In Re: Burning Man v. White Ocean

by Russell Gewirtz
Last week marked my second Burning Man experience. My second “Burn.” Four days the first time, seven days the second. Both of them were intense. Both of them were mind-blowing. Both of them were among the greatest experiences of my life. And neither of them would have been possible without White Ocean.
So first, let’s explain what White Ocean is, and let’s dispel a few rumors. White Ocean was not a four-star hotel. No one ever cleaned out my trailer or made my bed. No one did my laundry. My trailer and all of my crap got just as dusty and filthy as everyone else’s. Here’s what it looked like after I tidied up.
 2016-09-04-15-00-47 2016-09-04-15-34-48-copy          2016-09-04-15-01-31
White Ocean had trailers and it had yurts, pretty much the same as the rest of Black Rock. My trailer, for the record, was so close to the soundstage that it shook and vibrated to the beat until 10am, rendering it effectively useless for sleep. I made it through the week on three hours of sleep per night, mostly 9am-noon. In terms of physical endurance, this was one of the roughest weeks of my life.
White Ocean was not some hermetically sealed bubble, some cocoon that protected its denizens from the harsh realities of Black Rock City. We choked on the same dust as everyone else. When the wind blew on you, it blew on me.
White Ocean was not some exclusive VIP room behind a velvet rope. Any burner could easily find us and walk right on in, just like any other camp. Well, it’s nicer than most camps. But that’s not the point. The point is you walk in, sit down, say hi. No one ever stopped anyone or asked anyone to leave.
Is everyone at White Ocean rich? Definitely not. For one thing, I’m certainly not. At least not at the moment. I’ve been rich. I should be rich. I’ll be rich again soon. It costs a lot to stay at White Ocean. So a lot of us were guests of friends who could afford it. It’s good to have friends.
But let’s be honest. All camps are not created equal. White Ocean is luxurious by Burning Man standards. I never had to build, never had to cook, and I never had assigned clean-up duties, although some guests did. We did clean up after ourselves in the dining area, and I did clean up my own trailer. But I didn’t have to worry about the water level in my tank or the sewage in my whatever-it-is. These things were handled for me, by people who knew what they were doing and were paid to be there. And as far as I know, when they had completed their tasks they were free to experience the burn, which is great. Anyone I spoke to who was there to work, said they were loving the experience and would do it again. Some had been for years. Were it not for these people, many of us would probably never have made it to Burning Man.
Which brings us to the Ten Principles of Burning Man.
From my experience, White Ocean doesn’t seem to be in conflict with nine of them. Inside the camp, I witnessed the same expressions of generosity, openness, creativity, immediacy and inclusion that I experienced on the playa. No one ever said, “You can’t sit with us.”
I think it really comes down to the principle of Radical Self-Reliance. To be honest, we’re not perfect. The camp was assembled and disassembled by others. Our meals were cooked for us. And while we helped out to an extent, someone else did the dishes. But let’s not forget one thing: All of these “others” were still White Ocean Burners. They too came and felt the burn. And by the way, I didn’t help create any of the art on the Playa either. But I certainly did enjoy it.
The moment I left the camp, I was no different than any other burner. I had my camelbak, my lip balm, my goggles and my scarf, my crappy bike, my boots, my tin cup, and whatever clothing best anticipated the conditions I might find for the next however many hours my outing lasted. Sometimes it worked out, sometimes it didn’t. If I ran into trouble, I didn’t pull out my White Ocean passport and pay one of the locals to transport me back to safety like some Englishman traveling through Burma. I had to rely on myself, and the kindness of fellow burners. And that was a beautiful thing.
Maybe it wasn’t radical. But it was certainly self-reliance. If the test requires 100% adherence to all ten principles, then perhaps we failed. But so would thousands of burners in plenty of camps. Frankly, I’d give us a 95/100. And that’s usually good enough.
But you know what? The day that they decided to let planes land on the playa, all of this became inevitable. First off, no one can travel in and out with all of their own food and gear on a plane. It just doesn’t work that way. Second, it brings to Burning Man some folks, like myself, who simply wouldn’t be coming otherwise. Are we different than the OG burners who preceded us? In some ways, yes. Is that such a bad thing? I don’t think so. I think that one of the things that makes Burning Man great is that it brings people together from all walks of life, (well, frankly, white people) and gives them the chance to interact in ways that simply aren’t likely in the day-to-day world. That doesn’t happen if Burning Man attracts a completely homogenous group. Camps like White Ocean, Dragonfly, Cirque Gitane, Ibiza, and many others bring some diversity. And everyone benefits from that.
Look through your pictures from the burn. See the ones where there’s some smoking hot girl posing in front of the “MAGIC” installation? She’s 5’11”, thin and sexy, wearing an Indian head-dress, black bikini, and eight-inch platform boots, and barely speaks English. She’s probably not sleeping in a tent and cooking beans over a sterno flame. Perhaps some guy flew her there with daddy’s money and put her in a nice RV in a plug and play camp. But you took a picture of her and posted it on Facebook. You want her to leave the Playa?
Last week, eighty thousand people went to Burning Man, and I’m pretty sure that most of them had an amazing time. A few people got upset. That’s all that happened.
If you’re a guy from two hours outside of Albuquerque, who works at a concrete mill, and you want to meet a Victoria’s Secret model, an international DJ, a Hollywood screenwriter (like moi, for instance), a software guru, or a Russian industrial baron, well then, White Ocean might just be the best chance that you are ever going to get. Just walk right into the so-called ‘VIP’ area behind the DJ. No one’s ever gonna stop you. Walk up to anyone and introduce yourself. You’ll get a hug, just like anywhere else on the Playa.
After that, you’re on your own. Radical Self-Reliance. Done!
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156 thoughts on “In Re: Burning Man v. White Ocean

