Look, I’m not a lawyer. But neither are most of the people posting legal arguments regarding a new commercial featuring Burning Man’s name and art in it. Burning Man has already posted about it, but I have some pretty strong feelings about the commercial, why it matters, and why I’m as excited as I’ve ever been about Black Rock City.

Another Successful Sharp Jump!

People say, “jump the shark” like it is a bad thing.
Sure, it signified a time in the story arch of Happy Days when things flew off the rails. But it paved the way for Mork, for God’s sake!
And we are talking about FONZIE jumping over a shark. Is there anything more awesome (and Burning Man) than that!?

Hell yes, Burning Man “Jumped The Shark” this year. Just like it does every year.

In this 3 minute video I explain what Pink Heart does on Playa and how it is just one tiny way that we all have live-changing Shark Jump experiences of our own.
(Warning: If you get triggered by tears, I get misty a minute in.)

Watch the full episode talking about how glorious the dust storms were, more about Pink Heart’s gifts, the surreal presence of Halcyon on Playa, and more.
Or listen on iTunes.

Song, “The 10 Principles Of Burning Man” – Graham Bolger Mix (with audio samples of me).

Corporate Courting

The line in the sand has been getting more and more blurry over the years.

While there is no commerce on Playa, obviously we need to buy goods and services for our trips. As a community, we are still working out how corporations can work with Burners in a healthy way.

For example, many rental companies have had an “illicit affair” model in place where lying was a part of the process. “Don’t come back with hickies, lipstick on your collar, or dust in the engine…and whatever you do, don’t tell us you are taking it to Burning Man!”

But check out U-Haul’s olive branch offering to Burners renting trucks: A video showing how to cover logos (and honor the Decommodification Principle) without damaging the truck. Plus they share a list of clean up tips and local resources.

U Haul would have scored 100% except for the cutesy use of “Barter Supplies” as a header at the bottom instead of just “Supplies.” (Gifting is NOT Barter.)

Now, if this video is a part of a marketing push, I may change my tune. But for now I’m giving big dusty props to U-Haul for addressing the reality of the situation without pandering or exploiting the community.

NOTE: I am a 17 year Burner with a passion for the event, the principles and our community. Like the vast majority of writers in this space, I am not a representative of the BMORG. This is not an endorsement of U-Haul by myself and especially not by Burning Man. It is simply an (interesting to me) data point in the ever-evolving integration between the default world and Burning Man.

Tips & Tricks #18 “Being Shy at Burning Man”

This is a video reply to an email question I was sent:

“I’m heading home for my third burn this year and I am wondering what advice you’d give me… I don’t know if shy is the right word but it’s the word I’m going to use. I’m shy. And one of the ways this affects me in BRC is that I don’t feel like walking into camps. Even camps I know are there for everyone, I just feel like I’m an outsider, or like I don’t belong or am intruding on everyone’s happy time together. So let’s say I came by Pink Heart and saw you and wanted to come over and say hi. I’d feel like I would be interrupting whatever conversation you were having or I’d stand there awkwardly not wanting to bother you but wanting to say hi and I just don’t know how to not feel like I’m bothering people or like I’m a random stranger and not one of them. Or even just going in to the camp and… just hanging out or flopping on a couch or whatnot. It all feels so… I’m not sure. Like I shouldn’t because I’m not part of something/the camp/the friendships.

The gist of my response:


Message To Participants

The days are getting warmer, tickets are showing up in the mail and the trolls are spreading mistruths online.  Yes, it is that time of year again:Pre-Burn Season!

This is also the time of year that first timers start to ask for advice from their veteran Burner friends.  I first send them to the fantastic survival guide, then to my tips & tricks videos (starting with the ones for Virgins).  Then I pat their head, tell them it is all going to be okay, and share some version of the message below.  In addition to bringing the right gear, it is important to bring the right attitude.

*This video was requested from participants of this year’s Midburn. It is worded in a way that applies to people heading to any event where Radical Self Expression and Gifting is embraced.

**If, after watching, you don’t feel drawn to attend this year, please sell your ticket back through official channels. There are many eager and well deserving people waiting for your ticket in the STEP program.

Halcyon’s Tips & Tricks # 16 “Rangers!”

Episode 16 is less of a “trick” and more of a clarification and definition. “Who are the Rangers and how do I relate to them?” More importantly, “Do I have to act sober around them?!”