Burning Man Announces First Corporate Sponsor

Gerlach, NV –  Citing hard economic times and a desperate compulsion to anger and confuse Burners everywhere, Burning Man announced the American Alpine Hat Association of America (AAHAA) as its first ‘Participatory Dusty MoneyBags’ today.

Known in the advertising and default world as a ‘sponsor’ AAHAA will be making a $10 million dollar donation to the non-profit Burning Man Project.  AAHAA says its mission is to make alpine hats the number one choice in hats by 2013.

Citing security concerns, an unnamed media representative for Burning Man  addressed the media during a conference call announcing the decision.

“We know this will be controversial with Burners,” said the media rep.  through the fuzz of voice masking software before hanging up.

A press release sent out minutes later claims the $10 million dollar sponsorship deal will be used for some great causes.

  • “Keeping ticket available and prices down”
  • ‘West Oakland Lungs for the Young’:  All of those big Burning Man art projects built in west oakland warehouses involve a lot of ketamine and industrial waste. 100 local kids negatively affected by the interactive art pollution will receive Iron Lungs autographed by a prominent Burning Man artist.
  • DJ Pinch’s ‘Dubstep for Dumb Fucks‘ Project to spread dubstep to rural, country music loving areas of America in the hopes of finding America’s first dubstep DJ to win a Country Music Award.
  • Hazardous Haberdashery – An art project of Occupy Burners. Hats, clothes and cheap, fashion accessories belong to poor people will be stolen, taken to Burning Man and Burned by hippies dressed up as bankers to demonstrate the scorn America’s 1% have for poor Americans.

AAHAA, America’s second largest alpine hat trade group said the decision to become Burning Man’s first Participatory Dusty MoneyBags’ wasn’t an easy one.

“We at American Alpine Hat Association of America (AAHAA) have been looking to expand our market share of scalps for some time.  After a dozen focus groups and intensive market research we found alpine hats were most closely related to two groups:

a) Retired Bavarian World War Two Veterans

 

 

 

 

 

b) Dubstep Dancing Burners.

While the American public holds serious negative associations with both groups we decided to embrace the future.  And that future is dubstup and Burning Man.”

In exchange for the $10 million dollars AAHAA will get:

  • Advertising banner on the BurningMan.com website
  • Signs on the entrance to Burning Man will be in the shape of alpine hats
  • Birthday Cake art car to be re-shaped into an alpine hat
  • Distrikt will have an alpine hat happy hour every day from Wednesday on
  • Kostume Kult will be distributing 5,000 alpine hats nobody else in America wanted.
Posted in 2012, Burning Man, Consumption Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Burning Man Is Not About Being “Nice”

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.” – Rumi

Burning Man may seem like all rainbows, hugs, and candy-canes….but it’s much more textured than that.

Little Spoon

My good friend Little Spoon (Micah Daigle), tells a story about sitting at Center Camp at the Burn with 20-30 people watching a woman with a guitar singing a very touching, vulnerable song.  As the audience sips their bought coffee; on the edge of their seats and touched by her vulnerability, a guy on stilts with megaphone walks in and starts berating the audience.

“Look at you saps, sitting there, spectating!  Get off your asses and go experience the burn!  You look like you are at a shopping mall sipping your lattes.  Bullshit!  And you, poor girl doing your cute thing with the guitar.  So your heart was broken and you wrote a song a bout it. Big fucking deal!”

Then he disappears and the audience is left totally shell-shocked as the woman walks off stage. At first, Micah felt really uncomfortable and tense. He felt sorry for her and wished he could do something about the injustice.

But then, the MC returns and says, “How about a hand for that guy!  That was awesome!  Where did he go? Get him back here.”  He comes back and the host puts him on stage to berate the audience for another 20 minutes.

As Micah describes it, “It was in that moment that I truly got Burning Man. I realized that if that guy was free to express himself as a dick, then I was free to express myself however I want. There aren’t any ‘polite police’ going to enforce their rules on me. And as bad as I still felt for the performer, I realized that her and my embarrassment was a small toll to pay for us all to be here in one of the freest places on Earth. The secret to the desert’s beauty is often found in her harshness.”