  1. Was this dude trying to prove a point? Sounds like a big ‘ol spectator to me. Was that comment about the sparkle pony supposed to make us feel grateful that the rich people brought her? If I cared about things like that I wouldn’t bother going to burns.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never been to Burning Man so have no idea about your cleaning standards, inclusion/exclusion, etc… and most of the article read to me like: Blah, blah, blah… blah, blah, blah… ah! and before I forget, blah, blah, blah! Except the final but that is a an ode to sexism and objectification. I quote the masterpiece as I fear I won’t do it much justice otherwise: “Look through your pictures from the burn. See the ones where there’s some smoking hot girl posing in front of the “MAGIC” installation? She’s 5’11”, thin and sexy, wearing an Indian head-dress, black bikini, and eight-inch platform boots, and barely speaks English. She’s probably not sleeping in a tent and cooking beans over a sterno flame. Perhaps some guy flew her there with daddy’s money and put her in a nice RV in a plug and play camp.” Wow, just wow… So we all learn what constitutes a hot girl, we have the exact dimensions described to us. Apparently hot girls cannot afford to go to Burning Man or an RV or not even a girlfriend can have invited them much like the author, no… impossible. A rich dude only can have done that with daddy’s money (not mum’s and not his own). And of course, no masterpiece is complete without it’s finishing stroke of genius! SHE, aka hot girl, cannot really speak any English… she was flown in! Why? We don’t know. Is she stupid? Uneducated? Trafficked? Not important, apparently all good things. She is tall, skinny, in a black bikini, has no means or ability of her own and even more importantly cannot speak. How this guy is no longer rich, is beyond me… he really has a way with words!

    Liked by 5 people

  3. You may have gone to burning man but from what you wrote you sound very far from a “burner” imo 😦 please don’t speak for those that you know nothing about but thank you for spectating and drawing only a bigger line between us (said with the utmost seriousness) and btw fuck your burn!!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well then, lets check the 10 Principles and see how you did — ill start with the ones you seem to have succeeded in:

    Radical Inclusion: Not bad on this one as it seems like you are calling for inclusion — as long as you REALLY let anyone into the VIP area behind the DJ for a hug. id urge you and your fellow campers at White Ocean to make sure you make good on that. Ill stop by next year to see if there’s a velvet rope.

    Immediacy: Im guessing you appreciated the moment.

    Gifting. I guess it could be said that you ‘gift’ quality music experiences to Burners — thats good. though its worth mentioning that you pay other people to provide that gift for you by building the soundstage and venue. Which leads us to:

    Decommodification: You dont charge people for the music you provide, thats good, but you do commodify it by paying others to provide it for you.

    Radical Self-reliance: Cleaning up your own RV is self reliance I guess — though again, you paid others to do most everything else for you at White Ocean.

    Radical Self-expression: Did you make any Art? Perform? I’m guessing you wore costumes. Thats something, I guess. But I didnt see any mention of anything self-expressive at all.

    Communal Effort: Did you help any project or collaborate in any way? I didnt see any mention.

    Civic Responsibility: Did you contribute to BRC in any way? Did you participate in or support any Civic functions of the City?

    Leaving No Trace: Did you help clean up White Ocean? Did you partcipate in removing the music venue and soundstage for example?

    Participation: What did you participate in? Did you partiticpate in any way in managing planning or producing the programming of White Ocean? I didnt see a mention of it if you did.

    Of course no single Burner lives the Principles to perfection. But what I see in White Ocean is holding you back from living the Principles more fully. In your third burn id challenge you to Participate, contribute, work, build, express, create…

    Liked by 4 people

  5. Please explain how you fulfilled ANY of the Ten Principles. What did you contribute to the community? How did you radically include others? Did you physically perform any LNT? Etc. You sound like a spectator, not a participant.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fuck off your not a self reliant your a fucking reliant on others!! Pack your shit and go to the four seasons you mummy’s boy!!! Self reliance …..? Oh I can’t bring it on the plane …. Close the airport and leave the burn for BURNERS!!
    Not you microwaves !!!!

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  7. No one goes to Burning man to meet “a Victoria’s Secret model, an international DJ, a Hollywood screenwriter (like moi, for instance), a software guru, or a Russian industrial baron” … you miss the point completely. These things don’t matter at Burning Man. What matters is how well you live the 10 principles.

    Here is a link to the 10 principles.

    http://burningman.org/culture/philosophical-center/10-principles/

    This is why people go. Educate yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Russ’ little screed TL;DR? Well let me help with some highlights.

    “White Ocean was not some exclusive VIP room behind a velvet rope…Well, it’s nicer than most camps.”

    “But let’s be honest. All camps are not created equal. White Ocean is luxurious by Burning Man standards. I never had to build, never had to cook, and I never had assigned clean-up duties, although some guests did. We did clean up after ourselves in the dining area, and I did clean up my own trailer. But I didn’t have to worry about the water level in my tank or the sewage in my whatever-it-is. These things were handled for me, by people who knew what they were doing and were paid to be there…when they had completed their tasks they were free to experience the burn”. That last line is my favorite. That is the absolute fucking limit. Thank you, Master, for your benevolence.

    “I didn’t help create any of the art on the Playa either. But I certainly did enjoy it.” We call this “Spectating,” Russ. It’s not something you’re supposed to be proud of or brag about.

    “The moment I left the camp, I was no different than any other burner.” Please see above quote.

    “I had to rely on myself, and the kindness of fellow burners.” Lol. Rely. You keep using this word but I do not think it means what you think it means.

    “Maybe it wasn’t radical. But it was certainly self-reliance. If the test requires 100% adherence to all ten principles, then perhaps we failed. But so would thousands of burners in plenty of camps.” Yep. That’s pretty much exactly what some of us have been saying is the problem.

    “Are we different than the OG burners who preceded us? In some ways, yes…Is that such a bad thing? I don’t think so. I think that one of the things that makes Burning Man great is that it brings people together from all walks of life, (well, frankly, white people) and gives them the chance to interact in ways that simply aren’t likely in the day-to-day world.” Wow. A couple things. I guess I’m glad you’re aware of your whiteness, but I’m guessing from the rest of your monologue that awareness is where your movement ceases. Second…dude…you’re Claire from the Breakfast Club. Is it great that we interacted? Do you feel good about yourself? That’s nice. We both know you won’t be waving at us in the hall tomorrow, though.

    “See the ones where there’s some smoking hot girl posing in front of the “MAGIC” installation? She’s 5’11”, thin and sexy, wearing an Indian head-dress, black bikini, and eight-inch platform boots, and barely speaks English.” Yeah, actually, I can find that anywhere. Did you see the 300 lb woman who was naked in a lawn chair drinking watermelon juice and feeling super comfortable just being herself?
    Me either. She doesn’t go anymore because dumb shits like you have taken Burning Man and turned it into just another place where people think what makes them special is being hot, 5’11”, and dancing in a bikini. I don’t give a shit about your Russian chicken head, dude. I can find her in the street. She can get attention anywhere. That lady who used to feel comfortable? SHE was a commodity in short supply. Your chicken head is welcome, but NOT if all she has to offer is her boiler plate, every day bullshit image. FUCK YOUR IMAGE.

