What has happened to Burning Man?

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What has happened to Burning Man? An anarchist celebration turned into a media art extravaganza? No more McSatan, no more drive by shootings. Just good, well behaved cyber-yuppies in designer costume. A SOMA beer bash on the desert. Winabego digerati elite. No fireworks, no guns. Nudity and sex still ok? What about drugs? Will there be drug police this year?

Larry Harvey talks about community. But a community with no commerce. Just "official" ice and coffee vendors run with the efficacy of soviet style central planners. Burning Man provides communal sanitation facilities but omits the traditionally supplied city services of water, power and trash pickup.

I miss the public meeting space provided by McSatans. Would "FOOD NOT BOMBS" suffer they same fate in Black Rock City as they have on the streets of San Francisco?

Larry Harvey has a point about commercialization and desert survival. No one prevents anyone from going out on the desert any weekend and doing the survival thing. Burning Man is more than individual desert survival. Larry says it's community. But what is community? Who decides what kind of community? Who decides the rules of Burning Man? Do the participants of the community have a voice in the rules? Burning Man is certainly not Disneyland where you cannot walk on the grass (there is no grass to walk on) - but what rules are really necessary and who decides? Do the event planners have and want the total responsibility of making the rules? How do communities create their conventions? If Burning Man is to be more than just an event to be consumed by it's participants it would seem to require more involvement by participants in the formation of community.

-- just askin (foo@bar.com), March 04, 1998


You want commerical vending?

If that every happens, Burningman is forever ruined.

Next thing you know, its going to be Budweiser Presents Burningman!

Say hellow to T-shirts, $5 beers, Garbage Galore, and every Frat Boy this side of the Mississippi.

Along with shitty MTV VJ's giving round the clock coverage from MTV's Camp T&A. Oh ya, cant wait til the night of the Burn when N-Sync and the Backdoor boys play.

- Patamon

-- Patamon (patamon@patamon.com), August 07, 2001.

Yeah well 99 was my first year at BM and I had a really great time although I could definatley see that it has changed in many ways...mabye for the worse,,,maybe for the better...the fact is is that this thing is just going to keep growing and growing and with over 20000 people running around high and drunk you are going to see more rules come up just to keep the peace...but from what I saw this year, I think that the BLC rangers did a great job at keeping things reletivly safe and under control....If burning man is sussposed to be un safe and out of control than go start yer own...you could bring all the guns you want...

-- Kilgore Trout (magnetic8@hotmail.com), September 08, 1999.

I think it's cool the way it is. I'd hate to see vending booths and gaudy signs adverting polish sausages and thai barbequed satay. That would be like summer street fair in the Haight or something. Instead, there's lots of sharing, people giving stuff away, and barter. It's a nice break from our relentless advertising culture. It's only a week!

-- (sgorman1@juno.com), June 25, 1999.

I'd like to participate...

May I begin... What's YOUR "full name"? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ how stealthy can you get.... ease up everybody knows ... ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!!

Wasn't there plenty in Black Rock City!?!

-- Peek-a Boo (flyranch@thegrid.net), March 05, 1998.

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