it I since think that it is a bit, well, maybe petty(I can't think of a better word unfortunately)? Like, "I'm banging out hot chicks on the playa but YOU, non-cool reader, will most likely not taste the awesome fruit of tasty playa love unless you bring someone with you and even then it will not be as COOL AND AWESOME as the playa sex I'm having".

I didn't address the playa pissing art stuff as, tbh, I thought I was being a prude and that maybe peeing on the playa was not a sort of liquid MOOP.

The leaving early for set up part I can only talk so much smack about as I made the mistake of being a part of two theme camps at the same time and therefore only did the bare minimum for one(please note that when people ask me about my BM experience I preface it by saying that this is what NOT to do). However I do agree that when you have been to a brain meltingly high number of burns you really, really should be able to strike a balance between work and fun that doesn't make you look like an ass.



MyDearFriend wrote:
No thank you!



Yeah. Now that I've finished the book and had a long car ride to think about it I think that it works pretty well to get people into BM(hell, it worked for me, I am actually thinking of going back for round 2 which I never thought I'd say before I read it) but it still has some serious issues. It is quite readable though. I'm just glad from reading around here that everyone else isn't as cool as he is. I'd feel super awkward if that were the case as I am super not that cool.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby JCarter » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:20 pm

Savannah wrote:My local library doesn't have it, but I'm relieved to hear I'm not missing anything. :shock:



Well, I am told that if you go over to the publisher's web page, he put quite possibly the largest sample of a book I have ever seen online. That you don't have to log in or even register for. You can get a very, very good idea if you like it or not. As in super good. As in, he put the whole book online good.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby Savannah » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:38 pm

Okay, maybe I will read some there. I'm not against reading his account, I'm just hesitant to pay for it based on the details so far. :)

You're not being a prude re: playa pissing. It's moop, and it's considered rude. I met a virgin last year who had a portapotty phobia and had been peeing between parked cars (i.e. in people's camps!) for days. She related this in mixed company under a shade structure, and everyone was horrified. She was confused by the reactions, I think . . .

"I'm banging out hot chicks on the playa but YOU, non-cool reader, will most likely not taste the awesome fruit of tasty playa love unless you bring someone with you and even then it will not be as COOL AND AWESOME as the playa sex I'm having".


:lol:
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby JCarter » Sat Jul 23, 2011 3:53 pm

Savannah wrote:Okay, maybe I will read some there. I'm not against reading his account, I'm just hesitant to pay for it based on the details so far. :)

You're not being a prude re: playa pissing. It's moop, and it's considered rude. I met a virgin last year who had a portapotty phobia and had been peeing between parked cars (i.e. in people's camps!) for days. She related this in mixed company under a shade structure, and everyone was horrified. She was confused by the reactions, I think . . .



Ew! Double ew! Between parked cars? Really? If you posted that this was a joke I will be the first to congratulate you on a pranking well done. That's just..gross.


Savannah wrote:
:lol:


It's true!

When you read a few pages you'll see what I mean. On the one hand he does present Burning Man as Big Fun. OTOH, the impression gradually leaks through(or not so gradually depending on how much you are paying attention. It took me around 140 pages or so) that the Big Fun that he is having is much more awesome than the Big Fun that mere mortals such as myself could ever have.

The more I think about it the more ok I am with that. Screw him and his Big Fun.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby Savannah » Sat Jul 23, 2011 4:01 pm

JCarter wrote:
Savannah wrote:Okay, maybe I will read some there. I'm not against reading his account, I'm just hesitant to pay for it based on the details so far. :)

You're not being a prude re: playa pissing. It's moop, and it's considered rude. I met a virgin last year who had a portapotty phobia and had been peeing between parked cars (i.e. in people's camps!) for days. She related this in mixed company under a shade structure, and everyone was horrified. She was confused by the reactions, I think . . .



Ew! Double ew! Between parked cars? Really? If you posted that this was a joke I will be the first to congratulate you on a pranking well done. That's just..gross.


Nope! She was adorable but dim--& accustomed to all of her actions being considered cute. Hell, she probably peed glitter. :lol:
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby JCarter » Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:35 pm

Savannah wrote:
Nope! She was adorable but dim--& accustomed to all of her actions being considered cute. Hell, she probably peed glitter. :lol:



Oh! So she was in "The Bubble" ! I have heard of legends of people who are in "The Bubble" and it somehow doesn't work out but I never thought I'd live to see the day. Did people randomly pinch her cheeks and give her things?

"Bob" bless Burning Man!
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Jul 24, 2011 6:51 am

Oh those Bubble People really give me a pain. I believe that adults ought to earn their oxygen every day, and I hope to meet like-minded folks in BRC.

I have really enjoyed reading Brian Doherty's book, "This Is Burning Man," (three times so far) though it was published before the Opulent Temple Era :roll: which, if the doosh-baggery of the "Tribes" book is any indication, did attract a different kind of "Burner."

Another really good one, which raises the discussion a bit, puts the emphasis back on artistic/spiritual/cultural experiences, and relegates all doosh-baggery to the distant sidelines (where it belongs), is "AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man," edited by Lee Gilmore. My copy is already heavily underlined... :oops:

Oh and I think HugNation's Halcyon probably has a better insight into sex on the playa: "Get used to the taste of baby wipes," is what he says. :wink:
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Re: Anybody read "Tribes of Burning Man" yet?

Postby cpart » Tue Jul 26, 2011 11:01 pm

MyDearFriend wrote:Oh those Bubble People really give me a pain. I believe that adults ought to earn their oxygen every day, and I hope to meet like-minded folks in BRC.

I have really enjoyed reading Brian Doherty's book, "This Is Burning Man," (three times so far) though it was published before the Opulent Temple Era :roll: which, if the doosh-baggery of the "Tribes" book is any indication, did attract a different kind of "Burner."

Another really good one, which raises the discussion a bit, puts the emphasis back on artistic/spiritual/cultural experiences, and relegates all doosh-baggery to the distant sidelines (where it belongs), is "AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man," edited by Lee Gilmore. My copy is already heavily underlined... :oops:

Oh and I think HugNation's Halcyon probably has a better insight into sex on the playa: "Get used to the taste of baby wipes," is what he says. :wink:



Thank you for the book suggestions.
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