All good art makes you uncomfortable in certain moments. It rides the edge of OK.  This could be called social art.

We could all use a week without our mental filters that keep us from saying inappropriate things.  Face your fear of hurting people’s feelings.  It’s getting in the way of discovering yourself.

Of course, touching someone without permission, stealing and vandalism clearly crosses the line.  Also, continuing to bother someone after they have asked you not to or for an extended period of time I also think clearly crosses the line.

There is an immense sense of freedom that overcomes you when you are no longer held hostage by your fear that people will be offended by who you really are in a given moment. The playa is big and it can handle whatever you’ve got inside….good or bad.  Let it out.  Rock the boat.  Let out the primal scream.

And let others have their primal scream, too. Don’t take yourself too seriously if someone hurts your feelings.  It’s all grist for the mill. Everybody is expressing their inner demons and inner gods.

This way, when someone comes with smiles, candies and rainbows…it’s more likely to be genuine.  You can’t fully appreciate and honor the light, if you don’t offer the same gift to the dark.

UPDATE 7/18/12:  What I’m gleaning from the numerous negative responses to this post is that some people are really upset that I would validate such outrageous behavior by sharing the story of the mega-phone guy as an example of radical self-expression.   In varying ways, I hear them saying “No! That kind of behavior is not OK at Burning Man.”  Some of the comments don’t seem relevant…like making the 10 seconds that the guy yelled things in the bullhorn equivalent to vandalism or physical assault. Or suggesting that his 10 seconds on the megaphone justify them physically assaulting him for being mean.  Hyperbole and irrationality aside, I can read between the lines to see that this is some people’s way of responding to a very real sense of injustice.

I can now see, that by choosing such an extreme example, it took reader’s focus off the larger point I was making about radical honesty, primal screams, and honoring the shadow, and instead people tended to focus on the far less interesting debate (IMHO) about whether the particular example I chose crosses the line or not.  I’ve toned down the example a bit to make it less extreme while still being near the edge.

Also there is a difference between not liking something and disallowing it.  I don’t like the KKK and I would not want them hosting a demonstration in my city, but I would allow it because I believe in free expression. I would allow it because someday I might have a viewpoint that others don’t like and I’d want to be able to express that.   The same idea is at play with the mega-phone guy. Yes, he is being a jerk.  That’s exactly the kind of expression we most need to protect because it is exactly the expression that is most at risk.

Some people have said the mega-phone guy should not be allowed because he is keeping someone else from expressing themselves; in this case, the woman playing the guitar on stage.  But we are talking about less then 10 seconds of interruption in a crowded Center Camp where there are lots of other competing noise and activities going on.  I think that’s a small price to pay to live in a setting for a week where the full range of expression reigns supreme.

 

Burn So Happy

“Burn So Happy” is brought to you by Troy Dayton a.k.a “T. Dazzl” who is going on his 13th burn, and is a co-founder of BurnerMap.

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Posted in 2012, Burn So Happy, Burning Man | Tagged , , , , | 34 Comments

Follow BurnerLove on Twitter

You can follow BurnerLove on the Twitter @BurnerMap

BurnerLove is the love child of BurnerMap.com…

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Interview a Burner – JohnJohn

Every week BurnerLove interviews one awesome Burner – this week it’s JOHNJOHN

JOHNJOHN!!

Playa Name: The Oracle called JOHNJOHN

# of Burns: 6

20011 Camp: Rocktard Poop Smear Magical Wizard Camp (Charon Build Crew)

2012 Burner Project: Kate Raudenbush Star Seed Build Crew @ Garage Mahal

Past Burner Projects/Events: Kalamitee’s Kabaret and Bistro, Bootie Mashup @ Fandango, Bootie Mashup @ AutoSub, Piss Clear, BRC Weekly, Kate Raudenbush Future’s Past Build,  and Peter Hudson Charon build.

