Sound Issues with Outpost 23 AKA the Afterparty

Sound Issues with Outpost 23 AKA the Afterparty

Postby Player » Fri Sep 08, 2006 12:01 pm

Dear Burning Man Org --

We are Player and Sassy, and have been active and supportive members of the Burning Man community since 1997 - and the 2006 burn was our 10th in a row. We have been involved with four large scale theme camps over the years, and have supported the project in every way we can, including hearings and letter campaigns.

This year our personal tent was located across the street from a camp with a sign that said "Outpost23" (9:05 Anxious).

My wife and I were awakened on Monday morning (of Sunday night) around 5:00am to their music, which disturbed the entire neighborhood and was so loud that earplugs would not work. The music vibrated the ground and could be felt in our chests.

I went over to their camp and asked them to please turn it down (the protocol Bman suggests). They apologized, said they were just letting off steam because they had a bad day (which was a drug bust in their camp), and that they are our neighbors and would accommodate our request. They turned it down slightly, but it was still way too loud for sleep. They finally shut the music off around 7:00am.

The next day Sassy went to their camp to speak with them and try to find out what their modus operandi was for the rest of the week. They immediately put up their guard, said they’ve heard complaints from their neighbors in years past, but they cannot be placed on the Esplanade because their sound system isn’t large enough, which is absurd because they were louder than many dance camps I’ve seen. So they purposely registered themselves this year in the “What Where When” so they can claim their right to play their music between the hours of 4:00am - 7:00am. They then informed Sassy that they are, in all actuality, Camp Afterparty.

[See page 3, Column 1: "Psytrance is Not Art! Monday - Sunday, 4:00am - 7:00am; We, Outpost23 (AKA Camp After-Party), empower ourselves to make it perfectly clear to the world around us that Pystrance is indeed not art by spinning some of the best pystrance in Black Rock City! So Pick up the megaphone, come on down and start shout'n, cuz we're coming to an insane asylum near you! Hosted by: Outpost 23 @ Anxious and 9:00"]

Please tell me what about this listing says neighborhood placement?

One of the members of this camp was a female Ranger who was entirely dismissive of our complaints - and she informed my wife that since they were "placed" there, there was nothing we could do about it. The Ranger rudely told my wife to "just live with it." We complained to Sweet Thang, our local placer, who did speak with the camp (out of courtesy, since it was not her territory – it was Jake’s), but she told us there was nothing that could be done because they were, indeed, listed in the “What Where When”.

In our experience, and opinion, the “What Where When” is meant to be a helpful tool in deciding what event to attend at a time slot that one is available, not to be pored through from beginning to end to find out whether or not you are living near a camp that will blast you out of your sleeping bag at 4:00am! So the fact that Outpost 23, Sweet Thang and the Rangers kept using this listing as an excuse for allowing Outpost 23 to terrorize our neighborhood is completely absurd.

We also followed further Bman suggested protocol and made an official complaint to the Rangers. We were informed that the best (and only) way to do anything about this was to catch them in the act. We were told to request that a Ranger deal with it when it was actually happening so they could “measure the decibels of the music”.

So the next evening (Monday night / Tuesday morning, 4:00am) we went to complain to the Ranger Station at the 9:00 circle (when the camp began their second sound attack) as we were instructed to do, but it was empty (or closed, we couldn't tell which). So you see, we followed the suggested protocol but it was pointless. If there is nobody to complain to when the intrusion is occurring, what are the options? Physical attack? Is that what BMORG wants? (Believe me, it went through my mind on more than one occasion.)

Fortunately, we had pre-arranged to sleep in a friend's empty trailer on Monday and Tuesday night. Later in the week, to maintain our sanity, we were forced to move our entire tent and shade structure to an empty space near our other friends - which basically took all day to accomplish - and of course, we were no longer attached to or near our theme camp.

We learned that their music was eventually stopped toward the end of the week when a neighbor pulled out their speaker wires after numerous requests to turn their music down were denied.

Is there no rule on sound installations within the city next to sleeping areas? Does this mean that people are allowed to crank music this loud at any point and time in the city? Since this group made it quite obvious by their listing what they were going to do, how could you have possibly thought that 9:05 Anxious (their actual address) would have been a good place for them?

All these loud techno venues have a place in BRC, and I do not want anyone excluded from doing what they want. But when it affects the experience of others, their rights to express themselves are no longer valid.

We have had to make a difficult decision. Unless new community standards on sound within the city in the neighborhoods after 2 or 3:00am are subject to well understood and publicized controls, 2006 will be regrettably be our last burn. Please know there are many others who are outraged at Outpost 23 and their attitude.

Sincerely,
-- Player
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Postby dj_john69 » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:24 pm

hehe...your complaining about 3 hours of music a day from a camp ?? Sorry, im sure it pissed you off alot but it happens. Sleep is precious on the Playa. I can't wait until the new Days Inn opens on the Playa in 2007 !! I hear they will have sound proof rooms...all with an amazing view.