    Oh, and last but not least, you pretentious, blind twat – sometimes…and I know this is going to come as a surprise because in your life, the people you know are the only “creatives” and blue collar people are unable to provide culture…sometimes, the concrete guy from Albuquerque, the welder from Reno, the tree climber from Hayward…ARE the ones proving you with your party. The DJ that YOU danced to all night, the art that YOU consumed without giving anything back, are the people you think you’re providing access to. Nobody gives a fuck about your screenplay or your model friend or your software guru.

    You’re there because of US…not the other way around. Get that through your ego, chump.

    To quote Anthony Michael Hall from the Breakfast Club, again (because it’s unbelievably apt):

    “You’re so conceited, Claire. You’re so conceited. You’re so…like…full of yourself.”

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Your comment about Image is so right on…. I haven’t been to Burning Man in the last 4 or 5 years, frankly I’ve lost exact track. In the beginning it was about not being able to afford to go for various reasons, but I’ve always kept myself I tune with what is going on in our world. Now thoes reasons are much more aligned with your comment about Image, I’m definitely not this Russian Bombshell that this WO douche bag speaks so highly of, I’m more in line with the 300lb girl who feels alienated by these assholes. Thank You for speaking about this. I hope to make it to the Burn next year, to say and experience my final respects as I do not think I will get the chance to experience what I have in my past Burns ever again.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh Russell, Russell, Russell. Were you even trying to explain yourself? Self reliant…really? Like 1% reliant? You couldn’t even bag/separate the garbage in your RV?! My tent was cleaner than that.

    If you go to Burning man to “network” w/ Victoria’s Secret models, international DJs, Hollywood screenwriters, software gurus, or a Russian industrial baron, well then, White Ocean certainly is just the place for you! I’ve always considered talking about our jobs and careers as taboo because we’re all on vacation and nobody really cares what you do in the default world. That’s what makes Burning Man so awesome…we’re all equal independent of what we have/are in the default world. But you just drew a line right down the Playa separating US from YOU. So be it…stay in your neck of the woods and I’ll stay in mine, I’m probably not welcome at your camp anyway.

    I’m sure the artists that dedicated blood, sweat, tears and time are thrilled that a hot girl “gifted her beauty” to enhance their art even more! Geez…what would become of all those wonderfully talented losers if it weren’t for the “hot girls” showcasing their hard work! It’s bad enough we have to adhere to lame beauty standards in the default world, but now we’re being judged at Burning Man too?! Fuck you!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Where was your communal effort? You explicitly say you did nothing for your camp nor the broader community.
    How about decommodification? You were in a camp selling The Burning Man Experience.
    No Spectators. Everyone is a participant. But again, you brought nothing but a crappy bike, a scarf and a tin cup.
    How did you Radically Express yourself? You didn’t bring or help with any art, so what aspect of yourself did you share with the class?

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    1. I’m STILL wondering HOW did all these people at White Ocean get their tickets??
      Surely they didn’t wait on-line like everyone else!! How did they get past the limit of 2 tickets??
      You said it was very expensive to get there through White Ocean. That is directly because of all the paid staff and servants and all the rented infrastructure that was provided. An “average” burner could not begin to afford this extreme Decadence!! That alone excludes EVERYONE except the richest of the rich and their invited guests! Our camp had ALL the necessary infrastructure and then some!! It only cost $150 and the the cost of preparing 1 meal. Everyone is welcome to join us.
      Did they get a bunch of tickets at pre-sale theme camp??
      I suspect they had staff go online and get as many extra tickets as possible or bought them from the scalpers we so greatly discourage!!
      Has BMORG dropped the ball by allowing presale tickets to a “THEME CAMP” that then turns around and re-packages them for sale as a “BURNING MAN” experience??
      It seems like they have totally broken and disrespected all the tenets of the Burn that we have created and tried so hard to perpetuate over the years!!

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      1. There were 3 ticket price tiers this year: $397, $997, and $1207. The $1207 tickets were unlimited, even after Burning Man “sold out” you could keep going back to your Burner profile and buying more (and vehicle passes too). The $397 tickets were limited to 2 per profile.

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  11. Your main impression in the last two paragraphs seems to be that Burning Man is glamorous and sexy, and that we all should want that. To which I say “ok, maybe.” But if I take your example as a standard for those terms, I could just as easily buy some magazines. Or hang out in West Hollywood, Chelsea, Tribeca.

    Anyone who is so inclined can *feel* glamorous and sexy at Burning Man. Or they can feel whatever else it is that matters to them: the best possible Burn allows everyone to participate and see the best in themselves. But the real power of that event, in my eyes, is that other people will see it too. And if they get it, they won’t take a picture and move on. They’ll tell you what they see. They’ll tell you how happy they are for you and how happy they are to see you that way. And then they might ask if you’ll take a picture with them.

    I don’t want to see hot chicks on the playa, for one. I mean, that’s nice eye candy, and it’s not like I look away as fast as possible. But what I really want is to talk to people who are beautiful — in their intentions, in the ways the express themselves, in their openness and vulnerability, in their particular sense of flair. Everyone at Burning Man is beautiful.

    If you are Burning well, by my standard, you’ll see more of that beauty with each new year. You’ll see the variety, the depth, the dimension of so many people who have a massive play park to bring out their best selves. You’ll see thousand-watt smiles every goddamn minute. It can be utterly dizzying and delightful. You might fall in love with everything for a while, and why not?

    So I just don’t understand why wealth, social prominence, fame, power, or celebrity are anything but incidental aspects of the Burning Man experience. I hope no one with those gifts truly needs yet another place to be seen and heard. I do know some people for whom attending the Burn is about being (seen) at all the hot spots, or finding an opportunity to network, promote a brand, rub elbows with high-profile people. Oh well. You can’t invite the default world into your social experiment and expect everyone to drop everything they do every day and try something else. You can only open the door and hope the majority will try. The vast majority, I hope, but whatever.

    I also believe if you truly think you can’t figure out how grey water is sucked out of a trailer, you shouldn’t post it publicly. Write it in a journal and then — Jesus Christ, man — go learn how. That particular exercise takes five minutes to learn.

