req rumor control: La Contessa

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req rumor control: La Contessa

Postby ZaphodBurner » Thu Sep 15, 2005 10:15 am

What happened to La Contessa? A playa rumor was that she ran aground.

...um... that doesn't help much.

All I saw was most of the lower starboard hull ripped out, revealing a school bus.

Anybody know?

-c
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Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:00 am

I heard that she was cruising fast (hm--credible? why yes!) outside the event and tore out her axle on a train track.

I did not hear of a black mass in which the Rangers nailed one of their own up as an upside down figurehead and promiced to feed one lucky participant to Mt. Lassen every year for the next thirteen.
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Postby stuart » Thu Sep 15, 2005 11:24 am

seems, once again, the boat was driven in a less than responsible fashion
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Postby headquarters » Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:25 pm

either they towed it in again or were driving fast after the burn or something but i was sitting on it while it was just stationary on saturday afternoon of the burn. didn't seem like anything was wrong. but then again i didn't really think about it at the time. it was sitting at like 4:30 and the esplanade.
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Postby falk » Thu Sep 15, 2005 5:05 pm

I went out and had a look at it on Weds. They were about three miles outside the trash fence, aground in the sagebrush on the edge of the playa. I don't recall any railroad tracks in that area.

Rumor I heard was that they'd been joyriding at night, either weren't watching where they were going, or had actually left the helm unattended, and ran aground on the rocks.

This Google satellite photo shows the location where I recall seeing the wreck. Zoom out and scroll down to see its location relative to the city:
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Postby doc » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:26 am

What I and other large scale Mutiant Vehical drivers were told by a number of rangers was she hit some unlit art on the playa and to watch out for it.

From what I understand the only way she was able to return this year was under the command of BRC rangers. I doubt very much that she was ever speeding anywhere this year.

After the repairs it looked like she had a dpw car as a spotter for the rest of the event.


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Postby ZaphodBurner » Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:48 am

doc wrote:What I and other large scale Mutiant Vehical drivers were told by a number of rangers was she hit some unlit art on the playa and to watch out for it.

From what I understand the only way she was able to return this year was under the command of BRC rangers. I doubt very much that she was ever speeding anywhere this year.

After the repairs it looked like she had a dpw car as a spotter for the rest of the event.

doc


Fascinating. BTW, our camp LOVED the cat! Nicely done.

-c
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 16, 2005 10:00 am

There is more than one ship in BRC. Is it possible that another may account for some of the in city sightings? Just asking because my informants said she was still out there. And some had visited. The 3 mile thing jibes with what I heard, btw.
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Postby TheJudge » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:13 pm

They went deep playa for a private party.

However driving at night on the open playa isnt as easy as one would expect. Since there are no landmarks or lines in a road (or a road, for that matter) its difficult to know that you are driving in a straight line or not.

I dont know all the details, but the driver didnt know the ship was heading towards the dunes in the center of the playa and tore out a good chunk of the starbord hull.

La Contessa needs to go. Its a nice boat and all, but what's the point?
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:16 pm

I;m sure the rangers would be happy to sponcer a burn so she can go out in the proper viking manner...
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Postby Lassen Forge » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:21 pm

TheJudge wrote:They went deep playa for a private party.

However driving at night on the open playa isnt as easy as one would expect. Since there are no landmarks or lines in a road (or a road, for that matter) its difficult to know that you are driving in a straight line or not.

I dont know all the details, but the driver didnt know the ship was heading towards the dunes in the center of the playa and tore out a good chunk of the starbord hull.

La Contessa needs to go. Its a nice boat and all, but what's the point?


I still think with the proper engineering and warning devices and a large enough crew it could be done. But the biggie now is to convince the powers that be to allow her back. She doesn't have the cleanest track record in her present incarnation, ya know...

