I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

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I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:04 pm

...to say:
I was thinking about it after signing off, and I believe an argument could be made that the "hard working creatives" are the ones who don't "need" the burn. That they already have to tools (figuratively and literally) to do something kick-ass this year, wherever they happen to be. I think that, yes, in some ways it is a risk to keep the population as the mix it apparently is. Maybe beefing up the Rangers, ESD, DPW, and GPE--so that there are people who know what they are doing to pick (figuratively, and we really hope not literally) the newbies up if they don't drink enough water, ect.--would be a good thing. I think that as things stand, there will be a core of people (beyond the volunteers) attending who do know what they are doing, and I wish that they'd look upon this, not as some sort of unfairness to whine about, but as an opportunity to push their boundaries and the boundaries of their camps/art/participation into new things. And I think that would benefit Black Rock City.


To drag my measuring stick into this--not going is better than being widowed and it's better than being dismembered. To me, all this rending unto garments and wailing unto the heavens is drama of an overblown kind. And when people keep repeating much the same post over and over I get a little, "Yes, I heard you the first time. Anything new to report?" in my head. I'd probably be less annoyed if I saw people saying "I'm sad and scared and angry that I might not go to the burn this year" rather than acting this out unconsciously.

I know that mine is a minority opinion. I feel vulnerable and outnumbered, despite having a lot of friends on the board. That lemur and BBadger--who are not in my "set" on the board, and with whom I have had differences of opinion, and expect to again in the future--are my allies on this issue, is kinda fun for me. Plus, it's nice to have that feeling that someone has my back. It gives me a "positive glow" and I respond warmly.

I know I am a large presence on this board. I know that I do say and do things that hurt other people. Very often these things are more a part of a frisky silliness than malice. Sometimes, I am hurt or angry, though. (There I go acting out my issues unconsciously...) As part of that behavior, I try and hold myself to an standard of offering apologies when my attention is drawn to my harm. If I ever hurt you, please let me know, so I can rectify it. It might take me a day or two of private sulking, but it seldom takes longer.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby Dr Helix » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:46 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:...to say:
I was thinking about it after signing off, and I believe an argument could be made that the "hard working creatives" are the ones who don't "need" the burn. That they already have to tools (figuratively and literally) to do something kick-ass this year, wherever they happen to be. I think that, yes, in some ways it is a risk to keep the population as the mix it apparently is. Maybe beefing up the Rangers, ESD, DPW, and GPE--so that there are people who know what they are doing to pick (figuratively, and we really hope not literally) the newbies up if they don't drink enough water, ect.--would be a good thing. I think that as things stand, there will be a core of people (beyond the volunteers) attending who do know what they are doing, and I wish that they'd look upon this, not as some sort of unfairness to whine about, but as an opportunity to push their boundaries and the boundaries of their camps/art/participation into new things. And I think that would benefit Black Rock City.


To drag my measuring stick into this--not going is better than being widowed and it's better than being dismembered. To me, all this rending unto garments and wailing unto the heavens is drama of an overblown kind. And when people keep repeating much the same post over and over I get a little, "Yes, I heard you the first time. Anything new to report?" in my head. I'd probably be less annoyed if I saw people saying "I'm sad and scared and angry that I might not go to the burn this year" rather than acting this out unconsciously.

I know that mine is a minority opinion. I feel vulnerable and outnumbered, despite having a lot of friends on the board. That lemur and BBadger--who are not in my "set" on the board, and with whom I have had differences of opinion, and expect to again in the future--are my allies on this issue, is kinda fun for me. Plus, it's nice to have that feeling that someone has my back. It gives me a "positive glow" and I respond warmly.

I know I am a large presence on this board. I know that I do say and do things that hurt other people. Very often these things are more a part of a frisky silliness than malice. Sometimes, I am hurt or angry, though. (There I go acting out my issues unconsciously...) As part of that behavior, I try and hold myself to an standard of offering apologies when my attention is drawn to my harm. If I ever hurt you, please let me know, so I can rectify it. It might take me a day or two of private sulking, but it seldom takes longer.



I think you speak for a lot of us Fishy. The endless rehashing of anguish, rage and indignation gets old. I try to have empathy for folks who are venting, but at a certain point I just tune it out. Especially since nothing is for certain right now. This same sort of howl went up after the sellout last year. As my wife always tells me when I'm agonizing over a decison I've made, "See how you are in a year". I'll modify that to 6 months in this case.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:49 pm

Ta.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby JCarter » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:05 pm

Dr Helix wrote:
I think you speak for a lot of us Fishy. The endless rehashing of anguish, rage and indignation gets old. I try to have empathy for folks who are venting, but at a certain point I just tune it out. Especially since nothing is for certain right now. This same sort of howl went up after the sellout last year. As my wife always tells me when I'm agonizing over a decison I've made, "See how you are in a year". I'll modify that to 6 months in this case.


