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Burning Man, a front page post
August 27, 2009 2:34 AM   Subscribe

Metafilter has never really had a front page post just about Burning Man. Maybe this year it will be different, because Burning Man goes digital.
posted by twoleftfeet (70 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Metafilter has never really had a front page post just about Burning Man.

The organisers want it to stay that way.
posted by cillit bang at 2:45 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I dunno about that, I kinda dig this post, made back in the days before editorializing became a big no-no.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:45 AM on August 27, 2009


Not that editorializing has ever been truly accepted or a good thing for MetaFilter etc.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:49 AM on August 27, 2009


I stand corrected, soundofsuburbia, and stand agape at your instant recall of posts nine years old!
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:51 AM on August 27, 2009


Sounds pretty lame. An iPhone app? Seriously?
posted by delmoi at 2:52 AM on August 27, 2009


twoleftfeet: Haha! Also, please note that I've got nothing against Burning Man (or this post), I just like that previous post because it's so "tell me what you really think"-ish.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:57 AM on August 27, 2009


An iPhone app? Seriously?

Sheesh. Just buy the damn phone, already.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:57 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't cross the beams.
posted by bardic at 2:58 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey delmoi, don't forget the data remixing and the Arduino and the "web service for rating theme camps" (!). This shit is cool, and in no way random hipster nerd buzzwords strung together for no real purpose.

("Arduino" seems to have replaced "steampunk" as the adjective to put at the start of fantasy ideas when you want to state clearly "I am a douche")
posted by cillit bang at 3:10 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sheesh. Just buy the damn phone, already.

Sure right, whenever you criticize windows, it's we know it's because you secretly love it. Anyway, as much as I would just love to be a trendy consumer with a fashionable piece of technology that was really innovative two years ago, and has been coasting ever since my G1 is nice enough.
posted by delmoi at 3:14 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


(hides Arduino)
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:18 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


whenever you criticize windows, we know it's because you secretly love it

Not many people know that around the same time as Burning Man, there's another festival devoted only to Windows users. Really, not many people know.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:20 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anyway, as much as I would just love to be a trendy consumer with a fashionable piece of technology that was really innovative two years ago, and has been coasting ever since my G1 is nice enough.

Being contrary to what you perceive is a fashion statement is a pretty ironic reason to pick your phone.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:27 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Metafilter has never really had a front page post just about Burning Man. Maybe this year it will be different..."

Unless the mods delete this post, or inexplicably change the subject of this post to daffodils, I guarantee you this year will be and is now different.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:31 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Fat people!
Asian Girlfriends!
Christians!
Single-payer healthcare!
Coulter / O'Reilly 2012!
Use of the "C" word!

Now this can be the ultimate MeFi shit-fest.

Wish I could go to Burning Man this year :-(
posted by i_cola at 4:15 AM on August 27, 2009


You forgot Texas. I think that qualifies as messing with it.
posted by cashman at 4:51 AM on August 27, 2009


Adjectard.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:56 AM on August 27, 2009


Anyway, as much as I would just love to be a trendy consumer with a fashionable piece of technology that was really innovative two years ago, and has been coasting ever since my G1 is nice enough.

Hey, I've been coasting for *more* than two years. There's nothing wrong with coasting: it's comfortable.
posted by jeremias at 5:03 AM on August 27, 2009


TexasPalinHomeopathy!
posted by i_cola at 5:20 AM on August 27, 2009


Burning Man has always kind of reminded me of that scene in Life of Brian where the crowd is all chanting in unison, 'We're all different!'.. 'We're all individuals!'...
Still, what the fuck, it looks damn fun, and I'd love to be part of that crowd too, if I could.
posted by Flashman at 5:42 AM on August 27, 2009


y'all know, of course, that this lust to attend burning man is 'cuz you kids all missed woodstock, right?
posted by HuronBob at 6:21 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Woodstock was a one-off. With BM, you can get high and naked once a year!
posted by mecran01 at 6:35 AM on August 27, 2009


Don't mess with Texas Jenny McCarthy!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:41 AM on August 27, 2009


Ah, for happier times when Burning Man sounded cool and I didn't associate it with complete assholes. Sadly since moving to Seattle I've met too many douchey managerial types who've pulled a trip to Burning Man as their No-really-I-am-really-hip card.
posted by Artw at 6:45 AM on August 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Burning Man is a buncha-lotta fun. The digital map thingy looks pretty cool.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:47 AM on August 27, 2009


twoleftfeet: Burning Man goes digital.

