Big plans, big money, big debate?

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

Yup, me too.

Postby Rob the Wop » Fri May 21, 2004 3:29 pm

Wow. I just realized that I'm not in the spirit of Burning Man. While I was created as a non-commerce conception (as far as I know), my parents did not deliver me themsleves. The paid a hospital to deliver me.

And the education I used to create those things I made for Burning Man, well the government paid for that. I paid for the car, and the ingrediants for my food.

Oh crap. I paid for a ticket instead of sneaking in.

Ain't capitalism great? I wouldn't worry too much about those people paying for others to wipe their ass, as they will always pay another to wipe their ass. Ever watch footage of stockbrokers diving out of windows? What happens when you can't afford/no one will wipe your ass anymore?

Radical self-reliance is it's own reward in the end. My grandpa used to tell me that the poorest man could eat a better meal than the richest man as long as he could cook it himself. From an Italian immigrant's point of view, American was a cornicopia of incredible ingrediants. Italian famalies would often skimp on clothes and furnishings to buy top quality spices, meats, and olive oil.

And the food was good. And they did not need the finest chefs. So speaketh a wop. Amen brother.
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Postby Dustdevil » Fri May 21, 2004 4:06 pm

I am trying to compare and contrast this idea to the Emerald City in 02'. It was large, well done and must have cost a fortune. In retrospect it seems almost impossible to believe that it was all volunteer built. Someone had to bankroll the materials but how about the labor to transport, build and remove it? BTW where will this be located? Do they have an address yet?
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Postby technopatra » Fri May 21, 2004 4:20 pm

Just want to clarify that I in no way indicated that this particular camp should not be allowed, nor is this conversation intended to in any way create "policy". I was more interested in exploring my own feelings about the idea of a paid work crew, and trying to see if my knee-jerk objections were, in fact, objectionable.

Being a 3rd year Cafe crew member, I've well-beaten that horse to death in the Center Camp Cafe debate threads and will not repeat myself here. In a nutshell, those folks are Burners who work their asses off to make other Burners happy, not all of them take ticket reimbursements, and I personally believe their presence is of huge benefit to the community on the playa.

This is my opinion, which after 3 years of exploring and debating inwardly and outwardly, is not now going to change, so I request that we do not derail this discussion with Center Camp musings. We have other threads for that.

I should also maybe clarify that I think...heck,I know...that the Nature of our event and our community is multi-faceted, and I don't expect (or want) a homogenously-approved experience. I like the variety, I like the way folks interpret who we are in their own way. I like the freedom I have to say "Wow that looks amazing, I'm going to go check it out" or "No way would I step foot in there" and would not deny myself that freedom by limiting Burning Man to the camps I personally would enjoy.

For what it's worth, the fella who posted his camp notice seemed very sincere about wanting to provide some adult fun for the community.

I don't think his plans should be limited by an outside agency (e.g., the Burning Man project, you or me). But I personally prefer camps and art that are less grand scale, and more conceptual, because to me it's like the difference between going to the SF MOMA and walking into an art gallery in the Mission District (a neighborhood that is largely). No way would I get to have a glass of wine with the artists and give them a pendant every time I went to the MOMA.

I do share the concern that smaller gets get eclipsed by flashier ones, but I guess the onus is on me to not be distracted by every blinky light.
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Postby Markov Chaney » Fri May 21, 2004 5:18 pm

The only thing that bothers me about the proposed camp is that it might be too professionally done, or maybe be constructed in such a way that it is too reminiscent of the non-burning world. The plumbing and showers and excessive organization seems a bit too normal.

As for a swingers club in the desert, why the hell not! We have everything else out there.

I just hope that whatever they put together they make the effort pull it out of the ordinary.
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Big plans, big money

Postby Icepack » Sat May 22, 2004 9:54 am

I've heard that this camp is getting a lot of talk on the Ranger boards as well...

It does seem to fall in a shade of gray, but lots of camps charge money for things. Some don't charge, some charge lots. I think the camp that is charging a lot of money depending on what level you buy into is a great idea to help those who are flying in from far away or are coming in by motorcycle or hitching a ride. One reason we drive across the country is because we can't fit everything we need onto a plane with the luggage limits. For someone coming from Australia or Israel or Japan or even New York City or Florida, the idea of being able to just show up with yourself, your clothes, and a good attitude is a great relief. To know that your supplies will be there, that you have a place and a community to be a part of may well be worth the investment of $$ beforehand.