 

Burner Love (BL): You’ve worked on some big art pieces on the playa.  Is it hard to put that much time, sweat and tears into what is essentially someone else’s artistic vision?  How much ‘buy in’ do you need with the artist and/or his vision/concept/philosophy before you commit to a project like Charon?

JOHNJOHN: It isn’t hard at all because I work with not only the best artists but also some of my best friends. Everyone in Our Community has amazing and unique talents. I’m not a contractor, welder, or carpenter, so I let those who are make those contributions. On build crews, I work my ass off doing the things I’m good at which usually includes a sort of PR Role: intercepting the incessantly curious public and giving them details about the theme, process, and progress so that they buzz off and let the artist actually work. Setting up camp, shade, cooking, bartending, and keeping everyone from going grumpy is a lot of work too! My art comes in the form of stage shenanigans, DJ journeys, costumery & tom-foolery, so that’s what I provide for my Playa Art Crew, as well.

At this time I am not a Sculpture Artist, so I am more than happy to help exact one of my genius sculptor friends’ visions… especially if that vision includes a stroboscopic zoetrope skeleton ferris wheel to the underworld. Yeah, Charon was a no-brainer and I felt SO privileged to be brought aboard that boat! Truly a dream-team of Playa Professionals involved with that piece, many of whom are in Europe touring with it right now.

Also, working to bring to life Kate Raudenbush’s truly transformational and beautiful laser-cut steel Art is an honor as well. This year’s Star Seed will raise the bar even higher for light portals on the Playa.

I am more than happy to help exact one of my genius sculptor friends’ visions… especially if that vision includes a stroboscopic zoetrope skeleton ferris wheel to the underworld.

BL: So an artist this year is building her first big piece on the playa this year.  Any advice on what her and her crew can do to make the process as fun and healthy as possible – to help make sure the people involved don’t end up in tears and fights and resentment at the end?

JOHNJOHN: ASSEMBLE AS MUCH OF YOUR ART OFF-PLAYA AS POSSIBLE! If you think money is tight building at home, just wait until you run into a shit-storm out there and hafta order parts or run to Reno. You want to be DAYS ahead of your detailed work schedule in the desert as to be as relaxed as possible… Because when that 3 day white-out hits and snaps the poles of half your camp’s tents, tosses your shade-structure an hour and a half across the Playa, and has you reading your ticket nervously, the LAST thing you wanna be thinking about is whether the damn 3″ (not 3.2″) chrome bolts will be arriving on time!

ALSO VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure at least one Crew Member is partially devoted to Sanity and Comfort Control, aka: The Fluffer! Not just sunscreen, massages, gator aid powder, and constant coddling/compliments for your Artist.  I’m talking cold beer, enormous cocktails waiting in the wings for the moment work is finished, bite-sized deliciousness to feed directly into a work-a-holic artist’s mouth on-site; ALWAYS ANTICIPATE HOW TO KEEP THE ARTIST FOCUSED AND SANE… And if that involves finding a hot Playa hook-up for said artist, DO IT! If they ask you to play The Cure Anthology on a slide whistle, YA DO IT! People act irrationally when they’re not getting what makes them happy, even though most of us weirdos don’t even know what that is! That’s where the Village comes in.

Lastly, I know most Artists are horrible at allocating responsibilities and bringing in specialists to pitch in, but PLEASE, ya gotta have a separate Project Manager (esp. for big pieces) who creates a plan of action and divides up the work. You picked your crew because they are badasses (hopefully) who can contribute and sometimes significantly enhance your vision. Let others into your process!

BL: Favorite art piece on the playa you weren’t personally involved with?

JOHNJOHN: That distinction always has to go to The Belgian Waffle (not Euchronium, sorry Belgians) because it was the cherry popper of my year 1, monumentally mind-blowing ARTGASM! On Sunday, The Do-Lab Flower and Venus Fly Trap started to battle with some sort of ballet/opera happening beneath, then the huge wooden rollercoaster cave was set on fire, resembling an Inuit polar bear with just his ass ablaze at first. Then tornadoes of flame and smoke came out of nowhere and enveloped the Beast. Oh! And Folks were throwing huge jugs of maple syrup at the thing! Oh, and I was wearing a turban and kaftan (OG Oracle) giving a full play-by-play report in a british accent to a 1920’s style French Filmmaker for hours! (still haven’t found that footage. Anyone?) Oh and it was by far the biggest and hottest fire I’ve ever seen. The whole Playa went APESHIT… in a really good way.

