Posts for category Preparation


April 4th, 2012  |  Filed under Playa Tips, Preparation

Advice for Virgins (Halcyon’s Tips #11)

First time heading Home? Here are some unofficial, non-sanctioned tips for Playa Virgins:
1) How to Look like Burner, 2) Being Sexy, 3) Regionals, 4) Volunteer, 5) Carry A Cup, 6) Hands-Free, 7) “Party Favors” Safety, 8) Don’t be a Darkwad, 9) MOOP & 10) a Gifting primer.

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and principles of Burning Man. Half-baked ideas & views expressed aren’t necessarily those of the Burning Man organization.” **

March 18th, 2012  |  Filed under Preparation

Hi, n00bs!

Hey, don’t flinch. It’s a term of endearment. We’re hot, dusty and prickly out here. A little ribbing helps keep the spirits up, that’s all. It’s all love.

So hi, n00bs.

It’s ridiculous how recently I was you.

Anyway, welcome to Burning Man, huh? Interesting times. Bet you weren’t expecting such radical inclusion. Don’t worry. It’s not always like this. Just recently.

So, you saw the Dr. Seuss video, I assume. Pretty cool, right? Yeah, it really is like that. Here’s the thing, though. Those awesome people in the video are you!

You see? One does not simply watch Burning Man. One burns. Like a burnerly Burner, bro. You know?

No. I’m saying you are going to have a camera in your face out there. Every Burner’s face is like a camera lens focused on the most cinematic scene she’s ever seen. And you are the star of the show.

Do you know your lines? No? Good. If you come prepared with lines, you’re gonna screw them up. Someone’s going to zoom in on you and ask, “Have you seen the liger?” And he’ll have this dead-serious look on his face like, “Dude, seriously, there is an 800-pound liger loose out here somewhere and I LOST HIM.”

What are you gonna tell that guy?

He’s scared. Are you? What are you scared of? Ligers? Or not knowing what to say?

You have to improvise at Burning Man. Contingencies come up. Your tent blew onto the roof of the neighbors’ RV. You forgot clean underwear. Somebody lost his liger.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t practice. Oh no. It takes years to get ready for Burning Man. My first burn was in 2008. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. It’s a good thing I fell in with a rock solid camp of desperadoes who were nice enough to adopt me and my East Coast friends. It took us a few years, and some of us had to move Out West, but I’d say we’re part of the family now.

By the way, where are you camping?

Not sure yet? That’s okay. It’s hard to say this year, anyway. The whole city will be different. The ticket troubles this year affected lots of the big camps that are the landmarks out there. Burning Man going viral means there are a lot more n00bs than usual. That will change the tone.

So we’re going to need your help, n00bs. We need you to make this a great year. But that’s nothing new. Burning Man is made of your participation. We need you, not the other way around. We want you to wow us. Bring your bad selves to the playa and make Burning Man completely different.

Guides thrive out there, not tourists. Burners have a tendency to play tricks on tourists. We’ll give you crazy-ass directions that don’t take you anywhere near where you’re going. We’ll pretend we’re meditating and then leap up and scream bloody murder when you walk by. We’ll moon in your photographs and spike your oatmeal with absinthe.

And that might be the highlight of your week. That’s what we want. Roll with it. Be prepared to be surprised. Be open to it. You’re wonderful.

Your iPad will get playafied. Please don’t bring that!

And I’m assuming that you know about MOOP.

I’m just trying to help. I wouldn’t want you to be unprepared or have a bad time. Burning Man is the best thing I do. I want you to experience that. I just want to make sure you do. It’s not a YouTube video. Those Huffington Post people probably don’t even go.

Photos by the divinely inspired Scott London.

February 9th, 2012  |  Filed under Preparation

Ticket Thoughts (Part 3)

There is still much to be figured out. And much to be learned.
Tons has been written about in comments and blogs. In addition to the official statement, Maid Marian spoke with NPR on Feb 9.

For the record, my intention is not to offer solutions to the situation – only to help see positive aspects of any situation – just like the Playa taught me. If my optimism has upset you, my apologies.

Here is yet another installment of my thoughts on the 2012 Ticket Situation – including the story – & lessons – of “The Fall of Xara” at Burning Man 2000.

And an extra video with a message for Burning Man Virgins:

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and Principles of Burning Man. **

NOTE:
Feb 22 – Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens
March 28th – Open Sale (10,000 additional tickets)

February 6th, 2012  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Preparation, The Ten Principles

2012 Ticket Trials 2.0

Whoa. Yep, it seems worse than expected.
“Radical Inclusion” + Awesome Experience + [Supply < Demand] = The reality of our current situation.
And ya know what? This may not be a bad thing.

**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and Principles of Burning Man. **

NOTE:
Feb 22 – Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens
March 28th – Open Sale (10,000 additional tickets)

February 1st, 2012  |  Filed under Preparation

Happy Ticket Day!

Did you not get tickets? End up with more than you need?
Here are some rose-tinted thoughts on the 2012 situation:

NOTE:
Feb 22 – Secure Ticket Exchange Program (STEP) opens
March 28th – Open Sale (10,000 additional tickets)


**NOTE: I AM NOT AN OFFICIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF BURNING MAN. I am merely a Participant with a passion for the event, people, and Principles of Burning Man. **

September 29th, 2011  |  Filed under Playa Tips, Preparation

There’s a reason so many Burning Man friendships don’t work out anywhere else

Hit me up on Facebook. I'll send you a cat video.

Yep – it’s that time again.  Dammit.

I hate that time.

You’ve shaken the dust off, caught up on sleep, detoxed your system, dragged your ass to work, put the pieces of your life back together, and found a place to store the giant copper monkey head you swore you’d take good care of because it meant so much to that one guy who … as of the Core Burn … was your best friend in the whole world.

