Where has the heart gone or "Who are all these weird pe

Where has the heart gone or "Who are all these weird pe

Postby Dragon... » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:09 pm

After many years of absence from the eplaya it seems proper to say hello and ask some questions that have had alot of us scratching themselves trying to define what had changed. Where's the Heart, the love?

When I first found my way to the playa, the streets were at right angles and the man sat on a few bales of hay. What made that burn and many subsequent burns empowering was the connection to the community and that everyone was a particapant in fact not just in words. You felt the warmth from everyone. We walked along and said "Hello" and looked people in the eyes and smiled. It was easy then, a piece of art, a costume or lack of one was always a welcome meeting with comments and appreciation appropriately given. Helping a neighbor set up and add your experience so they can deal with the coming winds. Havind a few extra dust masks or light sticks or even extra water to send along with your newest best friends.

So what has happened? Most camps shield their inner areas from passersby. Now we look out for people looking at us with low light scopes. The constant cat and mouse of them and us. On the other hand most spectator types wander along swilling beer and acting like rude college kids just like they have in the past. Yahoo's have just gotten more angry and destructive. Redbull and Budweiser for three days can get you edgy. Plus a rail or two along the way addes even more excitement.

In the past, before it was decided that because we all got along so well and that there was leittle or no violence they had to clamp down on pot . So along with the rise of a fascist state came pressures to conform to "normal" social behavior and just smoke tobaco and drink alchol, get drunk and fight. How many of you have ever seen a fight at a pot only party?
OK , so what are we going to do to put a heart back in the event? Suggestions are more than encouraged..
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Postby jkisha » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:15 pm

I haven't noticed that it was missing. But things never stay the same; it's called change--or more appropriately for 2009--Evolution.

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Postby Sensei » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:58 pm

It seems to me that you think smokin' reefer is synonymous with "put(ting) a heart back in the event".

I know that's how I feel. Just wanted to point that out. Thanks.
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Postby Sham » Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:19 am

There are still strong hints and feelings from the old days, but as JK said, it's evolution. The event has become iconic and because of that, many more people want to attend. Some for the art, some for that great BM feeling, some for the camping and some because they heard there is possibly some nudity going on there and they might get to see some bare skin.

Imagine if you will, someone coming back to our default world from the late 1880's and seeing the state of the world today. Would they marvel at the incredible technology---cars, cell phones, computers, Blackberries etc? Would they be amazed at the tall buildings and highway system?
I think what would be most striking to the person from the past, is the coldness of our society. Bare basic courtesies such as holding a door for someone, or offering at helping hand, a friendly smile and pleasant greeting to a stranger.

We have collectively gotten lost in our own little worlds. If I'm on a bus, I don't need to talk to people around me, I can call or text people I already know, and simply ignore people sitting next to me. I can take the time to reply to e-mails and surf for the daily news, or just playa a mind numbing game to kill the time.

As we evolve from one generation to the next, these lack of common courtesies are further eroded. If you are not taught to say please and thank you, or not to hold a door for the person behind you, then you feel you are doing nothing wrong.

Burning Man has attempted (quite successfully) to bring back the warmness, interaction and sharing that our society sadly lacks. With no commerce, if someone/anyone needs a hand, you feel honored to be able to help them out. I imagine this is how life was back before we evolved into the sophisticated world we are now.

Yes, Burning Man is changing too and many say we are getting hints of the default world. It's true---but we have to fight hard to keep the spirit and to bring as much back to defaultia as we can and share that feeling with others. I know we have the ability to do it!

Burning Man will continue to evolve, and we will get more dilution from the humble beginings so many years ago, but it's still much better than the real world.

I think I need to go unroll my sleeping bag and shake some playa dust on myself---I'm getting homesick!
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Re: Where has the heart gone or "Who are all these weir

Postby oneeyeddick » Sat Mar 14, 2009 7:35 am

Dragon... wrote: Where's the Heart, the love?



DPW has gotten a lot nicer than they were 10 years ago.
Whether this is in general or just because they have gotten rid of some bad seeds, is for the perspective to contemplate........
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:30 am

Have you noticed that small towns are usually more friendlier than big cities?

There's your answer in the form of a question.

And welcome back home, we need more old-timers here.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: Where has the heart gone or "Who are all these weir

Postby Timezone LaFontaine » Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:49 am

Dragon... wrote:In the past, before it was decided that because we all got along so well and that there was leittle or no violence they had to clamp down on pot .