With respect to your view, I think this is where we part ways.

I find this endless rehashing of anguish fascinating. This is most likely very individual but when I see all of this sturm und drang it makes me wonder what people's lives must be like outside of the playa. What made them so absolutely invested in TTITD? Are they this invested in anything else in their lives to this degree(like their job, their families, etc.)? Do they even have anything else to be invested in? What will happen if these people really can't go? What will they do? Will they need actual psychiatric assistance? Have people become so attached to TTITD that being unable to do will threaten their sanity(I don't think so but I have been proven wrong before)? It gives me a window into a life that is truly foreign to me. Fascinating stuff.
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby Herring » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:12 pm

I think what it really comes down to is planning.

I'm in emergency services. If I can't go to the burn, it may be bad for the city, but I'm sure other emergency service burners can pick up the slack. It doesn't affect anything I do in the default world, aside from keeping my certifications and liscence current, which I do anyway. I'm sure this is true for a lot of volunteers, we don't have to do anything pre-burn, we just show up and work. Yeah, we need tickets, but we don't need tickets 8 months in advance. I have the luxery of waiting until STEP is up, of waiting until the flakes and those that purchased "just in case" put their tickets up for sale in July. And if I can't get tickets, I'm sad but it's not a huge deal, I haven't put that much time and money into this particular year's burn. Maybe my ticket went to a new volunteer.

If I'm working in a big collaborative art project with a kickstarter and a bunch of people, I do need those tickets in advance, I need to know what my resources are and how much help I'll have while building pre-burn and assembly when I get there. So I can absolutely understand the panic and frustration of the creative projects, they don't have the luxery of waiting like we individual campers do.

Edit: I do hope this translates into more art in our communities and more big projects at our regionals, I do agree that the creative types shouldn't feel that the playa is the only place to display their work or play their music.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby 48_love » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:09 pm

JCarter wrote:
With respect to your view, I think this is where we part ways.

I find this endless rehashing of anguish fascinating. This is most likely very individual but when I see all of this sturm und drang it makes me wonder what people's lives must be like outside of the playa. What made them so absolutely invested in TTITD? Are they this invested in anything else in their lives to this degree(like their job, their families, etc.)? Do they even have anything else to be invested in? What will happen if these people really can't go? What will they do? Will they need actual psychiatric assistance? Have people become so attached to TTITD that being unable to do will threaten their sanity(I don't think so but I have been proven wrong before)? It gives me a window into a life that is truly foreign to me. Fascinating stuff.


In that light, I think it would be interesting to understand how you are dealing with the prospect of not being able to attend this year.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby vargaso » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:10 pm

JCarter wrote:
Dr Helix wrote:
I think you speak for a lot of us Fishy. The endless rehashing of anguish, rage and indignation gets old. I try to have empathy for folks who are venting, but at a certain point I just tune it out. Especially since nothing is for certain right now. This same sort of howl went up after the sellout last year. As my wife always tells me when I'm agonizing over a decison I've made, "See how you are in a year". I'll modify that to 6 months in this case.


With respect to your view, I think this is where we part ways.

I find this endless rehashing of anguish fascinating. This is most likely very individual but when I see all of this sturm und drang it makes me wonder what people's lives must be like outside of the playa. What made them so absolutely invested in TTITD? Are they this invested in anything else in their lives to this degree(like their job, their families, etc.)? Do they even have anything else to be invested in? What will happen if these people really can't go? What will they do? Will they need actual psychiatric assistance? Have people become so attached to TTITD that being unable to do will threaten their sanity(I don't think so but I have been proven wrong before)? It gives me a window into a life that is truly foreign to me. Fascinating stuff.


It's a combo of the amount of planning that goes into some people's burn, and the fact that yeah, Burning Man is a little more than your average vacation in that nothing even close to the experience happens anywhere else at any other time. In contrast, if plans fall through for a trip to Paris, you can always go somewhere else, travel is travel. That's how I feel about it, anyway. I'm very invested in my family life, in fact, it's all I do 11 1/2 months out of the year, and my kids are my life. But for a week or so, I burn. And if I can't do that this year, well, it's not the end of the world, but wherever else I decide to go will not give me the same recharge, most likely.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby jkisha » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:30 pm

I certainly don't know how many new burners there will be this year, but I can speak to the effect of what an over abundance of new members/burners had on our camp two years ago; absolutely nothing good came of it. The only thing we learned from that year was to keep the the number of new people invited into our camp low. From my personal experience I think that the appocolyptic predictions mentioned on many of the posts on the board come much closer to any of the positive, hopeful ones.

