What Constitutes An ART CAR?

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

the bar

Postby playasnake » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:14 pm

one of the funniest things i saw was someone with a golf cart, who im assuming just got rejected by the DMV, driving around with a bull horn saying things like "we are not art", "the bar has been raised","i am not an artist, just a regular person"...

i dont do it justice here, but it was very funny.

(the golf cart looked like a shark btw... i would have passed it)
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regulating mobility, not art

Postby ckburn » Thu Sep 04, 2003 9:28 pm

As the DMV folks say, quite rightly I believe, they are not regulating art. you can bring anything the fuck you want, whatever kind of vehicle you want, to the Playa. You can park it right in the front of your camp and show your magnificent efforts to the whole damn procession of folks streaming by. Your 'art' is not being censored in any way, shape, or form.

What you cannot do is move the thing out of your camp the whole week without meeting the DMV guidelines, agreeing to the driving rules, getting a sticker, and, preferably, being civil to the DMV volunteers.

Stationary art is art too. No one is taking away your creative rights here, folks. Stop whining.
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Institute a LOTTERY. Prevent theMisuse of Our Playa Commons.

Postby Bunnymonkey » Thu Sep 04, 2003 11:39 pm

Here's a thought... LOTTERY! It would allow a finite number of registered Art Cars on the Playa. Pre-existing "large scale" (whatever that means) art car projects could (or not) be exempt for a couple of years before they too were required to win one of the limited art car permits in the general lottery. This would keep the numbers down and might also keep the art car scene fresh and more about the art and less about society wide car fetishism bleeding into BM. OK, that having been said, there were way too many motorized vehicles and their sound systems on the Playa, especially at the burn! Grrr. As a pedestrian, I couldn't see through or over most of them. It started to feel like a fraternity regatta booze bus convention. For me, at the burn, art cars felt like a misuse of the commons.
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Re: next stop: maplethorp

Postby Borris » Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:15 am

PJ wrote:The only ways to reduce the concentration would be to make the whole event's square acreage dramatically greater-.


Which would in turn lead to yet even more "art" cars since it would make all things even farther. people have problems bycicling (Not to talk about walking) to all of the art / theme camps with the curent size of the event. maybee it's just part of the Americans being unable to go for milk and cigarettes down the block without their car.

As to big VS small cars.

Big "Club/Bar" cars (Ranging from the "La Contessa" and all the way to some small altered vans) serve an important social role to BM. i belive that the DMV is aware of this ant those are easier to register. small "Personal" cars should be much more then just something tied to a top of a car. again not that it's not art, you could do it, and park the car right in front of your camp, it's just not enough to have a mobility licsence. those are quantity limeted by the sheer size of our city.

Mark, I'm sure that your camp is alot or liability and work, not less if not more then what alot of the BMorg folks. the structure you had there was XXX impresive. I also tend to agree that some of the seniors abuse their status, it's a natural human thing even if u are a burner. btw, I'd love to DJ at your camp next year (if u will do it at all) had some of my best time on the playa in your jungle.

Lottery is a bad idea cause people that one it might have then a tendency not to work as hard on their car. "we allready have the permit, so let's just string some el wire and stick this pigs head on top of the hood of our fully AC'd SUV and keep it closed form the dust".

one of the coolest things i've seen there, although it was in last year's theme vein was a jetski fitted with 3 wheels. not alot of work but the whole idea (allthough again, it's last year's theme of the playa as a sea) of a jetski crosing the playa is sooooo cool.
Shit, where was i for the last week... ehm...
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Lottery?

Postby Bunnymonkey » Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:26 am

The LOTTERY would only get your art car a spot *if* it passed the subjective whim of an art car review board (kinda like the current situation). If your art car doesn't, the lottery slot/permit would go to some other art car on the waiting list. (I agree, making the Playa space bigger is not the answer, it'd just promulgate even more cars).

