Rejected Mutant Vehicles

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Rejected Mutant Vehicles

Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:44 pm

What is going on here? I know of at least 2 vehicles from the Thunderdome camp that have gotten rejected (Vector got rejected?? WTF??), I recall one other that I read about here, and now Doc Pyro's "Tieland" with one of the coolest fire cannons I've seen.

WTF is going here people? Is BM about rules and regs, or about fun??

I'm rather irked about this and it's not even directly affecting me. Hell, I almost feel a bit guilty that my MV got an invite to come. :| I know how much blood, sweat and money goes into making these things.

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Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:50 pm

I'll tell you what's happening here Badger: the pissants who get just a whiff of authority somehow think their shit doesn't stink. We've known one another for awhile and will on occasion poke one another, but it's with a modicum of respect and understanding. These DMV Hotties have neither. Sure, let us blow over $1000 getting ready. Hell, I certainly didn't need the money.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:51 pm

What do they look like? They decided a few years back to license "mutant vehicles" but not "art cars", which is supposed to mean custom-built contraptions and not decorated cars. If that isn't the issue, then I dunno.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:01 pm

From what I understand, the current "rules" are:

1. Must not look like a regular vehicle (car, truck, golfcart).
2. Must "serve" the community aka many people can ride (the "cupcakes" appear to be an exception)


The TD cars don't meet 1 and 2. Tieland doesn't meet 1. ok, granted. but here is my issue. They appear to be sticking to these "rules" with no accounting for what the vehicle does for the event.

Thunderdome without the "mad max" cars? That's just stupid.

Dr. Pyro, I'm not sure if it's the hotties being power crazy, or if their hands are being tied by some new BLM rules.

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Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:16 pm

Either way, it just plain sucks.
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Postby BitterDan » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:27 pm

Eventually they will make the rules so stiff that no one will bother making MVs or even art for that matter. Soon it will just be another festival in the desert. Next thing you know they will start offering lodging and restaurants. They are going to run the event into the ground with these bullshit moves.
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Postby Kinetik V » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:34 pm

I think it's time the "haughties" get overhauled....as IMHO they seem to be the most corrupt and illogically "quasi-organized" department in the entire BM infrastructure.

They seriously need to have their power curbed and their policies and procedures reviewed to ensure the rules are clear, uniformly administered, and those pesky rumors of sex and party favors in exchange for permits are finally put to rest. Again...I say it's a totally corrupted department and one that after the burn needs a very harsh spotlight shined on it so it gets fixed.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:14 pm

I'm sorry man. That really does suck. :(

Yeah, if things get too much more restricted, it's just not going to be any fun anymore. We're not coming out here for our health. ;)

Kinetic V wrote:I think it's time the "haughties" get overhauled....as IMHO they seem to be the most corrupt and illogically "quasi-organized" department in the entire BM infrastructure.

They seriously need to have their power curbed and their policies and procedures reviewed to ensure the rules are clear, uniformly administered, and those pesky rumors of sex and party favors in exchange for permits are finally put to rest. Again...I say it's a totally corrupted department and one that after the burn needs a very harsh spotlight shined on it so it gets fixed.

haha Nice pun. :)

I personally haven't delt with them yet beyond getting a pass to bring my MV. Are things really that bad over there, and if so, do you have any proof so we could do something about it? There has to be some sort of oversight for a group like that.

Are there any tips you can give be for when I go to get my night/day tags? Pitfalls people should watch out for?

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Postby BitterDan » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:16 pm

Are there any tips you can give be for when I go to get my night/day tags?


Yes, if you are denied, go back in 20 minutes and get a different hottie and you'll probably be approved. I've heard that bribing them works well too.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:21 pm

BitterDan wrote:
Are there any tips you can give be for when I go to get my night/day tags?


Yes, if you are denied, go back in 20 minutes and get a different hottie and you'll probably be approved. I've heard that bribing them works well too.

Good lord... I'd ask if you're kidding, but I can tell you're not. That's the problem with such a subjective thing. The "rules" are viewed differently by every person.
The bribing I've heard rumors about. We have the same thing at the big CA Ren Faire. "Bribing" the lady that does costume approval is always a wise idea. ;) *chuckle*

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Postby Dork » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:38 pm

The primary responsibility of the DMV is to deny. If nothing were deemed worthy of denying, they would not need to exist. Back in the day you could bring a barely modified piece of crap simply becuase you wanted to be able to drive. People still do it and feel they don't have to follow the same rules as everyone else because they're grandfathered in or are simply cooler than the rest of us. Maybe they know the right person or simply drive without a license until they get busted.

If your rig isn't truly mutated and really freakin cool, leave it at home.

If you're talking about a lame car with a seriously notlame flame cannon, perhaps an artery license is more in order? Permission to transport the flame art to its demonstration location at certain times.
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Postby capjbadger » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:48 pm

I understand what you are saying. Yes, some stuff out there is total crap. A golf cart with some carpet and blinkes do not an art car/MV make. It they are bringing a MV just so they can drive around, they're missing the point. But it also seems like the DMV is missing the point of even if the vehicle may not be quite mutated enough for their tastes, what does the vehicle do for the event as a whole? No everything out there has to be "art". Hell, I don't think the stuff I build is art.