As for wanting a new community standards for music or your not coming back to BM...good luck with that as well. This is a never ending battle.

As for their attitudes...shit happens on the Playa. Attitudes happen even more. You did your best to follow the instructions and they failed.

Might i suggest next year, if you decide to attend BM, try to get your camp placement in or around Hushville. With tons of new theme camps each year...im sure placement gets super tough trying to organize camps to make everyone happy. There will always be someone who isnt happy where they got placed.
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Postby StevenGoodman » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:40 pm

Mostly, it sounds like yet more of Burning Man not bothering to enforce their own rules. And yes, I know "they" don't like having rules. But they can't really have it both ways, not when they have 40,000 people.

# Large-scale sound installations MUST be located along the ends of our city. They may express themselves unless community complaints persist.
# A maximum power amplification of 300 watts is permitted behind this Large Scale Sound Art Zone in greater Black Rock City.

So, it doesn't matter what Outpost23 puts in the What, Where, When. If they were running more than 300 watts they are Large Sound, and they need to be in the large sound area. Even if they are less than 300 watts they are supposed to respond to the local community.

Did you happen to get the "badge number" of Outpost23's pet Ranger?
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Postby Velvetina » Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:56 pm

You know I was also a neighbor of that Camp you speak of and I also had camp Operation and a few others playing music in the area, but I expect to hear music at Burning Man if and when I decide to sleep..

I really liked thier music to sleep, to a creative mind lying tired the music created lil mental pictures that danced in my head, that would put me to sleep..

I understand that not everyone likes or loves all music, but it is to be expected to hear all sorts of music.. I would be much more offended to loud counrty music, but thats my opion!!

To Be completely honest your at Burning Man if you came to sleep, and you can't enjoy the music around you, then you really should consider the back streets and an RV, where it's much more quiet!!
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Postby Lady V » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:33 pm

Player and Sassy, I am with you. We had a similar situation on Anxious this year, next to an intimidating camp who were playing boom-boom-boom so loudly it shook our tents All Night Long. And they were not a club! Just a theme camp with some people in a big tent way behind their dome, and maybe 50 feet from us.

We also had a similar, weird experience out at the Serpent Mother fireworks. A man was blowing cig smoke right at us--I mean directly at us. One of us has respiratory problems with smoke and another of us asked the man politely if he wouldn't mind aiming the smoke off to his right or left (where there weren't any people), and he went ballistic, talking about his 'rights,' who were we to tell him where to smoke?, he's a New Yorker and you don't tell a New Yorker what to do, screaming about how we could leave and go off to the entire playa, etc. I told him he was free to do whatever he likes. To be considerate. Or not...

Maybe what's happening is the line between consideration for others and freedom of self expression is being seen as less "and" (what I give you while expressing myself enlarges both of us) than either-or (what I give you steals from me).
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Postby HughMungus » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:54 pm

9:05 Anxious

You wanted quiet on Anxious?

On a similar note, we were out on Fate and one of the art cars there played music *sometimes* and at varying volumes. But one day they'd been playing progressive house, loud, for 8 straight hours and when tht was enough for me I just went over and told them that the music is great (we loved it, really), but, it's been loud for 8 hours straight. They turned it down to where it was still audible but not as annoying and hours later when they did turn it back up, that was fine because it hadn't been going all day. (Camps with sound systems take note -- give your neighbors breaks and they will tolerate you much more readily). I think most people tolerate a lot more noise at Burning Man than they would in their other world but some people abuse that. That's pretty easily solved, too. "Your speaker cables? Oh that sucks. Your music was so easy to hear and feel! Did you tell the rangers? Maybe they'll turn up right before you leave on Monday. Hey maybe if you were to leave this particular neighborhood and go somewhere else, they would magically appear there. Good luck! Save the man!"

The only thing worse than loud music for too long is two camps trying to drown each other out because both camps are filled with passive/aggressive pussies...especially if one of them is playing Fleetwood Mac.

p.p.s. Whoever was playing Led Zeppelin while packing on Monday: we all know you love Led Zeppelin and it's not often you get to hear a Led Zeppelin song but next year you don't have to bring that CD.
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Postby Dork » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:28 am

We had similar issues with our neighbor early in the week and we were way the hell out on Guess. They parked their LOUD unbaffled generator directly on the border of our camp with a trailer behind it and proceeded to play psy trance all day and all night. After many trips to talk to them they made a few attempts to suppress the generator noise and stopped playing the music after 4am. Towards the end they stopped playing it altogether, but I think that was because their generator konked out. We talked to a ranger at one point who basically said there wasn't much he could do, but he did give us some suggestions for how to negotiate with them.

