Why does Burningman suck now?

Why does Burningman suck now?

Postby eatsleepexcrete » Wed Sep 05, 2007 4:08 pm

Okay Ive been saying it for years but now I mean it. I am never going to burningman again. I have never seen so many people in street clothes, so many argumnets and miscommunications, so many sensitive douchebags, or so little sense of humor as I did this year. Where did the intellectuals go I couldn't find one decent conversation this entire year, there is no community, and worst of all many people don't seem to understand the point of the event.

A friend of mine (mid twenties-male) this year dressed as his alter ego, Priscilla Vulgaris, a crude old woman, and went to go buy coffee at center camp, when the two "volunteers" served him his coffee he said in a rediculous old lady voice "..can I have my senior discount?" the baristas looked over the screen and said "um how much is that usually?" my friend said "oh..15 percent" they said they couldn't find a button for any senior discount and called over a shift manager, after some clarification and some walkie-talkying the shift manager told the baristas involved that they were being subjected to harassment and didn't have to serve my friend if they didn't want to, at which point my friend broke character, dejected, took his coffee and told everyone involved they were dumb. It took 15 minutes and three people to figure out and then not find funny a stupid off hand remark made by a guy with facial hair in an old lady dress. NO HE WAS NOT A SENIOR, YES IT WAS A JOKE. ROle playing doesn't go as far as it used to I guess, but this seemed to be par for the course this year at BM, did any veterans notice that everyone they seemed to meet was a virgin and couldn't quit using the phrase "burn on man".. So lame let's leave this desert to all the coopting ravers and psuedo culturalists, go regional burns!
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Postby sethpajak » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:18 pm

This was my first year and apart from the harsh weather i thought it was good. i do not understand your aversion to street cloths. Where I'm from people are not to be judged by the cloths they wear, god/gods they worship, color of their skin or orientation of their sex. To me a party is a party and simply meant to be enjoyed. A communion of souls takes many forms and is always good as long as no one is injured. perhaps you think I am not good enough to join your event but you will always be welcomed at mine. I do not judge or expect and the fact that you seem to have preconcieved notions of how things should be puzzles me. to me life just is, you can see the bad or the good. i think the choice is yours. i hope you find a way to to reconcile your discontent.
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Postby mojo » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:36 pm

Well said sethpajak - no one else can tell you what it should mean to you, what you should wear or how it is "supposed" to be enjoyed.

Having just enjoyed my 9th year this year, I believe I have worn costumes only a handful of times. It's just not my thing - I do other things, lots of them - just not so big into costumes. (Except, of course, my pink cowboy hat).
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Re: Why does Burningman suck now?

Postby Eric » Wed Sep 05, 2007 6:48 pm

eatsleepexcrete wrote:Okay Ive been saying it for years but now I mean it. I am never going to burningman again.


bye.

I'm sure it will survive without you.
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Postby asp3 » Thu Sep 06, 2007 9:38 am

This was only my second year at Burning Man, but I thought I noticed a huge increase in the percentage of people wearing street clothes compared with 2006.

I don't disagree that everyone should wear what they want to, but I consider wearing what you usually do in the default world to be more spectator behavior than participant behavior. That isn't to say that people in street clothing are not participating, some of the folks I volunteered with who worked long hours wore street clothing all the time. They were clearly participants.

We were mentored our virgin year and came prepared with costumes to wear. It took me a few days to feel comfortable dressing in the costumes, but once I did I felt more a part of the community and like I was actually participating in some way. This year part of the joy of preparing for the event was finding material for costumes. I plan on learning to sew my own costumes so that I don't pass that burden on to my wife for 2008.

So for those people who are going to wear street clothing, please consider adding some flair to your outfit with accessories or choose some more unusual street clothing. If money is an issue consider visiting the thrift shops for possible wardrobe options. In addition a number of camps on the playa had costumes available for participants.

