The effect of Marian Goodell on Burning Man : LUSENET : Burning Man : One Thread

A letter from Paul David Addis regarding the SF Weekly "Burning Spin" [Aug. 28] article brings up the interesting question of what effect Marian Goodell has had on the festival. My sense is that she has helped turn the event from an anarchist free-for-all into a model of central planning.

Control comes chiefly from Marian Goodell, who loves having power over everyone and everything in BRC. One has to wonder what would have happened if she and Larry Harvey hadn't started dating back in 1997. No one asked Marian to go on her crusade against the banal pseudo-pornographers who violate and desecrate the event and its participants. However, this does provide a convenient, unassailable justification for Marian's über-controlling ways.

What do you think?

-- rp (, September 18, 2002


Give me a break. While I support BMORG and Maid Marian's attempt to protect the privacy of Burning Man participants from intrusion by photographers wholeheartedly, this call for spin control is absurd. Let us cut through the verbiage : in short, the article is saying that this is reasonable, because reporters left to write freely might cast the event in a light other than the one that the organizers want them to. Well, isn't that kind of the point of having a free press ? That it can tell us things, and expose us to points of view that some would rather we didn't hear ?

Really, what's next ? Trying to make sure that restaurant reviewers get the chef's permission before going to press ? Should Roger Ebert ask Paramount what he should say about their latest movie ? For the press to deserve any credibility at all, it has to demand the freedom to say things that some people don't like.

An article about Burning Man is like a review. It gives the reader an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether or not he wants to make a purchase. At $ 200 per ticket, that is not a small decision, and the reader is entitled to the most honestly given information he can get, especially when what can honestly be said would tend to persuade him to not buy; ie. when it is what the organizers don't want him to hear.

Here's my unapproved report : ("Bad Times on the Green Tortoise"). Purely an amateur effort, being tossed together as I have time. I am not surprised that BMORG (The Burning Man Organization) would try to pull something like this. I am astounded that such an effort would be shown even the slightest respect by those outside the organization, and its fan club. Astounded, and more than a little appalled.

-- Joseph Dunphy (, December 09, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