ticketless burners, gatekeepers, and money

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

Postby Lydia Love » Wed Sep 03, 2003 6:09 pm

I liked the piece too - even though it gave me a case of the full screaming heebie jeebies to stand under it.

My own full disclosure: I might be a little over-itchy right now about anything corporate.
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Postby Halo Joe » Wed Sep 03, 2003 8:28 pm

clandyone wrote:Lydia, Precip, you're both exactly right.

I have no problem whatsoever with people making a living through art, of course. I do have a problem with... hell, y'all already said it.


Exactly. Of course, I would prefer if artists created solely for the sake of creation and paid no mind whatsoever to fiscal concerns, but this is Uhmuricuh after all, and we all gots ta pay da rent. Word.

(And kudos and 100,000 bonus points to clandyone for spelling "y'all" correctly. Y'all have no idea how many people muss that one up ...)
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Leeches are part of the world too....

Postby manberne » Wed Sep 03, 2003 11:43 pm

I thought this was an inclusive event...doesn't that include people who are entitled to take and not give...

...it is a powerful moment when a person's inner leech realizes burning man isn't made by their ilk...and then the contribution begins (YAY!)...or more alcohol or drugs are consumed to quickly quell the potential change.
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Re: Leeches are part of the world too....

Postby PureJoy » Thu Sep 04, 2003 2:41 pm

...it is a powerful moment when a person's inner leech realizes burning man isn't made by their ilk...and then the contribution begins (YAY!)...or more alcohol or drugs are consumed to quickly quell the potential change.[/quote]

Most beautiful thing I've read today :D
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The Joy of Gatekeeping

Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:20 pm

Wish I had a hunk of brie to go with all the whining. :lol: I happened to get a first row view of what the Gate does. I think most of us understand the reasons why stowaways endanger our event. The Gate staff are simply doing a job mandated by the BMorg. Almost every person on staff is a volunteer. These volunteers are required to work 6 hour shifts. Try getting up at 5 to work the 6 am shift, or face the heat of the noon to 6 shift, or miss out on all the fun by working till midnight or the graveyard shift. Ever get blisters on blisters, scratches from climbing through precariously packed trucks, or heat exhaustion from working in the sun with no shade? Trust me it's no fun to finish up your shift in the med tent with an IV in your arm after passing out. Ever try eating breakfast on your feet in between searches when things get really busy? Working through dust storms is a lot of fun too. :)

Of course no matter what this volunteer force does, we get complaints. If we cut someone a brake instead of being complete assholes we hear about our potential security breaches. As for cars lining up, this could be improved by shortening the distance between the Gate and the Greeters or simply getting more volunteers for Gate duty. Anyone willing to be part of the solution instead of the problem out there?
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SURPRISED

Postby Diazo » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:30 pm

i'm surprised by the one-sidedness of everyone's comments and the way everyone is jumping down the throat of the one dissenter who didn't like being searched. he has a right to his opinion and with a little imagination, we can understand something of where he's coming from, even if we don't fully agree with it, can't we? and perhaps we can relent on the "good riddance" comments too.

i also want to point out that there are people out there who just LOVE Burning Man and desperately want to be part of it but don't have the money. the cost of a ticket can be prohibitive. i came with a stowaway (who got caught), do you want to crucify me? he was not a bad person, but a good kind decent person who just wanted to go to BM and didn't have the money. my friend and i knew he didn't have a ticket and we warned him he was on his own if he got turned away, so the decision for him to hide was something he did spontaneously at the last moment. by the way, we were not penalized or turned away as accomplices and i am thankful to the gate people for that. ok, kill me.
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Re: SURPRISED

Postby Stormy » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:37 pm

Diazo wrote:i also want to point out that there are people out there who just LOVE Burning Man and desperately want to be part of it but don't have the money. the cost of a ticket can be prohibitive. i came with a stowaway (who got caught), do you want to crucify me? he was not a bad person, but a good kind decent person who just wanted to go to BM and didn't have the money. my friend and i knew he didn't have a ticket and we warned him he was on his own if he got turned away, so the decision for him to hide was something he did spontaneously at the last moment. by the way, we were not penalized or turned away as accomplices and i am thankful to the gate people for that. ok, kill me.


