You're preaching to the converted (or perverted) here. Sure, we all agree that Burning Man has grown beyond it's original intent and is now little more than a money-making hipster summer camp. Its oligarchy and bureaucracy not only have no clue that they've morphed into a Frankenstein monster of commercialism and social control masquerading as 'community', but they cannot even fathom how their wonderful little project is suffering. Too many BM groupies have treated the event with some kind of "Emperor's Clothes", mystique, bathing in the glory of their experience yet being totally unable to see any of the bad that the event is generating each year, and definitely NOT letting anybody know that their life-changing experience was less than perfect. So, people keep telling the BM heads-of-state how great they are, without really communicating their displeasure in order to make it a better event. You know, constructive criticism and stuff.
As a result, Harvey, Marian & Co. think that they ARE the creative force behind the event, and that gives them carte blanche to run it their way. As evidenced in
Dr.Cliff's missives, their swollen heads and holier-than-fuckin-thou attitides preclude ANY communication that may be deemed at all critical.
And what do we do? Shirk our work and write pissy letters on company time to each other about the event to vent our frustration. In reality, we should send each and every complaint right to the top, to Marian, just as Cliffie did.
Victor has a stunning letter that details how BM screwed up and dicked Art Car folks around, and is one that deserves to be seen by Marian. With enough letters she may fianlly start to see the light through the playa dust and start to make a few personnell changes and policy modifications. Personally, I think Burning Man is not only dead, but this last year graphically illustrated his continuing decomposition into the abyss of popularization and all the evil that entails.
The very gripes you kids are tossing around are the reasons why BIGRIG didn't attend this year, after some five years of loyal attendance and participation.
We DID air our gripes directly to the Burning Man hierarchy, in the form of the scathing parody newsletter 'Bigrig's Burning Man'. I actually saw Harvey tense up his face when he was reading my passage about the decline and fall of BM back in 1997. Our 1998 newsletter was even more harsh, and we were told by Marian herself not to do another parody/criticism for 1999. What the fuck, can she really censor BIGRIG? But by 1999, we didn't really even care anymore to bitch about it again.
So what's my point? Burning Man IS dead, but most people just don't notice yet. However, don't let his death go without a fight. Tell EVERYONE about how the BM cadre sucked the life out of the Man and out of those participants who were treated like dirt. How they treated Art Cars like street hobos with stolen shopping carts. How they let in too damned many people and couldn't clean it up. Leave no trace my ass. How they don't really care about the desert environment, but are too concerned about keeping their party-pad and are fighting both the BLM and conservation groups. How their rules are both stifling and hypocritical to their idea of 'community'. And on and on and on. Next year we'll all skip the freakin' event and go have fun on our own elsewhere in this great country of ours. Really, there are other places to camp, drink, shoot, lounge, and commit chicanery and monkeyshines together.
Now get back to work! I've got to finish my pork bun, Pepsi, and listen to surf music.
Note: This is a guest rant from none other than BigRig's Brody Culpepper.