    You want to *be* hot at Burning Man? Take care of all your own shit, literally and figuratively. Real people really dig that, and that’s the kind of hot any real Burner wants.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Seems like the White Ocean folks are living on the ‘wrong side of the track’, over in ‘colored town’. Let’s lynch a few for good measure. (They don’t really affect the experience of others)… but maybe they should leave Burning Man because ‘I don’t like the idea they exist in the first place’. They don’t observe the same Burning Man ‘values’ I do. They aren’t ‘real’ burners – I KNOW what a real burner looks like and sounds like. Because I’m a PATRIOT burner. I live strictly by the Burning Man Constitution and there is no wiggle-room for ‘outsiders’ in MY burn. Let’s build a wall around White Ocean and make them pay for it. What say?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I realize it’s embarrassing for all of you to be compared to the classic racist… but look at your words and how you aim them at other humans. Your words are disgusting. More disgusting than my comparison to racism – which I stand by 100%. When I began burning in ’94 there was little or no hate at Burning Man. When a non-participant attended the event we would chuckle privately and say, “La Tourista”…. You people have taken this discourse to a whole new level and you sound like a bunch of Fox News couch potatoes to me. The vitriolic dialog you people spout against White Ocean is far beyond any damage they are doing to the event. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hmmm…. so it’s racism that is wrong, but misogyny is alright then? Because if you look at most comments from women they do not seem to give a rats a** on what type of participant he was or not in Burning Man, actually stand against the vandalism, and only reply to his comments on some random poor girl he saw and completely objectified managing in the meantime to insult all women that ever been anywhere. I have never been to Burning Man and just plan to go, so have been reading this out of curiosity. It’s interesting to me to see that Burning Man keeps true to it’s title, it’s still all about the man as in the gender rather than the species.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’ll see your racist anology and raise you one, Chuck.

        This WO consumer is a bit like a black guy in the 50s telling us about paying a 15% interest rate on a mortgage (with a clause that he surrenders all his equity if he misses a payment) and saying, “Oh well, I guess that’s home ownership…. Everyone should be comfortable with this deal. It was so easy to get the paperwork done with my good friend and lender Snidely Whiplash….”

        And we’re all like white folks screaming, “STOP!! YOU’RE BEING ROBBED!! DON’T TELL ANYONE ELSE TO DO THIS!!”

        Yes, some people are just saying, “Fuck you. Go away.” But most are essentially trying to save this guy and people who might listen to him from bastards exploiting the limited information available in a ghetto (rich people and their entourage live in special kind of ghetto but a ghetto nonetheless).

        Burning Man without radical self reliance and radical inclusion is just an uncomfortable party with cool art. This dude didn’t go to the burn. He saw the burn from inside a box. And someone DID THAT TO HIM!

        In a much less signifant way he’s a whole lot like those poor bastards in the 50s who thought they owned a house when all they had was a much greedier landlord. He’s bought a bill of goods! And you can tell just from reading his shallow nonesense that the goods never arrived.

        I don’t see a lot of hate here. I see panic. I see people watching a disgrace on the playa being institutionalized and habituated and yelling, “STOP! BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!”

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      1. i am absolutely more disgusted with this comment by chris than any other facet of this already disturbing blog post. please be more careful what you say chris- just like this writer of this blog- it is people like you who give burning man a bad name

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  13. I hope you never come back loser. Here’s what ya do…donate to a few art projects every year $8,000 each, and tell your friends “I don’t need to go I’ve had my playa experience.” They will still think you are cool and we will stop making fun of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I love how you say that White Ocean affords us the opportunity to meet a Victoria’s Secret model like that’s a great thing we should be grateful for.

    I spend hundreds, nay, thousands of dollars, I shop, I plan, I make costumes, I pack, I plan, I cook and prefreeze food, I haul my ass out to the playa and set up camp in the rain and dust PRECISELY TO GET AWAY FROM VICTORIA’s SECRET MODELS AND GURUS.

    You literally advocate here that making burningman more like a Hollywood celebrity scene will make it better???? So making burning man like the default world is a good thing?

    Can you please just go to Coachella and leave burningman alone? Please?? I will start a go fund me page to pay you and your camp to spend the season in Ibiza or something. JUst. Stay. Away.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. So the girl from the “picture” you paint such a vivid picture of would be posted on Facebook, sure. However parts you fail to realize are the caption would read ” look at this entitled, insensitive, twit of a human. Not only is she mooring feathers all over the place, but also being so insensitive to native Americans.” She is obviously someone who hasn’t read anything more than the 10 principles about burning man and then stopped just like this double canoe trying to placate himself as a burner. What do you do inside for the community and outside as a burner to help. Do you just pay to come (or have one of your rich friends pay until you become rich again) and feel the same wind as we feel. Have you volunteered anywhere ? Took interest in Ranger ingredients? Volunteered for lamplighters, Box office, or dpw? I was on playa for 11 days worked 30 hours (5 shifts) in box office, ran 2 bar shifts at our camp (6 hours each) missed a friend getting married I fell asleep so hard. I met many amazing people I invited “home” to my camp to share what we had built. Wow the hardships you had to endure as well. Living in your own filth as no maid or turn down service was available……. and you wonder why people get passed. It’s because you think you are living at “their level” and suffering. You have know idea…… I am not mad, I actually feel sorry for you as a person . You don’t understand, and you prolly never will. You wanna experience burningman like every one else. I’ll let you stay at my camp next year if you wanna get an education. Hell I’ll even let you ride out so you can experience waiting to get in and exodus like the rest of us. Why don’t you come try that and then tell me how you are just like us…. cause we’re gonna be rich too. Just not with money.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Russell, Russell, Russell,

    Thought I would take the time to provide you with some Burning Man education.

    Some of the many things I love about Burning Man:

    The fact that it enables us to see the beauty in everyone, be they five foot or five foot and eleven inches, 18, or 88.

    That in the default world what matters is my job, my stuff and my income, but at Burning man it’s about who rather than what I am

    The shared experience of surviving in the desert, ensuring the well-being of others, from taking care of them whoever they are to enjoying a joke with a random stranger

    For most Burners, Burning Man is about the journey, spending months on art and other projects, waiting in line at the gate, setting up camp, cohabiting, striking and leaving no trace. Flying in and staying in an RV does not give you the full experience of the burn. I feel sad for you and your spectator ways. The burn is so much richer for most of the other people who go.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Russell, thanks for writing this. But the sad truth is that I don’t think you’ve experienced Burning Man at all yet. It’s okay — it takes a while to get it. I’ve been ten times and I still have a lot to learn. You may have given yourself a 95/100, but I think most burners would give you about a 25 or 30, and that’s being a bit generous. Many of the comments above touch on the parts you didn’t write about — the principles that you didn’t cover. I’ve heard that you gave lectures at center camp and gifted chocolates, so there’s clearly some understanding of the gifting principle even though it’s not covered in your post, but beyond that you’ve really missed out on decommodification: “In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.” (http://burningman.org/culture/philosophical-center/10-principles/) You also have not experienced much self-reliance by accepting gifted shelter and gifted meals 100% of the time.