If they're going out to the deep playa, why didn't she have, at bare minimum, a chart of the playa, a GPS, lights to see where she was going, and people to watch all of that? And why didn't their crew pre-scout the area that day? I don't mean to Tuesday Morning Quarterback here, but what were they thinking???
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Postby TheJudge » Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:33 pm

As I said, I dont know all the details. Contessa has lights, but they are pretty limited. A hand-held GPS is great, provided you've already plotted the course and knew about the dunes ahead of time. They arent pictured on even the local topo maps.

She was banned last year because folks couldnt drive it responsibly. This latest incident does not bode well for her future.

She'd make a great staff vehicle to shuttle volunteers to and from the gate.
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Postby makoona » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:08 pm

On Monday evening, just after sunset I was setting up my tent in the walk in camping area, looked up and, for the first time ever, other than in photographs, saw Contessa. Damn, she was a sight to behold, tearing across the playa in that surreal light of dusk. Paralleling the train tracks and Sending up a plume a mile long and 100 feet up, she looked to be going 60 knots, at least. Is that possible? She was flanked by two chase vehicles looking like they were struggling to keep up. It was glorious.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:52 pm

TheJudge wrote:They (the dunes) arent pictured on even the local topo maps.
Correct me if I'm wrong. I thought you couldn't picture dunes on a topo map because they move in the wind, constantly tearing themselves down and rebuilding themselves farther along.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:54 pm

makoona wrote: she looked to be going 60 knots, at least. Is that possible?
Yeah, it's possible, I guess. She was known for going fast. I don't know what the capabilities of her engine were/are, however.
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Postby ZaphodBurner » Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:59 pm

Bay Bridge Sue wrote:If they're going out to the deep playa, why didn't she have, at bare minimum, a chart of the playa, a GPS, lights to see where she was going, and people to watch all of that?


(...which is pretty much standard equipment on ships nowadays.)

If it doesn't sail next year, a great addition would be giant tentacles coming out of the playa and holding the ship in their clutches.

-c
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Postby MrMojoinCO » Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:20 pm

I store the Purple Palace next to La Contessa near the Playa the other 51 weeks. It was going for a cruse the night I left on tuesday! BRC was starting to look like a ghost town. Those guys dont quit.. I never got the lowdown on the damage, but I also never heard any bad news from the guy that lets us keep our rigs out there (A wonderful individual I must say :lol: )
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Postby falk » Mon Sep 26, 2005 2:00 pm

TheJudge wrote:La Contessa needs to go. Its a nice boat and all, but what's the point?


Disagree. I think it's the most beautiful ship on the playa. Most boats are just a large van wrapped in a tarp or something. This one shows remarkable attention to detail.

All La Contessa needs is a compass, a map, and a GPS system. And a new captain.
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Postby stuart » Mon Sep 26, 2005 3:43 pm

All La Contessa needs


is a big fucking anchor
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Postby spectabillis » Mon Sep 26, 2005 4:50 pm

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Postby ubu » Tue Sep 27, 2005 7:42 pm

yeah, I have seen pictures of it, and heard direct witnesses.

it ran into the hills late at night monday/tuesday. deep playa.

maybe I can dig up some pix for ya. it has lights but the navigator got distracted
and they also turned off the lights for god knows what reason.

some people were injured. and read the back of their tickets. which they had to have on them to be able to go on the deep playa trip.
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in response to "la contessa" rumors

