'BurningMan is Dead' faq page

Please peruse this page before writing to dr. cliff with your input. You may find a satisfying answer right here, and save both of us some time.

Q: What the fuck is your problem?
A: My 'problem' is that I'm a thoughtful, well-spoken person who doesn't mind voicing my opinion. The ability to handle diverse opinions, is what separates the adults from the children in our world, the talkers from the learners. If you find something here that offends you, spend a little time examining your reaction before sending me a slew of insults. When you better understand WHY you're offended, we can have a better dialog. Possibly, the phrases that most trouble you, are most relevant to you.
Q: You're a bitter old turd, who can't do anything but complain. You have no sense of humor and you're a fascist who summarily decries things you don't understand. You need to get a life and stop dwelling on this.
A: Look at the rest of my website before you embarrass yourself by emailing me this kind of commentary. You'll find positive and negative commentary on a wide range of topics, as well as a lot of stuff that's just downright silly. Also worth mentioning is that you only see of me what I choose for you to see. As such, readers of my website (all or part) are summarily unqualified to offer insights into my personality. You may be confusing the author with the character. Dr. cliff is a character (to be sure!) of which I am the author.
Q: Why were you so insulting to Marian? You didn't really expect her to converse with you, did you?
A: Well, actually, I did. I pictured the organizers of such an event as folks with a sense of whimsy & humor, even in regards to themselves. Turns out they take themselves very very seriously, and demand the same from anyone who expects to get close to them. If I wanted to converse with someone on that biased level, I would've sent a postcard to the Pope. Marian's insulting, self-important, profane responses are very telling of the true nature of the BurningMan management: they have no capacity or interest in addressing criticism. They want you to love them or go away. So, I went away.
Q: Why are you so full of hate for BurningMan?
A: I'm not, not at all. I've been to Bman twice, and enjoyed participating both times. The first time was epiphanous. I love the same things most folks love about the event- the grandiose absurdity of it all, and the humbling beauty of the playa. BUT (you knew that was coming, right?), I'm disturbed by the inevitable growing pains this magnificent event is suffering. I think the growth issue could be handled differently, and I think there's a big gap between the 'management' and the 'labor', as it were, that the 'management' doesn't want to talk about. It's no accident that the previous sentence sounds like corporate-speak. Like it or not, BurningMan is a corporate, for-profit event. It's really no different than all the 'indie' record labels who are sponsored & subsidized by the likes of Warner Bros and Geffen. The individualistic cabal of coolness that Bman used to be, is now a party with 25,000 guests. What irks me, is that they market the 'old' BurningMan to the 'new' generation of attendees (spectators). It seems the management is cashing in on their hard-earned reputation for building an amazing event. That's okay, too- I just wish they would drop all the pretense.
Q: Why are you so rough on people? You might get a better response if you were more polite.
A: I'm not especially interested in a 'better response', I'm interested in speaking my mind. The childish tone of my writing on "BurningMan is dead" is deliberate and it's done to provoke a response. If I wrote in the ponderous, dry style of an intellectual debate, you would have left a long time ago. It's my version of the "Lowest Common Denominator" marketing that pervades the media. Bear in mind, though, that beneath the tongue-in-cheek writing style are some real issues.
Q: Why are you so pissed off about one little party? Marian even told you that someone else paid for it.
A: There are many issues involved in my distaste for BurningMan; the 'decompression party' was just the catalyst that prompted me to write to Marian. Her asinine responses were what prompted me to publish "BurningMan is dead". Radical self-expression, indeed. There are many other issues raised in various essays all over the site, which are not so easily addressed.
Q: If you don't like BurningMan, don't go.
A: For the record, I didn't go this year (2000). But that argument is so banal, it's akin to "If you don't like any of the candidates, don't vote" or "If you think cigarettes are dangerous, don't smoke". This primitive attitude ignores the importance of provocative, open dissent in a free-thinking world. Of course, if you don't perceive BMan as being a vehicle of freedom or creativity, this might be an appropriate tone for you to take. Zieg Heil!
Q: Why do you spend so much time tearing down BMan? Don't you have anything better to do with your life?
A: This is often the most comical type of email I receive. Typically, it comes from someone who derives a great deal of their own identity from a one-week event in the desert. They have spent countless hours planning a 3-day naked drum-circle marathon, or some such drivel, and have neglected basic financial obligations in order to get to the playa with a sufficient cache of drugs. They will spend the next several weeks prattling their playa achievements to anyone pretending to listen. Then they will return to their anonymous shit-job and start plotting next year's week of contrived hipness. It reminds me of the Dead Kennedys song "Halloween". Read the lyrics and see if you follow my thinking here.

I'm a pretty interesting, accomplished person all year round. I spend a teeny fraction of my energy griping about things that bother me, because I think it's important to do that instead of stapling rose-colored glasses to my face. These feeble attempts at raising my dander are utterly laughable, because they come from folks with "nothing better to do with their lives" than go to BMan so they have something to talk about the rest of the year. It's no less pathetic than D&D role-playing or comic-book collecting obsessions.
Okay, thanks for reading all that. If you still have something to ask/tell/say to me, I'm all ears. Head to the contact page.

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