When I first heard about the camp, my thought was that it sounded like a Guided Tour or Cruise Package with cooks and activity planners and open bar, but after thinking it over some (and brainstorming with my Friday) I think it will get a mix of participants. And hey, if everyone hates the idea, then the camp will fail. It will be a matter of supply and demand. If people can afford it, and want it, they'll sign up and hopefully have a good time and the rest of us have no right to judge it. If everyone is really into this "self-reliance" thing, then they'll get a bunch of people at the $125 "open bar" level perhaps and still have a great time.

Doesn't seem all bad to me. They aren't the first ones to charge over $500 to join the camp. I wouldn't pay that kind of money because I'm not that tied into being part of a theme camp, but lots of folks do.
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Postby Ivy » Sat May 22, 2004 12:14 pm

Icepack, I'm sorry, but I'm kind of confused.

I think your point is a good one but I don't think we (or at least I wasn't) are talking about the same camps here.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I the camp I was referring to was the one mentioned in the camps thread here on the eplaya with a sort of "swingers" theme. I'm pretty sure you're talking about the Ecstaci Villiage thing that's been going around? But I've never been able to get their weblink to work so I can't sat for sure.

Not that your points are invalid, 'cause they're not. Like I said, I think they're good points. I'm just trying to understand if we're talking about the same fruit here.
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Ecstaci and Swingers.. what are we talking about here?

Postby Icepack » Sat May 22, 2004 2:03 pm

Ivy--
Maybe I'm the one who is confused Ivy. I just read this whole thread in one sitting. I thought that both camps were being discussed in this thread. I thought the original thread was about the Ecstaci camp, and that the DRIFT had gone on to talk about the Swingers camp. I could be the one who is confused though. I was indeed speaking of the Ecstaci camp, not the swingers camp. I've read the posts about the swingers camp and I think you've said everything I would have said so I wasn't commenting on that.

Icepack

Ivy wrote:Icepack, I'm sorry, but I'm kind of confused.

I think your point is a good one but I don't think we (or at least I wasn't) are talking about the same camps here.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I the camp I was referring to was the one mentioned in the camps thread here on the eplaya with a sort of "swingers" theme. I'm pretty sure you're talking about the Ecstaci Villiage thing that's been going around? But I've never been able to get their weblink to work so I can't sat for sure.

Not that your points are invalid, 'cause they're not. Like I said, I think they're good points. I'm just trying to understand if we're talking about the same fruit here.
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Postby Ivy » Sat May 22, 2004 6:45 pm

I think both have been referred to in this thread, but I wasn't sure which one you were tlaking about , so just wanted to clarify rather than assume.

Thanks.
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Postby Bob » Sat May 22, 2004 8:03 pm

I am trying to compare and contrast this idea to the Emerald City in 02'. It was large, well done and must have cost a fortune. In retrospect it seems almost impossible to believe that it was all volunteer built. Someone had to bankroll the materials but how about the labor to transport, build and remove it? ....


FYI, that gem of a structure took a few dozen DPW man-hours (and equipment-hours) to prop up when it started keeling over mid-week, and the mangled remains ended up sitting on the ranch until it went into the dumpsters last summer.
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Postby Alpha » Sun May 23, 2004 9:35 am

I think they should ditch the showers and just team up with whomever it was that posted here 5 months ago, that he'd bought too many baby wipes... :-)
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Postby Bob » Sun May 23, 2004 12:32 pm

If I'm not mistaken, I think the whole deal with the showers was that you wouldn't want to fuck if you and other participants weren't reasonably clean.

As far as the money goes, many people I know & love have gotten pay, on top of room & board, email accounts, etc. as perqs for participating.

So, if someone wants to emulate this on an arguably much smaller scale, who the hell are ya'll to criticize? Start your own event from scratch and leave out the money business entirely.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Sun May 23, 2004 7:42 pm

Yes there is a problem with this camp.

The Tax man cometh!

Money is being exchange for services provided. Who covers the unemployment taxes and insurances?

The BLM has rules such that govern their land and issues such as Guiding Permits and this type of usage will fall into their domain.

Food is being prepared and sold. Who covers the permits on that!

I feel that camps like this opens BM to more Government scrutiny that we don't need it and if there are more abuses like this someone will use it to shut us down.