Postby sidecar tommy » Fri Mar 17, 2006 3:43 pm

hi - my name is tommy - i'm in extra-action marching band...usually i stay away from this kind of stuff, but this time i must speak out...you guys are a bunch of dumb asses...La Contessa is the best thing that ever happened to burning man - so are the people who built her and spent hours and hours and hours designing, creating and birthing this landmark vehicle in the middle of a warzone of deep east oakland...i know because i was part of that crew and the extra-action marching band...it upsets me that i hear so many people talking so much shit about us and the way we like to live our "experience" - and i can almost garauntee that you have all enjoyed our contribution to a dying festival of creative expression - both in our performances and our landmark creation...remember that we did this for you - the people of the event - and for ourselves - to show ourselves that anyone can create magic in a large scale art project...who has come close? noone has...who gets more direspect? noone does - why? for being ourselves - the definitive expression that this event has brought to all of us - what did we get? praise from most - and nothing but jealous bullshit from everyone else - thank you - we worked hard for nothing? no, we are proud of what we have accomplished - and ya'll should be ashamed of yourselves for talking shit, when none of you have done anything as glorious...i do not mean this to to everyone...just the ones who have decided that we are not"cool enough" to be recognized as "Playa Artists" - yeah - that means that you've never experienced us for what we really are - some people that for 7 years straight gave all that we had and more by playing all night every night - good music that gets everyone dancing - can you say that for anyone else - no - and i don't mean that in a negative way - i mean that you should really look at what someone has contributed before you judge them...it makes me sad that what i thought was my community has decided to act upon us in such a childish way - shame on you and burningman for joining those jerks and making babies out of themselves - grow up and smell the art....tommy cappel, snare drummer for extra-action marching band...
don't talk shit - it looks real bad
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Postby Chai Guy » Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:15 pm

the way we like to live our "experience"


You mean like shooting at people with a pellet gun from the crow's nest?
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Postby sidecar tommy » Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:50 pm

no - i don't mean that you idiot - that person actually had nothing to do with us, especially when we asked her to leave our presence after we found out what she had been doing -

why do you need to talk so much shit about us? you must realize that you are speaking of 30 plus people - some of whom - myself included - are still a positive part of this structure in other ways than extra-action?

have you any idea that everytime you talk shit about us it fucking hurts?? i busted my ass working on not only la contessa, but 7 years of playing with extra-action, and that we had no intention of hurting people, and that you can't actually find anyone that was actually hurt, except for us?

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Postby Chai Guy » Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:10 pm

And I'm sure you guys had nothing to do with it's wreckless operation, which resulted in it's banishment right?

I thought Extra Action got all bent on on Burning Man and vowed never to return?

Here's an idea, move on.
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Postby HughMungus » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:09 pm

sidecar tommy wrote:no - i don't mean that you idiot - that person actually had nothing to do with us, especially when we asked her to leave our presence after we found out what she had been doing -

why do you need to talk so much shit about us? you must realize that you are speaking of 30 plus people - some of whom - myself included - are still a positive part of this structure in other ways than extra-action?

have you any idea that everytime you talk shit about us it fucking hurts?? i busted my ass working on not only la contessa, but 7 years of playing with extra-action, and that we had no intention of hurting people, and that you can't actually find anyone that was actually hurt, except for us?

tommy


It seemed like only a handful here were talking shit. La Contessa was beautiful. Thanks for helping make it happen.
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Postby Jordan 10-E » Sat Mar 18, 2006 2:58 am

Sidecar Tommy,

No one is critizing your art. I am sure that every person that has seen La Contessa was amazed. You should be proud of that, no doubt. But your other sentiments I just can not accept.

I thought it was a beautiful creation too and I am sorry it hurts you when people talk about the fact that it "ran aground" or that you guys have driven it too fast. I overheard one of the DPW talking about how you guys ran aground. It's not like it didn't happen... or that you all were driving recklessly in 2002 or 2003, whatever year it was. With a vehicle that big there should really be no excuse as to driving too fast, or recklessly, or without lights, or having the driver "be distracted". If you don't want people to talk about things that really happened, be more careful. Plain as that. No one is dissing all the hard work and amazing creativity that went into it, but when we repeatedly hear about these kind of incidents there will be talk. Deal with it. Be more responsible. Period.

But there is something more that really bothers me at this point, after reading your comments. It is how you seem to think that you are the only people that have busted their asses to make BRC what it is and how you are the only ones to play good music, etc. Whatever!!! Your creation has been awesome, but to say you are the ONLY people that contribute is insulting and ignorant. You expect people to be sympathetic to your work when that is your attitude? If that is your attitude, you really should keep it to yourself.

"Who has come close? None."

"Jealous bullshit."

"Done nothing as glorious."