Do you feel the "Thunderdome cars" fit under the "barely modified piece of crap" tag, or do you think they are an important piece of the whole "Thunderdome experience" (for lack of a better phrase)?

Technicaly my rig isn't mutated at all. It never was a car. I built it from the ground up.

Artery licence? Hmm... I completely ignored that before since I never brought "art" out there. That could be a way around the DMV for MV's like the TD cars and Tieland. From what I can see on the main site, the online arty register is closed, but you can print out the form and bring it with you. Worst comes to worst, you leave the MV parked at camp for the run...

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What's become of burningman?

Postby Marscrumbs » Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:19 pm

I filed a last minute art permit and I'm getting a prime spot on the 3o'clock circle they need to fill. All these folks coming from around the world to see my dinky project?

Figure 50,000 tickets at average $250 each or $12.5 million at the gate and they are asking for donations for building the temple? Something has changed.
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Postby Dork » Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:52 pm

Yes, I've seen some DG-adjacent cars I felt should not get DMV licenses. Whether these are at all the ones you speak of I have no idea. The only way a moving car would fit in with the "Thunderdome experience" for me would be if it were driving at high speeds running people over or attempting to capture other cars. They already have the primest of prime locations - why do they need to drive? Bring the cars and park them near the dome, no sticker required.

I've only heard that artery transportation permits exist - I've never attempted to get one or actually seen one. But they would seem to make sense if you were actually moving something to a performance location and not simply driving around all night. Or, perhaps take your rig down to the DMV at night to see if you can get a sticker despite no pre-approval.
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Postby Isotopia » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:16 pm

It's pretty easy to sit back and define the role of a department that most people don't know shit about.

It's just as easy to ascribe the role of volunteers within the particular group as inherently 'evil,' 'power hungry,' blah, blah... I mean, the whole "I think it's time the "haughties" get overhauled....' schtick is just fucking precious seeing as the poster of record is NOT likely to be the one to bell that cat. To do so would require a commitment and a vision of how to affect substantive change. I'd argue that like most other whingers he's imminently incapable of following through on. Hell, it's easier to just thump your chest and throw shit like a typical ass monkey.

What's even easier for the arm chair quarterbacks sitting on their lame asses and yelling directions to volunteers on how volunteers ought best do the job, is to act all pissed off and indignant when those volunteers start following through with policies and procedures that have been in place for some time.

Sure there are problems. Primary among them is the (seeming) lack of consistency with the 'aesthetic issue.' Who isn't tired of the umpteenth four seat golf cart that serves only the camp under which it is registered? Anyone else yawning at the marginally decorated step van blasting the same thump-thump tunes with the same people in tow night after night? Yeah, me too.

Doc Pyro's truck is a well recognized war horse as are many others who'll no doubt fail to pass muster this year. And yeah, it sucks that it failed the test and that he didn't get notified until just very recently. For that I'd be pissed and for damn good reason. Still, I'd argue that like most other changes in the event which have met with intense resistance there's usually a reason behind those changes.

It may be driven in part by the BLM and the whole permitting process. Might be that that each year we've seen escalating numbers of driving infractions involving 'camp cars' where the drivers have been repeat offenders, driving under the influence, driving like ass hats, speeding/dusting, etc. Oddly enough the number of those infractions involving MVs serving the playa community tend to be quite low compared to the overall numbers.

Finally, it just might be that there's been a very public and publicized shift towards a redefining of not only what constitutes a mutant vehicle but what the MV's role in the greater community should be given the still overwhelmingly pedestrian nature of Black Rock City.

Without any more information than I have at this juncture I'll speculate that what we're seeing here is a following through of a policy that has been in the works for a year or so. It'd be interesting to hear what - if anything - the BRC DMV has to say about this change in approval policy.
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Re: Rejected Mutant Vehicles

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:22 pm

capjbadger wrote:WTF is going here people? Is BM about rules and regs, or about fun??

You are asking about 2008?
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Mutants!

Postby Marscrumbs » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:30 pm

The first DMV I remember clearly was an armchair with a go cart motor driving down the street at about 2mph.

My favorite golf carts from years past, very private but fun to see, were the two pink bunny slippers.

The day I have to get a DMV bike license for my street legal tricycle I'm never returning.

I thought mutant vehicle registration was a respond to that drunk girl who stepped off a moving vehicle and got run over by a trailer and killed a few years back. Now they won't allow moving couches or other fun risky creative things.

Burningman is now just a show that pulls in $12.5 in ticket revenue. The wild days were too good to last.
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Postby mojo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:49 pm

I think in large part the rule change, in itself, is ok. What is not good is that the same rules are absolutely not applied evenly. I wish I had a nickel for every MV last year that was far inferior, far less "mutated" than the one we were not allowed to bring, despite extensive modifications to bring it into line with the new guidelines. I've never said anything about it until now 'cause it just sounds like sour grapes.