The next question is how many total art car category permits to offer? 500? 100?
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Postby Tristan » Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:25 am

There may be debate on what qualifies as an art vehicle, but there is no debate that un-decorated golf carts or motorized scooters are *not* art vehicles (regardless who rides them), and they should not be allowed to circulate except on the outer street of the city (maybe).
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Re: the bar

Postby s5 » Fri Sep 05, 2003 1:28 am

playasnake wrote:one of the funniest things i saw was someone with a golf cart, who im assuming just got rejected by the DMV, driving around with a bull horn saying things like "we are not art", "the bar has been raised","i am not an artist, just a regular person"...

i dont do it justice here, but it was very funny.

(the golf cart looked like a shark btw... i would have passed it)


which brings up an interesting question ...

is performance art on an otherwise plain vehicle, art?
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Re: art is in the eye of the beholder

Postby PJ » Fri Sep 05, 2003 5:43 am

pyro gyro wrote:...MY car WAS ART.. SO THERE


True, but if it was just one more example of an art form for which there were already many other examples, it stood a good chance of being culled from the herd.

Just because you're capable of opening yet another great restaurant in a San Francisco neighborhood known for great restaurants doesn't mean there's room for yours in the market. That's why so many go broke.

Post Burning Man, many people complain about the presence of an excess of art vehicles. The only people complaining about a dearth of art vehicles are those that didn't get to drive theirs around.

It's not about your personal transportation--that's what bikes are for, unless you're crippled. If it's about personal expression people can admire it in your camp as well as they could when it's driving around.
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A few thoughts from an Art Car pilot

Postby Capthayes » Fri Sep 05, 2003 11:55 am

I would like to share a few thoughts based on my experiences piloting my Art Car the "Silver Lining" (red, white, and blue cruise ship) over the last few years.....

On scooters.....I would like to ban all two-cycle engines because of the annoying noise, but then again I would like to ban my neighbors from playing "thumpa, thumpa, thumpa" between the hours of 8 am and 2 pm so I could sleep, but that is not a reality. Instead, I'm just bringing better earplugs next year. However, the biggest problem with scooters, other two-wheeled motorized vehicles, and even bicycles, is not the vehicles themselves, but the small portion of people who ride them with no respect whatsoever for the safety of others. I don't care if you're on a Harley or a Huffy - OBEY THE 5 MPH SPEED LIMIT, at least in the conjested areas. I love Burning Man, it has become the most important ritual in my life. I don't care what it says on the back of the ticket, Burning Man is one lawsuit away from ending! By purchasing your ticket you do not, and can not, legally sign away your right to sue. Trust me, the first time a 22-year-old upper-middle class kid with well connected partents gets run over the fire will go out and the party will be over. This leads to my next point...

RESPECT THE ART VEHICLES. I know it seems like a whole lotta fun to cross the path of an art car, but when someone rides or runs out in front of a moving vehicle, the natural inclination of the pilot is to slam on the brakes. This is very dangerous when you have 14 inattentive people standing on the top deck. The people who pilot my ship, and myself, have learned in the last two years to avoid our natural inclination to hit the brakes and have learned to gently turn the ship to avoid a collision, but if people keep behaving the way they have, an accident is inevitable. If I am forced to make the choice between hitting someone and having 14 people go flying from my roof I know what decision I will make. Please don't force me to make that decision.

One more note...It is my greatest pleasure to give my guests rides around the playa. The feeling of sailing 10 feet above the playa and cruising along at a leisurely pace is extraordinary. It was that feeling, a feeling I experienced on another art car during my first burn in '01, that inspired me to build the "Silver Lining." But there isn't room for everybody, and the safety and comfort of my guests is always of paramount importance. I can only speak for myself and if I refused to give you a ride, here's a list of possible reasons why...
1.We were running a Private Charter. Occasionaly I will take out groups of people who spend much of their time working at the event. Please respect they're opportunity to have as much fun as possible in the short time they have to have it.

