Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Planning to build and bring a mutant vehicle? Talk about your plans and recruit crew members here.

Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby driver8 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:05 am

A few days ago I received an email from an organizer who runs a Plug and Play camp. They want to rent my MV for 2 days and 2 nights, spread out over the week (including saturday night). My MV has been going out to the playa for 9 years and holds 20 people comfortably and has a full bar and flame throwers. It's a nice piece of work if I do say so myself, but I was seriously thinking about not going this year because our regular camp has been canceled due to the ticket situation.

For what they're offering, I could bring the rig out with a buddy and pay for our entire trip plus several thousand in profit that could be used to put back into the vehicle. This is a bit of a moral dilemma. My first reaction is that it flies in the face of the de-commodification principle, but I've been looking at what the BMorg as been saying about Plug and Play camps and they're cool with that model. Effectively, we would just be joining that camp although we would camp and park off site.

I have to make a decision in a few days. My buddy says, HELL YES! But it still feels dirty. Argh!
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby FIGJAM » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:15 am

Are your principles based on "what others are doing" ,or are they YOUR principles?
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Dr. Pyro » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:20 am

Perhaps my moral compass isn't pointing directly north, but I agree with your buddy in this individual case.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby shykat » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:33 am

If you had a Kickstarter page and got the money that way would it make you feel better, i don't see any dif between the two myself. I wouldn't feel comfortable with making a profit on it.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:50 am

I'd agree with your first reaction. Setting a precedent and all that.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby lemur » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:18 am

tell them to fuck off.

say it like this: "FUCK OFF ASSHOLES"
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby some seeing eye » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:32 am

WWLD? - What Would Larry Do? :wink:
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Stickygreen » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:29 am

do it and you'll be a douche just like the rest of em.

you know this...

you can smell it, right?

that hint of stinky vagina is under your nose right now, either walk away, and don't engage.
Or douche that shit and get busy. but if you do, you'll be all covered in douche, and you will forever be a douche to anyone that knows you and your immoral compass.
)'(
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Trishntek » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:34 am

There is an interesting dynamic coming to bare here and begs a couple questions:

Would you be willing to GIVE this camp such a commitment without any expectations?

Are you willing to be exclusive for a fee?

Would the camp be willing to GIVE from their coffers without any stipulations?

What is your motivation for going to BM2012?

You know,,, here at home we have what we call The Place Next Door, which is Retrofrolic the other 50 weeks of the year. The place is available to anyone who wants to use it and we host parties regularly. Organizations also host parties in our facility with an understanding that we get $10 per person.

When we host parties, the can is by the door and people toss in what they are willing to give. It never has even paid the rent, let alone other expenses, but it is our gift to the community.

We give the place next door to the community without any expectations of return other than 'generous gifts' from willing participants. But when an organization wants to host a party, we are limiting our own potential and therefore, charge a nominal fee.

So when it is our "thing", it is a gifting economy. When it is someone else's "thing", it is more of a commodity.

If someone came to me and wanted to pay for a private party in our dungeon for one night during TTITD, I would say absolutely no. That week on the playa is too precious and unique to blemish it with a fee for service activity.

So it seems the fundamental question at hand is, "WHY are YOU going?" You already said you did not intend to take the MV to the playa this year. Now, with the prospect of money, it seems your intentions have changed. Do you go to give? or receive?
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby driver8 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:31 am

The main problem i'm having in saying YES hasn't to do with the principles handed down by the BMorg - it's with my own sense of inclusivity. If the vehicle is hired, it would be exclusive to the camp during the hire periods. In the 9 years I've taken it out there, I've only told a hand-full of people they couldn't ride. I've had to kick-off a few DPW assholes and a couple sparkle ponies who were being abusive. Otherwise we roll until the weight causes the wheels to stop, then we push.

People have literally run halfway across the playa to jump on. We see many of the same faces each year, and I just can't imagine telling any of them that they couldn't ride. But the only way the vehicle is going to go out this year is if I accept this deal.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby lemur » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:39 am

if i pay you $100 can i get guaranteed access during the whole week ?
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Trishntek » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:48 am

But the only way the vehicle is going to go out this year is if I accept this deal.

