Kids & Teenagers at Burning Man

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike

Kids at Burning Man?

Yes
302
58%
No
219
42%
 
Total votes : 521

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:17 am

arthurz wrote:Geekster, hope to see you Sat. I'll be using the same name as here:-)

AngelGabe, they called it "soft zoning" this year, publicly stated where kids should camp (around 5:30) and rather quietly steered all the sex camps to the outskirts, mainly around 8:30 as far as I know.

I think they keep it kind of quiet or else every yahoo would walk up to Playa Info and ask "where can I find the sex camps?" A lot ask anyway, and my understanding is that the official Playa Info answer is "we don't know of any".

Maybe next year it will be more obvious, maybe they'll just declare a third of town off-limits to minors so each camp doesn't need its own guards, and maybe I'll also have time to actually go looking for them!

Arthur


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You make it sound like there is a porn shop on every corner. What are you calling a "Sex Camp"??

I have no real interest in that type of stuff so I don't take notice of a camp with an off beat name. Could it be that some camps name are just to attack. Myself, I think the wilder camps were from 2:-6:00. At 8:-8:30 area they rolled the streets up and put them away for the nite.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 16, 2004 9:22 am

OOPS!! Not attack Nake that ATTRACT ok
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unfortunate realities

Postby waltsnipe » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:01 am

An unfortunate element of this issue that I haven't seen discussed on this thread yet is the one of over-zealous prosecutors. If the Powers That Be ever succeed in shutting down Burning Man, I believe they'll do it using the "Won't someone please think of the children!" slogan. Prosecutors typically gun for higher offices for themselves, and typically run on "law and order" platforms. The whole issue of children and the "freer" types of sexual expression coexisting on the playa is ripe for some prosecutor to make his move to curry votes as "a defender of children."

This issue is more one of political reality, as opposed to parenting styles, etc. In other words, no matter whether you think children should be able to go or not, as long as they ARE allowed to attend the event is vulnerable to some prosecutor jumpstarting his political career by going after Burning Man. This is probably a moot point because, as has been pointed out earlier in this threat, Larry Harvey will never change the event's children policy.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:26 am

I have mention in other threads the Or. country fair. I went there for almost 25 years. Then stopped going because of having to sic clean it up. A few years back the counties attorney muffed a murder trial and his job was on the line. To get the voters to bird dog something else. He went after the fair about drugs, naked people and any # of things. That year the fair declared it's self clean and sober. Over the next few years the freedom at the fair become more restricted. Until most of what it is about has disappeared. This can happen to BM also. Right now is the time to tame a little bit. As in public wipings on the main street. Not that I think one way or another about it. We can do this ourself if we want to keep BM as it is.
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kids

Postby markslut » Thu Sep 16, 2004 10:51 am

The one thing I would like to hear is whether or not the children are being used by LEOs as the leverage to gradually erode the types of expression allowed by the adults. I think it is but I am not certain. If it is the leverage the next question is, what is an acceptable solution to the LEO and BMorg so that kids and sexual expression can coexist. Maybe the solution is a section of the city where everyone agrees anything goes and other areas where acts/deprictions deemed inappropriate are required to be off the street. It would then be the adults responsibility to keep the kids out of the anything goes area (like is done in bars and casinos other places).

It seems like something could work other than making the enitre city comply with the social norms for kids which is where the regs seem to be drifting. It's the drift and gradual increase in restictions that scares me - one year a sign isn't ok, the next year public sex acts are discouraged and told to move indoors, the next year dancing poles and cages have to be moved behind curtains, the next year any public sex act has to be indoors and a doorperson must be used to keep kids out and on and on. Kids are part of BRC so how do you make the city safe for them while allowing the greatest freedom for everyone else - it needs to be a clear, well thought out decision.

I have not participated in or sought to view public sex but its presence does seem to be important and helps bring an edge to the festival which is great.