I have a little story about a very intoxicated DMV volunteer screaming at our completely stopped MV and threatening us - but I will save that in respect of most of the good people who do that job well.
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Postby Bob » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:03 pm

The DMV has jerked people around since Danger Ranger ran it ten years ago. And just like ten years ago, when I told Danger to fuck the fuck off and went through DPW to get stickers for my DPW work vehicle and my camp's art car, you can be sure plenty of people this year are getting stickers for reasons that might not conform to the rules as you imagine them.

My solution would be to level the playing field and ban all powered vehicles driving around, but let anybody with fancy art cars drive out once and park them in place in designated art car circles for the week to put them on display. Most of the art cars look better than the funded art, after all.
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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:44 pm

I love Dr Pyros truck. It does have a truly awesome firecannon. It probably isn't perfectly in the letter of the rules but I'd say it's more in the spirit of the rules than many other art cars out there. I think you should appeal Dr Pyro.

As far as getting stricter, that's unfortunately the way things sometimes go when an event keeps growing out of control. There has to be some sort of limits when you start to encounter problems. The Death Guild is clearly in the top 10% of theme camps out there for following their theme. The cars are a big part of that theme. I'd hate to see that messed up and see some lame crap out there in its place. Too much darn government in Burningman. Having to fight bureaucracy just to be able to create the things that make their event special is what makes people jaded.

It is possible that there will be so much great stuff out there, that there is not room for these things, but I think that's highly unlikely.
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Postby hunter S » Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:56 pm

Mars, I think that was my armchair you saw.
This year their is a whole theme camp "Recliner camp" it makes me ask...? how operator only mv's will be licenced in the future? or will they be?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:04 pm

I don't recall any new rule saying that MVs HAVE to be able to carry a bunch of passengers, just that it's looked favorably on if they do. And if they don't they need to be especially cool.
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Postby Kinetik V » Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:35 pm

Just for the record based on uninformed remarks made by a previous poster with a propensity for launching personal attacks, I've been part of a team that's put not one but two vehicles on the playa...this will be year #3 so it's not our first rodeo. We've had our tagamet moments in wading through the process so when I post, I can speak with direct experience in this particular discussion. For 2009 we're already working on 3 completely new vehicles being built from scratch...so seeing this process refined is definitely going to be in our best interest...if change is even possible.
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Postby Dork » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:09 pm

Kinetic V wrote:so seeing this process refined is definitely going to be in our best interest...if change is even possible.

In my experience complaining online does little, no matter how informed, calm, and rational those complaints might be. You have to convince the right person, which means knowing the right people, volunteering for years and maybe getting lucky, or simply getting lucky.

Been there, tried it, failed, gave up and found something else to do.
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Re: What's become of burningman?

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:19 pm

Marscrumbs wrote:Figure 50,000 tickets at average $250 each or $12.5 million at the gate and they are asking for donations for building the temple?
Your "they" aren't building the temple. No David Best temple this year. I forget who is going to be at the 12 o'clock spot. The Temple that was asking for donations is the "Temple of Community" which is getting no llc funding. What any of this has to do with DMV permits is unknown.
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Postby thirt33n » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:25 pm

isotopia-
I'm all over your second two thirds of your last post. i think you hit it on the head. word.

so did you dork. TD's cars are always fun to check out but i don't think they need to be driving around. in essence they are "camp cars" and in keeping with the whole TD theme i think many of the thunderdomers are assholes driving around in a "mutant vehicle?" that they made, like, 5 years ago. it's the guy who wears the same halloween costume every year.
I'm sure there has to be some cool people there but the encounters i've had with them have swayed me to believe otherwise. park your car. swing your bat. two men enter, gimmie your keys.

:wink:

i do feel for y'all who got denied.
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Postby Kinetik V » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:38 pm

Thirt33n's post brings up a good question. How many years should the same vehicle be allowed to participate in the same configuration? I'm sitting here thinking of La Contessa and how many times it sailed the playa. Should the DMV set a limit...say 2 years, 3 years and then you have to come up with something new? There was a time I would say no to those kinds of limits..but now I'm thinking 3 years should be the max. I know that forcing this kind of change will add more costs for everyone...but doesn't the event deserve fresh ideas?
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Postby Token » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:59 pm

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Postby MikeVDS » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:21 pm

I'm against any rule unless there is a true need. Why would you limit the number of years? The only reason would be if there were too many great creations that you HAD to limit them. Also, why would you want art cars parked? I have never had or seen people have problems with art cars ruining their burn. What is your problem with them? I understand limiting the number for many reasons, but with reasonable numbers, who cares?
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:28 pm

Kinetic V wrote: I'm sitting here thinking of La Contessa and how many times it sailed the playa.


I'd be happy if La Contessa was there every year! I just wish it had been in more responsible hands.
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