2.We were full

3.We didn't have room for your entire party

4.You jumped on with out permission, I know other art cars allow this, but Burning Man offically considers it stealing and so do I. No thieves on the ship! If you want a ride ask myself or someone else on board. We'll either tell you we're full or invite you on-board

5.You were too FUCKED UP! If I or anyone else thinks you're going to be a danger to the other guests on-board you are not welcome. The ship is not a drunk-bus. If your are i'll I will always give you a ride to the medical tent, but if your just fucked up you can get home with the same two feet that brought you to the middle of the playa. Besides, I sleep in the ship at night and I will not have anyone on-board who is likely to puke in my home!

I know that everyone hates rules, but we need a few to keep the event from ending. Please respect Art Cars the same way you respect all the other art on the playa. And if you can't respect the art of the Playa don't come to the event. Leave not trace also means levaing no trace on sombodys art unless, as in the case of the temple, leaving a trace becomes a part of the art. And on that note there's a huge pile of lost-and-found items that are left on the ship every night-but I'll save that for another time...

That is all,
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City cars should be decorated too, even emerg, cops

Postby bradtem » Fri Sep 05, 2003 12:58 pm

I know several of the BRCLLC staff, and I know how hard they work during the event (some of the on salary of course) but I still think they should not get exceptions to the rules of the city they lay down unless it is absolutely necessary.

And I don't think it's necessary to exempt even Larry's golf cart from the art car rule. Larry is busy and may not have the time to decorate his cart, but the event is big enough, the budget large enough, that this effort should be made to uphold the principle that there are not two kinds of people in BRC with two sets of rules.

Indeed, unless the law won't allow it, I would even apply pressure on cops and emergency services staff to decorate their vehicles, even provide some budget for it. Relax perhaps the rule of permanence to the decoration but no more. And the 5mph limit, if they are responding to a medical emergency.

Crazy? Cop and emergency services people wear a costume already, to set themselves apart from the public. It's now an old costume with lots of tradition, but it is one. Why not consider something new for BRC?

Yes, DPW too. Not just a crest on the side of your truck. Yes, this is more work, in many cases for people who already work very hard. But the principle that nobody is above the rules, for what rules there are going to be, is more important.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:27 am

Capt.Hayes you said it!! I'm the operator of the Playa Cruiser, a 25 foot cabin cruiser art car (although there's no "car"; it's a custom-built vehicle with the boat hull serving as the chassis). I have denied many people rides on it for exactly the same reasons. And then I'm the asshole because I OWE them bus service since I did huge amounts of work creating the boat and hauled it on a big trailer + big truck at 5 MPG from Seattle! Who is allowed on board? CALM people who don't jump on and grab onto whatever and try to shake the boat side-to-side as hard as they can. The boat is supposed to be something that looks cool moving across the playa... ART! And if anyone reading this is someone who intentionally crosses a large art car's path as close as possible for fun, listen to Capt.hayes; I'm not going to hit the brakes with 10 people on board either! I'll bring the boat back next year and continue to serve blended margaritas, but I'm gonna have a canvas enclosure at the rear to block entrance without asking. I wish I didn't need to do that. I guess an ATV pulling a flatbed trailer with couches would be more idiot-proof, but SOMEBODY needs to actually build ART cars.
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Re: What Constitutes An ART CAR?

Postby a2^8 » Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:54 am

Anybody know how many tickets/citations were written for vehicles?

I saw a lot of cars I just don't think were art either. Apparently, it's up to the dmv and it's guidelines, although written, are wishy-washy. Basically, it depends on who does the vehicle inspection.

Glad I have tons of pictures of these truly mutant vehicles. My fav was the atv with lepoard skin fabric on the dash and wheel guards. WOW, art.
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Postby Jane Eric » Sat Sep 06, 2003 11:02 am

The DMV does not deem what is an Art Car, only if they have met the specifications for day and/or night driving. There is much discussion about the DMV's criteria on the Art Car mailing list and I'm of the belief that they have one of the hardest jobs on the playa. They DO NOT judge the art of an Art Car. They do make sure you have enough lights on your bumpers and tongues to be visable at night, among other things but they DO NOT judge the artfulness of the car.

