Flutterby™! : Burning Man and cops

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

Burning Man and cops

2000-09-22 23:14:14+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Via Wisdom, a Wired article on the police presence at Burning Man. One of the big issues of this year's Burning Man was the increased police intervention. Drug arrests, health department interference, etc. One cop mentioned "enforcing community standards", I don't know what community this asshole was referring to, but it wasn't the one I was in.

[ related topics: Burning Man Web development ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:17+00 by: ziffle

Each year I read your story of the latest Burning Man and regret that I did not attend, and also wonder whether it would have been too irrelevent to keep me interested, but at the same time thinking it would be fun to experience; having experienced similar times at certain clothingless resorts in the past I think it must be a blast. If all that does not seem contradictory then how do I deal with what appears to be a gradual tightening of the freedom of the event, from the high co$t to the 'on site police' to the list of 'not alloweds' (fires, rockets, food give aways, cameras, public sex, peeing on the ground...) and I wonder if it has not become simply a shell of its former self, i.e. a Naked Police State. Maybe next year they should have the 'Burning Government' instead. Ziffle

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:17+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm sure it's only a shell of its former self, however it's also a way to watch how a utopia becomes the culture we live in, and a place to experiment with ways to keep freedoms. I'd love to see fireworks used responsibly, but this year we had some moron two camps over firing bottle rockets with a trajectory that put them inside our secondary dome (they didn't go in the primary dome because that was sealed), and I picked an amazing number of shells and other fireworks residue off the playa. I don't know what the solution is, but if I can find one before others crack down harder then they won't. That's a part of the experiment. Yes, Burning Man sucks, as all large gatherings of people suck. But it sucks less than most.

#Comment made: 2003-02-06 05:27:46+00 by: Joseph [edit history]

One thing that I've found remarkable is that as hard as it is to explain Burning Man to those who've never been there, it's very easy to explain where the experience goes sour, at least in my experience. I've met some unpleasantly odd people in the Burning Man forums online, to put it gently


(start of page at http://web.newsguy.com/commonsense/burning-jung.html )

and certainly had a rough time of it in 2001


but when I've met burners offline, in a non-commercial setting, where BMORG has not been at all involved, almost 100 percent of my experiences have been positive ones. I think the secret of having a positive Burning Man experience is to let Black Rock be Black Rock, and that means embracing it the way it was conceived : as a place where people went to escape the smothering effects of both corporate and governmental authority, and just be their strange selves.

Of course, having written with confidence, I can now count on life proving me wrong. :) I'm sorry to hear about somebody's run in with the idiot with the bottle rockets. But as for losing freedoms like being able to pee on the ground, is that really such a bad thing ? Myself, I'd just as soon not step in a playa mud puddle of somebody else's pee while wandering in the dark, and is it really such a loss to have to hold it until one reaches a port-a-potty ?

#Comment made: 2003-02-07 13:44:51+00 by: ghasty [edit history]

...and now the "I believe the folks in charge of syndication schedules for The Simpson's are reading flutterby" conspiracy...

The other night's episode, Lisa the Tree Hugger:

Jesse: They can't cut down that sequoia if one of us is living in it.  Any
       [many members clamor for the position]
       Whoa, hold on!  Once you're up there, you can't come down.  Not for a
       Phish concert, not even for Burning Man.
       [the members retract their volunteers]