...probably thereby signaling the beginning of the ever-more-frequent laments that "Burning Man used to be cool"...
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:51 AM on August 27, 2009


Artw: Ah, for happier times when Burning Man sounded cool and I didn't associate it with complete assholes.

On non-preview: See? Toldja.
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:53 AM on August 27, 2009


Oh, I suspect it's sucked all along.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on August 27, 2009


Burning Man sucks. Don't go.
posted by mullingitover at 7:54 AM on August 27, 2009 [8 favorites]


Like you'll be able to focus on a 3 inch LCD in the middle of 4 hits of acid in a dust storm.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:59 AM on August 27, 2009


Oh, I suspect it's sucked all along.

Playa hater.
posted by total warfare frown at 8:05 AM on August 27, 2009 [8 favorites]


I'm sure BM would be as fun as any large party, just best not to idealize it as some artistic utopia Never-Neverland.

I remember hearing about how BM "lost it's magic" in 1997/8, shortly after Wired did a feature on them.
And that raves just weren't the same after 1994.
And SXSW was only hip for the first year.
And roller discos lost their soul after 1979.

Whatever happened to just staying home to take your drugs?
posted by Theta States at 8:13 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I suspect the main thing that has chnaged is my relationship to things idealized as artistic utopia Never-Neverlands.
posted by Artw at 8:55 AM on August 27, 2009


MeFi may have never had a 'proper' BM FPP, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been tons of discussion here and there about its relative merits. There's no doubt that the event carries tons of cultural baggage which circles around the various fringe cultures that perenially attend and carve out their niches there (tech geeks, neo-hippies, GLBT, nudists, ravers, etc).

That said, if you can get past said baggage and the inane arguments about when BM was 'better' than it supposedly is now or whether it's some kind of magical utopia (obv it's not), it's actually a pretty fascinating experience. Not only is it great to get a chance to exist for a week in such a bizarre geographic location (which is basically akin to camping on the surface of the moon), but the desert locale crossed with the impressive scale of the city, the larger-than-life art/sound/light installations and the generally friendly attitudes makes it a pretty involving and rewarding experience, imho.

There are, I suspect, many MeFites who attend, though not all would own up to it given the generally snarky attitudes tossed around here. Who was the friendly Burner I met there last year (or maybe the year before?), organizing a meetup and carrying a big cardboard sign that said "MeFi - From the Internets!" ?
posted by pziemba at 9:05 AM on August 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


BoingBoing should host some kind of festival.
posted by Artw at 9:05 AM on August 27, 2009


You're all tsundere for Burning Man.

*strips, paints self green, straps on goat horns*

WOO-OOOOO!!!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:23 AM on August 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


i didn't know that mefi hated BM, this is news to me. I always thought it was like a monster truck rally for the art/punk crowd. looks kinda fun from what I've seen
posted by Think_Long at 9:30 AM on August 27, 2009


That said, if you can get past said baggage and the inane arguments about when BM was 'better' than it supposedly is now or whether it's some kind of magical utopia (obv it's not), it's actually a pretty fascinating experience

This is why I would maybe like to go someday. It just sounds interesting.

And I've learned over the years that all those weird meta-reasons are the dumbest possible reasons to do or not do something. I remember when I first moved to L.A. and someone asked me if I was "trying to get into film school, like everyone else." I was all like "of course not what a cliche" and we had a big hearty "lol." Looking back, I realize what a moron I was. Film is awesome, I love film, I want to learn to more about film. Why would I let what other people do, or some silly cultural baggage, control what I do with my own life?
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:36 AM on August 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


It sounds fun; I kinda wish I could go to Burning Man.
posted by adipocere at 9:42 AM on August 27, 2009


i didn't know that mefi hated BM, this is news to me. I always thought it was like a monster truck rally for the art/punk crowd.

Well the art/punk crowd is trying hard to be ironic, so you would probably find the really tuned-in ones at actual monster truck rallies these days.
posted by Avenger at 9:47 AM on August 27, 2009


It sounds fun; I kinda wish I could go to Burning Man.

I agree. That and a Rainbow Gathering are two events I've never been to but have always thought would be fun. Plus "Malcolm in the Middle" went to Burning Man once.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:50 AM on August 27, 2009


And roller discos lost their soul after 1979.