Things are going to be different, that's the only sure bet I'll place this year.
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Art Cars driving off into the sunset?

Postby Troy Van Berry » Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:06 pm

I have operated a mobile art vehicle for the past 3 years. The "Luminator" in '01, the "Playa Serpent" in '02 and the "Crosstika" this year, lighting up the Rev Billy performances each night.
One thing no one has mentioned is how the BLM feels about the Art Cars. I was told upon regestering this year that the BLM is thinking about banning the mobile art alltogether in the future, or at least limiting the # that will be allowed to operate. So the fact is, the BM Org may have no say in this at all. But let's face it, the BLM is going to come down on us, and we have no one to blame but the fuckwits who could not follow the rules. I have never operated my vehicle outside of the guidelines, but alot of jerks do. They told me about 500 permits were issued last year for mobile art, I would guess it's about the same this year. Unfortunately the rules are alway's made to guide the stupidest among us, because these people cannot grasp the obvious, and just do what's right. It's alway's the idiots who ruin it for everone else.
Beyond that, I would have to agreee that alot of the vehicles out there are BULLSHIT! I personally don't get the "dave's party train" type of crap. There was nothing artistic about it or most of the other "party barges" pieces of shit. What's the point anyhow? Sitting on your ass watching the city go by as you get drunk and sociallize is not "radical self expression" or even participation for that matter. Bottom line: If mobility is not an inherent component to delivering and operating your art, your just looking for a lazy way out. I can't tell you how many people wanted a ride to here and there(which was usually in the opposite direction we we heading, duh), just because they were too stupid to plan and execute better. Not my problem, don't make it so, or else you imposing your bullshit on my immediate experience. As for those of you whining about getting turned down by the DMV how many of those vehicles had a "licence plate" and were driven to the event? Sorry but decorating your car so you can be mobile when you get there is clearly a ploy to circumvent stated rules, and you got what you deserved.

Having witnessed some idiots abusing the privaledge of driving way too fast and running over L2K more than once, I took it upon myself to tell them to stop it. I didn't ask either. and they didn't like it, too fucking bad. If we as a community cannot stand up and police ourselves, then were back to passivily waiting for someone else to do it for us.
As always, it's the clueless who will set the bar. :wink:
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Postby Halo Joe » Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:11 pm

Capt. Hayes? Capt. Bully Hayes? From "Nate and Hayes"? I LOVED that flick!
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Re: Art Cars driving off into the sunset?

Postby Tristan » Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:51 pm

Troy Van Berry wrote:I was told upon regestering this year that the BLM is thinking about banning the mobile art alltogether in the future, or at least limiting the # that will be allowed to operate.

Would that only apply to motorized mobile art ? Or would it cover non-motorized vehicles too (e.g. human-powered) ?

I think the two types (motorized and non-motorized) should not be in the same category. Not-motorized vehicles are usually much less of a problem, because they are light and they go slow (with a few exceptions, such as the gigantic wind-powered cruiser that crashed into a large art piece a few years ago, causing serious injuries and resulting in safety-based regulations for wind-powered vehicles, which I support).

I feel like you about those non-decorated mobile barges loaded with drunk people, there was no art there, just more dangerous and noisy heavy objects moving on the playa.

Some of the party-busses were nice, but most were not really art-vehicles, just moving discos.
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Postby playasnake » Sat Sep 06, 2003 7:56 pm

Sitting on your ass watching the city go by as you get drunk and sociallize is not "radical self expression" or even participation for that matter.


thats not exactly how i see them.

personally, i think the "Dave's train" type vehicles provide a valid public service to the citizens of black rock... transportation, not to mention, they are fun to ride on... is fun allowed?

personally, i love to drive around in one of my camp's art cars and pick people up and drive them to their location... you get to meet good folks, and give them a bit of a break.