I loved seeing the excited kids coming in at the gate - some of whom could hardly stay in their car seats at 11pm because they couldn't wait to get to Burning Man. It's not really a question of whether or not they should be there but one of how to integrate them with the anything goes freedom of expression that makes BRC the great place it is.
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Postby Rob the Wop » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:05 am

Nevada is the wrong place to discuss children vs. adult acts/freedom of expression. I doubt you will find a more 'outside the norm' sexually repressive culture than the Nevada outskirts.

Yes, they have whorehouses, gambling, and guns. This is still the Old West mostly. But the second you start discussing drugs, non-straight sex, or polyamorous lifestyles- you have entered one of the most repressive areas in the country.

Absolutely expect the LEOs and BLM to become increasingly more protective of the children. I'm surprised this hasn't happened way back in the early years. Absolutely expect local county politicians to use this as a campaign leverage. Just the idea of a child accidentally walking in on a gay sexual excounter would have most Nevada rural residents reaching for their guns. Up until just recently ANY possession of marijuana was a FELONY. That's a year in jail for carrying a joint. And the judges are ruthless in prosecuting drug and sex offenders.
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Postby waltsnipe » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:17 am

Texas wouldn't be much different (and, judging from election polls, most of the rest of the country, either....). I'm also surprised that this hasn't happened at Burning Man already. I think this puts a very real, pragmatic point on the "should kids attend?" question. Once you consider political realities, the question is no longer "should kids be able to attend in a perfect world".....the question is now "Should kids be allowed to attend when doing so puts the event in imminent threat of being shut down by zealous, pandering, publicity-hungry politicians?"

I've certainly never talked to Larry Harvey about this (or anything else, not having met him), but from what I've read of his writings and from those I've talked to in the Org., the policy to let kids in will not change regardless of the threat to the event from "crusader-type" prosecutors. I suspect he is willing to stand by his principles on this one to the bitter end, consequences be damned. And I can respect that, but it may ultimately spell the end of the event.
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Postby geekster » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:31 am

Rob the Wop wrote: But the second you start discussing drugs, non-straight sex, or polyamorous lifestyles- you have entered one of the most repressive areas in the country.

...

Just the idea of a child accidentally walking in on a gay sexual excounter would have most Nevada rural residents reaching for their guns. Up until just recently ANY possession of marijuana was a FELONY. That's a year in jail for carrying a joint. And the judges are ruthless in prosecuting drug and sex offenders.


Ok, so what I am trying to understand (not trying to judge, mind you, just understand) is why BM is "about" drugs and sex? And why would Nevada getting strict about that be the end of BM? I mean, sure, there are a lot of people that express themselves in that manner and you know what, I do too from time to time ... I don't think anyone is asking for a city-wide ordinance against it ... in my case I was simply stating my approval of the "kidsville" idea and keeping a somewhat low-key spot somewhere on the playa for people that want to have their family there is a great idea.

If they want to take that a step further and make designated "red light districts" where anything goes, even better. That way parents can know to keep their kids clear of those areas, just like they would in any city, and not put a damper on the fun those folks are having by accidently bringing their family in there. My point is that yes, there is some behavior there that I wouldn't want my kids to be involved with, no biggie. Go for it. Have fun. Have LOTS of fun. That happens in ANY city.

As for non-straight sex ... we live in the SF Bay area for crying out loud. We see public displays of same-sex affection all the time here. Non-issue. Polyamorous lifestyles? I identify as polyamorous ... but it is not the central core of what I am. I am Dad, I am lover, I am a network architect, I am lots of things. Nevada can pass all the laws they want and I will still be poly. Things are as big a deal as you make them out to be. I am not going to get my shorts all twisted up over worrying what someone might do at some point in the future.