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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby JCarter » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:40 pm

48_love wrote:
In that light, I think it would be interesting to understand how you are dealing with the prospect of not being able to attend this year.


That's easy. I wasn't planning on attending 2012 in the first place. I might go in 2013 but it isn't definite. If that doesn't work out I'll go to Europe or maybe climb a mountain or something. Or I'll impose on a friend of mine to help me get into Playa Del Fuego. Or not.

Here's the deal.

I'm not a real Burner. Not really. I went to Burning Man once a very long time ago(1999 to be exact) and even though I had a good(kinda ish) time, it only changed my life in so far that it taught me a few things(such as that I was about 100 times more of a douchnozzle in 1999 than I am now. Scary, huh?). To be honest, a big part of the reason I read and comment here before the ticket fiasco is because I am amazed with how very different everyone else's experience is to mine. It's almost like everyone else went to Coachella and I went to Anthony Bourdain's Romania*. That and the stories people tell interest me. Even though I can see that people get a lot out of it and therefore are willing to go thousands of miles for it(and are suffering enormously at the very thought of not going), I just was not one of those people.

In brief, how I am dealing with it is absolutely useless for most Burners as I don't have the extreme devotion that they have because I failed at Burning Man.

* Go to the link below to get that utterly dorktastic reference. I fail at HTML today. :(
http://blog.travelchannel.com/anthony-b ... -happened/
If Neil deGrasse Tyson pulled me off the street to tell me about astronomy that would be awesome. If I was in Amsterdam when this happened and could convince him to tell me about it at a coffeeshop it would be ideal. Just sayin'.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby hotmess » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:57 pm

Wello Fishy I am sad. I am scared. A by gosh I am angry that I might not go to the burn this year. Now that I got that out of my system it is time I try and figure out how to get home this year.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby 48_love » Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:17 pm

JCarter wrote:I failed at Burning Man.


Now, THAT'S scary!

Haha. No, I get it now.

You basically lack context for people's feelings because you never became invested in the event. It does seem odd that you lack so much context to not feel some empathy. It's obviously more than 'a week in the desert' for many people. But is that enough to question the content and mental footing in people's lives?

I don't know. Something bugged me about your post. It's like you're not even participating on ePlaya but just another voyeur.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby BBadger » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:42 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:I know that mine is a minority opinion. I feel vulnerable and outnumbered, despite having a lot of friends on the board. That lemur and BBadger--who are not in my "set" on the board, and with whom I have had differences of opinion, and expect to again in the future--are my allies on this issue, is kinda fun for me. Plus, it's nice to have that feeling that someone has my back. It gives me a "positive glow" and I respond warmly.


Glad to be thought of as an ally!

jkisha wrote:I certainly don't know how many new burners there will be this year, but I can speak to the effect of what an over abundance of new members/burners had on our camp two years ago; absolutely nothing good came of it. The only thing we learned from that year was to keep the the number of new people invited into our camp low. From my personal experience I think that the appocolyptic predictions mentioned on many of the posts on the board come much closer to any of the positive, hopeful ones.


Opposite thing happened in our camp with us: our first year (2010) our subgroup were, what I call, "Thursday Night Douchebags". Though we weren't douchebags, as in jerks, but I use that term for folk who generally just show up on Thursday night (we showed up late Wed night, but close enough) with little invested in camp or country. While the rest of the camp didn't think poorly of us, they didn't think much of us, and certainly didn't expect that we'd be there again for a second time. Well we did, from the start of the week, and pulled "more than our weight" as some in the camp put it. The general consensus was that the camp would have been at a great loss had we not been there this year.

Expectations played an important part in our return and what we wanted out of the camp. We had to prepare dinner for the entire camp for one night as one of our responsibilities of belonging to the camp (and buy the food, etc.), and that helped solidify our involvement and positive feedback with respect to our place there. If everything were "handled" by everyone else, there wouldn't have been much attachment to the camp itself. The standards were also high, and we wanted to meet or exceed them.

I keep such expectations for anyone we bring to the camp that is new (like this past year). Like raising children, a lot of what you get out of people or campmates is what you expect from them. You must also convey those expectations or there will be no bar to be reached. At the same time, inviters should know who they are inviting well enough to know who is worthy. Poor campmates reflect upon whoever invited them, like children with their parents. That in itself should be incentive enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby Azalea_DS » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:01 am

This is my first post on eplaya, though not for lack of lurking, particularly the last month or so.