I understand music is a big part of the event for many people, but sleep is such a precious commodity out there. There's a limited window of time where things have settled down and it's still cool enough to sleep. After about 9 or 10am I simply can't sleep because of the heat and sunlight. If the neighbors keep me up until 7am they can expect me to be really friggin cranky the next day. People really should be willing to turn the music down a tad after 4am or so. At that point there's usually not much heavy dancing or partying going on anyway except at the big clubs. Coming up with a plan for aiming the sound inwards would also be a very neighborly thing to do.

For those who say they could sleep despite the music or that people should just move - good for you, but for those of us who set up early in a registered theme camp and can't sleep to the music, it's a seriously negative experience.

One thing I'm REALLY glad I brought was a set of Etymotic er6i earphones. They're basically earplugs with little speakers built in - the combination of sound reduction and familar music bought me a few extra hours of shuteye.
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Postby deldel99 » Sun Sep 10, 2006 11:35 am

Just a quick note from a member of the offending camp -

I'm not saying we were quiet, and I'm not defending our timeslot. I can say that I slept a great deal closer to those speakers then our neighbors, and I had no trouble sleeping or breathing (ie, my chest wasn't vibrating). However, I am inspired to bring up the following:

Please, do not over or under-exxagerate people's attitudes. We may have been rude to you, but you certainly weren't that respectful to us either. If you were met with hostility, then it's highly likely you brought it with you. Also, side note on the 'heroic' ripping of our cables - those people threatened both physical retribution and putting sugar in our generator, that girl should (in my opinion) be cited for destruction of personal property, and her fellow could have been arrested for sexual harrassment, since while she was attacking our speakers, he was waving his penis at a female O23er and calling her a whore. Since they were very drunk and pissed for a reason, we decided to not press charges.

If you're gonna tell a story, tell the whole story. Don't sugar coat your end of it.
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Postby Dork » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:09 pm

If you're gonna tell a story, tell the whole story. Don't sugar coat your end of it.

Nor your end - how many times did people from those camps visit you in a polite fashion before they escalated? The actions you describe were certainly over the line, but the fact that multiple neighbors came by and disrespected you suggests it wasn't just a random isolated whacko who happened to pick your camp.
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Postby dj_john69 » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:54 pm

Im going to have to pass along a lil secret to protecting your generators on the Playa. If someone fucks with the generator that shouldnt, they will get shocked...hehe. The shock isn't enough to kill someone BUT it's enough for them to realize that they fucked with the wrong people.
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Postby spectabillis » Sun Sep 10, 2006 8:46 pm

HughMungus wrote:You wanted quiet on Anxious?


any special reason why not? esplanade, yeah i can see that being dominant with the sound camps, but unless there was some sort of official zoning for them on anxious... ?
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:32 am

One of the points of burningman is an experiment in creating a temporary community. The "illegal" sound camps are the equivalents of BRC's crack houses. The owners often have the same "fuck you" attitude, are breaking the community laws, and resist attempts of the law (rangers, etc) to control them. The result is the same. In BRC, this means vigilantes disabling sound systems and generators. In the real world it means burning down offending houses (with the authorities looking the other way). The only thing missiing (so far) are the guns....but that will not last (I predict).

Your right of free expression ends at another persons body. If you have more than 300 watts and are not in one of the zoned sound areas, you are the equivalent of a crack house. And if, after multiple requests to moderate your volume you do not, you are an asshole. Expect vigilante justice. It happens in the real world, it happens at BRC. Learn from it, or leave. You are not helping to build a community.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Mon Sep 11, 2006 5:57 am

So....it's ok then to take out a pair of wire cutters and snip sound cables, sabotage generators, and create general mayhem all because someone got in your face or annoyed you with their larger than normal sound scale installation?

Ok then, welcome to the true wild wild West! What's next, hanging platforms? Hang the fuckers, they disturbed my precious sleep for one week out of the year and I was too lazy to go out and buy $2 ear plugs....I'm gonna take out a $1000 generator or an even more expensive sound system just so I can satisfy my desire to sleep in peace and quiet for that last week of the year...I fucking demand 52 weeks of peaceful sleep no matter where in the fuck I go, and if you don't like it tough shit.

I just got up so I'm not fully caffeinated yet. But I read this and my first thought is what the fuck are these people thinking? That generator you're sabotaging may be running someone's apap machine or oxygen generator that makes BRC accessible to someone...you just went and sabotaged it and now they have to go home. Would that make you happy? What if your own generator craps out later in the week and that same noisy camp is nice enough to let you tap their power? The Damn Fucking Texans were a quiet group but they let a lot of people use their genny...just think if somone had sabotaged it the eplaya bar wouldn't have had blenders, and Radio Free Burning Man's transmitter would be silent.

I don't have a cute answer for this problem but the one that's being proposed here sucks donkey dick, and I'm trying to be nice about it. I'll spare everyone the more intense expressions.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Mon Sep 11, 2006 7:44 am

...the "answer" is compromise, like in the real world. If many people are complaining, you should search for an acceptable compromise. Agree to limit the sound blasting to certain hours, or to turn it down a little. Or relocate the speakers. This is usually all it takes to reduce the level of emotions.