Actually, I wouldn't think Nevada would get involved unless things got completely out of hand in some way. So far they haven't. Let's keep it that way. You help me and I help you. You give me my space, I will fight for you to have yours. Simple. It is pretty much a non-issue for me personally because I don't see myself bringing the kids until 06 at the earliest. In the meantime, pass me that kool-aid, please.
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Postby arthurz » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:35 am

Wouldn't it be great if we could hold the event in San Francisco? It's as progressive as anyplace in this country gets. You can even have a gay wedding there in public, even if the state of CA later declares it illegal...
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Postby arthurz » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:36 am

Wouldn't it be great if we could hold the event in San Francisco? It's as progressive as anyplace in this country gets. You can even have a gay wedding there in public, even if the state of CA later declares it illegal...
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Postby Rob the Wop » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:41 am

Nevada LEOs and BLM have become more involved in 'morality issues' as the years pass. So the idea of 'leave us well enough alone' is moot. It's increasing, and will continue to do so. I lived in Pahrump for a bit- I know from first hand experience the mentality that prevails in rural Nevada.

Trust me, I'm not saying its a good thing- its just a fact of life. Yelling at a truck barreling down on you while you're in a street feels good, but accomplishes nothing.

Either BM will change in the future to accomodate kids (once a fruitcake politician makes BM 'their bitch') or kids will become excluded. Or Nevada LEOs will back off, but from knowing Nevada LEOs- this ain't going to happen.
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Postby geekster » Thu Sep 16, 2004 11:50 am

That would be cool but I can't think of a place to have it. Fire danger would be a major concern becuse we are pretty well into the fire season by that time. Also, it takes a little of the radical self-reliance factor out of it when you could hop over to the 7/11 and be back in an hour. The yahoo factor would just explode. But we are talking about a non-issue at this point. We are arguing about angels on a pin. Nevada has not done anything to threaten the event, we are dealing with speculation and paranoia. Lets just keep things in perspective.

If Nevada was all that worried about homosexuals they would shut down the state line. Close off I-80 to east-bound traffic with California plates ... can't let those people in from the Bay area ... there's queers there, ya know. Silly, isn't it.

Truth is we put a lot of money into their economy and the last time I looked, my money was just as green as theirs. Has anyone ever asked Bruno what he thinks of the event? I would imagine that when he and his neighbors get tired of seeing us, that is when we will have to worry about the local authorities.
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kids at burning man

Postby universalspirit » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:45 pm

i don't have kids and i don't mind them being there but i did mind the lack of supervision i saw. one man actually came up to me at a neighborhood bar near my camp and asked me if i had seen his daughter! ok. i had a childhood where my parents brought me to this kind of stuff and lost me too so lets say i had a not very nice flashback to my own childhood and i am 27. i just hope that these parents who are bringing them are not forcing them to grow up too fast or giving them abandonment issues.
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just can't win!

Postby regynalonglank » Thu Sep 16, 2004 12:56 pm

I chose not to bring my 2 1/2 year old daughter and now she has abandonment issues from being away from me for a week! there is no right answer...every individual has to make that decision for themselves. i would not bring my kid, but i would fight tooth and nail for the right to do so if i chose differently at a later date.
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Postby arthurz » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:00 pm

I have a big yard and sometimes I momentarily lose the kids in it even when there's no party going on, so I can see how keeping track of them 100% of the time at BRC will be huge challenge.

Long-term, I'd love to come up with a way to have our kids there Saturday pre-event through Tuesday night, then send them off with dozens of other burner kids to some kind of kid-focused burner summer camp Wednesday through Sunday. That way they could enjoy Burning Man during the early-week relatively yahoo-free vibe, and we the parents could let loose Wednesday night when the city goes nuts without fear for our kids.

Maybe the camp could even be in the Black Rock Desert somewhere, though having it at BRC might be too close for comfort and could cause commercialism issues given the need to hire staff.