I will not judge people in street clothing as merely spectators because I know that isn't true. I don't expect everyone to dress up, but I found that the more people who are wearing more than just street clothing the more magical and special BRC seems to me. Think of it as another way to be a particpant.
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Postby ravenluv » Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:19 am

costumes? i don't wear costumes. i wear outfits that reflect who i am in some way. or that protect me from the elements.

the last time i was in brc, i spent the whole day of the burn walking around naked. a definite first for me. it was also the first time in four years that people complimented me on my costume.

that's what i love about burning man. random orchestrated silliness.

also, i'll be the first to point out: it's not clear to me from your story that they weren't in on the joke as well. i mean, if two non-colluding pranksters are carrying out their pranks with totally straight faces, isn't it possible that one of them - let's say, your friend (or you) - might not understand the joke?

just a thought...
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Postby frndlyjen » Thu Sep 06, 2007 1:12 pm

Great!

If you don't like BurningMan, then by all means, Don't Come! But please don't try to ruin it for the rest of us (this means you, Paul Addis!)

As far as the street clothes go, WHO CARES what other people are wearing?! Aren't we trying for a society where we accept everyone and their own experiences? I wear costumes because I want to and because I can, but I really don't care one way or the other what anyone is or is not wearing.

There were a lot of virgins this year who probably had no idea what to wear costume-wise anyway. Are you going to penalize a newbie for not knowing better?

Obviously, you were looking for a negative experience and got what you were looking for. Too bad. There were great times to be had out there - great people, great costumes, great art, and a whole lot of love. I found it, but then, that's what I went in for.
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Postby dinks » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:57 pm

Have fun not coming back next year...


This was my first year and I wore street clothes when I was wearing clothes. I had a blast and now that I understand "a little bit" more of what is going on I do things differently next year.

But if your that hung up on what other people wear then YOU are the reason why burning man sucked this year.
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Postby frndlyjen » Thu Sep 06, 2007 4:59 pm

Right on, Dinks! See you next year! :-)
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To some it is more

Postby Saki » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:35 pm

[quote="sethpajak"]To me a party is a party and simply meant to be enjoyed. [...] you think I am not good enough to join your event but you will always be welcomed at mine. [/quote]

To some Burning Man is more than an event or a party. It is a community that they literally call home.
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Postby Saki » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:43 pm

[quote="frndlyjen"]Great!

If you don't like BurningMan, then by all means, Don't Come! But please don't try to ruin it for the rest of us (this means you, Paul Addis!)

As far as the street clothes go, WHO CARES what other people are wearing?! Aren't we trying for a society where we accept everyone and their own experiences? I wear costumes because I want to and because I can, but I really don't care one way or the other what anyone is or is not wearing.

There were a lot of virgins this year who probably had no idea what to wear costume-wise anyway. Are you going to penalize a newbie for not knowing better?

Obviously, you were looking for a negative experience and got what you were looking for. Too bad. There were great times to be had out there - great people, great costumes, great art, and a whole lot of love. I found it, but then, that's what I went in for.[/quote]

Radical Inclusion is one of Burning Man principals, but so is Radical Self-expression. BRC strives to be a community where everyone engages, participates, and enhances the Burning Man community.

If no one wore costumes, no one decorated their bikes, no one built theme camps what would be the point of going to Burning Man?
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Postby frndlyjen » Fri Sep 07, 2007 2:49 pm

I agree, Saki, but there were SOOOO many newB's this year that we really can't fault them for not dressing up.

I don't really think we're in danger of no one dressing in costume or decorating their bikes. There is still plenty of that to be seen. And like I said, I really enjoy dressing up. That's part of the fun!

But getting down on anyone for their own experience and what that does or doesn't entail just isn't part of the culture. If you don't like that someone isn't wearing a costume, how about gifting them one?

I actually met a guy out on the playa that was wearing a complete outfit of smiley faces. When I saw him, I gifted him my smiley-face "Happy Burnday" button-pin, and he then told me that his entire costume had been gifted to him, piece by piece, by multiple burners. He was ecstatic!

That's the spirit, in my opinion!

But judging others, coming to conclusions without offering help, is negative and unfortunate. I'm really hoping that naysayers either change their own minds to enhance their own experiences, or stay home. If you don't like the way the party is turning out, why in the heck would you stay?
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Postby CapSmashy » Fri Sep 07, 2007 9:02 pm

It was my first year out there and I wore functional clothes during the day because of the sun and elements and because I spent most of my daylight hours roaming far and wide. I mean sure, I could have gone traipsing out to deep playa in my black velvet skirt, black wool Panzer jacket and tall boots in the middle of the day, but chances are I may have had difficulty getting back. Daytime desert conditions and ankle length black velvet and wool are not a good combination. I wore a mix of desert BDU's (actually costumes for my camp with all the patches that adorned them), SPF 50 long sleeve sun shirts for my sun aversion therapy, Danner desert boots and traditional Bedouin desert head scarves.

