Joy (cithra) wrote,
Joy
cithra

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a screed, formerly eaten

I'd written a semi-rant in response to seeing holyoutlaw and yourspleen's comments about Burning Man, which I discovered later was promptly eaten by the server wonkiness. I've reconstructed some/most of it below, but in the interim I've started to wonder: just why do I feel so defensive about this topic, anyway? Who's to say I'm even the 'target market' for BM, so to speak? and why does not going (or even not wanting to go, really) make me feel left out? It's as though I'm stamping my foot and saying "Wah! I'm one of the cool kids, too! even if I don't go play in the stinking desert[1]!" Yes, I do indeed have abandonment and inclusiveness issues. At least my emotional baggage comes in a matching set - this year's model seems to have a tasteful paisly design...

([1]/ob firesign theatre)



the warm sense of confusion, that space-cadet glow

why I don't do the Burning Man thing (more or less):

Unsurprisingly, it's complicated. You can choose one or more of the following reasons, if you like...

    I:
  • am stubbornly invested in being a cranky contrarian non-joiner kill-joy

  • am a bioclimatic child of the Pacific-Northwest; a week in the desert would dry out the delicate batrachian webbing between my fingers and toes to an uncomfortable degree

  • suspect my allergies to dust would turn the experience into a mucous-ridden sneeze-fest, unpleasant for all and sundry

  • find portapotties anathema

  • don't bond easily or well with strangers

  • am unbelievably herb-cranky

  • really loathe the tacit assumption of some of the local folk that you can't possibly have any artistic 'street cred' if you haven't done a stint on the playa

  • dislike crowds. [crowd >= 30 or so]

  • am really prone to sunburn, heat illnesses, etc.

  • have other/prior commitments for that time of year


I suppose it really does boil down to the people, since I don't actually dislike the desert, it simply seems to dislike me. The set of "Burners" I know at all well is comprised of (with some overlap between categories) about 20% really cool, creative semi-pro arts people, 20% technology-obsessed paranoid megalomaniacs, 10% hardcore pothead flakes I'm always surprised make it home alive, 10% people who actually seem to have their "woo-woo shit" together, 10% people who make a living as artists, and 30% self-aggrandizing hangers-on who go because it's what all the cool kids do. Guess which 20% is mostly not attending this year? That'd be category #1. Ever since the media found it, blah blah Wired article, good old days, I'm sure you know the spiel... she says, laughing at herself.

When I originally heard about it, I thought it sounded cool but decided not to go because of health issues. Now it's just gotten way too big, both in terms of population and in terms of cultural freight. There are parts of it that still sound cool, and certainly the part of me that always sits just outside the ring of firelight and longs to be part of the tribe would love to be part of something like what it seems to have the potential to be. I have doubts about my temperamental suitability for any sort of long term group membership, actually. That's probably a screed for another day, though.
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  • 12 comments

  • blowing off dust

    More than once I have bought a "lifetime" membership in something, only to find the term weaseled into that-was-then-this-is-now. So this is a test…

  • the old dog learns a new trick

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