I am sad and scared that I won't get to go to the burn this year. It is to be my third straight year, I went for the first time in 2010 (pre-sellout, pre-lottery, and I got a first tier ticket on the first day because the computer system didn't crash ... little did I know of what was to come!) I have grand plans to bring two virgin friends and my virgin bf, all of whom have been to regional events. I wanted to plan a 'science afternoon' on they playa ('cause there's just not enough science out there) and was even hoping to go out a week early to help build. Now I don't know what to do, but I don't feel like I can start planning anything until I have a (virtual) ticket in my hand. My camp (a small, 25-30 person theme camp that has only been registered for three years) got about 35% of the tickets we need, so even if they do prioritize some of the left over tickets to theme camps I doubt we'll qualify. So there. I'm sad and scared and I understand why people are freaking out the way they are. No, it's not particularly productive, but it feels completely awful to not know if you'll be able to make it. As far as I can tell there are no extra tickets floating around, certainly not within my (albeit small) camp, and also not within my (very fb active) regional group. So we wait.
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Re: I Suppose That This is a Better Place...

Postby 5280MeV » Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:33 am

theCryptofishist wrote:To me, all this rending unto garments and wailing unto the heavens is drama of an overblown kind.


I have been thinking a lot about this post.

It is true, ones health, the welfare of loved ones, and actual 51-weeks out of the year home that one depends on, are the real important things.

On the other hand, ask any Roman Emperor, and they will not deny the importance of festivals, feasts, and other celebratory events. At the same time one has to keep perspective. I personally don't mind people having a mini-freakout on a message board when a year's effort on an art project gets called into question - I know that I have flipped out over smaller losses of my own effort. But I do worry that despite being very new to all this, I can recognize my own sense of perspective begin to slip a little.

When people talk about actual airports, 50 foot flaming sculptures, preservation of a culture, it really does sound pretty serious - and don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for the effort and creativity that go into these things.

But isn't this also sort of a gigantic joke?

I mean, a non-commercial airport is a pretty cool thing on its own. I had a pilot friend give me a free ride once and it was fantastic. But there is something much more absurd and hilarious about wandering around in a giant desert encampment in the worst imaginable climate on the continent, where a bunch of people have more or less randomly shown up to have a bonfire, and happening upon an actual, real, physical airport, where you just say hi to some stranger and then literally fly around with him - like in the air - above ground - which hurts real bad if you fall on it. There is euphoria in the sheer madness of it, you have nothing to do but laugh.

I didn't actually go to the airport. But I got on a giant yacht - which was funny - because I was bummed out about not pulling the giant horse as I could not find a toga, and then realizing that I didn't really need a toga, when I talked to Dionysus about the toga thing he was really just hoping that everyone had brought a toga. So the setup for getting on a yacht story doesn't make any sense at all - therefore it is brilliantly funny when it is actually experienced.

Then generally speaking one doesn't just climb on board to someone's yacht party without permission - and I was not about to due to unconscious adherence to cultural taboos. But I was pissed about the whole horse thing and said - screw it (unconsciously) - and crashed a raging yacht party. Then the Captain and the DJ just smiled at me and I danced in the sunset - and all along we are 'sailing' in the damn desert. So it is all beautiful, euphoric, inspiring, yadda yadda yadda, but it is all these things in a large part because it is absolutely fucking absurd and hilarious.

The fact that I am participating in this discussion at all is absurd and hilarious. I mean, we are in fact debating the cultural ramifications of public policy decisions made by a few Bay area artists concerning their annual bonfire party. I hope to keep in mind just how funny that is, even as I pour the better portion of my personal discretionary income and half my free time into preparing for a giant practical joke 2000 miles away, but what could be more fun?

This "year-round culture", "10 principles", and waxing philosophic about all this is also pretty melodramatic when you get down to it. But I do think that the small group of Bay area artists who host an annual bonfire party have a point. There is a sort of template for a new sort of celebration here - and I think that it might just be the best type of celebration ever invented. Celebrations are important to people, they do inspire, and people do need to have release. Finally, it has to be possible to enjoy this sort of fun "off Broadway," we cannot all go to the playa every year, so we may as well see what sort of humor we can create at regional events, given whatever freedoms these events allow us to enjoy.



theCryptofishist wrote:I know I am a large presence on this board. I know that I do say and do things that hurt other people. Very often these things are more a part of a frisky silliness than malice. Sometimes, I am hurt or angry, though. (There I go acting out my issues unconsciously...) As part of that behavior, I try and hold myself to an standard of offering apologies when my attention is drawn to my harm.


This is a great way of doing it. If there one can't be the least bit snarky on a message board, then where is the humor? If the practical joke goes too far, then help the poor victim up and make his or her day better.
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