    Let’s show you a real burn. I invite you to camp with us next year. Help us build our camp (dome, shade, bar, art, playground, swings, more). Help bartend. Help us give out our gifts which include food and drink and diverse experiences. Camp in a tent, or a yurt, or if you must an RV. Clean up after yourself. Help make a meal and clean it up. Then before, during and after, party with us. Eat and drink with us. Dance with us. Interact with us and our neighbors and random strangers. I promise you that every interaction will feel more real, every sip and bite will taste better, and every conversation will go deeper, and the relationships you form will last much longer than a week.

    Our camp has people from all around the world, including Russia, Austria, Canada and the UK. It’s represented by people of every age from newborn to 76, every skin color, and every social status. We have doctors, lawyers, musicians, artists, engineers, nurses, writers, social workers, sex workers, couch surfers, DJs, and entrepeneurs. Everyone who came helped build or serve or gift or tear down or all of the above.

    As much as you have enjoyed your first two burns, please believe me that if you were to actually experience Burning Man, you’d enjoy it so much more, and more deeply.

    Let’s talk about “smoking hot girls” for a second. Your description is revolting — sexist, objectifying, alienating, dismissive and reductionist. Let me introduce you to some truly beautiful women, inside and out, who camped with us, worked their asses off, gifted like crazy, wielded power tools with the best of them, created art and experiences. And if some of them walk around topless, that’s their business. I didn’t mind a bit. Any one of these women in our camp and in our neighborhood you could have a real conversation with and build a relationship with, unlike your hypothetical 5’11” model.

    I know this is long but I hope you read it with an open mind. We both have a lot to learn from each other.

    Oh, and sorry that White Ocean was vandalized. That’s awful. But I’ll bet you if we fix some of the gaps in how your camp commoditizes its burn, it’ll never happen again.

    Don’t delude yourself that you’re at 95/100. And even if you were, don’t just passively accept that “thousands also fail” and then think that that’s okay. It’s not okay. The Disneyland-safe, sanitized, commoditized experience you had is just a tiny pinprick of a mote of a fraction of a dream of the real Burning Man. Let’s get you a real experience next year. Write me.

    Liked by 7 people

  18. sorry to be rude here but you really sound and come across as a major d bag and a great fuel to fire the anti white ocean sentiment and flames. I have been burning for 14 years and you are the poster child of what not to be in my opinion and you should kinda take a look at yourself and reflect here. (clueless AF) You are also come public as a slob, smh. I am really disappointed to read this. I have too much negative reaction to your blog so I will stop here but just yuck and no. I think you sound supper entitled, misogynist complete a holes, just wow.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. This group is just a symptom of a greater illness afflicting the event which is the Burning Man Organization. They shown their presumed values to be nothing but a farce and that they, like the crowd they’re trying to cultivate, are more interested in money, fame, and influence than anything else. I think the heyday of the BM event is over and will not come back. Gone are the free spirits, rebels, and non-conformists that were the real wealth of the event. What remains to be seen is how long the reputation the event gained during its early days can be exploited and twisted to make others believe it’s still that event.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. great comments here Chuck, I agree. That’s why I’m calling it BM2.0 – because it’s nothing like the Burning Man we created and made world famous. Look at this judgemental bullshit. Sabotage attacks? How do they think people are living at First Camp, where the Sheriff and his family are choppered in for 18-course banquets?

        Zos (Burners.Me)

        Like

  19. bottom line ,the 20 or so people big camps hire to wipe there ass and wax there balls are getting the ticket that an actually creative artist type person would have got ,that actually participates in the experiment that we call burningman ,if your not participating then fuck off ,and take your money with you ,the small shit out there is what has always been the most impressive to me ,the individual projects ,the trippy shit in front of your camp ,creative wardrobes etc, when i was a kid, S.F. was the strangest most creative place on earth ,30 years latter ,its a monotheistic techy snoze fest ,the wing nuts and black people have been replaced with silly con valley robots ,is B.R.C. next? ,new principle #11 ,no hired help in Black rock city ,wipe your own ass

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I don’t see what’s so wrong with this guys burn. I pretty much do the same thing. I go with a camp at so I don’t have to cook my meals but I do help clean up dishes and I do take a nice hut that I built specifically for the desert. If the camp has a theme, then I work my required shifts to support the theme. Despite my minimalist responsibility approach to keep from “burning out,” I think I’m still well respected in my local Burn Community.

    In my nine visits to the desert, I’ve been with all sorts of camps. Some people think that everyone should be generating power from solar panels. Some people think you should only go if you’re creating a big art structure. Some people think that you shouldn’t be at BM if you don’t belong to a camp. Some people are scared of passerby’s because their quiet 1200 watt generator was vandalized by assholes and now only camp members are allowed in our common area. Here’s news to those people: not everybody burns like you do.

    The writer of this story worried that radical self reliance was a failure on his part. I say if you can pay for your needs to be met, then he was a self reliant success.

    Rob
    PS. I’m looking at this thread, it’s sad that Burners have turned into such haters for anyone who doesn’t burn like them.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Any camp that requires employees instead of volunteers to run should simply not exist! And if that means people like the author cannot make it to Burning Man, that’s a good thing.

    Liked by 4 people

  22. Dear misguided loser,

    You have no idea how hard we tall skinny women work. There have been models coming to Burning Man for many, many years–long before the trail of douchebags like you that tend to follow in our wake.

    I’ve camped with models who built a 30 foot steel dome, gave away hundreds of costumes and custom-sewn shit, made and gave away cocktails and amazing vegan food, did people’s makeup and painted faces, decorated shit, tore down, built up, climbed structures in hundred-degree heat to hang lights and shade, drove big trucks hundreds of miles to haul our shit, pounded rebar and T-stakes, volunteered for several different departments in Burning Man, and participated in an event we all loved in a million more ways than you could even imagine. We were there long before the bankers and Silicon Valley crowd.