Now it’s time to admit it:   that that guy’s never going to actually come visit you.  And, worse, you’re probably never going to email him.

In fact, virtually every goddamn one of the people who you magically fell in love with at Burning Man and swore undying devotion to after you realized they were the missing piece of your soul probably can’t actually be bothered to keep in touch outside of Facebook.

And neither can you.

Because … you’d like to, but … you’re busy.  It’s your mom’s birthday.  Or something.

I’d been through summer camp syndrome before, but I wasn’t prepared for the first time I made soul mates at Burning Man who disappeared in the default world.   I mean, they were my new family!  This was where I belonged!   If what we’d been through together wasn’t friendship and love, what possibly could be?  What kind of person doesn’t follow-up after something like that?

The one-two punch of this existential crisis was the realization that I wasn’t trying very hard either.

I hated them;  I hated myself.  Then I got over it, and had lunch.

The unpalatable truth is that very few of the people I’ve met at Burning Man are actually a part of my life the other 51 weeks a year.  I’ve been profoundly intimate with them, but outside of the desert I can’t expect them to show up at my birthday party, let alone bail me out of jail.

The experiences of trust and love and comradeship we have in the desert don’t seem to translate well into the rest of our lives.

Read more »

August 16th, 2011  |  Filed under Preparation

Law Enforcement at Burning Man

You Wish These Were the Handcuffs They Use

While Burning Man is certainly a remote and freewheeling place, it’s also a functioning metropolis. And just like any other city, numerous law enforcement agencies patrol Black Rock City day and night.

Yes, not to toss cold water on anyone’s excitement, but this topic is important: all Federal, State and Local laws still exist at Burning Man, and any illegal action witnessed by law enforcement can lead to a citation or your arrest. Law enforcement officers have a difficult yet important job, both on and off the playa. Please respect the valuable work that they do. It is the duty of all law enforcement personnel to enforce the law, and they are there to help protect our citizenry.

In order to give you the best understanding of how law enforcement works at Burning Man, how to interact with a law enforcement officer, and how to protect your Constituional rights, professionals in the extended Burning Man community have generously provided the following information. Read more »

August 10th, 2011  |  Filed under Preparation, The Ten Principles

A Wyrd Year

Photo: Chance

I think we can all sense it. It’s going to be a weird year.

 

Remember the day tickets went on sale? That was crazy. Servers went down in flames, people got bumped out of line, chaos ensued. That was in January. It’s August now. You know what else happens in August?

Yeah.

Tickets sold out for the first time. That’s wild. The streets of Black Rock City go all the way out to freaking L. They added :15 streets and :45 streets. We’re gonna need another airport, y’all.

Who got all these tickets, and who didn’t? Is it going to be more new folks? Mostly veterans? Or just the usual mix? We don’t really know how it’ll break down, but it sure is tempting to wonder. A weird year. Lots of uncertainty.

I’m not saying it doesn’t feel this way every year. Burning Man is always weird. But we don’t always use the proper reverence when we use the word “weird.” It has been diluted over time, and that’s a shame, because it’s a word Burners really need.

Wyrd used to be heavier, more profound. It used to be the exclusive purview of witches and warlocks; good folk were supposed to avoid it.

I’m not even doing it justice. Think about time way back before the universe was created. “Tohu va’vohu,” the Bible calls it: formless and void. That’s wyrd.

It’s going to be a wyrd year.

Tohu va’vohu. Formless and void. Like a prehistoric, dried-up lakebed, the flattest place in the world.

Photo: Chance

And, for good measure, it’s the middle of the night. Just the barest sliver of moon is cradled in the craggy mountains. Stars all over the place. Dead silence. Dust, rocks, nothing else.

Wyrd, man.

Now, start adding people one car at a time. Cars and people, some tents, some rickety lean-tos, stacking up like crooked little teeth, like defective Legos. Getting bigger now, getting closer together. More fires, more lanterns, more LEDs.

Photo: mkgraph

Now start hearing. Start at the lowest, thumping frequencies, lower than your heartbeat. Feel it in your feet. Feel it in your gut. Add in the mid-range now, some melody, some harmony, and now start turning up the gain.

We’re here. Welcome home.

Photo: ADLERPRODUCTIONS.COM

The playa is just a wyrd place. Anything that happens there feels more weighty and portentous, even if it would feel mundane in the default world. Think about trudging to the port-a-potties in the morning, the kinds of macabre, burlesque, perverted little scenes you pass right by in the light of a new day like it’s just your neighbor mowing the lawn. Or sitting in traffic on Exodus day, crawling along that Mosaic commute and thinking about the godforsaken mountains of laundry you have to do.

Burning Man is our annual encounter with the Very Most Weird. Even not getting to go at all is profound.

Photo: mkgraph

This year will be very weird, indeed, in the sense of “weird” that means “novel, peculiar, unprecedented.” The very theme commands it: We’re undergoing a transformation. Division, exclusion, scarcity, these are new and un-Burner-like words, and we have been using them weightily for the first time to describe our culture.

It’s been said on these very pages that Burner culture might need to be dispersed across the land to accommodate this new reality. That would be weird. But it would be really wyrd to think about thousands of Burners across thousands of miles sending up hundreds of remote burns into the same sky on the same night. Good? Bad? Something to think about.

We’ve also seen more sinister reactions to this weird year. People selling tickets at offensive prices, people incensed that celebrity DJs weren’t getting special treatment in the ticket shortage, people believing obviously satirical blog posts and freaking out…

Weird.

But we have our principles. We have to be self-reliant in our response to these wyrd circumstances. We’ve managed our weirdness for 25 years. We can do it again.

See you in a couple weeks, I hope.

And after that, we can start thinking about an even wyrder year:

2012.