Vigilante justice is the last resort, and carries a hefty risk (either legally or other as you suggest). But when the offenders refuse all attempts at negotiation, sometimes direct action is called for. Unfortunately, as our city grows, eventually someone will take it beyond negotiation or wire cutters, and just kill someone (on either side). What then of our experiment in the desert?

Of course, it is all in the negotiation technique. Screaming and swearing, or waving body parts at the offenders, rarely achieves a positive result. I find the sharing of a few beers the next day while engaging in a calm discussion is usually effective. And I always bring earplugs for sleeping, and I like a certain amount of "background sound" at BM to sleep by.

As a sidenote, the only camp I had issues with this year was my own - it took 2 days to resolve satisfactorily for all parties....but everyone ended up happy (or at least stopped complaining).
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Mon Sep 11, 2006 8:08 am

....another note, long before "active" vigilante justice comes "passive" vigilante justice. For instance, one year an offending camp was "turned in" for dealing drugs (they were). End of sound problem. Another year I saw an offending camp get an aweful lot of grey water dumped in their back yard monday morning....which caused issues for us because it limited our egress options (they claimed they did not do it).

If your camp is offensive, be doubly sure you are not doing/storing anything illegal. Not many people will use wire cutters or sugar (and that is as it should be), but some will talk to the LEO's about it....and other stuff. After a few citizen complaints of "rampant drug use", the LEO's will start to monitor a camp....
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Postby Player » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:56 pm

"I'm not saying we were quiet, and I'm not defending our timeslot."

That's right - you ASSAULTED us after we politely asked you not to. There is no defense for your "timeslot"

"I can say that I slept a great deal closer to those speakers then our neighbors, and I had no trouble sleeping or breathing (ie, my chest wasn't vibrating)."

Well, IE to you too - mine was, OKAY???? You or your campmates were bouncing around on what I figure was crystal meth when your damn speakers were blasting us out of our sleeping bags.

"However, I am inspired to bring up the following: Please, do not over or under-exxagerate people's attitudes. We may have been rude to you, but you certainly weren't that respectful to us either."

Dude, you are so full of shit I am speechless.

"If you were met with hostility, then it's highly likely you brought it with you."

Wrong again. I came over BEGGING. My wife came over for a neighborly discussion about the problem. DID YOU READ MY POST??????

"Also, side note on the 'heroic' ripping of our cables - those people threatened both physical retribution and putting sugar in our generator, that girl should (in my opinion) be cited for destruction of personal property, and her fellow could have been arrested for sexual harrassment, since while she was attacking our speakers, he was waving his penis at a female O23er and calling her a whore. Since they were very drunk and pissed for a reason, we decided to not press charges."

I had moved several blocks away from your rude camp by then and had nothing to do with that. Either way, you brought it on yourselves. See my next post.

"If you're gonna tell a story, tell the whole story. Don't sugar coat your end of it.[/quote]"
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Postby Player » Mon Sep 25, 2006 10:00 pm

And now for the rest of the story . . .

Outpost 23 LIED on their camp application. They said they only had 300 watts. Do you know what these first class jerks brought?

TWO THOUSAND WATTS. Yes, that's right - 2000 watts 40 feet from my head. What assholes.

I did not get any badge numbers from the creepy ranger chick. I just wanted to get away from them because they were not only assholes, they were creepy. Took us all day Wednesday to do, but it was worth it.
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Postby Ron » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:27 am

dragonfly Jafe wrote:...Your right of free expression ends at another persons body. If you have more than 300 watts and are not in one of the zoned sound areas, you are the equivalent of a crack house. And if, after multiple requests to moderate your volume you do not, you are an asshole. Expect vigilante justice. It happens in the real world, it happens at BRC. Learn from it, or leave. You are not helping to build a community.


Brav-fuckin'-o! Preventing folk from sleeping is a form of *torture* folks, and your thumpa-thumpa at 4:00am that keeps people awake is causing physical damage to them while aping a technique our intelligence/military agencies use to force folk to do/say what the spooks want them to say/do. Sleep deprivation is not something to be poo-poo'ed away and if you can be so cavalier about the harm your doing your neighbors you deserve getting your private property damaged in their quest for quiet. It's called self defense, and it's justified to cause harm to others to keep them from causing harm to oneself.

If a neighbor complains about sound, and if you're outside of the 10:00 to 2:00 zone, I believe the burden of action is upon you. Turn your sound down or don't be surprised when someone finally, violently, defends themeless from your assault.

It just amazes me how, give the choice, so many of us choose to be assholes on playa. Very instructive of the human condition, seems to me...