Note that my thoughts about kids relate to younger ones; the issues that arise with teenagers are probably where the big challenges lie in terms of LEOs, access to sex, etc. When that gorgeous young hottie hits on you and you think you must have gone to heaven, do you ask to see her ID?
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Postby geekster » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:20 pm

Okay, this should fix it. Roofing nails with different colored heads applied with one of those electric or air powered nail guns at the front gate to the middle of the forehead. Neon Green for >21, Yellow for >18, Orange for <18. People arriving after 12:01 am Friday get several of them applied at several different places above the shoulders.

Or maybe wristbands.
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What a fabulous idea

Postby regynalonglank » Thu Sep 16, 2004 1:24 pm

send them off with dozens of other burner kids to some kind of kid-focused burner summer camp Wednesday through Sunday


i love that plan. if i didn't want to be there myself i would even organize it. she'd have to be at least as far away as Reno tho, or i would be tempted to go visit!
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Re: What a fabulous idea

Postby arthurz » Mon Sep 20, 2004 9:15 am

regynalonglank wrote:
send them off with dozens of other burner kids to some kind of kid-focused burner summer camp Wednesday through Sunday


i love that plan. if i didn't want to be there myself i would even organize it. she'd have to be at least as far away as Reno tho, or i would be tempted to go visit!


Glad you like it! My goal would be to organize it but not be there, cause I want to be at the burns too! Reno works for me, and there must be lots of qualified childcare/camp professionals there. So maybe in a coupla years you can help me find them. I'm sure working with someone that has as cool a thumbnail pic as you would be lots of burning fun:-)

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Postby regynalonglank » Mon Sep 20, 2004 5:01 pm

sounds fabulous, arthurz, sign me up :)

and here i thought i might get ripped cuz my avatar ain't original, or a photo of me, or whatevah. well shucks!

i did have a hat like that at this burn, and rode with the aviators of DOTA -of mylar kites up at the temple burn fame...donchaknow. we aint proud, just pretty!

me love tank girrl!
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Postby arthurz » Tue Sep 21, 2004 2:17 pm

Around here, it seems you can get ripped for any reason or none whatsoever, so as long as you don't use my picture as your avatar you can do whatever you want in my book! I did think they were dreads and not a hat, so now I'm a little disappointed. But I loved those kites at the Temple burn; thanks!

Anyway, to avoid thread drift, here's another idea aimed at resolving the conflict between kids and activities that make you a felon if you let kids see them: instead of making camps post guards to make sure no kids enter and (oh my god) see sex, how about designating a several block rectangle of the city as a "private adults-only zone"? Much fewer guards needed, and within the zone, there would be no such thing as "public sex" since it is defined to not be a public space. Then all the exhibitionists, voyuers, BDSM'rs and others that want to be sexually expressive in public can do it without fear of the law, and parents could let their kids run freer in the rest of town since most of the crazy shit will concentrate in the private red light district. OF course all the damn yahoos will concentrate there too, but at least then they're all in one place when we show up to get 'em with BIG ASS FLAMETHROWERS!!!!

Sorry, I get carried away sometimes....
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If I'm a LEO, will someone let me know please???????

Postby sissylala29 » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:33 am

Some friends of mine planned on bringing his 14yr old son saying, "He needs to be exposed to real life". Ummmm when was the last time you saw someone in a fur loincloth wandering the aisles of Walmart? And if you have, did he/she resist arrest or go peacefully? (they ended up not bringing him because his mom wouldn't let them)
I don't think I'd want to be at Bman if I was a teenaged boy...like it's not frustrating enough to hide your embarassing moments behind your school books in everyday life...can't imagine walking around w/ a boner that won't go away for an entire damn week, must be HELL! lol
While we might all wish that the world was as open and unashamed of nudity/sex as BRC, it's not and never will be.
BUT, even tho I don't think they should be there, I think it goes against everything Burning Man stands for to ban them!!
On arriving Thursday, I watched a little boy approx 4 or 5 run out in front of my friends truck....thankfully she was paying attention & abiding by the 5mph speed limit or I don't know if she would have been able to stop in time.
His mother was leaning into the back seat of a car and did not have a clue what had almost happened...she was close enough to the road that she HAD to have heard our vehicles as we passed by (my truck is a diesel, nuff said?)....how the hell do you NOT make sure your toddler is at your side when you hear a vehicle drive by? I'd say there was no more than 5-8 ft of clearance from her to the drivers side of my truck.
I realize this is an example of poor parenting and I'm sure that the majority of parents are more responsible, at least I hope so. But I saw kids on bikes come damn close to getting plowed because they don't have the coordination to ride a bike in crowds like that.
Ok, I am babbling.....but I have a question, what is a LEO and does this post make me one???
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Postby stuart » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:03 pm