I have never operated my vehicle outside of the guidelines


never? never ever ever? not even 5.5 miles per hour, just by accident?

also, imo, being judgemental and saying that "my art car is more 'art' than yours" detracts from some of the valid points you are trying to make
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Re: Art Cars driving off into the sunset?

Postby PJ » Sat Sep 06, 2003 10:24 pm

Troy Van Berry wrote:...I personally don't get the "dave's party train" type of crap...


That sort of conveyance is pretty popular with participants, though.
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platform trucks

Postby Viking » Tue Sep 09, 2003 1:19 pm

Regarding flat bed trucks: some of these were not being passed off as art, they got permission to drive because they were "performance art" that required transportation as part of their performance. I for one was really happy to see that The Mutaytor was creating impromptu parades early in the week with their flatbed truck mobile stages.
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Postby ScottV » Sun Sep 14, 2003 6:06 pm

I'm a simple person who makes art that isn't mobile.
I purposely put my art out in the wholly other knowing that one of the possible activities of the party floats and art cars is to wander the playa at night checking out the art.

I had great fun last year riding around on the San Francisco Art Van doing exactly that.
(the very reason I *had* to bring big art this year)

The San Francisco Art Van is not art. It's a van.
(It's mobile gallery the rest of the year)

But I can't see barring it from the Playa.

Maybe there could be a distinction between art cars and playa transports/mobile parties but they both need to be there - unless we shrink the overall size of Black Rock City.

I do object to personal playa transport - an art car should be damn good art if it only carries two people. Quite a few people "poured there sweat and tears" into trying to pass DMV inspection for their personal playa mobiles.
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Postby DogBoy » Sun Sep 14, 2003 6:41 pm

boris wrote:
about a custom scooter being art, that isn't art, it's one hell of a technological-engineering achievement but an Engineer isn't an Artist.


Really? So the 16 foot long hand built trike with 2 foot wide hoosier racing tires wasn't art?

My buddy Jakes trike he built from scratch by himself specifically for BRC wasn't art?

Your gonna have to tell him that. I hope I am around to see that.
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Postby telizas » Sun Sep 14, 2003 7:29 pm

How about the DMV do a better job of policing the vehicles they "allow" to operate before passing jugement on what is art and what is not? If the vehicles allowed to drive in BRC are not following the rules stated in their license, then it doesn't matter whether or not they are art, they shouldn't be leaving camp.

I saw plenty of vehicles parked at camps and not permitted to drive, and many, many more that were driving and NOT adhering to their license. I was personally nealry run over by several licensed vehicles during Sunday's white-out. I was quite pissed, but the DMV had closed up shop by then.

If the DMV is going to have the power to deem which vehicles can and cannot operate, then they need to be held responsible for doing so when those vehicles don't adhere to the rules.

I have other issues with art cars, being part of a camp that had a "party" bus (which I've never heard complaints about the Cow Bus specifically). But, I shall leave those to the owner of those art vehicles. :)
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Re: Lazy...

Postby OregonRed » Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:57 am

(Quote)>You mean the lazy motherfuckers who are already spending their free time planning next year's event? The lazy motherfuckers who can't decorate the rented golf carts because the company that rents them to Burning Man doesn't like to have their vehicles permanently altered?

Yes, we do mean those lazy motherfuckers. BM has very specific requirements as to what kinds of vehicles are allowed to traverse the playa, and yet staff don't have to follow those rules? WTF!? That sets an incredibly shitty example for everyone else.

Sure staff spend alot of time prepareing for BM to happen. Who doesn't? Our theme camp starts planning for next year while we're still out at the event, it's a year round commitment. If I have to take the time to decorate my vehicle to make it playa friendly than so should everyone!