You haven't expressed the other possibilities you have explored other than your theme camp being canceled. If this is the ONLY WAY, then by all means, sell out to the highest bidder. Why not advertise and see if you can get an even sweeter deal? This might not be the best you can do. Maybe you can lease it out the entire week if you let it be known your MV is for rent. No sense limiting it to two days and nights.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby 5280MeV » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:09 pm

I am sorry that you are in this situation. It sounds like you have contributed a lot over the years and had a lot of fun doing it. It would be fun to get to see the man burn from your vehicle, but it sounds like that will not be happening either way :(

Like a lot of other new burners who have yet to really contribute much, I can't really judge you.

I can say that ultimately, the idea of the event with for-hire MVs doesn't sound all that appealing. Once people profit from their MVs, this will influence the design of the MVs - people will add the amenities and style with the trends that add more profit. Whatever music people want, whatever pyro effects people want, whatever design is the new big thing. Artists struggle for money, and it is hard to wave off a few thousand dollars for rent - I am not blaming the artist.

There are a limited number of MVs that get to go. The commercial camps will have a lot of clout and better organization. You can see their influence already. They will get their hired MVs out there, and they will eventually look like whatever is popular and cool.

It seems like this sort of commercialization has been going on for a long, long time. You can see these sorts of playa cliches here and there, even though I try not to be judgmental and think people's dress or artwork is following the crowd - you can see it. All of this is natural. Someone has a fun idea, and other people repeat it. An aesthetic emerges. Once the aesthetic is established, the activities delineated and understood, the next step is to enhance distribution via commerce. This allows better access to the ideas, promotes more happiness for more people. Nearly everywhere, it is a good thing.

Mardi Gras, for comparison, has its floats, masks, heavy drinking, color scheme, and general aesthetic. One can imagine a time when all of this sprung up organically. Now it is very commercial. The French Quarter is FUN AS HELL, and a great place to visit, but I don't leave inspired to go express myself artistically even if I have no hope of making money by doing it.

The shame of it is this - the undefinable and chaotic wellspring of this 'burner aesthetic' and 'experience of the burn' is much more interesting than the natural direction of the event and aesthetic. I was really amazed in 2011 that despite approximately 15 years of a similar event structure, there was so much individualism and such a motivation to get creative. I was very ambivalent to go because I thought for sure that it was - like Mardi Gras - naturally established and codified. I was amazed at how much of a spirit there was to the place, even if there were hired caterers and RV corrals here and there - there was an incredible spirit of people doing random and uncategorizable things.

If you tell them to go to hell you are a HERO. I wish I had 10x the "fuck you" money that they are offering to send to you anonymously and let you upgrade the hell out of your MV however you want and give rides to whoever wants them.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby BetaBox » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:02 pm

Burning man is for amatuers, and people who can;t spell.

With profit comes corporations, professionals.

It's bad enough that we have to set up tax shelters for some of our projects.

I wouldn't, unless it was for half a billion dollars :mrgreen:
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:09 pm

BetaBox wrote:Burning man is for amatuers, and people who can;t spell.

I couldn't help myself. :professorplum:
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby percussivepaul » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:39 pm

This is precisely why I am so irritated by the way BMorg has framed plug and play -- it gives people a step from which they can vault over decommodification. Don't do it. Please. If you put up a kickstarter I'll throw you some cash and that's a promise.

I don't like knowing that MV's are rented out. I don't want to be greeted by velvet ropes and bouncers some time in the future. I don't mind being told 'sorry, just our friends tonight' on burn night, but if 'booked for a private party' becomes a common theme at Burning Man then we will have lost something. I don't want vacation packages to include private slices of the city because that is less of the city that is public. I don't like the idea of a group of people having a car reserved for them where they can keep everyone else away, and I especially don't like it if they are plug and play campers, because those people are less likely to be participants in the city. It's a wall, between the haves and the have-nots, and I hate walls.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Bob » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:46 pm

Honestly, I don't see a hair's breadth of difference between this proposal and what the org does with funded artists, rental equipment, equipment operators and suchlike, except that the org has fifteen-odd years of experience drawing up contracts and managing logistics. Maybe you could ask their art department or DPW for some boilerplate.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:57 pm

If you do this, make sure you have proper insurance.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby TomServo » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:07 pm

"Interactivity
Provide an interactive experience for participants of Black Rock City. Interactivity is defined as an opportunity for any BRC citizen to participate in some activity offered by your vehicle. The theme and/or size of the vehicle is what's considered here. Do you entertain a crowd? Have plenty of room for riders? Provide a service to the community via your vehicle? Include an interactive element?"


Are these Plug & Play schemers willing to share with the community? Or is this for their own personal leisure? Every day, I learn one more fucked up thing about these P&Ps.