"Can you say that for anyone else?"

"Shame on you & Burning Man."

""Dying festival of creative expression"... The only thing I see dying is the hull of La Contessa.

Dude, Burning Man and all those other people that are not as glorious as you guys didn't drive the thing like idiots (since you like to call people idiots). Get off your your high horse and take some responsiblity. Creating something cool doesn't make you the gods of Burning Man and it sure doesn't give you free reign to live your "experience" at the expense of safety. If you can't deal with what I am saying, tough, because truthfully I can not deal with some of your comments.
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Postby sidecar tommy » Sat Mar 18, 2006 5:32 am

actually jordan - i was speaking to some specific people that had written negative things about la contessa - granted i was upset, and sick of only hearing negative accounts - see, every once in awhile i do a search of la contessa for pictures and video - to day i did that search, and only found these negative comments saying "good riddance" and assorted other mindless bantor that was all negative...

now as far as picking apart my response, you conveniently chose the negative aspects, and taken out of context, i sound like a total asshole - i thank you for that - it really makes me feel great - really...and i hope that you feel great too, really - because if it weren't for you, i would still be sulking in my bed, instead i am humbled and feel depted to you for letting me know that there were actually other people that have attended BM, and made beautiful art for BM - thank you for helping me with this oversite - maybe we can get a coffee at center camp so that i can thank you in person...i'll be there with on of my other bands that haven't been banned...take care, and say hi to your friends for me...if you have any - no no no no no no no no no LOL just joking!! really - just kidding - i didn't really mean to even stir things up this much - just wanted to defend my friends and family - anyways - have a good night and thanks for your insight...sidecar
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Postby Kinetic IV » Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:58 am

Perhaps it's time for a positive comment about LaContessa...

Whenever anyone asks me about Burning Man and I start in describing it, I ALWAYS mention LaContessa. That ship stands out as one of the iconic art creations on the playa for me and left me shellshocked and speechless the first time I saw it. While it may have had some operator handling and control issues I privately wish it could be brought back every year, regardless of the theme. In my mind it just fits the environment....LaContessa simply belongs on the playa.

And since I know the message will get back to those who had a hand in building her, thank you for gifting us such a wonderful creation.
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Postby Jordan 10-E » Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:59 am

You know it is obvious you guys, including yourself, put a ton of work in to that vehicle, and apparently many other things too, including your band. I have enjoyed hearing you all play as you went around the city.

I think I have an understanding of how you feel, especially the feeling that people don't always appreciate how much work you have done or that people might seem critical of something you really believe in. Unfortunately, there will always be people that are quick to make judgement, even when they shouldn't. It can truly be frustrating.

I also know how easy it is in those moments of frustration to lash out. I have done it many times myself. At times I have said things that weren't articulated very well and I wished I could alter or take them back later. I did that very thing not too long ago on another messageboard I frequent. If I were reading negative comments about a work I put so much energy in to, regardless of how right or wrong they were, it wouldn't take too much for me to do the same thing. Even my response to you was a little bit in that vein. Maybe I was indirectly feeling a little threatened.

It's unfortunate that in life there are things that happen which tend to overshadow so many others, the consequential ripple of cause and effect. Sometimes a situation happens that seems to have undesirable consequences and it makes us think about it enough to change what caused it in the first place. Sometimes we can't do anything about it. Sometimes we don't want to change anything regardless. We all have to make decisions in response to various life circumstances.

Anyway, I feel like I am rambling. I hope you get what I was trying to say.

Well, it is all water under the bridge. You and I are cool. I think it would be great if we happen to cross paths at Burning Man. That's what it is about isn't it (at least part of it)? I want to hear your unband band. Haha. Maybe you will get to see my art. We can come away from our experience different people, or on the other hand, more firm in what we already are. Fortunately, for both of us, we are not the only people that have some sort of passion in BRC.... and we are all the richer for it.

Just know, that in the future when I am relating how cool it has been to seen a giant galleon floating across the desert floor that your work didn't all go to waste.

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