I can also guarantee you that I was damn glad to have been dressed so functionally Thursday afternoon when we were caught out in the open in the nice little blow that rolled through. I saw many people without goggles, dust masks or scarves of any sort out there that were definitely caught out in the open as well and probably hating life out in the playa blaster.


Night time was different. I dressed up pretty much every night and had a lot of fun with it. I will be expanding my costume wardrobe for next year's night time activities but my daytime attire will probably not deviate from this year's by any great extent.
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Postby RINGMASTER » Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:48 am

man... get over it already.... let people do what they feel comfortable doing. if that means they wear street clothes... good for them. there will be plenty of people in costumes/crazy outfits as well... the only thing that sucked this year was the jaded veterans.

which is funny since that is exactly what the welcoming signs were talking about!
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Postby Kinetik V » Sat Sep 08, 2007 8:39 am

Speaking of the welcoming signs my girlfriend was reading those on the way in and she wondered if there's any documentation that could tell us post event what each one said? Also is there a way to suggest ideas for next year's signs? I thought someone posted something about that on here but I can't seem to track it down.
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Postby itwazed » Sat Sep 08, 2007 9:39 am

I notice alot of whining this year...really goes well with the signs on the way in...dear BM directors last year was better this year sucks...etc etc etc, For me day time attire was shorts and a random t-shirt for comfort...i dressed in costume three nights and the others nights for comfort and dancing...the incredible music is one of the biggest draws for me at Burn and its really difficult to dance in an elaborate costume..so most nights it was my blue cargo pants (made outta some scratchy easily rinsed off material) and a random t shirt (i spend months looking for burn appropriate t shirts so look closely at that real world dressed guy next time you see him..his shirt just may crack you up). So just because i dont express myself the way you and your friends choose to doenst mean i dont..i got down to sum bad ass djs and bands and hopefully made some life long friends (love ya Karma Kat, Fuego, and THC) and i def have to say this was my FAVORITE BURN EVER!

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Postby The CO » Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:48 am

Saki wrote:If no one wore costumes, no one decorated their bikes, no one built theme camps what would be the point of going to Burning Man?


Art & Community. The question above sounds like it comes from a strongly spectating viewpoint. I could give a shit how someone dresses out there or if their bike is decorated. If they participate & interact, with me, with camps, with projects out there & people doing things, then they can wear flip-flops & an "I love GW" shirt for all it matters. Fun fur and outrageous costumes do not a participant make.
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Postby Eric » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:39 pm

The CO wrote:Fun fur and outrageous costumes do not a participant make.


I think that's about the best way to sum it up that I've heard. Everyone gets all focused on "costumes", as if that's a major factor for enjoying the event.

My day clothes are loose pants & t-shirts, the same thing I wear in the city around the house. My night clothes tend towards "fancy" suits, again the same thing I would wear to an event in the city. I don't think of them as costumes, they're just the way I dress.

I'd rather be out there with 40,000+ people in street clothes who brought all the supplies they need & know how to take care of themselves, as well as picking up their own moop, than the current situation of more people worrying about clothes and pretty bikes but not knowing the basics on survival.
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Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:39 pm

A LOT of DPW folks wear what would appear to be street clothes. But please note: they are comfortable, dirty, they carry dirt masks on their person at all times, carry water, are excessively dirty, often carry tools, and did I mention they are dirty?

Gift DPW clean shirts and socks next year, and bring beer to the Ghetto.

I wore a t-shirt ("Thank you for giving a shit" and my DPW shirts), long cotton light weave pants, a scarf, a bigger scarf, clean sports socks, sturdy shoes, and a megaphone.

I was out tp'ing the 3:00 Man potty bank on thursday when I asked for volunteers (via megaphone). One chick in a bikini popped out of a unit and offered help. It was hot and we were out in open fucking playa, and she was wearing nothing but bits of cloth. No hat, no sunglasses, no dirt mask. Her eyes were rolling around. Crap.

