Next you'll be listening to Tupac.
Alas, I'm not planning on going this year, but if you need any help planning, let me know.
I find I enjoy it most if I don't over-commit myself to other people's projects (is it very easy to get sucked into all kinds of time-eaters, in the name of community), and view it as a complete vacation of the body and mind. One thing you can say for Burning Man is that it is almost nothing like being at the reference desk ;). And that is a very good thing.
2004-03-01 10:45 pm (UTC)
help planning sounds great..I may also hit up veterans like you who aren't attending for basic camping stuff (coleman stove, camelback, etc) if you'd be willing to lend it. I have almost no camping gear to speak of. as thanks, I'll turn over my keys if you want unfettered hottub access while I'm gone (not that you can't come over and tub other times, but you know what I mean)...
right now I haven't thought too much about it because it seems so far in the future. just committing to going is all I'm up to now, never mind the "who you camping with" question...
Yeah...we can talk about gear closer to the date...we can set you up good. July is a fine time to get details worked out :)
Lemur, I think this is a secret LJ switch again, someone else must have written this post
2004-03-01 10:48 pm (UTC)
I promise I will not "rave" while I am there, nor will I partake of fat beets, which are apparently all the rage with the kids.
2004-03-01 11:11 pm (UTC)
Re: I promise
And under no circumstances are you to "groove" or "vibe," either.
I think part of my problem was that when there's a certain "type" of person who enjoys activity "x", it's easy to disdain activity "x" if most of the people you meet who enjoy it bug the shit out of you (whether said bugging has anything to do with love of activity "x" or not).
I have this problem as well.
I think the key to enjoying BM (not to be confused with bowel movements, though they are similar in certain ways) is to not take it seriously, that is, not take the rhetoric seriously. Think of it as a big-ass party rather than a "revolutionary act" or "art". Most of my friends that [still] go view it in this regard, the folks that see it as akin to the latter two (save for the few that actually go there to make large things they can't do elsewhere) tend to be the annoying people you've encountered.
The two years I went, I worked, not sitting around a camp "participating in the gift economy" but actual physical labor, which puts you in a position, I imagine being similar to being a busboy during Mardi Gras, though I didn't have to clean up any frat boy vomit.
The last year I went, (2000), I was on the pyro crew, a close friend was the chief pyro guy responsible for doing the fireworks for the burning of the man. My better half got a free ticket, and we split the difference, so we got in for half price. A good friend of ours got in free to serve as the crew's cook.
The "peak" experience of that year was interacting with the public during the last minute rush to get all the fireworks installed and placed for the big spectacle. For security reasons, there was a ring of caution tape around the work area. Only the crew and other event bigwigs could go inside the caution tape. I ended up spending a good portion of the time preventing non-authorized personnel from going inside the circle of caution tape.
For some reason, a good number of people didn't think the "do not cross" yellow tape did not apply to them. These were not people that asked to help. These were people that wanted to get that extra three feet to take pictures. Amazing, Burning Man is such a revolutionary event that by acting like tourists they're sticking it to the status quo ... uh, wait. The picture-takers weren't the most annoying.
The most annoying people were those who greatly resembled grown adults whose social and linguistic skills had somehow regressed to those of five year olds.
Sample conversation 1:
Adult 5 year old: Whatcha doin?
Me (with sandwich in hand, masticating): Eating a sandwich.
Adult 5 year old: No, over there, whatcha doin?
Me: Putting the fireworks on the man.
Adult 5 year old: Really?
Adult 5 year old: Are they going to go off?
Me: That's the idea.
Sample Conversation 2
Adult 5 year old: Why is the Man down?
Me: We're doing some work on it.
Adult 5 year old: Is it broken?
Me: Yes, and if you keep asking questions and talking to us while we're trying to work, we won't be able to fix it in time.
Sample Coversation 3 (this is after having Sample Conversation 2 far too many times)
Adult 5 year old: Why is the Man down?
Me: It's broken.
Adult 5 year old: Will it burn?
Me: No, it's not going to burn, you might as well leave now.
2004-03-01 02:05 pm (UTC)
Surreal and unexpected. Who are you camping with?
I got my ticket yesterday as well. It'll be interesting to see what happens with the (hopeful) ramp up to grad school and all. At least this year I'm not flying out to NY right afterwards.
2004-03-01 02:21 pm (UTC)
I blame people like you for changing my mind. If you Seattle burners had been bigger pains in the asses, I'd continue to stay home or just go to Bumbershoot.
>> Who are you camping with?
No clue. I figured I'd work that out later; getting the cheap(er) ticket was the first priority.
are you feeling any better?
2004-03-01 02:36 pm (UTC)
Re: your fault.
I'm feeling a lot better, thanks. I'm still somewhat sick, but I'm down to ick per day where i was yesterday/saturday ick per hour and friday ick per minute.
That'll teach me to have a week of bacchanalian revels in Vegas (just look at my reading list.)
I love BM, but it wasn't a life changing experience for me. I always think how lame it is when people say that. And the people I usually hear say that are still dorks and haven't unleashed anything.
As for me, I just love all the art, the community and how people interact. Most people, not all are very community-ish. And this last year I loved hooking up with Camp DeNile. They are the best people to enter my life, and I'm just so grateful that they are in Seattle, and not just some group I can see once a year.
I really like what you said about making art and showing it in your own community. That's perfect advice.
I'm glad you're going, and I look forward to seeing you on the playa. Ah, but I'll see ya before then!
Fat beets are great juiced with fat carrots and fat ginger.
Imagine the first kid in your high school peer group to get laid
This is either a generational or a gender difference. When I was in high school, all boys pretended to have been laid.
I feel very similarly to the way you have in the past about Burning Man, though I still find it annoying. My first experience with it was when I ran the Denver Cacophony Society. A number of the group decided to start a theme camp, and I went to their meetings with the intent to go. Every idea I had got shot down as being unrealistic because since I hadn't been clearly I didn't know anything. The attitude was too much for me and I lost all interest in going. I'm not big on hot or dirt, and the combination isn't particularly appealing.
I feel like these super creative and amazing people that make art for Burning Man are kind of starving the rest of their communities by not doing their art in their own environments. It makes me angry when I feel like these people have just given up on the rest of society and, instead of trying to make it at all better by contributing their worldview and creativity they simply decide to go elsewhere. I feel like they have effectively left the rest of the world out. I kind of resent it.