Ever thought of working for the ticket? For the last 4 years I've worked for my ticket, three years in the Fire Conclave and this year at the Gate. Sure it took some effort to make it to firedance practices and having to spend a long time waiting at the Artery for a laminate, but that's what work exchange is all about. Working for the Gate as I've explained is well, work.

I've also helped run countless benefit parties and have always gladly offered work exchange for those short on cash.
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thanks for not crucifying me.

Postby Diazo » Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:11 pm

good suggestion, thanks. my friend didn't plan ahead to do that. his decision to come was last minute. i know for myself, that i don't think i could handle working for the ticket because i found it hard enough just to concentrate on getting myself fed, getting sleep and going to the bathroom. but i admire you greatly for your ability to work out there as you did.
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Postby Lydia Love » Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:45 pm

and perhaps we can relent on the "good riddance" comments too.


Or perhaps not. And while I don't want to crucify you I might wanna slap you around a little. That "good kind decent person" decided to steal from a community I value a great deal - use the infrastructure, the portapotties, and the time of many dedicated volunteers etc etc etc.

The cost can be prohibitive? Plan ahead. Didn't plan ahead? Plan ahead for next year. I sacrafice, scrape, pinch pennies and plan plan plan. Many many people give of themselves all year to make this event happen.

In my book anyone who tries to steal their burningman experience is squatting down and taking a crap on all that passion and work. Fuck that.
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Re: freedom is expensive

Postby Borris » Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:24 am

eli eli eli wrote: go on. search me.
i'm willing to allow it


OK Girl, spread em. wider... hands against that wall, now what are you hiding under that skirt...

Could i search you next year...
Shit, where was i for the last week... ehm...
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Re: Efficient searches

Postby TheJudge » Fri Sep 05, 2003 7:48 am

casnimot wrote:I, for one, have no problem with searches <i>per se</i>, but it should be done far more efficiently than I witnessed. I was actually searched twice, despite the fact that it should have been obvious to any seasoned searcher that no stowaway would survive in my truck or trailer.


You'd be surprised at where we've found people hiding.

casnimot wrote:What's more, I witnessed searchers casually conversing amongst themselves, almost as if noone were waiting, when in fact the line was growing rapidly.


Every one of the people I work with at the gate work their asses off for an almost constant flow of ungrateful, cranky ticketholders (I dont consider them participants until they are as dirty as I am) If someone on my crew needs to take a break to prevent themselves from passing out in the direct sunlight, then they are welcomed to. Someone's life is far more important than how quickly we tear your ticket and send you on to the greeters.

And "no one" is two words, not "noone."
"Be at one with the dust of the earth. This is primal union." - Lao Tsu
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Re: SURPRISED

Postby TheJudge » Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:03 am

Diazo wrote:and perhaps we can relent on the "good riddance" comments too.


Nope. I think I got a few more "good riddances" in me. Sorry.


Diazo wrote:i also want to point out that there are people out there who just LOVE Burning Man and desperately want to be part of it but don't have the money. the cost of a ticket can be prohibitive.


Bullshit. You've got an entire year to make lattes at Starbucks or sell overpriced jeans at the Gap. Skip a concert. Dont go to the clubs one weekend. Eat at home a couple times. Etc. Its not that difficult.

Diazo wrote:i came with a stowaway (who got caught), do you want to crucify me? he was not a bad person, but a good kind decent person who just wanted to go to BM and didn't have the money. my friend and i knew he didn't have a ticket and we warned him he was on his own if he got turned away, so the decision for him to hide was something he did spontaneously at the last moment. by the way, we were not penalized or turned away as accomplices and i am thankful to the gate people for that. ok, kill me.


So your friend managed to find the money for a ticket only after being caught?

Funny how that works.
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Postby III » Fri Sep 05, 2003 9:14 am

i don't get how it's volunteering if you get a free ticket?