I say do it! But get them for as much cash as you can! And deliver the vehicle with a quarter tank.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby lemur » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:21 pm

Bob wrote:Honestly, I don't see a hair's breadth of difference between this proposal and what the org does with funded artists, rental equipment, equipment operators and suchlike..



yes yes, we know.. we remember, burning man itself is a giant "plug and play" paradise... with all of the potties, electrical, safety, street grids, logistics taken care of for us.. we concede that we have to suffer Kohler advertising all week, and that some rental company is making a killing off of it.. and that artists get paid money to be there.... and we all fund it through our ticket payments... thats all part of the deal if we are to accept going to burning man..which is itself a giant plug and play party..


the difference i think people are seeing is that it has been the belief of many that participants who paid their ticket money are doing the stuff they do after buying the ticket out of the kindness of their hearts.. not as a for profit venture

while burning man profits off of us, and their contracted vendors profit off of us.. we have to put up with that.. as that is, literally.. part of the price of admission

a thing many arent too happy about is the idea that someone who doesnt need to profit off of things, is. (and in effect.. many people seem to feel the 'things' being profited off of are themselves, and their projects.. and they already got profited off of once.. but they only have a contract (back of the ticket) with one of the profiting parties!!!!)

we know that you neednt profit off of a mutant vehicle to bring it.. because we have friends who have brought them out for free out of the kindness of their hearts

i dont know of any charity porta potty companies willing to service burning man for free out of the kindness of their hearts


clearly!! you do realize some people see a difference.. Bob, but.. youre tacking toward the breeze of 'if they do it.. why cant i?!'

the why cant i is that..... some people see a difference between paying the LLC who runs the show and profits off of us as a business...... and paying someone who we know empirically doesnt have to profit off of us or turn it into a business to do what they do

we know a guy can bring his art without profiting off of it, or being paid.. we've all seen it

for the LLC to operate the event, they need all sorts of permits and have to raise money for security/medical/etc, theres certain public safety and wellness concerns,.... nearly all of these are answered by turning it into a business that raises money and offers these services as a requirement of being able to run such an event.. for profit or not


you bringing your art out there? that doesnt need to have any of the entanglements that the LLC deals with in their for profit venture....... cuz.. well, the LLC has taken care of it for you, and your ticket price paid for all of the logistics for you so that you can bring your art out there: without needing to profit off of bringing it

so yeah!! a cool thing many people seem to think burning man did is that it has encouraged a group of people who do things out of the kindness of their hearts with no intention of making a buck! .. some people like this

burning man is a for profit enterprise right now, and their vendors make profit off of us.. yeah, i guess you could take the leap of logic and say 'if they do it, why cant i!!' ...but really.. the difference might be subtle, and just in our heads,.. a quasi religious construct that is possibly just marketing hype.. but ya know!! some people really do believe in that difference..

you kno, the one where if you CAN do something without turning it into a business... that its probably better when you dont.

...and the LLC in their infinite wisdom, in creating the giant plug and play party that burning man itself is.. has created a structure, and a bureaucracy that we all pay in to.. that allows all of us to bring our shit out there.. without needing to financially gain from doing so! ...some people think its kinda awesome.

but yeah!!! the LLC and their contractors profit off of us.. so why shouldnt you ?! ..i mean, .. they do it..right? ...and the money is there!! just waiting to be grabbed!!! WHY NOT?!
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Trishntek » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:37 pm

Question:

Are the contractors to BMorg ticket-holding participants of the event?
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:39 pm

I'm not sure what you mean by that, tek. For instance, I'm pretty sure that the portopotty drivers don't have tickets. Maybe passes, but they get in for nothing, or as part of the contract is probably more accurate.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Elorrum » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:43 pm

Would the DMV allow a license to a private mv?
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby lemur » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:45 pm

Trishntek wrote:Question:

Are the contractors to BMorg ticket-holding participants of the event?


im guessing the question is in reference to the difference that Bob cant see.

..im sure he knows of the difference to which you (seem to point out), and others.. refer to..

he just also sees that if burning man, and their contracted vendors do it.. why cant you?!


..its sorta like, if the US government can rendition people and torture them.. heck, why cant i?!?!!? just because they say i cant?

do as i say...... not as i do.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby TomServo » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:53 pm

Elorrum wrote:Would the DMV allow a license to a private mv?