At least until 2000, when they went to BM, took a bunch of acid, and discovered itself again. Now there's the Black Rock Roller Disco!
posted by mannequito at 10:07 AM on August 27, 2009


Geolocation at Burning Man seems both incredibly useful and also sorta sad. One of the best parts is the ability to get utterly lost.

I heart the BRRD.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:14 AM on August 27, 2009


Also, you should go, but it's probably too late now.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:17 AM on August 27, 2009


Queue the parade of dismissive posturing curmudgeons talking shit about Burning Man and saying that it's "not what it was like in 19XX" despite never having been once. Have your annual sneer, sip your coffee loudly, and recline smugly in your chairs as you look upon your snarky masterpieces. Go on and be done with it.
posted by redteam at 10:50 AM on August 27, 2009


. . .

Does this mean I have to wash off the body paint? Aw.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:52 AM on August 27, 2009


Hey pziemba - that was me! Look :)
posted by redteam at 11:06 AM on August 27, 2009


There will never be a adequate Bruning Man post until Metafilter implements OTP.
posted by GuyZero at 11:08 AM on August 27, 2009


Until that day, I'll satisfy myself doing lines out of my big bottle of playa dust.
posted by mannequito at 11:38 AM on August 27, 2009


Just to clarify, there will still be full frontal nudity, correct?
posted by Mister_A at 12:13 PM on August 27, 2009


The first I heard of Burning Man was that Wired article, back when Wired was on the pretentious side of the pretentious/irritating line.

It struck me as something I'd hate. But that's mostly because I'm the kind of person who would move to Canada not for politics or health care, but the cooler climate. Going into the middle of a desert to be insane for a few days strikes me as proof you lost the grasp.

(Full disclosure: I've been to Pennsic, the big SCA war; that was fun, not hideously dusty, and minimal chance of spontaneous nudity out of certain areas.)
posted by mephron at 12:39 PM on August 27, 2009


There will never be a adequate Bruning Man post until Metafilter implements OTP.

Actually, burning man is so dry and dusty that nobody really smells too bad out there. Well, aside from the obvious.

It's on the ride home, when you hit some humidity/moisture, that all hell breaks loose.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:55 PM on August 27, 2009


mrgrimm, that's why you're supposed to have drive home clothes in a zip lock bag left in the car.

and more baby wipes than you think you'll need.

I should be packing
posted by flaterik at 2:50 PM on August 27, 2009


(Drive-home clothes are great, but there's no such thing as drive-home skin or drive-home hair. Baby wipes are sorta essential, but they feel like such a waste...)

You should already be packed! Have a great time.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:32 PM on August 27, 2009


PROTIP: Gather yours, your campmates', and your neighbor's extra water and take the ultimate shower. I even wash my car a little.

PROTIP: Stop off in Reno and eat an Awful Awful afterwards.

mrgrimm - there is not a burner alive who is already packed on Thursday - unless they're leaving on Thursday.
posted by redteam at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2009


It's not all art-freedom-nirvana-magic, but I found it life-changing the first couple of times, less so the last couple of times, so I stopped going. Also, $300? Sheesh. Plus my life is OK the way it is now. It was still surreal and dusty, the last couple of times.

I think the fact that they no longer allow rocket launches or automatic (or any) weapons fire from within the city is probably an improvement now that it's so dense. As are segmenting the city into rave all night/generator zones vs. quiet/solar & wind power zones.

If you really participate, it probably will change your life. If you go, you still could:

- be the witness for a hippy couple with very pregnant bride getting married.
- guess the number of shotgun slug holes shot in your friend's new car after he parks it over by the hot springs for a couple of hours (OK, maybe not -- they have a perimeter fence now).
- find an alcoholic girlfriend and mess up your life too for a couple of years
- watch a lovely nude girl on a bike ride up and give you a flower
- watch a girl make a breastplate
- go skydiving
- burn a pile of magnesium VW engine cases (shield your eyes!)
- lose your favorite watch ever
- make some art
- spend the day with a billionaire
- have a cheese sandwich at Bianca's smut shack

It's not too late! Go and participate if you still want to go (and have $300 for a ticket or a skydive ride to parachute in past the ticket takers), just bring plenty of water.
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 1:22 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hello Dad, I'm in Jail: "Also, $300? Sheesh."