(yeah, i've put in thousands of hours volunteering for bm - and i always bought a ticket, and i never took any money. that's how they steal your soul).
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Postby tbone » Fri Sep 05, 2003 9:14 am

clandyone wrote:Dusthead, the car searches are necessary because BMOrg must present an accurate headcount to the BLM to ensure their permit. If too many people are unaccounted for, than the BLM can no longer trust the org's numbers.


If they are searching for people, why did they search behind the seat of my friend's truck? It's a standard cab F150 andhe's tall enough to have the seat all the way back. No way was there a person there.

I have a utility bed on my truck, and they insisted on searching the small boxes. You know, the ones that a person couldn't fit into.

We should all pay for tickets unless we're working (and it pisses me off that so many people get free tickets just for knowing somebody - a friend of mine was offered free tickets because his girlfriend is a good friend of the woman who runs the DMV).

Fuck that. Buy tickets.
Caught sneaking in? Pay double and nobody in your vehicle enters 'till you pay it.
Last edited by tbone on Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby III » Fri Sep 05, 2003 9:15 am

speaking of which, did they ever bust that lead greeter who was using her laminate to sneak her friends in?
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to the Judge

Postby Diazo » Fri Sep 05, 2003 10:34 am

Judge,
no my friend did NOT have the money to get in and did NOT get in. so your assumptions are wrong.
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Re: to the Judge

Postby clandyone » Fri Sep 05, 2003 10:45 am

Diazo wrote:Judge,
no my friend did NOT have the money to get in and did NOT get in. so your assumptions are wrong.

You have completely failed to adequately explain why your friend deserved to get in without paying, effectively stealing from the event and throwing off the numbers required for the permit.
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The time I give to the city...

Postby RedTux » Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:08 am

It never ceaces to amaze me how much people bitch and moan about gate and BM related activities, and how much false information is out there.

First off the head of DPW is not female, it is Will Roger, aka Mr. Klean. So whoever the head lady in charge of DPW was getting people in for free is not true, that does not mean she was not a senior member of DPW. Plus it's not uncommon for people to pretend they have more of a position than they do in reality. This is Bunring Man, radical self expression and egos at their finest!

Second, free tickets. Say you threw a party, hundreds of people showed up. As the organiser there will be some people which you would like to give comp tickets to. This is not uncommon. Now does this ability always get used in the best way? No. There are always going to be some instances of comp ticket abuse and that sucks.

Third, Gate Staff. I challenge each and every person who feels that the job of the Gate Staff is unfair to consider this. If there was no gate and the population were to be the same size who would really buy tickets? Not many. Altruism works well in small groups and breaks down quickly as the group size grows. Plus having no gate might encourage more "frat boys" and other freeloaders who are only there to oogle at the nekkid people and are not generally prepared.

Fourth, Money. Has anyone bothered to consider how much the event costs?? I believe the BLM permit is on the order of $500,000. Johny on the Spot has to transport probably close to a thousand porta poties from Reno and provide pumping services. REMSA staffs the medical tent with a doctor and several ambulance crews along with medical equipment and drugs. I believe Pershing County charges a fee to have their officers there. It costs money to purchase and transport the materials for the Man and other burn projects, plus the Work Ranch is very busy before and after the burn and those peole get fed. I spent a week with them this year. The work they do is hard and they are dedicated. Many people only see the roudy side of DPW, few stop to take the time to realise what they do before and after the event and the hard work it takes. There are many other costs which I have not included, these are some of the biggest and most known.

Fifth, If you think the event is too whatever, create your own! Every year I hear people say that it's become too comercial, or the wrong people are showing up yada yada yada. If you don't like it, create your own event! Be radicaly EXCLUSIVE and invite ONLY the people you feel are appropriate to your event. The BMORG encourages people to create their own spinoffs which are radicly INCLUSIVE or at least open to all.

Lastly, many people give up most of their Black Rock City experience to work for this community. I arrived late in the week, Thursday to be exact. Several hours after arriving I went on shift. I did not get off shift until about 13 hours later, this was my choice. I did the same the following day. I give up a lot to help the city become what it is, I feel it's only fair that myself and others who voulenteer appropriate amounts to the city receive comp tickets. I do not feel that voulenteering your time at Thunderdome and other camps count, they are theme camps and serve a small subset of the city. Don't get me wrong Thunderdome ROCKS but it's theme camp. Rangers, DPW, Gate/Perimeter, LEAL, ESD, Echelon, DMV, Greeters and other groups help to serve the city. If you don't agree go out to law enfocement camp outside the fence and walk into the communications shack. The voulenteers in there are sitting behind a radio console helping to run the emergency services radio infrastructure, some of them NEVER see the light of the burn.