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Postby Ron » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:37 am

Kinetic IV wrote:...But I read this and my first thought is what the fuck are these people thinking? That generator you're sabotaging may be running someone's apap machine or oxygen generator that makes BRC accessible to someone...you just went and sabotaged it and now they have to go home. Would that make you happy? .....


While we're playing imagination games, here's a does of reality for you. I've got a digestive disorder that causes me to spontaneously and uncontrollably shit and puke. It's like I'm a fire hose going from both ends. The attacks come with intestinal bleeding and pain that is worse than anything I've ever experienced. And I've been beaten into the hospital, hit by cars, fought for pay, and so on. I know from pain. It takes opiates to halt an attack, once it starts.

These attacks are unpredictable but one thing I have noticed is that a lack of sleep contributes to their frequency. Furthermore, my ailment is not unique in that it indexes with sleeping. MS, recovering from viruses and injuries, and all kinds of other physical processes do index with sleep and being deprived of sleep causes all kinds of harm to otherwise healthy folk. So I'll see your hypothetical injury done to the person on playa in an iron-lung, after a bit of damage to property, with actual damage done to *everyone* who can't sleep because someone refuses to turn their music down. By continuing to produce loud noise after being asked not to, that prevents folk from sleeping, you've just sabotaged their entire burn, and their health. Happy now?

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Postby Velvetina » Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:51 pm

Again I must defend Outpost 23, with all that has been said by everyone, and all that is past that has been done.. They were only doing what they posted in the book that they would do, thier party:

>>See page 3, Column 1: "Psytrance is Not Art! Monday - Sunday, 4:00am - 7:00am; We, Outpost23 (AKA Camp After-Party), empower ourselves to make it perfectly clear to the world around us that Pystrance is indeed not art by spinning some of the best pystrance in Black Rock City! So Pick up the megaphone, come on down and start shout'n, cuz we're coming to an insane asylum near you! Hosted by: Outpost 23 @ Anxious and 9:00"

Which as you can see is only 3 hours long. Is that such rough torture that one camp can not have a 3 hour party with out being totally victimized as bad camp.

The placement was not thier idea, thats what they were given. BMORG sets that up as we all know. So for the sake of Future Sleep, everyone find out BMORG's e-mail complaint center addy and send them a letter, that you all agree that Outpost 23 should have been in a Sound area, with the time that thier parties were, and there should be no more need to keep blaiming the O23'ers, they were just doing what they had planned to do.

Let's try and have a FULL ON BLAST IN 2007 and get along with our neighbors, I would really hate to hear of a killing at BM, (makes me want to cry that this could happen) We have no hood in the desert, we complete eachother as a family, thats the Burning Man I walked into in 1999, I would hope that people can over come the past and welcome the future with open arms and recreate our lovley city once again, to share a nice talk and a drink with our neighbor.
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Postby Kinetic IV » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:07 pm

Earplugs are cheap.

There is walk-in camping for those who want solitude.

If you camp in a theme camp and are up close to the Esplanade extra noise is the price you pay for that access. You can't have the prominent location without dealing with some of the drawbacks.

As for medical issues I've got a metric fuckton, some known on the board, some not. Lack of sleep and excessive stress aggravates me too and outside of BRC I am a cranky SOB when it all hits at once. But in BRC I come back to the cardinal rule: don't fuck up someone else's experience. So rather than complain I looked into better earplugs, noise cancelling devices, white noise generators, etc and decided to let my tendency to tinker with things loose to find a solution to the problem. It's all in the approach. Don't bitch, control what you can, let the rest go. I'm not going to bang my head on neighborhood disputes or go drag in the almost practically fucking worthless Rangers (with some notable exceptions like Sasquatch for example) and waste time...I only have a few days to spend in BRC and I'd prefer spending it having fun or with good people like I got to stay with this year. That's my take on it...and I bet I'm not alone with that point of view.
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Postby Velvetina » Tue Sep 26, 2006 1:26 pm

Kinetic IV .....I fully agree with you, there were ear plugs offered by Outpost 23, the people ranting, just were not going to accept them..
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Postby lomaxfrog » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:25 pm

[quote="Velvetina"]Again I must defend Outpost 23, with all that has b
The placement was not thier idea, thats what they were given. BMORG sets that up as we all know. So for the sake of Future Sleep, everyone find out BMORG's e-mail complaint center addy and send them a letter, that you all agree that Outpost 23 should have been in a Sound area, with the time that thier parties were, and there should be no more need to keep blaiming the O23'ers, they were just doing what they had planned to do.

For information, Outpost 23 refused to be in LSSA. You can be sure
that we, placement, love to place camp in LSSA. Outpost 23 was very
well aware of the sound limit, and accepted them.

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Postby Velvetina » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:40 pm

Hello Player,

I am Nutz. I am borrowing Velvetina's account because registration for the e-playa seems to be not working still. I reside with Outpost23. Unfortunately, I did not make it on the the playa this year until Thursday morning due to obligations back home (new baby). So, I too, only have half the story.