This is completely reasonable considering most of it goes to the BLM, a big chunk goes to funded art projects, and the remaining profit goes to...oh yeah, there's no profit because the borg is non-profit. You could easily spend this in one night on a boring, default-world five star hotel.

I drink at least $300 in free booze during the week. It's a trivial barrier to entry.
posted by mullingitover at 10:36 AM on August 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


oh yeah, there's no profit because the borg is non-profit.

Not true. It's a for-profit LLC, has been from the start. They've recently decided to turn it into a non-profit but that process is still in the works & it'll be some time before it actually happens.
posted by scalefree at 10:58 AM on August 28, 2009


scalefree: "Not true. It's a for-profit LLC, has been from the start."

Hmm, perhaps that iced out crazy gold grill Larry Harvey sported last year wasn't fake?
posted by mullingitover at 11:39 AM on August 28, 2009


I hadn't heard about their decision to go non-profit ... do you have a link?

I've always been a little skeptical of their explanation why the org was not non-profit (which is just a tax status, I suppose). They claimed that they would have to create an unpaid board of directors and the leadership could not work for free, nor did they want to create a board that wasn't involved in working on the event. I dunno. The logic was a little circular to me.

I'd be interested to read about the decision to go non-profit and what it mean for the org.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:01 PM on August 28, 2009


I hadn't heard about their decision to go non-profit ... do you have a link?

Burncast TV: BMOrg's All a Twitter.
posted by scalefree at 5:02 PM on August 28, 2009


hmm. i need to pack.
posted by apostrophe at 8:40 AM on August 29, 2009


mrgrimm - there is not a burner alive who is already packed on Thursday - unless they're leaving on Thursday.

Um, exactly. Aren't y'all on your way by now? It's far too much work and too expensive to go for any less than a week.

PROTIP: Volunteer for the DMW or DPW and/or make friends with someone who does. You can get in a week or two early.

PROTIP: Think about leaving Saturday morning before the burn. By 2006, a lot of the big day camps and people were leaving after breakfast Saturday.

New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day have nothing on Saturday night at BM for amateur night. It's a total clusterfuck. Trying to leave BRC anytime between Saturday night and late Monday afternoon will take 3-4 hours to get out of the city.

If the weather's nice and you plan correctly, you'll have much more fun on Monday-Thursday nights. That's when all the fun parties happen.

PROTIP: Never waste any water washing your car. It's absolutely pointless until you get back to civilization. Save it for drinking or showers.

have a cheese sandwich at Bianca's smut shack

I think that's long gone, no? The grilled cheese at 4am *was* divine. (I started going to Porn 'n' Eggs breakfasts instead ...)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:59 AM on August 29, 2009


I drink at least $300 in free booze during the week. It's a trivial barrier to entry.

I totally agree with you and totally disagree. They can't really make the price any lower, or the event would be too huge (also they need to pay the BLM blood money).

However, every year I was there, even when it was much cheaper ($100 or whatever), I would think "Just think of all the people who would like to come to this great event but can't afford it."

I do agree with your assessment of the value of the ticket. It's some of my best spent money. At $300, it is still a bargain. I just wish it wasn't so dominated by the moneyed class these days.

BMorg, however, does offer a fair number of "financial aid" tickets for those who apply and qualify, I believe, so if someone who couldn't afford it *really* wanted to go, they have a shot. Or they used to...
posted by mrgrimm at 9:09 AM on August 29, 2009


(can you tell i *really* wish i were going? ... though at the same time, I am extremely relieved not to have to do the work ... or the drive. ugh.)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:10 AM on August 29, 2009


Burncast TV: BMOrg's All a Twitter.

Thanks, scalefree. Interesting. It sounds like LH is on board, but not the whole crew... yet. I wouldn't be surprised if they still didn't go np, although I do think it is the right move.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:14 AM on August 29, 2009


I wonder how the burners are doing.
posted by Flashman at 8:21 PM on August 31, 2009


I wonder how the burners are doing.

Me too, though you can watch video of this year at the Burncast link that scalefree posted.

Also, Balsa Man this weekend.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:07 PM on September 3, 2009


Also, Burning Man Live on uStream.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:12 PM on September 3, 2009


Addendum to the protips on leaving if you still like to have another day out there: leave right as the temple goes up. It only took me and hour to get from camp to gerlach.

And now I'm home, dealing with what's left behind.
posted by flaterik at 10:51 PM on September 7, 2009


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