I'm sorry my first post here turned into such a rant, but I feel strongly. If you disagree, that's cool!

Take care!

-RedTux
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Postby precipitate » Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:31 am

> lead greeter

She didn't go this year.
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Postby precipitate » Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:38 am

> DPW

She is senior enough to be comping tickets.

> Now does this ability always get used in the best way? No. There are always going to be some instances of comp ticket abuse and that sucks.

There's a really good way around it. Don't do it. Don't comp your friends. They like you, they'll figure out a way to pay. If they don't get that it's unfair to others, fuck 'em.

> I believe the BLM permit is on the order of $500,000.

And if 30,000 people bought tickets at $145, that's $4,350,000.

Agreed on the points about doing your own thing if you don't like the way Burning Man is run, and the need for gates if you're going to have tickets.
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Re: The time I give to the city...

Postby tbone » Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:41 am

RedTux wrote:It never ceaces to amaze me how much people bitch and moan about gate and BM related activities, and how much false information is out there.

First off the head of DPW is not female, it is Will Roger, aka Mr. Klean.


My bad. I typed DPW rather than DMV.

I know Will, and I've worked DPW before.
And my comp ticket for working 3 weeks to make BM happen never came through. I've purchased a ticket every year since '98 (minu 2002 when I didn;t bother to go).
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Postby ckburn » Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:49 am

III wrote:i don't get how it's volunteering if you get a free ticket?

(yeah, i've put in thousands of hours volunteering for bm - and i always bought a ticket, and i never took any money. that's how they steal your soul).


hmm, let's see, a $150 ticket to the event divided by the roughly 100 hours I put in this year. That's about $1.50 per hour. DAMN, you're right! I was well paid, so I was certainly not volunteering.

Fuck.
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Postby III » Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:22 pm

it certainly isn't.

figure, over my entire burning man career(including those years i didn't volunteer), that i averaged about 200 hours a year of actual sweating labor (rather than some labor and some sitting around in meetings or sitting in the shade), and got $0. that comes out to $0.00/hour. *that's* volunteering.
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Postby Zane5100 » Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:34 pm

ckburn wrote:hmm, let's see, a $150 ticket to the event divided by the roughly 100 hours I put in this year. That's about $1.50 per hour. DAMN, you're right! I was well paid, so I was certainly not volunteering.


You did not volunteer--you were compensated for your labor.

Well paid? That's up to you to define.

Enough said.
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still volunteering

Postby ckburn » Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:46 pm

Honestly, I think you guys are full of shit. Just because you are so fucking altruistic that you would refuse a ticket if offered doesn't mean that those folks who put in hard-working time for the good of the community are not volunteering because they accepted that ticket.

In fact, I consider the free ticket to be reimbursement of direct expenses. I've volunteered for a number of other organizations, including some non-profits, and have always been reimbursed for expenses. Sometimes I refuse the reimbursement, and sometimes I don't. It usually depends on my financial situation relative to that of the organization I am volunteering for.

If someone keeps track of my hours and pays me a negotiated hourly wage for my time, then I am being paid and I am not a volunteer. At Burning Man, I am a volunteer.

So my position is that it is up to the individual volunteer whether they accept any offered ticket from the BM org. Preferably without ill-mannered holier-than-thou commentary from all you fuckwits (wow, what a cool word!).

- C
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Re: still volunteering

Postby Zane5100 » Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:04 pm

Main Entry: vol·un·teer
Function: noun
Etymology: obsolete French voluntaire (now volontaire), from voluntaire, adjective, voluntary, from Latin voluntarius
Date: circa 1618
1 : a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service: as a : one who enters into military service voluntarily b (1) : one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest (2) : one who receives a conveyance or transfer of property without giving valuable consideration
ckburn wrote:Honestly, I think you guys are full of shit.