IMHO, decor on staff vehicles doesn't need to be permanent, just present. There is an awful lot you can do with EL wire and tinsel and ribbons and cardboard and plastic that do not have to be permanently attached.
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Postby Jane Eric » Mon Sep 15, 2003 1:56 pm

I purposely put my art out in the wholly other knowing that one of the possible activities of the party floats and art cars is to wander the playa at night checking out the art.


On Playa Air we tell our passengers that we will make unscheduled stops at any art we come across. It's for us, mostly.
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Enforcing driving rules

Postby trulybinky » Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:13 pm

[quote="telizas"]How about the DMV do a better job of policing the vehicles they "allow" to operate before passing jugement on what is art and what is not? . . . I was personally nealry run over by several licensed vehicles during Sunday's white-out. I was quite pissed, but the DMV had closed up shop by then.

[quote]

Telizas, I am agnostic on the issue of what should be deemed an art car, but I agree that at least the safety rules need to be enforced. It's OUR responsibility as a community to enforce them. If we surrender our power to the people supposedly in charge or, god forbid, law enforcement, then we prove that we are incapable of making the event run the way we want it to run.

DMV and the Rangers can't be everywhere. As participants and members of the community, we ALL have the authority to flag down any vehicle that is operating unsafely and say, "hey, nice barbie doll/shark fin/barcalounger, but you know, if you drive on the esplanade/drive too fast/drive during a dust storm you could injure or kill someone. I know you don't want that to happen, so why don't you drive outside the esplanade/slow down/hang out here and chat with me until the dust storm is over?"
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Re: Golf cart makes an A-hole in one.

Postby Ranger Sasquatch » Tue Dec 02, 2003 11:20 pm

[quote="Gothalot"]Hell, I saw 2 guys and two gals (driver with a beer can-drunk) driving around in a BRC glofcart the day of the burn swerving and knocking a girl off her bike. I think it was supposed to be an art car that said , "Im a stupid twat that works for BRC and all they gave me was this stupid Golfcart for me to run innocent people over with".[/quote]

That was the BMOrg Official Golf Cart mechanic named Paperbag (as it came over the radio). I hear tell he's gone now. He also ran smack into a ladder off the temple and someone said he shot a flare or firework at a participant as he drove by them. We spent most of that evening looking for him only to find the cart abandoned the next morning out by the trash fence.

He just kept telling everyone that he was "a very important man at Burning Man and could do as he pleased." Cretin. Please Lord, send less like him.

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Postby Bob » Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:14 am

Who is this BMOrg of whom you speak?
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Postby Kinetic II » Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:29 am

I'm hoping art cars will be covered in the Town Meeting on Dec 14th. Excluding the nightmare of the drunk giant shark driver sideswiping people and being a total prick, I have no real complaints about art cars. Scooters on the other hand are a pain in the ass.

My feeling is that scooters should be required to be licensed through the DMV, and decorated just like the art cars. And they need to be illuminated if the riders are going to operate at night, and I mean lit, not just some blinky led's strapped on the back end. I was almost taken out by one...he went flying up the street between the AEZ and Kidsville, hit some rough patches and flipped. He literally never saw what was coming and almost hit 4 other people who were walking close by. I'll give him a 9.6 for the face plant and the cartwheeling scooter.
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Who is this BMOrg of whom you speak?

Postby Ranger Sasquatch » Wed Dec 03, 2003 2:01 am

[quote="Bob"]Who is this BMOrg of whom you speak?[/quote]

Uh....The Burning Man Organization (BMOrg). Your hosts. Erstwhile employers of the most unhappy Paperbag (see original post).

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Re: down with single-rider "art" cars!

Postby BlueBirdPoof » Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:08 am

mo_corleone wrote:i don't envy anyone in the position of determining what is and is not art on the playa. i saw one VW bus that had apparantly been denied a DMV permit, and the owner had attached a sign that raised some of these same issues. i'm sure it's a tough call to make.
.

I saw that bus. I thought it was a pathetic excuse for an art car, sort of spend an afternoon stringing lights sort of thing. Nothing to compare to the Contessa or the Bunny Slippers.
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