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Burning Man Participation

Burning Man 2019 art theme Metamorphoses this year opens up the gates to the event on August 25. A lot of people want to be there and tickets are hard to come by. In the latest The Jackrabbit Speaks, the newsletter sent out by Burning Man there is a very spot on letter written by a lady named Marian. It talks about burning Man participation and what that really means.
You can read it here,
https://journal.burningman.org/2019/02/philosophical-center/tenprinciples/cultural-course-correcting/

I want to highlight a few excerpts,

“I am disappointed with the attitudes of the mutant vehicle and art car folks. Their gatekeepers are very discriminatory on who they let ride. I was actually told, ‘No, it’s too late for old people to be out, anyway,’ ‘you’re not pretty enough,’ and ‘we’re only picking up hot girls right now.’ I asked other camp members and heard similar stories. One gay couple said they had tried for 3 years to get on a vehicle and they were denied every time.” -Retired Artist, Male, 70 [1]
That just broke my heart. How did we get here? Who thinks saying this is okay on or off the playa? This isn’t Burning Man."

"Surely you’ve seen examples. Whether it’s commercial photo shoots, product placements, or Instagram posts thanking “friends” for a useful item, attendees including fashion models and social media “influencers” are wearing and tagging brands in their playa photos. This means they are using Black Rock City to increase their popularity; to appeal to customers and sell more “stuff.”

"One of the most distressing trends is the increase of participants (both new and experienced) who don’t seem invested in co-creating Black Rock City, and are attending as consumers. Mass consumption in our default world, ticket scarcity and some elaborate luxury camps have contributed to the rise of a playa “convenience culture.” In some cases, camps or companies are offering “all inclusive” pre-packaged Burning Man experiences, claiming they will preemptively meet all of their client’s needs. Burning Man is anything but convenient, and therein lies its transformative potential!"

"Black Rock City requires significant investments of time, energy, and resourcefulness. Part of what makes Burning Man unique and powerful is that everyone has to work hard to be there. Planning, securing a ticket, packing, building, organizing, contributing, and engaging are part of the journey everyone should experience. Though it manifests differently for each one of us, personal effort is integral to the social agreement we make with our fellow community members when we decide to participate in Burning Man."

Speaking for MYSELF, I have been to Burning Man six years in a row now and I am hoping to attend again this year if I am lucky to get a ticket. The first time I heard about Burning Man was when I was out camping somewhere in the middle of Nevada at some hot springs in 2003 or 2004. Some people me and my ex boyfriend met thought we would just love Burning Man and we did want to go but it took me all the way forward to 2013 to actually attend my first Burning Man. I was prepared to go in 2012 but did not get a ticket in time. You want to attend Burning Man? Make sure you understand how the whole ticket process works. There is way more demand than supply. The Playa could easily hold 100 000 people but for now the cap is at around 70 000 give or take a few thousand.
Is Burning Man inconvenient? Yes it can be, depending on your own personal level of comfort but it should be somewhat inconvenient and even then it is SO worth it. White out dust storm? Bring it on! It is FUN and an experience! Sore ass from biking all day? I love it, I get so much exercise at Burning Man. I have stayed at the Playa in a tent and an RV, I prefer being in an RV for the comfort BUT if my only option would be a tent in order to attend I would absolutely stay in a tent. It is more work but still kind of fun when the wind rips a hold of your tent and you lay inside bundled up in a sleeping bag just grateful to be RIGHT THERE.
The first two times at Burning Man I was just taking it all in, dancing and exploring, the third time I was showing a Burgin around, aka Burning Man virgin. I am one of the people taking pictures and a ton of pictures but I have been taking pictures of stuff for years. Of all kinds of things. I do not see the problem in wanting to take pictures at Burning Man, people want photos to look back at moments and remember stuff by. On the other hand I do not agree with the increasing number of people I see dressed up in the "right" (not really) Burning Man garb that spend hours picking out their outfits and doing their make up, only to go pose in front of the art pieces and then put it up on Instagram. You are lame OK. Those people would not stay in a tent, those people are too preoccupied with looking "perfect" when in fact they are posers. If you go to Burning Man mainly to take some photos of yourself for your Instagram then in my opinion you are not there for the right reasons. Besides your Instagram is lame. I can understand that those would be the people Burning Man wants to weed out. Because they do not contribute much. YES, I have pics of myself in front of art pieces at Burning Man but I also have pics of the art itself and everything else in between. I have also spent hours describing the event in written form.
Art cars.....I have been on ONE art car and that was last year and I think I lasted 30 minutes and then I got off and walked back to my camp. Art cars are not for me.
I would personally not stay in a turnkey camp and I think Burning Man needs to address that issue and also the airport at Burning Man. I think the airport and the luxury turnkey camps go hand in hand.
After being at the event a few times I felt like I needed to participate in more ways than just being there. So I started volunteering as a barista at Center Camp, not in hopes to get something out of it like tips (I donate the tips) or a free ticket but because I want to participate in Burning Man because Participation is one of the 10 Principles. As far as picking trash, I do that in regular life too, basically every day. If you know me you know that I do. Leaving No Trace is one of the 10 Principles as well.
I completely understand that if a person never been to Burning Man before then the first time will be about just being there and basically taking it all in. It might take a few times before you discover just how you can get more involved and some people volunteer right off the bat. I also know people that have been going for longer than I have who show up, set up camp and party all week long and then go back home again. That is their Burning Man experience. I want it to be more than that for me. Look, just because somebody went to Burning Man like 20 years ago or have attended the event ten times does not automatically mean that they are contributing to anything besides their presence. Some people go once and do more for Burning Man that one time than those that have been a lot.
To me Burning Man is ALWAYS present, I talk about Burning Man year round. I tell people how amazing it is....today I went to Stumptown Coffee downtown Portland and put out several Burning Man magazines to share with others.
Burning Man is amazing, even though the people that have been going for a long time (over a decade usually) see changes that they are not happy with. Even I can see things, people and behaviors after attending only six times that I don't think belong at Burning Man but I still have a wonderful time and I am definitely far from a perfect Black Rock Citizen. I think I have peed on the Playa maybe three or four times. When you are far out on the Playa and far from a bathroom (porta potty in this case) you just have to pee sometime. I don't feel too bad because I know that the rain will wash away my pee and it's not like I pee on the Playa every day I am there. Besides that I think I am a fairly good Black Rock Citizen but there is always room for growth and improvement. I will volunteer again of course and it would be really cool to get more involved with Burning Man in the future.