We know from past experiences that when money changes hands, and it doesn't need to be on the playa, some government entity wants their share of the cut.

This camp exposes BM to unwanted litigation and regulations!

They can have the camp but they can't get paid or pay someone for services even if they pay them in CA and I believe that may be in writting on our permit or larry will have to foot the tax bill!

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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Sun May 23, 2004 7:53 pm

"$3000 Minimum commitment, stock ownership, and Shared liability for additional expenses."

It's the "Shared Liability" that scares the shit out of me!

Hope their taking out Liability Insurance or someone coming to see Larry!

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Postby Bob » Mon May 24, 2004 8:06 am

Apollonaris Zeus wrote:...camps like this opens BM to more Government scrutiny...


ITYM First Camp, my mythical amigo. Do you have any idea what their janitorial bill is?

You could just as well argue that there couldn't be more government scrutiny as it is. Every single theme camp should probably have a caberet license, but Burning Man successfully manages in calling it all de facto art.

Of course, up where you live, they may think different.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Mon May 24, 2004 8:42 am

angrykittie25 wrote: There seems to me that there would be more personal interaction. I think what is most worrisome about this camp is that if this kind of theme camp catches on, will Burning Man turn into some pissing contest between rich people on who can build the most elaborate and wild theme camp.


This is what worries me the most about big camps - by their nature it is almost impossible to have a personal feel to them. I certainly do not want ALL of BRC turning into this, but does everything have to be small enough to fit the back of your pickup truck?

But there are some things that cannot be done by a small camp/individual artist. Should these things be excluded from the Playa, just because they cannot be done by an individual?

If a large camp like this was run exclusively by volunteers (even better, all the camp members chipped in rather than a few rich sponsers), would anyone have bad stuff to say about the concept still? Is it really the paid worker thing that is creating the uproar?

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Postby Badger » Mon May 24, 2004 9:46 am

Yes there is a problem with this camp.

The Tax man cometh!

Money is being exchange for services provided. Who covers the unemployment taxes and insurances?

I feel that camps like this opens BM to more Government scrutiny that we don't need it and if there are more abuses like this someone will use it to shut us down.

This camp exposes BM to unwanted litigation and regulations!

They can have the camp but they can't get paid or pay someone for services even if they pay them in CA and I believe that may be in writting on our permit or larry will have to foot the tax bill!

A II Z


A II Z, like so many of your posts I'd probably less inclined to snicker at your protestations were you provide cites for even half of the points on which you seem to base your objections. Seriously, what you're suggesting is, as far as I can tell, complete and utter nonsense.
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Postby Dustdevil » Mon May 24, 2004 10:58 am

If the persons in question are employees of the builder of the camp the payroll will be just that, simple payroll with the proper deductions taken out. If they are not employees the payroll will be paid with no deductions. If at the end of the year the builder of the camp has paid more than $600 in pay or other compensation, a 1099 form will be issued. The contractor is then responsible for claiming what he made and paying the taxes due. There are no unemployment taxes paid out if the person is an indepentant contractor. When the 1099 form is filed a copy is sent to the IRS. That is how they cross-check indepentant contractors. If less than $600 per person changes hands, there is no paper trail as the IRS considers that amount too small to deal with. IE You would not do a 1099 on your babysitter for a few weekends but one should be done for a part time live-in Nanny. The tax man is not going to swoop down and get us, at least not at the Festival.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Mon May 24, 2004 11:32 am

Badger wrote:
A II Z, like so many of your posts I'd probably less inclined to snicker at your protestations were you provide cites for even half of the points on which you seem to base your objections. Seriously, what you're suggesting is, as far as I can tell, complete and utter nonsense.


Hey I have never fooled around with Bovines!

Several years ago we had the Nevada tax collector visit us. I plain view they notice that there was no exchange of money. But that was on the surface now that this group is openly asking for paid help and the subcontracting is being more scrutinised someone from the tax department will come once again if they feel that there is some money to be made here.

Two years ago we the health department closing down certain food venues for possible food handling procedures. I forget the detail now.

On Accident Liability, If I was an investor of Camp I would want a policy. Should BM make them get one and should they ask others to do so. It would reduce BM's liability. BM covers it employees and attendees, but people that get injured and paid will go after anyone that has a deep pocket.

My personal experience with federal entities like the National Forest or Parks is that I take a group that is paying me on to federal lands even if it to bird watch, I will need a Guide Permit. I can't get around that and the fines incured. It will be up to the BLM to enforced this and they have the jurisdition to do so.