This is my first post ever to the eplaya, and I don't really plan to return, as I have many many other things to do. This was simply brought to my attention via our own message boards, and I wanted to comment.

First off... You are not the only 10 year burner out there. We have a number of members that have been burners for 10+ years as well as a number of virgins. Personally, this was my 3rd year. And personally, I'm tired of hearing burners threaten "Maybe I won't come next year" as if there aren't 30,000 other people out there every year. The "burnier than thou" attitude is not attractive.

Note that we too were very disappointed with our placement. Our first task after getting home was touching base with the placers. AS you said, it was pretty clear what we were trying to do. The people I have the most pity for is the Yoga camp right next door (headed up by Mr. Berry) who specifically asked not to be placed near any sound at all, and got parked next to us. He, on the other hand, said "well that's burningman" and decided to go with it. He was a great guy and may camp with us next year. He has not decided if he is going to put together a brand new jam camp or camp with us...

But take for instance The Deep End, or even the Lingerie Lounge... The Deep end is placed every year. And everyone knows where they will be. And everyone knows that they are loud. There is no way those stacks of speakers are powered by a 300 watt amp. And the Lingerie Lounge... I was in there more than once. I rocked out to the punk kids. A low-end bass amp runs (at the LOWEST) 300 watts. So uh? I have to ask... What were you guys pushing?

Yes, we said that we can't hang in the LSSA. And we can't. Unless you have well over 20,000 watts out there (I mean seriously, there were systems with 75,000+ watts out there this year!), you can forget it. That's why our plans were to use our old sturdy 300 watter.

Now... I am deeply saddened by how you say you were treated. I do know that overall, our crew is a friendly and outgoing crew. There may have been strange circumstances afoot, and unfortunately things happen. I can pretty much guarantee that if the offending member WAS of our crew, that meth was not the strange circumstace afoot. Meth is not something anyone in our camp (that I know of) is into.

The verbal accounts that I hear about your specific visit differ greatly from yours. I was not there, so I have no authority on the matter. It is very possible that it is mearly a case of mistaken identity. Maybe it's not you that I am hearing about.

Also, please understand that not everyone dancing in our camp is affiliated with us. It is allways possible that someone that was just dancing and wanted to continue dancing is the person who "assaulted" you. Almost all of the DJs that played at our camp are not affiliated with us. I (a DJ) didn't even get a chance to play this year... Our DJs got the short end of the stick because we were one of 2 Psy camps this year and everybody wanted to play. So we gave them all their chance, taking it in the rear ourselves.

As for the Ranger. I don't know what to say. I saw her for maybe 5 mins this year. She is an overachiever and tends to work upward of 6-8 ranger shifts and 6-8 Greeter shifts every year. Maybe your interaction with her was bad timing... Honestly, from my interactions with her, I'm suprised that she didn't pull the cords herself. I've known her for 3 years now, and this is the first I've heard of her taking sides on the side of our camp.

As for the system. It was supposed to be 300 watts. I don't think 90% of our camp knew that it wasn't. I think what happened is that our 300 watter shot it's load either at 4th of Juplaya or at the beggining of this burn (as it has been out on the playa well over 10 times), and had to go to backups. Not sure. Like I said, I got there thursday, and I shook my head when I saw it. I'm pretty sure that 2000 is an over estimate, especially the way that it was set up. I honestly don't know the story here, but I do know that we were not trying to dupe the placers just so that we could piss off the neighbors. This is a community, that's what this is all about, and if you read on, you will realize that we all came to an agreement by the end of the week.

I am usually the ambassador for our camp and do everything I can to work with the neighbors so that everyone has a good time. Unfortunately, I was late this year. And by the time I got there, I had my work cut out for me.
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Postby Velvetina » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:41 pm

Here's how my burn went:

Thursday morning, got there, said hi, and tried to take a nap, but I was too excited to be there.

Thursday afternoon, I met the neighbors, and their Ambassador (Jill). Now I'm sorry, but I thought that was one big camp across the street, but apparently there were two. I worked with Jill and Whiskey and a sound engineer that had just arrived as part of that camp (Lingerie Lounge, I think) for a good, oh, 4-5 hours on "what is an acceptable level" and doing everything we could to be good neighbors. I also told them (and told them to pass it on) where I was located in case I needed to step in.

Friday morning, woke up, danced a bit, and saw Jill milling around near the Saloon. I went over to talk to her and see how it went. Was told "better, but still too loud". Right on, I understand. I went back and forth a couple of times and worked something out. Oupost23 would take down the system that night and move the party out to the open playa.

