MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

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MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby polyresin » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:43 pm

I have a story about a god-forsaken event in southern California called Coachella. Coachella is a music festival in Idio, CA. If you go for the "music," you're in the minority. If you go to take pictures of yourself in feather-clad ultra-hipster clothes next to a few contrived art pieces questionably placed atop puke-soaked, trash-littered grass... you're in the majority. If you want to spend your night dodging tripped out 16-year-olds who can't find their parents ONLY TO FIND that all that awaits you beyond them is an unconquerable army of more of the same, you might like Coachella. Just a short intro.

A friend of mine went to this convention called Coachella a few years ago. The scene at the end? If you dare to walk barefoot amongst serrated aluminum and remnants of transdermally absorbed drugs, you might find on the damp ground a plethora of abandoned gear--everything from tents to stoves to backpacks to air mattresses to canteens to sleeping bags (in fact, the tent my partner and I have used for Burning Man the last two years was from this dreaded event--abandoned and not even taken out of the package). Why? Because people who attend Coachella have never, and will never, go "camping" again. And if they do, they'll just buy more stuff. Every year is the same story, nobody picks up their shit (aren't there people for that?) and nobody respects the land.

This year, I saw so much MOOP at Burning Man that I felt genuinely upset. In years past, It has been safe for me to assume that people just dropped their stuff on accident, or it fell out of their pocket, or off of their clothes. Fine, fine. I'm sure I have dropped a couple of things over the years on accident as well. I pick up MOOP when I see it.

Never have I, as a burner, been so overwhelmed by MOOP in front of me that I have been unable to tackle even 10% of the shit on the ground. Nor could I have unless I brought a few yard-waste sized trash bags and a vehicle.

The scene was sunrise after the man burned, at the site of the burn. Returning to camp after a drunken romp, I stumbled across the scene with a friend. We picked up all the feathers, LEDs, beer bottles and sequins we could hold in our pockets and left with our heads hung.

People, there is a tangible worst-case-scenario, it IS Coachella. I love Burning Man and my heart will break if it deteriorates. I know the people on this forum aren't part of the problem, I just want to know if anybody has an input as to how we can make this better. How can we make sure first-timers get the memo about feathers, sequins, MOOP in general? I'm not sure that the LNT theme really reaches a lot of people.

Any ideas, any similar experiences?
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby Miles » Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:42 pm

I saw some nightmarish moop scenes around sunrise this year. I'd fill my bike basket with cans and keg cups but I can only carry so much. I was pretty disgusted. Don't get me started on fucking feathers. I saw soooo many feather headdresses this year.

Once again, it seems a more powerful and/or effective education campaign is in order- and let's not wait for the org to do it.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby hookahdude » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:11 pm

I recommend a Theme Camp called MOOP Nazis. Simple mission - pick-up MOOP - identify offenders and shame them. Discuss.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:29 pm

I tried a "Moop a Street" sign up a couple of times..

No takers..

Maybe 2012 was better
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby remotecontrol » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:42 pm

hookahdude wrote:I recommend a Theme Camp called MOOP Nazis. Simple mission - pick-up MOOP - identify offenders and shame them. Discuss.


O God yes this. [s]Tall blond skinny bsdm chicks with 8" heels, super mini black leather skirt under a nazi uniform, including one of those whip thingys they slap they're leg with.[/s]

nevermind, too many folks from S.F, probably end up with more moop, dammit
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby remotecontrol » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:47 pm

hookahdude wrote:I recommend a Theme Camp called MOOP Nazis. Simple mission - pick-up MOOP - identify offenders and shame them. Discuss.


O God yes this.Tall blond skinny dominatrix type chicks with 8" heels, super mini black leather skirt under a nazi uniform, including one of those whip thingys they slap they're leg with.

eh, nevermind, too many folks from S.F, probably end up with more moop, dammit
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby bluesbob » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:48 pm

Every bike ride around the playa ended with my discovery of crap in my basket. I never minded at all. Glad my basket was there.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby polyresin » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:13 pm

hookahdude wrote:I recommend a Theme Camp called MOOP Nazis. Simple mission - pick-up MOOP - identify offenders and shame them. Discuss.

I love this idea... I have actually started to think about an art piece that eats moop or something, but that's an idea that needs some perfecting because I'm sure it would be abused...
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby JStep » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:24 pm

Having never gone before I thought things were great on this front. I found more cig butts on the ground on my walk from Exodus line to the D Lot JOTS (about 6) than I found the whole week preceeding. I tried to do some deep playa mooping, as asked for every attendee, and couldn't find anything. I did chase down several feathers. Best moop ever, I found an LED mag light! Yay me!

I also found a baggie of some green leafy substance (probably oregano) which I of course disposed of immediately.

The JOTS themselves seemed to be the biggest source of moop all week, shedding some clear plastic sheeting shreds that I kept picking up over and over and over again.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby BBadger » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:28 pm

remotecontrol wrote:O God yes this.Tall blond skinny dominatrix type chicks with 8" heels, super mini black leather skirt under a nazi uniform, including one of those whip thingys they slap they're leg with.


