If you can dream it, you can do it. But you have to be able to dream it.
September 13, 2014 1:18 AM   Subscribe

It's 15:36. YouTube here.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:40 AM on September 13, 2014

Can you tell us a bit more? What did you like about it, why is it worth watching?
posted by Too-Ticky at 4:21 AM on September 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

This is, without question, the best Burning Man experience I've ever had, even though I've never gone. Thank you, loquacious (geezus... you're still around!).
posted by rmmcclay at 5:02 AM on September 13, 2014

As a rapidly aging, somewhat crippled, socially isolated person, watching this made me weep. First, because I would give up years of my life to attend Burning Man just once and likely never will; and second, because Charlie is clearlly a very cool person who found the experience transformative. In some ways it's just another swooning Burning Man video; what makes it different is Charlie's point of view.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:17 AM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Wow, that was wonderful. I was prepared for a standard "look at the crazies" burning man video but now I'm here feeling a little weepy. I hope that I'm half as smart, engaging, open-minded, clear-eyed and most of all courageous, if and when I hit 81 as Mr. Warner is. At fifty I'm starting to feel just a little bit like I'm on the downslope of life and not necessarily feeling that great about that fact but Charlie is facing his much more imminent fate with so much grace and acceptance. I hope that I get there.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 AM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Seems to be THIS guy.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:32 AM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

That was really nice, and was actually one of the few Burning Man videos I've seen that made me want to go.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:34 AM on September 13, 2014

Charlie looks damn good for an 81 year old who just had open heart surgery, is a diabetic and has other ailments. I like Charlie, but it is not that incredible of a story to me. Burning man appealed to him on many levels as it does to people in their 20s, 30s, 50s, etc. The part that really moved me is how much he missed his father who died unexpectedly 59 years ago when Charlie was 22. It seems to have been an open issue for him with his mom all these years later.

Who was the man with him? The guy sitting with him when he gave out advice and at the end when he went to the temple? Was that his son? (I watched it on YouTube so if it said it in the original link, I apologize.)
posted by 724A at 7:10 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't know, it was nice because he seems like a nice man, but I think it would have been more interesting if they showed him actually interacting with people. There was a brief sound-free shot of him talking to the guy who apparently was with him, a brief shot of him saying "thank you" to someone who he was walking past, and a shot of him hugging the guy who was apparently with him. And I think that's it. How about actual conversations that he had with people?

It seemed instead filled with alternating shots of Charlie standing by himself making a face for the camera and then a shot of some random person or happening with Charlie nowhere in sight, completely unclear whether he even ever saw those people or attended that happening or whatever. Back and forth, Charlie alone and then people without Charlie, back and forth, over and over.
posted by Flunkie at 7:30 AM on September 13, 2014 [6 favorites]

Flunkie makes a good point. Charlie's playa persona is Yoda. I wished to have the privileged position to hear his banter as though speaking to me, even at risk of unsettling his Yoda persona a little bit. The interacting with strangers is natural resolution to the question, What is an 81 year old person doing at BM?

And cut out a little bit of the rave footage. haha.

Whatever. I've watched a lot of BM vids. A personal story is always a pleasure.
posted by xtian at 8:09 AM on September 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've watched a lot of BM vids.

heh. heh.
posted by threeants at 3:02 PM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Burning Man could be used as a template for a better world. Sure, there are lots of "crazies," but I am not so sure that "crazy" is the proper word. As George Carlin said; "Those who dance are considered crazy by those who can't hear the music." Everyone that attends Burning Man seems to really embrace love as much as they embrace creativity...not one person there would ever seek to harm or belittle another human being. Love is the music they dance to, and I wish more people in this world would embrace the tune. As for Charlie, how wonderful to watch him dance to that love like a spiritual Fred Astaire, and to find love and forgiveness in that temple. What an amazing and inspiring film.
posted by Quasimike at 3:09 PM on September 13, 2014

Everyone that attends Burning Man seems to really embrace love as much as they embrace creativity...not one person there would ever seek to harm or belittle another human being.

Unfortunately this isn't true at all. There has been physical violence and rape on the playa. Burning Man is a very big place, with many attendees from all walks of life, with all kinds of backgrounds, with all kinds of motivations or behavioral problems.

I've also experienced a lot of weird elitism, entitlement, snootiness and privilege within the BM community, where it's not only expensive just to attend, but the actual event tends to be very white, tech/creative oriented and so on. People spend all year or multiple years planning art installations or camps and the costs can get pretty ridiculous, above and beyond having a job or lifestyle that allows for it.

Granted, the per capita population of shitheels, takers, and outright predators may be much, much less than almost any gathering of humanity of a similar size, but it's not really any more of a holy place than wherever it is you're sitting right now.

Which is something that BM does try to teach. You don't need a festival, party or temporary autonomous zone to practice or embody spirituality, love and creativity.

Because that's within each of us. All of the time.
posted by loquacious at 3:28 PM on September 13, 2014 [7 favorites]

Burning Man: the Wicker Man meets a dumpster fire.
posted by basicchannel at 9:37 PM on September 13, 2014

Yea, i think it might have been the contrast, but every asshole i encountered out there was like taking a swig of orange juice immediately after brushing my teeth with too much of the most minty over-flavored toothpaste. I had a couple of days where i just ran in to assholes back to back too, and it really bummed me out. They're absolutely there. I think the difference is how easily you can just go "ooook man" and immediately walk away and be sucked back in to someone or something amazing, and just generally the collective consciousness of everyone around you after you extricate yourself being positive. It always ends up being like stubbing your toe and taking another shot of booze, or something. It fades much much more quickly than in default life.

That said, i encountered more than a couple Awesome Old People like this out there. Several of them had the coolest styles/costumes/headwear/whatever. And generally just exuded "i'm having a good time like i'm 5 years old and just discovered something for the first time, and i'm generally going to radiate the vibe that you don't even understand how amazing what you're experiencing right now is". And not in any kind of negative/snooty/judgmental way. I'd always just look at their pure enjoyment, and take some times to just be present and experience whatever it was i was around right then.

I also had a conversation with a friend and a guy like this at length, which is the same thing i wish this video had more of as Flunkie said. He had stories of traveling all over the world, visiting all the great cities you could think of, i think sailing, and just general flapjack-idolized-esque adventuring. And he said he ranked the general experience of being there up at the very top.

I'd love to watch a video where someone just goes around and interviews as many people like this as they could find. All the AOPs i remember seeing just seemed to be effortlessly having a better time and holding back a lot less than most of the other people i saw.
posted by emptythought at 11:17 PM on September 13, 2014

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