If they knew it was a private MV, no. When I worked with the DMV, all of the larger MV's used the passenger capacity and public service as a selling point. I would have been suspicious if they didn't. However, they could lie their asses off and get away with it. They might not be allowed back, if caught. I wouldn't want a private group dirtying my name having rented my MV.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby alt12 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:01 pm

driver8 wrote:The main problem i'm having in saying YES hasn't to do with the principles handed down by the BMorg - it's with my own sense of inclusivity. If the vehicle is hired, it would be exclusive to the camp during the hire periods. In the 9 years I've taken it out there, I've only told a hand-full of people they couldn't ride. I've had to kick-off a few DPW assholes and a couple sparkle ponies who were being abusive. Otherwise we roll until the weight causes the wheels to stop, then we push.

People have literally run halfway across the playa to jump on. We see many of the same faces each year, and I just can't imagine telling any of them that they couldn't ride. But the only way the vehicle is going to go out this year is if I accept this deal.


I don't think anyone else can tell you how to handle this. Its obviously a personal decision. Personally, I wouldn't do it because I would hate to contribute to something that I found so offensive and antithetical to burning man (i.e. the purchasing of art/cars camps, related burning man experience versus actually building your own). But that's me. If it were up to me, all this kind of activity would be banned not just frowned upon. The reality is that this kind of commodoifcation or really better-said doucbeag-ification of burning man is ongoing and will continue.

This is where we are headed:


If you don't care about facilitating douchebags coming into town and hiring a concierge burning man experience and how that affects the entire event, then hey go for it....
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby alt12 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:07 pm

percussivepaul wrote:This is precisely why I am so irritated by the way BMorg has framed plug and play -- it gives people a step from which they can vault over decommodification. Don't do it. Please. If you put up a kickstarter I'll throw you some cash and that's a promise.

I don't like knowing that MV's are rented out. I don't want to be greeted by velvet ropes and bouncers some time in the future. I don't mind being told 'sorry, just our friends tonight' on burn night, but if 'booked for a private party' becomes a common theme at Burning Man then we will have lost something. I don't want vacation packages to include private slices of the city because that is less of the city that is public. I don't like the idea of a group of people having a car reserved for them where they can keep everyone else away, and I especially don't like it if they are plug and play campers, because those people are less likely to be participants in the city. It's a wall, between the haves and the have-nots, and I hate walls.


Totally agree. If we're going to move in this direction, might as well just eliminate all the rules and allow Black Rock City to become like very other monoculture in the US. I mean why even bother with the event? The whole point is that this is a different but temporary civilization. If the same old rules of the default world (i.e. class stratification, everything is for sale, etc.) personally I'd rather stay home. I can rent a fancy car in San Francisco and ride around town acting like a doucehbag all I want...
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby Trishntek » Thu Mar 29, 2012 3:08 pm

My point is BMorg has to build the foundation for TTITD. Health Department requires so many portopotties and so much ice per person in attendence. Heavy equipment is necessary for structures in excess of 30 feet high with a few exceptions, of course. Logistical preparations for such a happening as TTITD REQUIRES contracted services from the economy of the society in which we live.

My question is simply are these EMPLOYEES of contracted services Participants with a ticket to the event itself. I do not believe they are; THEREFORE, they are not beholden to the same principles as ticket-holding participants (supposedly) any more than Lowe's is for supplying hardware needs.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby moonrise » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:06 pm

BLM allows a limited number of MV's.

I wonder how many open, inviting, shared MV's will be blocked if/when the MV cap allowed by BLM is reached.

Look but don't touch. Perhaps we'll need to avert eyes too? (please don't drive over us as we look away)

Or rent it with the condition they share it, yarite.
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Re: Plug and Play Mutant Vehicle

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:52 pm

Trishntek wrote:My point is BMorg has to build the foundation for TTITD. Health Department requires so many portopotties and so much ice per person in attendence. Heavy equipment is necessary for structures in excess of 30 feet high with a few exceptions, of course. Logistical preparations for such a happening as TTITD REQUIRES contracted services from the economy of the society in which we live.

My question is simply are these EMPLOYEES of contracted services Participants with a ticket to the event itself. I do not believe they are; THEREFORE, they are not beholden to the same principles as ticket-holding participants (supposedly) any more than Lowe's is for supplying hardware needs.

I think you're right. Also, it's true for at least some of the BLM Rangers, yeah, they're getting out of their home office, they're getting ot, but they like being at the burn. From what Robbidobbs has said, the portopotty guys enjoy it, too. Maybe it's somewhat vicarious, but

I have no idea where I'm going with this by the way...
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