Of course I have to shout out Guardian of Eden, Homoroborous, Temple of Flux, Wedge Slide (aka Human Cheese Grater), Big Rig Jig, Bliss Dance, of course, and SO MANY MORE. I have the most talented friends on the Planet.

I was wearing a turban and kaftan (OG Oracle) giving a full play-by-play report in a British accent to a 1920’s style French Filmmaker for hours! (still haven’t found that footage. Anyone?)

BL: Among many talents you are a DJ on and off the playa.  Do you have any thoughts on how the world of electronic music has been affected by Burning Man?  Is there such a thing as a Burning Man sound?

JOHNJOHN: I remember having three MAJOR musical paradigm shifts (among many other shifts) at my first Burn.

The first came when my future camp-mate Kalamitee Jain played a Bootie Mashup CD she’d gotten from Adrian and D in LA. I went to Bootie BRC that Thursday night and I think the rest is history. Yeah I started stalking A&D from my home in CO, then was living in SF and working the Bootie stage a year and a half later. The idea of creating a collage (or a Sandwich!) out of music was enthralling for me, and I think the party’s vibe speaks for itself. Has Bootie changed the world of electronic music 7 years later?  You be the judge.

The other lifting of the musical curtain was hearing the Space Cowboys brand of funky-ass breakbeats via Mancub (boxing gloves and EVERYTHING) on the Esplanade that year. This sound would come to define my taste in all dance music. Bouncy breaks with dirty vocals: SIGN ME UP!

And third, on Playa my first year, I turn around to find an art car posted up with The Fungineers freestyling & beatboxing, uber-silly style with Reggie Watts. These acts have become hilarious heroes for me. Fungineers were amazeballs 5000 at Lightning in a Bottle last month. Reggie Watts, whom I got the privilege of meeting and DJing after in Austin, is cracking the whole Planet up on tour now. I love these acts (along with Lafa Taylor) for keeping it light while conveying a wonderfully thought-provoking message that this Planet must hear right now.

BL: DJ or Band you’d love to see perform on the playa but will probably never happen?

JOHNJOHN: I’ve always been dreaming about seeing Fat Freddy’s Drop from New Zealand on Playa, sunset or sunrise. Their brassey, dub-reggae (not dubstep, don’t twist it), big-band, word class sound is some of my original Playa music thanks to DJ Good from CO. I saw their first US performance in SF a couple years ago where they got into this wonderful deep house groove late-night and I closed my eyes and could see it all playing out in grand desert fashion. Hook it up, big sound camps who want credentials!

BL: What are the ingredients that make a camp a great place to live for a week or two at Burning Man?

JOHNJOHN: ABOVE ALL – Folks who know what to expect from themselves in extreme, uncomfortable, cracked out, and completely abnormal conditions! I don’t care if they’re jaded old Burnier than Thou types, Playa Princesses, or complete Noobies, HANDLE YOUR SHIT, HONEY!

Last year at the Rocktard Poop Smear Magical Wizard Camp, for instance, we had every type of PoopStar imaginable, some REAL gems of Your Playa Experience Past & Present, but

I gotta hand it to Our Requisite Noobie, Marky Ray, for taking to the Playa like a seasoned vet and THRIVING in a Survivalist Desert Non-Stop Party Campout.

Ya gotta have a mix of Folks’ levels of excitement and enthusiasm to be living in the most badass City on the Planet for a week or a month.

There is nothing worse than a bunch of jaded, age-old Burners sitting around a nitrous tank all week talking shit about how it all used to be so much more “REAL, MAN…” Meanwhile the one new person at camp’s experience is smothered by a Tecate soaked blanket. Go camping somewhere else!