I, Robot

Well.....the art theme for Burning Man 2018 got released - I, Robot.
From the Burning Man Journal, "This year’s art theme will focus on the many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives; from the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us. Are we entering a Golden Age that frees us all from mindless labor? Everything, it seems, depends on HMI, the Human-Machine Interface. In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave?
This year we invite participants to use their native genius to create expressive robots of all kinds. We also welcome art that examines how it feels to live in a world that is filled with robots that watch us, track us, hack us, read our tweets and emails, listen to our phone calls, and sell this information to other robots. This is a science fiction theme."
I have a feeling next year will be very very interesting.....best theme of all the Burns I have attended so far perhaps?
Here is a pic of the robot Becoming Human by Center Camp in 2015.



Radical Ritual

Today I got emailed the latest "The Jackrabbit Speaks" which is a Burning Man newsletter. The theme for 2017 is decided and got revealed - Radical Ritual.
OF COURSE I am hoping to be there and take part of it but you never know! And today I got my Burning Man 2016 memorabilia done, better late than never, at least I got it done this year. My brother will be sent something similar. So the smaller bottle contains Playa dust, I have collected Playa dust every year I attended. And the larger bottle has the burnt sand with rocks Playa dust that I collected from the area the Man burnt at, with nails that held the Man together. Pretty cool I think!





Da Vinci's Workshop

Da Vinci's Workshop.......that is the art theme for Burning Man 2016! I'm already excited for next year! I can't wait! I am so ready for the heat, the cold, the dust, biking around, dancing and just being there enjoying everything that is Burning Man to the fullest - BRING IT ON!
If I'm not mistaken the first time Burning Man used an art theme was in 1996 and the theme that year was Inferno.
I have a ton of stuff to do today and up until Halloween. The blog might or might not be put on the back burner for a few days depending on how much time I have, I need to sleep and eat too. ;-)
Ohhhhh and I think I am going to start playing Backgammon at Sambalatte once in a while, I'm excited because I love Backgammon!
Here are three pics of me at Burning Man, 2013-2015.