If things like this has happened in the past, everyone was guiet about
it, but now we have someone posting Want Ads. Remember people other then eplayans read this web.

Does anyone know if BM's lawyers have research this?

I agree with others that this violates the Participation Code though they will still have to buy a ticket from what the web states. I buy a ticket and have to wash dishes for $200.

Remember the guy that was charging a minimal fee for a ride on a bus that didn't reimburse a person who couldn't attend and wanted a refund. Though it didn't involve BM, we sure had alot of defamation attacks on this web.

It just seems like a headache waiting to happen perhaps not with BM, but that I can't say.

A II Z

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Postby Chai Guy » Mon May 24, 2004 11:40 am

I'm aware of several camps that have paid people to do various chores for them both on and off playa, these include:

Construction, driving, building an art car, massage therapy, various art projects, and clean up. I even know a camp that flew a professional sushi chef all the way out from Japan.

I'm just saying that this isn't anything new.

Do I agree with paying people to build your art, massage you and clean up after you? No.

Was the sushi good? Best I ever had!
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Postby Bob » Mon May 24, 2004 1:56 pm

AZ may be off his rocker & can't get it up, but it is true that the BLM has banned smoking due to high fire danger.
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Postby Apollonaris Zeus » Mon May 24, 2004 2:27 pm

Bob wrote:AZ may be off his rocker & can't get it up, but it is true that the BLM has banned smoking due to high fire danger.


Hey I don't own a Rocker and if I did I sure could get up out of it!

Banned Smoking about time, you know hor prevalent the fire danger is on the playa!


A II Z


PS- I still don't think its in the good of the community to pay with money, but its not ruin my BM anyway!
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Camp Hedon Replies

Postby RandomFuture » Mon May 24, 2004 2:48 pm

Hiya Burners.

I have been mointoring the posts in both areas, to make sure we have the "right" atmosphere. As Camp Hedon, LLC committee chair in the real world, but just a participant on the playa, I would like to offer our thanks for the interest in the topic and camp, both positive and negative--all are welcome. The "professionalism" or lack their of comment was most welcome as it was voiced by several of our members. We will endeavor to make sure we blend in to the outside world--on the inside, however, it maybe slight upgrade.

Please do not confuse Camp Hedon with the "pay for play" of the other camp (ecastis or something like that). Camp Hedon philosopy is embodied in our new charter--safe, wholestic, environmentally conscience, philanthropic and generos sexual pleasure for all burners to enjoy, if they so choose to do so.

Ok so specific follow up--taxes, we are well familar with tax laws, that is what Andres & Kruth are for--insurance, yes, we took out some liability insurance with a leading company that accepted our proposal--security, we reluctantly had to agree, and necessary for the insurance policy (our biggest concern is making them blend in and out of the way).

One person asked why are we doing this? Because we have companies that we are slaves too--and this is the only free break in our schedules for the last 3 years. It is also the incubator for our craziest proposals and projects...as we non-stop fire ideas around, drink alot of beer and play vidoe games. It is also the birthplace of one of our most successful investments and so we decided to share. Yes our budget is big, so what...it is a gift to all who want to partake. As we have gone down this path, hundreds of suggestions from those who know what we are doing have been pouring in. For example,what can be done for those who do not wish to partake? How about sponsoring a sclupturing event? or Can you bring the companies projector and screen so we can play "life size" video games? (I had to laugh at that one).

To answer: We will provide something other than just sex. Some of the women who volunteered to jump into the fray, have recruited others etc...Others have asked to have the committee provide someone to teach strip tease. We are open to all suggestions as long as they are in the spirit.

Lastly, we did hire a design/logistics firm to design the layout of the camp etc--one of our members who is ex-logitics coordinator, just can't do it alone. She has spent many hours on this already....so we had to get her some help. Sorry, but even if we had the expertise internal, we don't have the time to do everything ourselves....I know that is bad, but we are paying for pre-bm activities...yet the "professinalism" comment is on our minds....

Thanks to all.

RandomFuture

PS. Techno, you are right on in your thoughts...want a job?
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Don't Hate Me Because I'm Rich..

Postby Last Real Burner » Tue Jun 01, 2004 9:55 am

OK everybody BACK THE HELL UP!


I like the idea. I like the concept. If I had the money I would do it to.

richly,
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