That would be awesome! They be accompanied by a herd of MOOP-grabbing "slaves" and others could join in if they wanted.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby bluesbob » Thu Sep 08, 2011 11:47 pm

I wish everyone would stop leaving their motorhomes along 447.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby hookahdude » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:26 am

polyresin wrote:
hookahdude wrote:I recommend a Theme Camp called MOOP Nazis. Simple mission - pick-up MOOP - identify offenders and shame them. Discuss.

I love this idea... I have actually started to think about an art piece that eats moop or something, but that's an idea that needs some perfecting because I'm sure it would be abused...

Like a large fallic incinerator!!! You through the MOOP in the balls and it spews MOOP smoke!
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:34 am

bluesbob wrote:I wish everyone would stop leaving their motorhomes along 447.


And those seedy looking trailers.. :D How about that one from Ant m ut :D
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:34 am

bluesbob wrote:I wish everyone would stop leaving their motorhomes along 447.


And those seedy looking trailers.. :D How about that one from Ant m ut :D
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby Captain » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:38 am

Eh I clean up after myelf, but others who don't right away, not a problem, just eventually leave no trace.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby Bounce530 » Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:42 am

The MOOP in my neighborhood was about the same as it has been, not too bad, a cig butt here and there. But I will say I did create MOOP on accident. I had a carabineer zip tied to the back basket of my bike and had two cups (one of the cups from Ludo's) clipped onto the carabineer. Some time around Thursday night that zip tie gave away and I lost both my cups somewhere. I didn't realize that I had lost them till late the next afternoon.
A trend that I do see happening more and more, which I don't care for is how when people are packing up their camps they'll leave stuff that they think others will want piled up around the street signs.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby bradtem » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:01 am

Sorry, dude but it's not new. Up to about 98 people were good about their Moop. Here's a picture I took with my early digital camera in 99 of the line around the burn:

Image -- bottles everywhere, and since then crews have picked it up.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby The Bee » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:11 am

Bounce530 wrote:A trend that I do see happening more and more, which I don't care for is how when people are packing up their camps they'll leave stuff that they think others will want piled up around the street signs.

Our neighbors left a cheezy pop-up shade structure. They were flying out, had bought it in Reno, and couldn't take it back. Just before they left, they asked if we wanted it. They didn't even have time to take it down because they needed to catch a flight. I asked them what their "plan B" was in the event that we didn't want it, and I got some blank stares. In the end, I told them I'd get rid of it for them, and they seemed offended that their "generosity" was not appreciated. Eventually, another neighbor took it, so all was OK.

Last year a big RV across from my camp left a huge pile of moop. This year there was a huge pile left at the porta potties. The attitude is that "they" will clean it up, and in fact, that is true. I think DPW needs to do a better job documenting the moop. Perhaps a wall of shame with pictures.

The Leave No Trace ethic starts with what you bring. It's hard to leave no trace when there is excessive consumption.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby bradtem » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:36 am

They do a wall of shame, display it at decompression and in other places. On the web as well I think.

However, it doesn't catch out people who put the moop outside their camp, at signs and potties.

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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby LauraPlanet » Fri Sep 09, 2011 2:55 pm

I fully believe that LNT is one of the most important principles of Burning Man, if not the most important.

I certainly noticed MOOP this year, but for some reason it didn't affect me the way it did in 2008. In 2008, my 3rd burn, I felt like MOOP was everywhere and assholes had dramaticaly multiplied on the Playa. I was so affected by it that I skipped 2009. I think 2008 was just the year that I noticed the imperfections of Burning Man; even though they'd probably been there for a while. Where, in years 1 and 2, I only allowed myself to see the pure magic of Burning Man. In 2010 I came back aware of the flaws (which don't even compare to the imperfections of other festivals I've attended) and with the resolve to educate where I could. This year I certainly noticed the MOOP (and those f'ing feathers!), but I just picked up what I could and went about my business. I also noticed that the porta-potties were cleaner than I've ever seen! I've seen several posts about MOOP and I wonder if there is significantly more MOOP per capita? Or, do we notice the flaws more based on our own space/relationship with that year's Burn?

Ok, full disclosure, there was one moment this year where someone used our lit sign shaped like a box (LightBox) as a trash can, and I probably could have been nicer about explaining that it wasn't a garbage and that he was responsible to pack-out his trash.

Finally, to the OP, your story makes me want to sell our Coachella tickets. I remember the sea of plastic cups that lined the Port of Oakland after the Railroad Revival Tour. So sad.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby jkisha » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:10 pm

I wonder how many people that buy tickets have any clue that there even ARE principles? I know for sure many (If not most) don't even bother to read the first timer's guide/survival guide. Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby LauraPlanet » Fri Sep 09, 2011 3:30 pm

I'm all about including newbies, and I like the idea of findng ways to better educate new burners (and remind vets) of the principles.

I certainly spent a lot of time on the internet waiting to buy tickets back in January, I wonder how difficult it would be to add a game that would remind folks of the expectations of the community.