I have to say that I've come to the same conclusion about your attempts to justify your status as a "volunteer."
ckburn wrote:Just because you are so fucking altruistic that you would refuse a ticket if offered doesn't mean that those folks who put in hard-working time for the good of the community are not volunteering because they accepted that ticket.

They're not volunteers. They are being compensated.
ckburn wrote:In fact, I consider the free ticket to be reimbursement of direct expenses. I've volunteered for a number of other organizations, including some non-profits, and have always been reimbursed for expenses. Sometimes I refuse the reimbursement, and sometimes I don't. It usually depends on my financial situation relative to that of the organization I am volunteering for.

You're not volunteering. You're being compensated. When you refuse any form or type of payment, then you are a volunteer. What part of this are you failing to understand?
ckburn wrote:If someone keeps track of my hours and pays me a negotiated hourly wage for my time, then I am being paid and I am not a volunteer. At Burning Man, I am a volunteer.

If you've been given a ticket, or commissary privileges, it's still compensation.
ckburn wrote:So my position is that it is up to the individual volunteer whether they accept any offered ticket from the BM org. Preferably without ill-mannered holier-than-thou commentary from all you fuckwits (wow, what a cool word!).

- C

Ill-mannered commentary... <snort>

Sorry to hear your feelings are getting hurt, but I'm sure you'll live.
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Postby III » Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:07 pm

>commissary privileges

whoops.

you're right.

i didn't volunteer either.

sorry bout that.

i agree that many of the jobs out there are necessary - including the gate. but anyone who's seen the amount of loot that they shake down, and the gloating that often goes with it, realizes that there isn't a lot of altruism there.
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Winers, here's your cheese

Postby robbidobbs » Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:08 pm

I have enjoyed 5 burns, and purchased one ticket in 1999. Why? Because I work f/t before, during and after the event, that's why. Each department has a criterion for comping their volunteers, and if you want to get in "for free" then I recommend that you get hooked into one of these groups. Don't expect to trip balls during the event, you'll be too damn busy. And bring an alarm clock. The good nooze is that it was a good year for shit, and for that I thank everyone who practiced and preached excremental correctness.
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Re: still volunteering

Postby ckburn » Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:40 pm

Zane5100 wrote:You're not volunteering. You're being compensated. When you refuse any form or type of payment, then you are a volunteer. What part of this are you failing to understand?


Payment, yes. Reimbursement in my mind is a different matter. If you volunteer some hours for a non-profit, drive your own car all over the place, and then ask for gas money... are you now a paid employee? I don't think so.

I guess this is a matter of opinion... We could argue about the definition of volunteer some more, but I still "fail to understand" how the reimbursement of the ticket price disqualifies me from being considered a volunteer. But hell, if I have to call myself "Paid Burning Man Staff" from now on, I guess I can live with that. I may have to ask for a raise, though.

Zane5100 wrote:Sorry to hear your feelings are getting hurt, but I'm sure you'll live.


Nah, it's all good. I was probably sounding more pissed off than I really was. I really do respect you guys' opinions, however misguided they may be. :)
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Re: still volunteering

Postby Zane5100 » Fri Sep 05, 2003 2:56 pm

ckburn wrote:Payment, yes. Reimbursement in my mind is a different matter. If you volunteer some hours for a non-profit, drive your own car all over the place, and then ask for gas money... are you now a paid employee? I don't think so.

I guess this is a matter of opinion... We could argue about the definition of volunteer some more, but I still "fail to understand" how the reimbursement of the ticket price disqualifies me from being considered a volunteer. But hell, if I have to call myself "Paid Burning Man Staff" from now on, I guess I can live with that. I may have to ask for a raise, though.

Zane5100 wrote:Sorry to hear your feelings are getting hurt, but I'm sure you'll live.


Nah, it's all good. I was probably sounding more pissed off than I really was. I really do respect you guys' opinions, however misguided they may be. :)


I have a pretty strict definition of "volunteer" vs. someone who is just helping out. I feel that you fall into the latter category, but I see your point.

Misguided? You mean there are guides?! oh shit...
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