I asked her if she had water on her. She went to her bike and pulled out a tiny calistoga water bottle that was a THIRD FULL!!! I asked her how many years she's come. This was her first year. I told her to follow me to my vehicle. I filled her a Propel bottle of Playa Punch while she drank the rest of the water. I told her that she was not to leave my presence until it was empty, and to either help or follow me around to keep me entertained. She followed like a good girl. Toward the end she looked like she was rationing the beverage, so I told her to suck it down and I'll refill it before she left. She did, and I did. I told her to go directly home and get some more clothes on, girl. She noted it was hot. I directed her attention to what I was wearing, and that I was not only quite comfortable, but insulated from heat stroke, dirt storms and evaporation. She understood and went on her merry way.

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Postby pinemom » Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:50 pm

Burningman was awesome! As I feel it would be.

Drop expectations, pick up some water,dust mask and googles.
Then you'll have a better time of it!

...and im the biggest costume whore I know, but I still run around in street clothes when its needed/wanted by my own accord.
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Postby robbidobbs » Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:47 pm

pinemom wrote:Burningman was awesome! As I feel it would be.

Drop expectations, pick up some water,dust mask and googles.
Then you'll have a better time of it!

...and im the biggest costume whore I know, but I still run around in street clothes when its needed/wanted by my own accord.


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Postby Wrath7sins » Sun Sep 09, 2007 5:16 pm

I found that my Ren Faire gear was appropriate out there. I totally agree on the comfort tip; my shirt was loose-armed and white, and my pants were similarly loose (dare I say baggy?). Floppy cap and WWII Aviator goggles completed my comfy daytime fit. People are saying "Nice costume!" but I reply "What costume? This is comfort!" I also had a nighttime 4-part layered 'fit that would look right at home in a lightsaber fight. Function doesn't have to be without form. Experiment a little, see what works for you. All it has to do is protect you without cooking you. The remainder is open to creative unrest.
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Postby MikeVDS » Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:02 am

I think the problem the original poster has is that he expects others to do things the way he likes it. He wants others to play his games and dress the way he expects. It's going to be different ever year you go depending on who else goes and who you specifically meet. Sometimes the difference between a ok burn and a great burn is being in the right place at the right time. Personally I'd rather have people in street clothes with good attitudes rather than someone thinking everyone should do things they way they want them done.

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Postby cupcake » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:42 pm

Correct me if Im wrong but by "streetclothes" I think he meant the tourists that were there to watch and gawk and not "participate" or be a positive part of the experience.

And this being my 6th, I totally understand and strongly agree
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Postby bigbluedoggy » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:05 pm

Why do they call it tourist season if we can't shoot 'em?

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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:21 pm

robbidobbs wrote:Gift DPW clean shirts and socks next year.
I do have a lot of socks and nothing to do with them...
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Postby ricksca » Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:23 pm

How about Street Consciousness? You need neither costumes nor drugs (though they may help) to wander the streets of brc in a completely altered state of mind. Given the choice between a gloomy, judgmental dude in a Pakistani goat herders robe wearing a fez and a guy (or woman) in Levi's and a T in a state of childlike whimsy and wonder (the natural brc state so far as I can tell), I'll take the latter every time.
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Postby gyre » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:46 am

Only a tourist would use the term 'street clothes'.

I always dress as "burning man guy".

Costumes are for fancy dress balls and performance art.
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Postby gyre » Tue Sep 11, 2007 5:52 am

Today we saw a burning man logo stenciled on the sidewalk here in the mission district with the greeting-Welcome Back Lame-O.
Perhaps this should be addressed to anyone who thinks people are out of uniform?

I'm still laughing about it.
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Postby trypical » Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:16 pm

If you don'tlike it then good riddance.
There is enough negativity around with out you.
I have been going to regionals for years. this was my first burning man.
I loved it. I have never felt so at home. I had a great expirence.
I even saw why so many veteran burners are so jaded. Newbies that come unprepared. people that go just to see bla bla bla bla.

If you don't like it, ignore it.

BRC and burning man are what you make it, that is the beauty of the whole event. There was definatly the option for me to have a terrible time. I had my low points, I had some freak outs, but that goes with the territory.
I'm stoked that I went. I am stoked I participated and I am super stoked excited to go again next year and do it 5 times better.
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