A technique I’ve used with great success has been to shove those ear plugs in and sleep from 10pm- 2am or so. It’s nice and cool, you’re exhausted from dancing at Distrikt all day, you’ve had some food, now clean yourself up, get dressed for the night even, and SLEEP for a bit. Set an alarm and get out there for the pre-sunrise experience when the yahoos are passing out. Stay up through the day. The morning is the BEST time to find your kinda dance floor. You DO NOT want to try to sleep during the heat of the day!

The morning is the BEST time to find your kinda dance floor. You DO NOT want to try to sleep during the heat of the day!

Also, go ahead and set up your own sound system and a sanctuary for Your People if you can. DON’T PLAY DARK MUSIC IN CAMP.

  • Camp morale relies on daily check-ins and ritual dining experiences/ extracurricular experiences.
  • Rotate ice run responsibilities, having people get like 15 bags, playing the ice fairy in everyone’s coolers in camp.
  • Put weird art up in camp!
  • Contingents from different cities: The most gratitude I feel when leaving the Playa is for new Family.
  • GROUP DRESS-UP NIGHTS! SHARE COSTUMES AND THEMES! DRESSING ROOM IF POSSIBLE!
  • Notice when someone is withdrawing and do something spontaneous to make them happy.
  • Allow yourself to have at least one controlled emotional breakdown per week on Playa. Create space for others to do the same.
  • At least 10 types of whiskey.
  • Bike Decoration Day!
  • Also- Unlimited neon zip ties, duct tape, Vanilla Ensure, and unscented natural aloe baby wipes.
  • Let’s be honest, at least one RV.

HUMOR & LIGHTNESS! BM’s too short for your bad time/trip to infect and haunt all of camp like an awkward demon that nobody has the balls to exorcise.

Watch out for each other and use your intuition to guide you on Playa and your camp will be EVERYTHING.

May the Cosmic Giggle be with you this year at THE BIG BM!

Posted in 2012, Burning Man, Interview a Burner | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Consumption Archive: Obama to Sell Burning Man Tickets to Ease Federal Debt

From the archives of Consumptionblog 2011:

Washington, DC (CN) – As part of intense, last minute negotiations with Republicans on raising the national debt ceiling President Obama has offered to sell his and Michelle’s Burning Man tickets.

The President said all profit from the sale of the two tickets will be applied to lowering the federal debt.

It was announced last weekend that BurningMan had sold out for the first time since tickets were introduced at the Burn of 80 AD when it was first held at the Roman Colosseum.  Prices for Burning Man tickets rose on global commodity markets when trading opened Monday.  The value of a single ounce of Burning Man ticket has now risen faster, higher, and stronger than gold.

“The Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner has advised me that under the current economic climate we should be able to haul in about $20,000 a ticket,” said President Obama in a statement in the White House Rose Garden.  He was later seen weeping with Michelle as he repacked a dusty set of fire poi and a pink fuzzy full length jacket.

The offer to sell the ticket was accepted by the Republicans and Democrats in a rarely seen moment of honest bi-partisanship.

“As much as I’d love to see Obama in the great state of Nevada wearing a pink tutu spinning poi, sometimes the welfare of the country comes first”, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).  “But just barely.”

“I’m not sure what Burning Man is,” said a confused GOP House Speaker John Boehner.  “But I guess it’s better the QE3.”

Obama had been to Burning Man twice before being elected Commander in Chief.  He also sold his 2009 tickets, but only for a measly $300 on Craigslist.

Posted in 2012, Burning Man, Consumption Blog | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Following Burning Man on the Twitter

Following Burning Man on the Twitter is like biking in the deep playa at night and finding a small art installation.  You take a break, drink some water and say 140 characters worth of words about the art:

“Wow, that’s kinda cool. Amazing what you can do with an old Walkmen, airplane glue, a couple LEDs and a mannequin.”

After about 5 minutes you bike off to find the guy who serves sorbet and scrambled eggs every 3am somewhere near the trash fence.

Worth the effort with the occasional gem, but lets not get too excited.