Do greeters get trained to talk about the 10 principles of Burning Man as folks enter the city? I honestly can't remember if a greeter or gate crew ever talked to me about LNT; I do remember rolling in the dust and ringing the bell ;-) The greeters could be fun and sexy about it, walking next to the car, wearing a short skirt, bending over slowly to show proper procurement of MOOP. Also, if they could figure out a way to have greeters, particularly on Sunday night, out in the line leading up to the first gate crew there would be a lot of time/opportunity for a friendly reminder of the principles.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby polyresin » Fri Sep 09, 2011 4:13 pm

jkisha wrote:I wonder how many people that buy tickets have any clue that there even ARE principles? I know for sure many (If not most) don't even bother to read the first timer's guide/survival guide. Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?

LauraPlanet wrote:I'm all about including newbies, and I like the idea of findng ways to better educate new burners (and remind vets) of the principles.

I certainly spent a lot of time on the internet waiting to buy tickets back in January, I wonder how difficult it would be to add a game that would remind folks of the expectations of the community.

Do greeters get trained to talk about the 10 principles of Burning Man as folks enter the city? I honestly can't remember if a greeter or gate crew ever talked to me about LNT; I do remember rolling in the dust and ringing the bell ;-) The greeters could be fun and sexy about it, walking next to the car, wearing a short skirt, bending over slowly to show proper procurement of MOOP. Also, if they could figure out a way to have greeters, particularly on Sunday night, out in the line leading up to the first gate crew there would be a lot of time/opportunity for a friendly reminder of the principles.


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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby hookahdude » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:21 pm

LauraPlanet wrote:Do greeters get trained to talk about the 10 principles of Burning Man as folks enter the city? I honestly can't remember if a greeter or gate crew ever talked to me about LNT; I do remember rolling in the dust and ringing the bell ;-) The greeters could be fun and sexy about it, walking next to the car, wearing a short skirt, bending over slowly to show proper procurement of MOOP. Also, if they could figure out a way to have greeters, particularly on Sunday night, out in the line leading up to the first gate crew there would be a lot of time/opportunity for a friendly reminder of the principles.


I think this is a brilliant idea. Especially when it comes to MOOP/LNT. While the whole set is great, I think that even a 30 second blurb to people entering BRC might pay dividends.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby trueform » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:25 pm

jkisha wrote:I wonder how many people that buy tickets have any clue that there even ARE principles? I know for sure many (If not most) don't even bother to read the first timer's guide/survival guide. Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?


I was thinking the same thing. In order for you to purchase a ticket, you have to pass some type of certification. You could do it before tickets went on sale and then have a code ready showing you completed the test. You could cover alot in 5 minutes and cover moop, talk about glow sticks, stress port o potty etiquette, a few other key points. I like it
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby unjonharley » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:37 pm

jkisha wrote:I wonder how many people that buy tickets have any clue that there even ARE principles? I know for sure many (If not most) don't even bother to read the first timer's guide/survival guide. Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?


Not even going to happen... Sure as hell would be fun to watch the gate tell a car load they have to go back to Reno and get rid of there feathers.. Sorry my lungs wont let me work greeters/gate..
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:00 pm

jkisha wrote:Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?

What a nightmare it would be to administer. You volunteering?
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby bradtem » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:05 pm

As somebody who has gone for a long time, I know all the principles and traditions. But in listening to newbies I have heard them feel "Whoa, there sure is a lot of preaching you have to read before you go to the event."

Truth is, people get hammered over the head with the 10 principles etc. Extra hammering isn't going to stop yahoos who leave beer bottles at the burn I suspect. Many are under the influence to boot even if their sober self would follow the principles. At the burn this year I saw a guy peeing against the wheels of an art car. I stared at him and said, "Christ, what an asshole." Who knows if it had an effect, but that's what they have to learn.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby tamarakay » Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:21 pm

jkisha wrote:I wonder how many people that buy tickets have any clue that there even ARE principles? I know for sure many (If not most) don't even bother to read the first timer's guide/survival guide. Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?


My official 2011 survival guide showed up in the mail the day we left Texas. We wouldn't have even gotten it if we had not had a late start. So, if I had bought tickets cause my friend said "hey, you need to go to this thing" i'd never even know about moop etc. I think the BMorg needs to be a bit more on time with their materials and get at least a bare bones survival guide out earlier, or ship it with the tickets. Maybe require an email address and email everyone (along with their ticket purchase receipt?) a list of the principles and expectations of leave no trace. The printing on the back of the ticket is not enough. Once people show up on playa we can do what we can to educate, but by then it's mostly too late.
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Re: MOOP and the Future of the Burn.

Postby jkisha » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:19 pm

LOL No!
Wouldn't have to even be a serious test. Just questions to challenge your knowledge and give you something to do to pass the time waiting in the que. Sort of like they have those questions on the screen at movie theaters to keep the wait for the movie interesting.
I would volunteer to help set up something like that.
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jkisha wrote:Maybe their should be a test that needs to be taken and passed in order to even get into the cue to buy tickets?

What a nightmare it would be to administer. You volunteering?
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