    But you encountered some hot chick standing in front of a sculpture who told you she didn’t speak English and you figured she has an RV provided for her and doesn’t lift a finger? Well, possibly in some cases, but I’d like to tell you that your insulting and truly diminishing summation of the women of Burning Man is offensive in countless ways. It’s offensive to those women who have helped create this event over the years who you might describe as tall skinny and hot, and equally offensive and denigrating to the women of Burning Man who you might not describe that way, who have been there since the beginning literally creating and defining the event you and your friends now love and come pay to play in.

    How dare you affiliate your worthless self for even a second with the women of Burning Man, the majority of whom, I can guarantee, would not take a second look at a spectator like you, and probably accomplish more meaningful work in a day than you have in your entire single-screenplay writing life. And yes, I too, would pretend I don’t speak a word of English if you approached me on the playa. It’s a fun game we like to play with shitheads like you.

    There’s a lot you don’t understand about this event, Russell, and you probably never will, because you’re approaching it from the outside instead of partaking in it. If you want to be a “burner”, you should take the comment seriously above inviting you to participate in a real Burning Man camp. Try washing dishes, getting dirty, building something with your hands, meeting people outside your special little social circle. Instead of looking at the event as a playground for your enjoyment and scanning the event for those that create some benefit for you (Victoria’s Secret model, an international DJ, a Hollywood screenwriter [I’m assuming one more successful than you], a software guru, or a Russian industrial baron,), try doing something for those around you, creating something, or contributing in whatever way you can. Your failure to do this so far affects everyone, and brings down the whole event.

    Your consumerism of the event is the reason its power to transform and revolutionize its participants has waned in recent years.

    You’re an asshole, Russell, but we haven’t given up on you. There’s still time for you to do it right.

    White Ocean is aptly named, and I don’t feel sorry for you. On first hearing about what happened to your camp this year my heart went out to you, but upon reading your shitty post I now understand how you and your friends and your complete entitled view of life pissed enough people off that this was probably deserved.

    And by the way, the fact that you could insinuate that your camp brings any kind of diversity to Burning Man is beyond disgusting.

    I hope you decide to do it right next time or not come at all.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. You cannot see me, but I’m clapping!!! I have never been to Burning Man but this guy’s misogyny really makes it hard to sympathize with him and I am really against white ocean being vandalized (d-bags as they might have been).

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Yay! You made it to burning man!!! So glad you did that, it’s A MAZING, is it not? I enjoyed your blog post about WO, I’ve always had fun there! But here’s something I want you to consider… you are missing out on a really vital part of the event. VOLUNTEERING! You aren’t a true burner until you spend a little time doing something besides cleaning up your own trailer. Our community lives because people don’t just spectate, they PARTICIPATE! And let me tell you, after 14 years of going to burning man and volunteering to do so many different things, this is not something you should miss out on. It really makes the experience even more fucking great. There are a lot of ways you can do this, either by volunteering for an art project, or the org (gayte, airport, cafe, arctica, playa info, dmv, artery, MANY cool options to choose from). So, I could give a shit if you fly in on a dragon breathing fire, pay for butlers to wipe your bottom, or whatever you do at WO, you should get involved in the event itself, BECAUSE THAT’S where the action really is. That is the mean on the bones, know what I mean? And as for that chick in the headdress you were talking about, honestly… we really don’t want her there. Really. Super cereal. Headdresses are LAME AND STUPID, that’s the world of the bro, it’s cultural appropriation, feathers are incredibly difficult to clean up after, and while she might be pretty, she causes more eye rolls than not. Sorry, dude, leave your fucking feathers at home, and don’t bring people who think it’s ‘cool’, it’s totally not cool.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. You had a trailer provided?? I had a tent I put up myself. You had a provided water tank and nice toilet/ sewage facilities?? We supplied our own water and extra to share. We used the Porta potties Iike all the other people. You had all your food provided and someone paid to cook it and clean the dishes??!! THAT is NOT self reliance!! We brought our own water, dishes, cooking gear, and food. Things that we spent days assembling and buying ourselves!
    You flew in??? I and most everyone else drove ourselves hundreds of miles and waited in entrance/exit lines for hours! We had the great experience of sharing with fellow Burners along the way. You missed it and the point of Burning Man.
    You came to an amusement park with free rides that other True Burners provided with no blood, time, and sweat labor from you thank you. You came to be amused and missed the REAL magic of Burning man of a shared common experience that we all worked very hard to make happen.
    The only work you had to do was clean up your nice trailer that was pristine when you got there! You did absolutely nothing to help build and create Black Rock City from the nothingness of Playa to the great place we True Burners MAKE it.
    You did NOTHING to provide artwork, food, booze, dancing, music, pleasure, or the myriad other things that make the Burn the experience that it is! You came to be entertained and spectate on the beautiful people and experiences that we have worked hard to provide. You provided NOTHING in the way of Art, music, food, or other services for fellow Burners. Yet you wanted and got full access to all the things we so willingly and loving gave from our hearts and spirits to share with our community and FAMILY of fellow Burners!!
    You had bouncers on the door that told people to go away, they were getting too close. Essentially – that they were not elite enough, Cool enough, or Sexy enough to even visit YOUR camp.
    You think you “experienced” Burning Man??? Did anyone even give you the gift of a Playa name? Or did you just buy that too and make one up yourself?
    You think you came and “experienced Burning Man”????
    You missed the REAL experience.
    You came and merely observed and pleasured yourself. You didn’t provide anything real for others. You missed the pure joy, magic, Karma, spiritual transformation, and feeling of REAL community that we enjoy every year and bring home with us to our friends and family.
    You think you “experienced” the Burn by just showing up and saying you’d been here???!!!
    SHUT THE FUCK UP!!!
    WE provided the opportunity as a Virgin burner to have the REALIST experience if your life.
    I can only say come back again and try again with a better more enlighted attitude.
    For your own sake of seeking to have oneness with the Burn!!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. OMFG are you serious that is the way you left the trailer? It’s fucking trashed! Guess your not looking to get an invite back, or you left several hundred dollars for the cleaning fee.. I doubt that. I assume you didn’t bother to moop around your trailer or anywhere else.
    We rent cruise America, and return the thing cleaner than we got it., As to not give BM a bad name, and to be able to rent it again, not giving myself a bad name.
    I can tell you, you ain’t welcome in my camp. Or anywhere around my camp as I don’t want to clean up after your ass!
    You may want to rethink your participation ethics…

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I’ll freely admit that I’ve only been to three burns, but my god how those three burns have changed my world. But it wasn’t being on playa that made all the magic, it was the months of work that went into getting there.