As I was walking back to camp after making this agreement, the sound cut. Someone had pulled the cables from our system. Ok. I can deal with that. It had been a rough week and someone got sick and tired of it. We could have dropped that. But the male of the pair decided to start a one sided yelling match with someone telling him to calm down and that he was loved. After I got the two of them separated, one of our girls was sticking up for the poor guy getting screamed at. Then the guy from the other camp chose to start yelling at her, calling her names like bitch and slut and whore, then whipped out his manly parts and shook them at her. Yeah, this is sexual assault. Whipping out your junk in anger is fully not cool.

At which point we all collectively said something along the lines of "whoah". All the while we had sent off for a ranger. When the ranger arrived things had cooled off quite a bit, so we chatted with her for a bit about what happened, turned down the offer to send the offending male off to jail, and told her our plan to move the system out to the playa that night, and she was exited that we had worked something out on our own, like we are all supposed to.

Friday afternoon, I finally got to see the city! And an awesome Punk band at the Lingerie lounge!!! When I heard that they needed another microphone I immediately ran back to our camp and grabbed one for them.

Sat morning, got back to camp around 3AM, being VERY careful not to shine headlights into the camp across the street, loaded up the truck and hauled the system out onto the open playa. Oddly enough, the Lingerie Lounge and the other camp that I thought was the same camp, were blasting techno, louder than we ever could. No matter, I took a nap, and visited with Jill and a number of thankful campers across the street.

Sat afternoon, tried to work out a plan to take the system out for right after the burn, no luck, but asked if it would be allright if we played that night at home. I was told that would be ok if we turned it off at 2 AM. And that is exactly what we did.

Sunday morning... I was sitting in the shade in front of our camp having a bloody mary when a couple of folks from across the street came up and said "You know... I was kinda hoping you guys would do your thing this morning." Some of the same people that were complaining just 2 days before! We had a good laugh about it, hugged and had a drink.

Then the laborious task of cleaning up and preparing to leave...


Now, I would like to call an end to the flame war that is going on here. If you have anything to say directly to us, I invite you to join our message board, at outpost23.org/whatwherewhen. If you wish to discuss this further with me, I invite you to email me personally at nutz (at) outpost23 (dot) org. I would be happy to open dialog with you.
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Postby Velvetina » Tue Sep 26, 2006 5:48 pm

Every year BurningMan is a different experience. Every year I drag my butt out of the car to ring the bell and collect my spanking, for there is no way that this year is a continuation from the last. I like to think that the reason we were camped where we were is because I was supposed to meet all of the wonderful people that I met.
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Postby spectabillis » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:13 pm

Velvetina wrote: Then the guy from the other camp chose to start yelling at her, calling her names like bitch and slut and whore, then whipped out his manly parts and shook them at her. Yeah, this is sexual assault. Whipping out your junk in anger is fully not cool.

... turned down the offer to send the offending male off to jail, and told her our plan to move the system out to the playa that night, and she was exited that we had worked something out on our own, like we are all supposed to.


got my respect.

Now, I would like to call an end to the flame war that is going on here. If you have anything to say directly to us, I invite you to join our message board, at outpost23.org/whatwherewhen. If you wish to discuss this further with me, I invite you to email me personally at nutz (at) outpost23 (dot) org. I would be happy to open dialog with you.


respect x2,

thank you.
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Postby Ron » Tue Sep 26, 2006 10:15 pm

Hey Nutz, welcome to the conversation and thanks for your put. Imagine how much more pleasant your burn would have been if everyone had just been good neighbors from the beginning, eh? As one who pays your role for a camp that can be too loud as well, I understand the feeling one gets when you show up and have problem to deal with. :)

Posting one's intentions in the What Where When does not grant absolution for being bad neighbors, seems to me. Because they intended to have heir parties at 4am only suggest they were prepared to ignore what seems to have been multiple requests from multiple neighbors to be more quiet from before the deadline for submitting text to the What Where When. That's hardly a redeeming aspect of the tale, seems to me. If someone posted their intentions to take a crap on the playa, and then did so, does that make them less of an ass for the dropping of shit?

Now none of that justifies dude dangling his bits out. But if you've got more than 300 watts, if you're not in the sound zone, and if you're ignoring your neighbor's requests for quiet, I'm hard pressed to find sympathy for your camp when someone trashes your stuff. Your right to swing your audio fist ended at their ears and after you've been boxing those ears for a while they finally took a counter swing. Sucks to be anyone involved, but what do you expect folk to do? You're assaulting them just like the army did to Manual Ortega to drive the dude from the church in Panama.

And K, the whole point is to avoid fucking up someone's experience. Or is your cardinal rule, "Don't fuck with someone's experience unless you're doing so via loud music. Especially when you're producing said music with a system that breaks the 300 watt rule and you are ignoring multiple requests to turn it down." ? It's because I hold the same point of view that you espouse that I come to the conclusion I do. Cranking out the volume at all hours *is* fucking with someone's experience, thus the complaining neighbors, yeah?

