(These comments are directed toward members of Burning Man's LLC. The word "you" refers to "the Org" throughout. Be advised that this is the fourth time I've scratched everything I've written and started over on this. It may be kinda wordy. Coffee and a smoke would be good about now.)
I've been watching this topic pretty closely these last few days, and have spent far more time doing so than I'll care to admit. This year will be my fifth burn. I began going to the event in 2001, and though I've missed a couple years in between, the Playa is never far from my thoughts. I'll spare the details of my life-changing experience; others have told far better stories than I, and the only reason I even mention this is to give you an idea of where I'm coming from in regards to the Burn.
The idea of commercial ventures on the Playa, as represented by the worst-case nightmare of what we fear the Pavilion might be, is pretty much universally revolting, and would likely spell the end of the event, at least for a large number of us. However, the Pavilion is receiving plenty of attention in other threads at the moment. My comments and questions are directed instead toward the Business 2.0 article in itself, and in particular within that, the comments of both Larry Harvey and Marion Goodell.
One can make the observation that many of the quotes in the article read like a journalistic hack-job, that you were so painfully misquoted by the article's author as to make you appear disdainful of the people that attend the very event you operate.
This, however, doesn't ring true, for a couple of reasons: first, you can't totally control the media, but you have a long history of being able to at least steer them in directions you'd like them to go. You've been able to keep a surprisingly tight rein on the press, and have made it clear that the Org makes the rules in that relationship. Therefore, there must have been at least a minimal vetting process in the production of this article. Secondly, if the author was indeed some sort of charlatan out to ruin the event, it seems there would have been some response to the contrary from those so quoted. Instead, in spite of some pretty venomous furor, we have heard nothing from the top. Andie's comments here and on Tribe are helpful and appreciated (at least by me), but don't carry quite the same weight as the person who actually tossed out the offending soundbite.
So, after all this buildup, I suppose what I'd really like to know is: Were the quotes in the Business 2.0 article an actual indication of how you feel about us as a community? If not, then why has there been no response from the higher management to the contrary?
I realize the people here, and over on Tribe, are giving you guys a hammering on this. Please understand--it all comes outta the love, baby. If we didn't care so much, we wouldn't bitch nearly as loud. I also realize you have absolutely no obligation to respond to this; however, I think it would go a very long way toward salvaging some good will on this issue.
So if you'd like to respond, that would be peachy. Otherwise, we can all just rip this apart on the board and put it back together into something more (or less?) coherent. Either way's good by me. I'll be there regardless, at least this year.
As a final Postscript... if the Org has indeed made a response somewhere that I haven't stumbled across yet, someone please delete this so I don't look like an even bigger ass than I already am. Thanks...