    It was the endless summer days of busting ass in my friend’s driveway, sweating away with a group of insane, beautiful weirdos who put every spare hour and penny and ounce of love into building a steampunk pirate ship on wheels, with sails of flame, from the ground up. Our blood is literally a part of that ship, and I don’t regret a single drop, because I remember every glowing face that looked at it on the playa and smiled so very wide at the sight. I remember every stranger who walked up to our camp just to say “thank you so much for building this and sharing it with us”

    How many strangers walked up to you to say “thank you for the gift you brought”? Do you even know how good that feels? Because if not, you’re missing out on so much of the magic of Burning Man. The magic of bringing joy to thousands of strangers. The magic of sweating and cursing and losing sleep and slapping bandaids on burns and scrapes and punctures and getting right back to work because you absolutely cannot stop until it’s done, up until the moment when you have to frantically load your art onto a janky-ass trailer and pray it makes it to Gerlach without anything or anyone exploding.

    Even if I never see the playa again I will always be proud, and forever changed, because I had the honor of helping build the CS Tere pirate ship, the Portlamd heart that was installed in Embrace 2014, the Zooplankton Project in 2015. And each time I went to the playa I felt like I’d earned a place there. I’d bled for it, worked for it, met amazing humans, and run myself ragged to make wonderful things for people who I’d likely never see again.

    So I feel bad for you. That you don’t know what it’s like to have a complete stranger from the other side of the world say “Thank you so much for creating this”. That’s what you’re missing, and that’s really damned sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. My girl knew the chef at WO, it was his first time. So we went to visit him and was welcomed with open arms by one of his staff. “Eat whatever’s there if you like, make a sammy from the makings in the fridge.” Yes, it was outrageous. Yes, it was table-clothed luxurious. Yes, it was a welcomed oasis from the sun and the dust with ice cold lemonade infused with something. We never asked or expected it but; yes, we made sammies. We were told we were welcome anytime. Sure, it was because we knew the name of the chef there, but the welcome was such that it wouldn’t take much to be and feel welcomed there without the name dropping. It felt quite genuine.

    As I pondered the task of having a stage as big as that of White Ocean, I reasoned that it’s only possible with a big team. That team needs a support team in order to be efficient. They need to be able to sit down and eat, get up and go back to the grind. That’s the only way it works. Don’t like it, then no big art and no big stages without a complete rebuild of the system somehow.

    Like

    1. Chris Taylor, you can’t be more wrong. A paid support network subverts the entire point and there have been big sound instations for YEARS. Getting paid service is a choice and itxs the wrong choice.

      Perry Farrell managed to DJ at the burn several times with his own effort and volunteers. MAJOR ROCKSTAR LIFTING CASES OF SHIT OUT OF A TRUCK INTO THE DIRT.

      A HUGE part of the burn is discovering what is possible without hierarchy and money.

      Like

    2. What about de-commodification, participation, and self reliance?? Paid staff and servants are absolutely NOT required for large projects, Art, music, or a FABULOUS large camp experience. I know many camps that provide dance floors, stages, tons of food, live music, etc. That have all been created by our own sweat equity. Our camp is huge! – 250 people. It has all the amenities you can imagine including WiFi, popcorn machine, and movies at night. It has a huge kitchen, big grills and griddles, hot water shower system, grey water pump out, our own pleasure dome, etc IT works because they have been doing it for twenty years and are very organized. It works because everyone participates and pitches in to make it happen! We have a core group of people that gather every year and load / unload the trucks, erect ten huge tents with walls and floors, build a huge kitchen, and a great hot water shower system. It works because we have superb leadership that is extremely dedicated to making our camp and Burning Man a great experience. They REALLY get it. They are the TRUE BURNERS that have been there since the early days and make it a great experience for everyone!! Paid staff and servants just doesn’t cut it for that kind of experience. I doubt White Ocean did like Love Camp did and put their dedicated organizers on massage tables and had the WHOLE camp massage them to show their great appreciation!! Our leaders embrace the ideals of Burning Man and our camp themes as a way of life throughout the year – not just during our “High Holy days” at our annual gathering of the TRIBE!! Our camp provides all the kitchen infrastructure and equipment to make it a great place to cook! Each of the 250 campers sign up to cook one meal for 25+. We bring our own food and store it in our own coolers. There is always food being prepared all day long. No one goes hungry and everyone that comes by is welcome at our table! You never know what SPECIAL dish someone will bring out next!! There are no fixed cooking or eating times. Just noonish, etc. They say we eat like Hobbits with first breakfast, second breakfast, etc. As a group we provide garbage can pizzay night with 40 pizzas!! We provide a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings!! I made a HUGE pot of Turkey carcass soup with the remains of six turkeys. You can cook anything you want at anytime of day or night and it will be eaten and appreciated. I have made baked bananas Foster or grilled cheese sandwiches at midnight and they were GREATLY appreciated. That is our reward for service to our camp. It was certainly appreciated more than flown-in gourmet fixings and seafood prepared by professional chefs. The love we put into preparing something special for fellow campers is what is so appreciated. So – your reasoning is faulty!! We don’t need to rebuild the system with paid staff and servants to create a memorable “out of this world” experience! We ALREADY know how to make it BURNING MAN with volunteers, participation, dedication, and Love and respect for each other!!!. We’ve been doing it for years without paid staffs. Long live the experience of the TRUE BURN!!!.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. You’ve been robbed my friend and that smoking hot woman along with hundreds of thousands like her has been camping under a camo net and cleaning herown shit since the first burn.
    As for billionaires and screen writers – we have four screenwriters in our tribe and they’re WORKING screen writers making money NOW – there’s a billionaire friend of mine who has packed his own shit in and out every year since 1998. And he always seems to be helping a fellow burner with his bike or his shade.
    You’ve managed to attend the burn and miss the whole fucking point. That’s not surprising since you been stuck by default into a spectator box further from the reality of the burn than the corporate offices of Exxon.
    Next time bring yourown shelter, water, food, work gloves, and tools. Go out and help some people. PARTICIPATE!

    If you’re being served at the burn you’re being SERVED at the burn.