Creepy

I picked up a hitchhiker the other night. Maybe not a big deal for some that do this on a regular but for me it is. Why? Because you are picking up a stranger that can turn violent and psycho in an instant, that's why. I was driving home from work and it was around 4 in the morning and it's cold at night here in Kenai now. My car was covered in frost when I started it I remember and the temperature hovered around 28 degrees. So I'm driving and I passed up a guy with his thumb out. I was not going to stop at first, the roads here are dark and at that early hour there is almost no traffic either. So you are basically on your own. But then something inside of me felt bad for him, it was cold and I did not want him to freeze.
Before analyzing it anymore, I put my foot on the brakes and stopped the car. I think I have picked up two other hitchhikers in my life, while being alone in the car and a few more when having another person with me. Anyhow, I gave him a ride to where he needed to go with no incidents. It felt good to help somebody in need but I feel like picking up hitchhikers, especially male hitchhikers when you are a girl alone is risky. That's a real fact and nothing made up. Too risky for me. I mean, if something happened to me my Mom would probably die from grief and then I have Chhaya to think about. I did offer a girl walking alone on that same stretch of road a ride a while back, it was after work too for me and it was raining but she declined. She probably was scared of me. LOL. Because you never know so I do not blame her a bit. Better safe than sorry.
I've been to Burning Man three times now and never had any creepy experiences with guys on the Playa until this last Burn. Sure, guys want to dance with me and stuff like that......and I usually turn them down because I don't want unwanted touching. My experiences with guys on the dance floor is that they will inch closer and closer until they basically have, or try to have their you know what against my body and no thanks on that. I call them dickthrusters.
If I like you.....I don't mind being close. But that does not happen often. Anyhow.....so it was the last night of the Burn and I was at Planet Earth dancing. A few guys asked if I wanted to dance but I politely declined. I mean, we can all dance TOGETHER as a group at Planet Earth, that's how I feel. When Planet Earth closed down I decided to swing by Center Camp real quick before heading for another place to dance. I sat down at Center Camp and got busy with looking through my camera when one of the guys that asked if I wanted to dance with him at Planet Earth comes up to me and asks me if I knew what time it was. I told him I did not know and then he asked me if I were the girl from Planet Earth and I was like......ummmmm, yesssssss. So then I got up to leave but I noticed him still hanging around in the background. I got on my bike and after about a minute biking felt weird, it turned out my rear tire was flat. Now I had to walk with my bike across the WHOLE Playa from Center Camp to White Ocean. It was really cold and dark, not many people were out at all since it was like 5 am Monday morning and basically Burning Man was mostly over. So this guy followed me across the whole Playa but at a distance, I knew it was him because he wore a distinctive looking hat. So in my mind I am thinking......what should I say if he approaches me......what if he tries to touch me or do anything bad? Why is he following me? All these thoughts raced through my head, it took at least 20 minutes, if not longer, to walk that distance and he just kept following me. That is creepy! To clarify here, I have no problem talking to guys. I don't mind human interaction but when a stranger deliberately trails behind me in the dark and I am all alone.....yes, that made me feel weird. So I got to White Ocean and it was done, no more (ugh) but close by I heard some good beats and headed over there, sure enough the guy tagged along. I parked my bike and three people on a couch asked me if I wanted some Tequila and an olive. I sat down, had an olive and I started to tell them about the creepy guy. So the girl I talked to, her name was Amber by the way......asked me to describe him and right then he walked past us and just staaaaaaared. She (Amber) and I stared back at him and he ended up leaving. I sat and talked with these nice people for a while and then I got up and danced.
Did not see the guy again. I can't help but wonder if he was the one that arranged the flat tire. My tire was fine from Planet Earth to Center Camp, he followed me to Center Camp, most likely saw where I parked my bike.....oh and that small black thing (valve cap?) that is on the tire was gone too and I knew it was there the day before because I checked. I don't know.....that was just weird.
My Playa bike.



So while talking about this subject, getting weird vibes from guys and such, I want to mention the BLISS project. This year the third and last art project in this installation was featured at Burning Man. A statue of a woman standing called R-Evolution. The BLISS project is to raise awareness to the feminine and to respect women, to end violence against women, objectification etc. The person behind this (Marco Cochrane, yes a man) found out that his best friend when he was a child (a girl) had been raped. She was only nine. This horrible event stayed with him.
I love the meaning of the BLISS project. I did not get to see the first statue in 2012,
Bliss Dance but I saw Truth Is Beauty and this year's R-Evolution and they were both AMAZING. The meaning behind the BLISS project is something that I care a lot about. Women's rights to exist without having to fear for safety. Women's right's all over the world in general. No matter what we wear and where we are.
Me a couple of years ago on the Playa with Truth Is Beauty behind me.




Reunited

Well, I'm back in Kenai now. Reunited with Chhaya, my laptop and my bed. I drove to Vegas from Burning Man, it took about nine hours back to Vegas and flew out of there at 11 am today. Let me tell you, as soon as I got off the plane in Anchorage I felt this heavy feeling of sadness and anxiety come over me and my heart actually ached. It is not easy to separate from Burning Man, at least not for me. Maybe I'm crazy, I don't know. I won't be going to sleep and waking up to beats and bass somewhere close by in the background. I feel SOOOOOO SAD! Maybe I will cry a bit more again. Just like the previous times, Burning Man withdrawal is difficult for me.
My baby spent time in the kennel and although she gets great care there I always feel so bad leaving her there. But she seems happy.



Next Burning Man is just around the corner! Kind of......



I'm Here

The reason there haven't been any blog entries for a while it's because I'm here......I'm at Burning Man! :-D
This is a time prepared entry, I am writing this while still in Kenai (while sipping on a latte of course......) I'm leaving for Vegas later this evening and then driving up to somewhere outside of Gerlach, NV tomorrow night.