I take it you've never wagered on a Pot Pit Fight before, eh? A seedy, tragic chapter in history. Imagine the scene... a vicious, snarling crowd of sweaty, tousled, comb-over-adorned middle-aged men in frayed houndstooth suits, snarling and hooting as they shake crumpled dollar bills in their quivering clutches, winning and losing bets on the lithe, muscular stoners in the arena. And the poor stoners they have waging these battles-for-profit are grabbing at one another's uneven, matted dreadlocks with barbarous lethargy... a slow-motion deathmatch amid the pungent haze, lit only by a flickering grow lamp... the bloodthirsty, screeching crowd barely aware of the dulcet reggae tones being piped in mockingly through the distorted PA system... Potheads, nonviolent? HAH!!! That's one hootie reefer I won't be bogarting, bra!!! :cry:
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Postby This Woman » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:57 pm

My experience of the DPW last year was completely opposite of Old OneEye's. They were utter douches. We have always given abundantly and profusely to the DPW (cases of beer & booze, cartons of cigs), but last year as a camp we collectively decided nothing for DPW. One person would start a story of their douchiness only to have four or five others speak up with theirs. And this was a nightly occurrance.

My theory on the heart of Burning Man is that it was lost with the media storm...was that 1996? At any rate it was featured in Time, Newsweek and Better Homes & Gardens (ok, last one might be a lie). First, by attracting readers with the most eyebrow raising descriptions of the event they could come up with, they made it appear as though Burning Man were strictly a naked party. Second, all those newly misinformed Par-tey people made ready with their drugs and costumes, they had no idea what sort of elements they were dealing with. And I'm not blaming the more recent arrivals; I'm blaming the media. Prior to that, no one ever heard of Burning Man except those who'd either seen tiny blips in a Reno or San Fransisco newspaper, or they knew people who'd come before. And that is what I think is key. I bet if every single person that came last year came via word of mouth, there would still be the heart.

But now the media is bored with Burning Man and it's possible to fix things. But its a slow process because the only way to do it right is to start from inside out. Emulate what you want Burning Man to be. Go through your day as though it already were that way. Go be the first to introduce yourself to neighbors - don't even let them turn their engines off before you profer your hand. Take a friend or adopt a virgin. Better yet, have a chat with one of the virgin camps that are popping up. Spread the love.

Just a guess of course, a theory.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:58 pm

Sorry you had a bad experience or two with DPW last year, This Woman.

The thing to do with DPW to get them off of your shit is to tell them you love them,
then run up and offer them hugs while bathing them in your smokey patchouliness.

they will smile from ear to ear, apologize for being mean to you, and offer you a cold one.
We have an obligation to make space for everyone, we have no obligation to make that space pleasant.
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Postby This Woman » Tue Mar 17, 2009 4:09 pm

I will try that strategy next time, OneEye. :-)

I had also intended to mention that your revolving avis are awesome. I've not seen one yet that didn't set me to giggling.
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Postby mars » Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:18 pm

Reminds me of my grandfather telling me, "this is not what i brought my family to America for".
Live as if everyone loves you and thinks you look great. Dance as if no one is watching.
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Postby TheFunkHole » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:26 pm

I have an idea!

* Record various people laughing out loud, like the kind of laughter where you shoot root beer out of your nose and make noises like you're a horny elk yearning for a mate.

* Get a really loud stereo and bring it to Burning Man

* Play the previously mentioned audio clips of people laughing obnoxiously, and handout cd's /mp3's of laughter clip to various sound camps

* Notice how walkers-by hear the sounds and begin to laugh. Crowds eventually form and laugh hysterically as if caught in a laughter-loop.

* Make dramatic entrance from behind a heavy curtain of some sort, begin hugging and kissing everyone who is laughing and encourage them to hug and kiss others until this chain reaction of laughter, hugging, and kissing spreads throughout the entire playa.

* Pause in sheer wonder as you see where the heart of Burning Man has gone and realize it's in everyone all the time and just needs to be exhumed periodically.

* Oh yeah, then repeat as necessary...
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Postby Bounce530 » Fri Mar 20, 2009 4:50 pm

I started laughing, just by reading that idea!
I like that idea, you should try it.
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