    Like

  29. Hey Russell Gewirtz, Dont mind all these asshole comments. Your experience is as valid as the other 79,999 attendee’s. I’ve been going to the burn for 14 yrs and will keep going. I find the stance of most of you on these comments the least burners of all. Bunch of sniveling snobs is what your expressing yourselves as.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I feel sorry for you Russell, YOU MiSSED THE WHOLE CONCEPT of the little CiTY we are creating every year…………. it is a chance to be YOUR HIGHEST CREATiVE GiViNG SELF………. come back with just a little tent next year, or a rented RV and park elsewhere with Burners that will show you THE HEART of it all……………….. ….. FUCK YOUR DEFAULT LiFE and CHANGE IT RADiCALLY if it stops you from being genuine—— Burning Man is a transformative space, if you don’t embrace something new into your LiFE, YOU ARE DOiNG IT WRONG! )'(

    Like

  31. Hi,
    First of all: thank you so much for this post (participation and civic reaponsabiliy as all other principles do not stop at the gate and hey, this is totally what you are doing here 😉 )

    I’m a burner who went for the 3rd time this year, traveling over from Europe. Last time I came, in 2014, I was very annoyed with the plug n play camps because they impacted my burn (can give details about that if anyone wants but not too relevant here) and I thought it was just going to get worse….

    …..this year I saw an enormous improvement in behavior from people from camps like this!

    RADICAL Inclusion: maybe for me the most important principle…. Meaning: you are ALL very welcome to burn with us!

    I profoundly believe that you are right in that many people (call them rig if you want, but many other categories too….) would “not go otherwise” and that their scale of self reliance is different from burners who have been going for 20 years and maybe even live in a van year round….. The importance is: everyone gets an experience and test their limits on playa!

    Therefore I seriously believe it changes EVERYONE, even if just a tiny bit….. In the right direction.

    I’m super happy to hear you enjoyed your burn, and I hope you will be back! (If you want to stretch limits more – reach out for a different camp if you feel like it 🙂 if not, that’s also ok!)

    Thank you again for sharing this and thank you for exploring life in black rock city with us!

    Hugs !!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  32. As someone who’s also been to Burning Man twice (8 days last year; 10 days this time — since this apparently matters), I think I need another 10 years before I might feel in a position to lecture to others about the deeper meaning of Burning Man. That doesn’t mean I don’t have views, but it does mean that I will keep them mostly to myself until I’ve examined every facet of the event and its people many times over.

    Apparently the author of this blog, which his 4 + 7 days (four days the first time? Seriously?) already has a Doctorate in Burning and there went his thesis.

    Splendid. But thanks for the entertainment value, and for the reverse peristalsis that ensued (the bucket for collecting that is currently with my fellow European above, the sycophantic groupie who offers indiscriminate hugs!!! to douchebags because someone else with a Doctorate in Burning taught him so).

    Like

  33. I have been attending since 2000. I have seen changes in the event for sure. It is still Home for me and the place I feel most myself. I will continue my journey and try to understand it. Nobody really understands it; it is something different for everyone.

    Before attacking WO we should look at how we have allowed this to happen, encouraged the type of behavior we see today, and how we as a community are responsible. We invited these types of camps into our community. We have encouraged EDM camps and rave parties, we built an airport, we have promoted the idea of the biggest party on earth. It didn’t used to be that way. We no longer find groups of people sitting around a fire barrel out on the playa, relating to one another. Now we have huge art cars parked next to those barrels, inciting a pop up dance club; one after another. I’m not saying good or bad, just pointing out the evolution. BM has evolved just like any city. We now have “barkers” with megaphones yelling at you to come to their bar or club. It used to be they were barking poetry. We have encouraged Sparkle Ponies to come to dance all night at a big city dance club in the desert. We have DJ line-ups!

    We did this. WO didn’t do this. They just exploited what we allowed to happen. It is just evolution of the experience. Perhaps what we have learned is that human behavior doesn’t allow the 10 principles to be sustainable. When you google Burning Man there is a section for “women of burning man.” We did that. We allowed it. We promote it. We invited those Sparkle Ponies and we take photos of them and stare and drool. It has become another Vegas in that respect. What Sparkle Pony wouldn’t want to come to Burning Man and pose in front of the art and have many people photograph them and then post those pics on Facebook and other places accessible to the public. We do that.

    We have to take responsibility as a community for what happens in our community; the good and the bad. So next time take some photos of that beautiful plump girl offering a hug to someone who needs it, offering shade and a moment to relate, or a snack and drink of water. Photograph the amazing art and surrounding landscape without the barely dressed Sparkle Pony in your photo. Leave your attitude in the default world. Come with an open heart, not to see an underwear model or participate in a party. Relate to each other and spread the joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Just another useless spectator that contributed absolutely nothing while getting served by paid staff. Please do us a favor and don’t ever come back.

    Like

  35. I don’t suspect trolling… what else would we expect from someone who has only experienced billionaire camp. Surviving dust, oggling girls and finding your way back is quite the adventure, but sadly misses the point. I will take him at his word…

    I say this with kindness and heart… BM is a gift economy and you are a pauper because you take – this is why there is derision in response to your post. Having friends who spend lots of money on others doesn’t help you because there is no moral ledger… it is not about that… it is a question of do you find yourself in the process of giving day in and day out. If you do, you will find great love, respect, fun and purpose, and recognize that BM is a school that teaches a profound (perhaps even spiritual) lesson for the real world.

    The White Ocean debacle is not just a tragedy for the camp but for the Burn. The vandalism violates the trust, creates defensiveness and weakens the spirit of giving that fuels the economy. Going to Facebook to call foul, casting aspersions on the Burner community doubles and triples the problem. Perhaps it is what it is, but, if rumors are true that disgruntled employees were the culprits, then White Ocean both created the problem and then blamed it on the Burn.

    My creative mind suggests that, if this is possible, in order to align with the spirit of the Burn, give back to the Burn by resolving the debacle. Since you have money, swallow your prides and offer a very large cash reward to the perpetrators. Forgive those who trespass against you, and make redress for any wrongs that may have earned you such retribution. Make sure all of your employees are very happy to have worked for you. If it was vandals, earn their respect. Please report back as resolution would be of great value to the community, and become a camp that the Burn cares to protect and cherish. I hope you find what it means to become a true citizen of the greatest ephemeral city on Earth.

    If you are a troll, well done and good job sir! 🙂

    Like

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