everything Burning Man stands


and that would be?
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Postby Tancorix » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:23 pm

Ok, I am babbling.....but I have a question, what is a LEO and does this post make me one???


LEO = Law Enforcement Officer. So no, your post did not make you one.

I like Arthurz idea of a special zone for adult activities...that's what Nevada currently does..it gives the counties and cities the right to regulate bawdy houses and other houses of ill repute and the cities that exercise that right put the houses into specific areas or zones. So this idea would dovetail nicely with how Nevada currently handles these kinds of issues.

Reference: http://www.nvbrothels.com/infoHistory.shtml (Caution: This link is NOT work safe)

But I saw kids on bikes come damn close to getting plowed because they don't have the coordination to ride a bike in crowds like that.


On the esplanade the past 3 years I've had trouble riding with the crowds at times and I usually ride about 50 ft out past the light poles to avoid the mess. So it's not just a kid problem...anyone riding in a heavy crowd will have issues. And I've rode through some heavy crowds....like 500,000 people packed on Chicago's waterfront for the air and water show...if you can ride through that you can ride through anything.
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Postby unjonharley » Wed Sep 22, 2004 2:53 pm

Maybe people should walk there bikes on foot trafic only streets. It's just not that hard to ride "up to" and walk a few yards. With motorized vehicles they should slow to the speed of the people walking. Hows that for a interactive suggestion?
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Postby geekster » Wed Sep 22, 2004 3:14 pm

I think that when people cross the loop road around center camp they should do so by hopping on one foot. If going inwards, they should hop in their right foot and when outwards, hop on the left. Except on Tuesday and Thursday when the feet are reversed, except for the hours between 11:37 and 12:19 when they are back to normal during even numbered minutes. Anyone caught flaunting the rule would be subject to swift and severe interaction.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Wed Sep 22, 2004 4:08 pm

Tancorix wrote:I like Arthurz idea of a special zone for adult activities...that's what Nevada currently does..


This will reduce the "Oh my gawd my kids and I are camped right across from a sex camp at BurningMan!" issue (although if it is not explicitly identified or everyone must register their camp, it will still occur).

But I don't think it could possibly ever qualify as "private space". I am not a lawyer, but I imagine at the very least walls/fences around such a zone that are at least 6' or so and cannot be seen through (yet withstand 70mph winds). Then every road entering said zone would require a gaurd/locked gate. And since it gets pretty hard to accurately judge ages around the "legal age", ID's would be required to enter. What fun that all would be. Anything less, and I imagine the courts would see it as public space regardless of what it was called. Hence, (Nevada) public morality standards will still apply.

I see no way to avoid the "disneyfication" of BurningMan. My only question is if I will be able to stomach it.
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Oregon Country Fair vs Burning Man

Postby thedrunkenmonkey » Wed Sep 22, 2004 10:56 pm

I grew up in Eugene, OR, where the OCF goes on every year. I worked security at it for two years. Frankly, what was going on in Veneta sometimes bugged me, even though I was a participant.

It changed. And it changed into something other than it once was - but what it once was, originally, was a fundraiser for a school that hippies wanted their kids to attend.

Then it grew in size and shape, and some more people showed up, and then it became this annual "counterculture event" that drew undercover cops left and right, and it got to the point where the police and law enforcement would have shut down the event entirely because of the actions of some of the attendants.