BurnerLove has compiled the Top Sixteen Burning Man related Twitter accounts for your pre-Sorbet convenience:

  • @consumptionblog – The 24 hour news source for all things Burner
  • @BurnerMap – Helping you find for friends on the playa for almost one year.
  • @BurningMan – The 3rd most important Burning Man related twitter feed.
  • @willchase – Burning Man’s official propagandist and cool dude
  • @bmanproject – Official Twitter of the BurningMan 501©3 non-profit
  • @burncast – Burning Man News, Entertainment and Awesomeness.
  • @burnersdotme – Opinionated, compulsive reading for BurningMan news junkies
  • @katparry – Awesome Burner photography and stuff
  • @maryannehobbs – How else will you know what dubstep to enjoy?
  • @Aggerscricket – Aggers! Cricket, the official sport of Burning Man
  • @DaysToTheBurn – What it says on the tin.
  • @Halcyon and @HugNation – We love you!
  • @BAR_Mag –  A great new inspired Burning Man magazine
  • @JustinJones – Traveller, writer, and Burner
  • @ablaze – Burning Man blog writer
  • @M4RQ – Awesome DJ from Decadent Oasis
    ‎‏

There are a plethora of great twitter accounts that cover aspects of Burning Man.  If we missed you, well…kisses…Post your account in the comments.

 

Posted in 2012, Burning Man | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

From the warm and cuddlies over at The Shroom – The Burner Zodiac:

 

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Interview a Burner – Kat

Every week BurnerLove interviews one awesome Burner – this week it’s Kat!

Kat!

Playa Name: Kat (I don’t really have a playa name. I figure it’s Kat who does the planning to get to Burning Man, Kat who earns the money, and it should be Kat who gets to have an amazing time on the playa. Also, I totally love Kat.)
Burns: 7
Camp/Village Name: Pancake Playhouse
Past Burner Projects/Events: I’ve got nothing but Pancakes in my heart

BurnerLove (BL): Pancake Playhouse serves pancakes and plays softrock. Sounds pretty simple, but I bet its not. What are the biggest challenges to keeping the Bisquick and Neil Diamond flowing every year at the Burn?

Kat: Simple and not simple – that’s exactly right. Sometimes, it seems so overwhelming – and other times, what we do seems incredibly easy compared to other camps that, say, put on all night dance parties.

Funding is always an issue. Our annual budget isn’t much – about $4,000 if we don’t make any major camp improvements. And working in the non-profit world, $4,000 for a budget is small change. But actually getting all 4,000 of those dollars can be incredibly challenging. Asking our campers to contribute cash (in addition to their blood, sweat, tears, and syrup) is difficult. Asking other Burners is even harder.

Another challenge is that we are a small camp.

I think we have about 40 core members that come and go, with probably about 25 of those members on the playa every year. That keeps us tight – we love each other an incredible amount

– but it means that everything that needs to get done around the camp, from dish-washing to de-mooping, has to be divided among a small labor pool. It can be exhausting.

One thing we’ve gotten really good at is running a tight ship in the kitchen. We let it rip, we have a good time, we dance – but everyone is wearing a head-covering, everyone has followed the proper hand-washing procedure, and everything is up to code. That used to be a challenge, but now we regularly get 100% on our health inspections.

Sometimes, the biggest challenge is just being there for our customers. If we’ve been out partying the night before, we may not be the bright, cheerful faces you’d expect when you’re the morning’s first customer – or if, God forbid, you’re early. We don’t start the soft rock until we’re ready to serve, and sometimes I wish that wasn’t the case. Because as soon as John Denver starts to sing, we’re all in a good mood again.

BL: What keeps you coming back to the Burn every year and more specifically to be a ‘Pancaker’ rather than some other awesome camp?

Kat: Oh, you’ve hit a nerve there. I agonize every year over how much I love Pancake Playhouse. Sometimes, I wonder what it would be like to camp somewhere else – somewhere that isn’t as much work, or is at least a different type of work. I want to experience Burning Man differently. But I can’t tear myself away. I feel like a girl who marries her high school sweetheart. What I’ve got with Pancake Playhouse is so incredibly special – but since I’ve never known another lover, I’ll always have a nagging wonder in the back of my mind.