This is my third year in a row attending Burning Man. And if course I will tell you and show you everything when I'm back to normal life.
And for you that have never heard of Burning Man (some people haven't, I encounter them all the time) and for the people that don't understand what it is.....it's an amazing adventure, difficult to describe in words. You have to experience Burning Man to get an understanding BUT I can tell you this much......I am super excited and very grateful that I am going again and it's going to be AMAZING! ❤
Right now.....I'm somewhere on the Playa feeling ALIVE!


Lot On My Plate

I've had a stressful week. I have a lot on my plate right now. GAAAAAAH!!!!! Chhaya went to the vet as you know, she is on antibiotics and I'm doting on her and making sure she is OK.
I have an extremely annoying and crazy person in my life that I have been dealing with for years now but I think our "relationship" might be coming to an end soon. Thank goodness! Right now she is creating problems and being her psycho self and annoying and no, it's not some insane lesbian you might think I'm involved with, it's not THAT kind of relationship......
I also had a bunch of stuff lying around at home that I have slowly been digging into, paperwork and such. I like my stuff organized, put away and my house clean. That's how I am. I don't like messy. Then all the drama with the Wild Alaskan boat in Kodiak that's been happening. I still haven't said much about it here, besides when I was there I put up pics and stuff. Well, things have taken a rather interesting turn since I got back from that adventure but like I said I haven't said much......yet.
Tomorrow I am going to Kaladi. Then I have to send out some stuff, write a letter and hopefully get a break from the crazy person I've been dealing with. I am actually looking forward to working tomorrow night so I can have other things on my mind. Sometimes working is like a break from reality, when my reality is too much.
Having said all that, I got back from a long walk with Chhaya not too long ago. It's almost 11 pm here and dark, no more going jogging around midnight unless I run with a headlamp. Chhaya is good, I woke up with her laying back to back with me, very close. That made me happy. She is a snuggly cuddler. I am going to be up for a few more hours, I am a night owl.
I get creative and want to do things at night.
I do have something AMAZING to look forward to this month......BURNING MAN! I looked through my pics from last year and wow.....no words can describe it, really. I will be talking to God again, telling God how thankful I am to be able to have this experience again........and just enjoy every minute on that playa to the fullest. Plus I am going to DANCE! OMG......DANCE,
I so miss dancing to good music!!!!!





Thoughts

Some late nights thoughts on a late and dark nights.......thoughts about life. This journey of being here, being alive. I read a magazine the other day (Shambala Sun) and came across
The Five Remembrances.

I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.

I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.

I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.

All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.

My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
My actions are the ground upon which I stand.

That has been on my mind. I don't want any of that! I don't want to get separated from people and Chhaya by death. I don't want to get old, sick and die. I don't want to! WHY???
This is why I think life is suffering. But it's also happiness and wonderful.
I have so much that I am grateful for. Every day. Since 2013 is coming to an end I want to express my gratitude to KISA, my friend in Germany. He has helped me with the blog, there is much more to it than just writing a daily entry and uploading a few pics.....I found out.
He does not ask for anything in return, he spends something very valuable on ME, a person that he has never met, he is spending his TIME and effort and time we can never get back.
I know the value of doing for others without getting anything in return at best and in other cases (from personal experience) getting negativity in return. Therefore I am grateful for KISA. THANK YOU!!!



I am also so grateful that I got to experience Burning Man this year. That I decided to go basically by myself. I had the time of my life. Here is a video that I got in my inbox yesterday, it's a short Burning Man documentary.

WE ARE ONLY HUMAN x BURNING MAN 2013 from Aaron Freeder on Vimeo.




Nobel Prize

What an honor it must be to be awarded a Nobel Prize......just imagine! This year one of the people receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry is a man that together with his wife designed a sculpture for this years Burning Man, called UNITY. His name is Michael Levitt and her name is Rina. I love this! So many people think that only good for nothing freaks and druggies gather at Burning Man for a week of basically bullshit mumbo jumbo. Just a great example of a preconceived opinion many have. Burning Man is actually full of brilliant creative freaks. Besides since when is being a "freak" something bad? So next time you start to smirk condescendingly when you hear something about Burning Man, get off that high horse of yours. Where is YOUR Noble Prize, huh? Yeah, I didn't think so. I myself would love to one day get two prizes, one for Peace and that one I would have to travel to Oslo to get. Hey, if Obama somehow got a Peace prize, so can I OK? And then one in Literature....of course! And that prize I would travel to Stockholm to receive, in case you don't know.....I grew up there. I might write some amazing stuff one day and blow the whole world away. Very few people have been awarded two Nobel Prizes but Marie Skłodowska-Curie (nee Maria) received two, in Physics and Chemistry. And Marie Skłodowska-Curie was born in Poland, just like me. She was a remarkable woman! Really.