I have no doubt the Fair still has a large share of happy loaded people meandering around, but you can't buy a $10 hash brownie from a guy named Otter wandering around with a tray full of them.

This was my first year at Burning Man, and I loved the kids who came through the Flight to Mars maze. We made them root beer floats and we talked to them, and we got more tips on how to finish the maze from the kids (who figured it out in five minutes) than any of the adults. I visited Kidsville twice, and had a great time hanging out with the participants there.

But like anywhere else, if I saw a kid wandering around alone, I'd usually ask, "Hey, I have a question - are you responsible for someone around here? I mean, your mom or dad, did they get lost? Do you want some help figuring out where they are?" And we'd sneak to the top of the F2M maze and scream down into the maze, "HEY! JUDITH! RYAN SAYS YOU CAN'T FIND YOUR WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG!"

The kids were a lot more entertaining than some of the people running around saying, "This sucks! This maze is retarded!"

We had a 14-year old with our camp, and several kids running around. Never a problem, and the sex-themed stuff was generally not their bag of tea anyway - they'd go hang out with the kids, then come back and snooze around.

At the OCF, the same thing would happen.

If you have an event that people who are of breeding / familial age like to attend, it's really up to the parents to decide the level of exposure of the kids - and whether the kids are able to handle it.

Banning a certain age range, I think, would hurt the event much much more than it would heal it.

Last note: things change and evolve. And next year's Man was way better anyway.
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Postby sissylala29 » Thu Sep 23, 2004 3:53 am

geekster wrote:M

One of the things any community must have if it is to function as a community is respect and some level of caring for one another.

I met some of the sweetest people, was treated like family by complete strangers. Heck, one camp even offered me a bowl of hot chicken stew and a cold beer when they heard my tummy rumble during a 3am conversation on the couch in front of their camp. I went for a sense of community that I think is lacking in our daily lives and could use a good recharging from time to time

My kids could use a dose of seeing people get along like that too. To see that not everyone in the world is out to get something and that maybe people do really WANT to do nice things to make each other smile and BRC seems like a pretty safe place to do that. .


Hmmmmm so this sense of community that we don't see in our everyday lives, where people care about others, offer what is needed out of the goodness of their hearts, how exactly does that work?
How did they know you were hungry? Could've been a weird medical condition where your stomach growls for no reason. Could have been gas. Maybe you'd recently eaten TOO much and your stomach was protesting. How exactly did they KNOW that chicken stew was the answer? What if you were allergic to chicken or a hardcore vegetarian? I'm surprised you didn't have to hold up a sign:
I'm a DUMBASS
Forgot that I need to eat
Tummy's rumblin
Need food and beer,
ps. I'm not allergic to chicken and not a vegetarian

Sorry Geekster, ran across this after you responded to my 'communityness on the Playa' thread and couldn't resist...it's my nature to be a smartass, I'm currently looking for a 12 step program that deals w/ out of control sarcasm.
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Postby Simply Joel » Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:17 am

i say yes to kids at burning man... 'cause they are tasty (subsistence, you perverts).

and don't forget the weak, they make good appetizers.
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Postby sissylala29 » Thu Sep 23, 2004 4:57 am

stuart wrote:
everything Burning Man stands


and that would be?


Ok, ya got me there. I guess I overstepped my bounds. Sorry, I tend to flap my jaws w/out thinking sometimes.
I don't claim to know what Burning Man stands for. At least not in the minds of anyone but myself. I guess what I should have said was, "IMHO it goes against everything.........."
So, IMHO, a big part of what Burning Man stands for is freedom to do as you please without concern about anyone stopping you based on their own morals/opinions/rules/laws etc. As long as you do it without bringing harm to the community or any of it's residents, you won't be bothered or questioned.
Then again, they did ban dogs.......and I'm all for that! (changin my nic to hypocritical queen of the banned soon)
sissylala29
 
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Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 11:00 am

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