What makes it awesome to camp with Pancake Playhouse is first and foremost my friends. We are a tight-knit group and I love these people, both individually and collectively. The next best thing is the recognition I get from strangers. When you say you camp with Pancake Playhouse, nine times out of ten you get a huge hug, a warm smile and an “I love you guys.” And that makes me feel like a million dollars.

And the feeling I get when I walk through camp in the morning, past a bunch of happy customers singing along to George Michael – you can’t buy that.

As for the broader question of what keeps me going back to Burning Man – well, it’s Burning Man! When Burners complain about how it used to be better, about how it’s selling out, about how bla bla bla bla bla, I just think, “Okay, so what are you going to do during that last week of August that’s better?” Burning Man isn’t perfect, but I can’t think of anywhere else in the world I would rather be. Even if I could relive Burning Man 2002 or Burning Man 2004 – both great years for me – I’d rather have Burning Man THIS year, to see what it holds.

BL: Top Three Soft Rock Songs you just love to hear at Pancake Playhouse every year?

Kat: ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart‘ by Elton John and Kiki Dee
‘Sweet Caroline‘ by Neil Diamond
‘Hold on for One More Day‘ by Wilson Phillips

BL: What’s the key to a great pancake? Any technique specific to Burning Man or an extreme cooking environment like the playa?

Kat: We use Krusteaz batter, which requires only water. The secret is to add much, much more water than you would in the real world. They cook faster and taste better that way.

But we serve the best pancakes on Friday morning, when we have our annual White Trash Breakfast and put PBR in the batter.

BL: What should you never ever do to a pancake under any circumstance?

Kat: I don’t have an answer for you. Instead, can I tell you a story? Okay, good.

Last year, a hippie couple came to our camp Friday afternoon after we had shut down service for the day (and the week). I was there relaxing in our main service / living area, and told them I was sorry but we were done serving for the week.

They said “No, you don’t understand. We don’t think we’ve won Burning Man unless we watch something burn every night and eat a pancake every day.

We’ve eaten a pancake every day that you’ve been serving since 2005. But today, we fell asleep after we watched the sunrise. All we need is a pancake out of the trash, just so we can say we’ve won.”

I’ve never wanted to help people more. I would have cooked them up fresh cakes then and there, but because it was our last day of service, we didn’t have any batter left at all. So (after sounding the alarm so that all my campmates could meet these incredibly devoted fans), we fished up the best looking failcake from the trash, covered it with syrup, and they each took a bite. It really wasn’t as gross as it sounds, and it absolutely warmed my heart.

BL: Advice for Virgin Burners? How about veteran Burners – how do you keep it fresh? Or what excites you about this year’s Burn?

Kat: For virgin Burners, I always say: Get as prepared as you can. Bring the stuff you need to be self-sufficient. And when you fail in being self-sufficient (and you will fail), your whole community will be there to support you.

For veterans, I say: Lighten up! Burning Man is amazing, and you know that, which is why you go. Let it in! Be open to the possibility!

I know we all love sit and whine about the newbies and the frat guys and the bmorg, but really – it’s Burning Man! Love it for what it is.

BL: I know you are an Opera ‘Affectionado’, any great Opera moments on the playa? What Opera would you like to see performed at The Burn?

Kat: I love it when I have Burning Man experiences I can tell my Mom about. I had one in 2010. I’ve always wanted to go to the Early Riser’s Classical Music Cafe for coffee and classical music (two of my favorite things), but it’s always across the city and right in the middle of pancakes. Pancakes are my raison d’etre at Burning Man. But in 2010, knowing it was important to me, my campmates forced me to take a morning off to go hear classical music.