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Postby diane o'thirst » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:06 pm

Lady V wrote: A man was blowing cig smoke right at us--I mean directly at us. One of us has respiratory problems with smoke and another of us asked the man politely if he wouldn't mind aiming the smoke off to his right or left (where there weren't any people), and he went ballistic, talking about his 'rights,' who were we to tell him where to smoke?, he's a New Yorker and you don't tell a New Yorker what to do, screaming about how we could leave and go off to the entire playa, etc.


If that had happened to me, it would have been at that point where I threw water in his face to douse the cancer stick (and, hopefully, soaked the rest of the pack).

Sometimes yahs gotta take a stand.
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Postby Player » Tue Sep 26, 2006 11:41 pm

Ron -- I love the way you put things. I got a kick out of your analogy to the military's use of sound as a psychological weapon. Now I know why it works so good!

Thanks, everyone else, for your thoughts and messages.

FYI: I DID have earplugs and they were POINTLESS as I could feel the music.

Look, there was an extreme error in placement and respresentation of how loud you were going to be. You KNEW how loud you were and you knew you would disturb the neighbors. Frog from the placement team wrote in this thread: "For [your] information, Outpost 23 refused to be in LSSA. You can be sure that we, placement, love to place camp in LSSA. Outpost 23 was very well aware of the sound limit, and accepted them."

What does that tell you, people?

You mentioned Lingerie Lounge, as if their volume is any sort of an excuse for you. This camp was on the esplanade did not commence their music 40 feet away from sleeping people at 4:00am!!! How can you compare these two venues?

As far as the LSSA area is, just because those large sound installations are also on 10 and 2, why would that stop you? Are you afraid they would drown you out? So then it's okay if you drown me out in an ocean of sound? Well, gee, thanks. I wish I could have had a choice before I set my stakes into the ground.

And don't you lecture me on my decision not to return based upon this. I have no idea what you mean by "burnier than thou." I've noticed the community change in certain ways, and Outpost 23 epitomized it. I am rethinking my one-time vow back in the late 90s to never miss Burning Man. Sorry if you feel responsible.

Now I do not know what you heard about me. I see you made some sort of allusion that it may be different than my depiction. I stand by my experience. I'm sure what your camp experienced of me and my wife could not have been anything near what you experienced with our other neighbors. (By the way, I would not have hung my Johnson out in public - so I don't care about that incident because it has NOTHING to do with me, so please stop talking about it. I was already over it and rid of you by that time. This thread is about me and your camp. Don't use the actions of others for which I am not responsible as any sort of deflection against my claim that you were rude, ill-placed, and non-caring at the time with respect to my rights.)

About MY experience: When I stopped over I was in my pajamas and was in that shock sort of state like anyone would be after being exploded out of bed after one hour of sleep that followed a hard day of physical labor and a great party with friends. I had not a bad attitude, but rather was pleading for my sanity. The dancers laughed at me, and I'm sure I looked pathetic - they didn't believe I was serious about the volume. When the DJ said he would turn it off soon, I thanked him profusely and shook his hand. That night, as I said, they stopped after about one hour or so.

But I could tell that there was a bad attitude on the part of Outpost 23 with regards to the rights of the neighbors, and I knew they were not going to budge. They put up signs telling us to basically live with it and that they would not sympathize with our collective plight. I knew that, after Monday was fucked because of no sleep, that I was not going to argue the point with people who just don't give a damn. And as we slept in a remote location in another part of the city on Monday and Tuesday nights, I was proven right. And so we also got our Wednesday fucked up by Outpost 23 when we was forced to move all our shit and separate my wife and I from my own theme camp. And you have the right to do that? How is it that this is within your rights to perpetrate this hell on me?

How about if I decide to set up huge megawatt lights shining in your camp? Stinkbombs? Or is sound the only sense you feel you can impose on your neighbors? Can I set up a jet engine? Can I taunt you with megaphones? Where do you draw the line for sound? (And when I used the word "assault", I meant audio assault, not physical. Your visitors did not assault me - your sound system did!!)

Do you know where the line is? It is when your experience degrades mine, that's where. I was not about to sit around and negotiate with people who pretend they don't even know what the right thing to do is. Just as sure as a bird knows to fly south in the winter, you know what the right thing to do is, don't you?

I'm so glad the yoga guy eventually enjoyed your camp. I did not. You had no right to do that, and I hope you and the BMORG get your collective shit together next year and get your camp properly placed.

I'm not into flame wars either, but I promised myself on the playa that instead of reacting to your non-caring camp's noise I would tell people about it. As many as possible. BMORG has heard from me - and I am working to encourage everyone who had contact with you do the same.

I have no desire at all to discuss this with you or anyone from your camp offlist in a non-public forum. I tried that and my wife tried that already on Monday morning and it didn't work very well, did it? I want our discussion on the record and I want everyone to know what you are and what you did - especially BMORG so they put your camp where it belongs next year so someone else doesn't have to go through what we did.

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