Humility isn’t a principle, but it’s still a virtue.
The session on “outreach to subcultures” at the Global Leadership Conference was winding down when the Kid-Who-Cares-More-Than-You in the front row raised his hand to ask the panelists a question.
It went something like this (I’m paraphrasing from memory):
“We’re hearing about all these really successful regional groups that are doing amazing community work, but I’m worried because I know that they’re also being approached to partner by corporate groups and religious groups that don’t live by our values, who are way off politically, and I’m wondering what we do to protect ourselves – to create a firewall that makes it clear that we’re not open to these partnerships. What do we do?”
I generally don’t get angry in discussions about Burning Man, even if we’re arguing. The worst that usually happens is I’ll mutter “fucking burners” under my breath, or tell one of my friends at Media Mecca how I hate us all because … well, I mean, look at us. Bunch of freaks. But that’s it. Otherwise not worth getting mad over. Not when there’s a friendly bunch of freaks to play with.
But that? What the kid-who-cares-more-than-you asked? I spent the next 10 minutes trying to find a dueling pistol. Because that? That thing he said? THAT pisses me off something fierce.
I didn’t get to do anything about it. I wasn’t wearing my rapier that day and the session ended two minutes later, before I got a chance to respond. But as the crowd was filing out of the room the lovely regional leader sitting next to me, who just happened to be a clinical psychologist, told me “Go ahead and say it. Whatever it is, you really need to get it out.”
She’s right. I do. Because while ranting may be the lowest form of radical self-expression, sometimes you just gotta slum.
So let me ask His Dreadlocked Majesty, King of White Activists: where exactly do burners get off looking down our pierced noses at people who want to help? What exactly makes us so much better than people who take a shower before they gift? Read more »