On Wednesday morning, I rode my bike to the other side of the city and arrived at a small and silent cafe. “Am I too late or too early or too weird for classical music?” I asked the guys who appeared to be in charge. “We have plenty of coffee,” they said, “but our violinist never showed up.” “Well, I have my MP3 player in my pack and it has tons of classical music on it, if you can hook me up to your sound system.” “Sounds like you’re our guest DJ. Someone get Ryan.” The sound guy hooked me up to their system and I dj’ed at Burning Man – on the Esplanade, no less! I played Vivaldi and Beethoven and slipped in some of opera’s greatest hits – The Flower Duet from Lakme and Au Fond du Temple Saint from the Pearl Fishers. Sadly I didn’t leave myself any time for some Saint-Saens I wanted to play. But regretting some of the set is, I think, part of being a DJ.

I told my Mom and she was incredibly proud and incredibly jealous.

Posted in 2012, Burning Man, Interview a Burner | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Consumption Blog: The Story So Far

Every Wednesday BurnerLove will publish a news story from Investigative Journalism blog and BurnerLove comrade Consumptionblog.com.

The story so far…

With The Burn literally days away many of you are only now starting to bring Burning Man into your thoughts.  Since the end of last years Burn many exciting developments have happened.  Don’t worry dear Burners, Consumptionblog has been on top of it.  Here is a quick executive summary to get you up to speed with all things Burning Man just in time for Burning Man 2012:  ‘Wild West’

Lets begin at the beginning shall we?

  • For the first time in modern Burning Man history Hippies overtook Ravers as the dominate cultural force on the playa.

“You can’t Rave to Beats Antique”

ATTN Virgin Burners to Rule #3 of the new ticket lottery rules:
3. The #1 Burner Draft Picks of each Burning Man Corp. Director will be awarded the right of ”’primae noctis” with any virgin Burners they choose during the event.

  • It’s official, Sex and Community are now official threats to Burning Man’s continued existence.

    The Burn is Fucked!

  • Worried about the Zombie Apocalypse ruining your Burn?  Don’t.

Please stay tuned – Consumptionblog is currently working on several stories we believe will shake the Burning Man community to it’s CORE Project.

Posted in 2012, BurnerMap, Burning Man, Consumption Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Burning Man: In 2 Sentences or Less

People are always asking me what Burning Man is. Over the years I’ve played around with various responses to this perennial unanswerable question.

It’s such an ineffable experience.  I run into similar challenges when describing the psychedelic experience.  Have you ever tried to explain to someone what an orgasm is like if they’ve never had one?  It’s difficult.

Mitch Parent and Amanda Grace eat toy history.  Photo by Mischa Steiner

The sum of Burning Man is so much larger than the parts so describing the elements is simply insufficient.  I’ve found that to describe it adequately, it’s necessary to move into the realm of metaphor.   Here are a few of my favorites:

  • 49,999 people come to the desert with the goal of joyfully helping you have the most mind blowing time of your life. And they don’t even need to ask the same in return because chances are their overflowing generosity is likely to spontaneously inspire you to offer your gifts to others.

Written at the temple. Photo by Mischa Steiner

  • A place where the most radically self expressed of every subculture you’ve ever imagined and ones you could never imagine come to let loose and find people who resonate with that form of expression. It’s a place where you can go “identity shopping” with no shame and even change identities by the day…or moment.
  • It’s the biggest rave, circus, sex party, installation art exhibit, spiritual oasis, self-help seminar in the world!
  • It’s an open source archaic revival for the Internet generation. It’s the cultural icon of a new age.
  • It’s Mecca for the magnificently misfitted.
  • A global gathering for the worst marching band in the world; everyone marching around to a different beat.

What’s your favorite elevator pitch for Burning Man? Leave it in the comments field and we’ll highlight some of the more awesome ones over the next week.

 

T. Dazzl

Burn So Happy

Every Tuesday, get your weekly dose of transformational nectar to prepare your wings to hum with freedom at the burn and beyond. “Burn So Happy” is brought to you by Troy Dayton a.k.a “T. Dazzl” who is longtime burner, BurnerMap co-founder, and life counselor.

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Posted in 2012, Burn So Happy, BurnerMap, Burning Man | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments