Oh god. Where to start. Let’s start on a positive note shall we?
I had a fucking awesome week up till burn night. I have a few stand-out musical highlights from this year that totally made everything worth it. Three people get the record for “making Rosie dance her face off for their entire set even though she was fucking exhausted.” That goes to Drew Drop at the Wednesday White Party, Bassmechanic’s Friday night set at Apex, and Opiuo’s burn night set at Nexus. Thank you guys so so so much. I can’t remember the last time I had such an awesome time dancing, would have to be over 4 years ago.
My other highlights include:
1. My friends. I fucking love you guys. You are a hell of a group of hard-working motherfuckers with (for the most part) zero attitude other than “can do.” The only reason I stuck with it was because of how hard you guys worked. And you with the giant projects. I was so. happy. when shit finally came together. I fucking love you guys.
2. Shirtcock social poster (Nexus? Was this you? If so, you are awesome)
3. Dub Gypsy Kitchen – it was such a treat having good meals cooked for me
4. Camping with a bunch of classy ladies. No drama. No cattiness. All sass.
5. Meeting DJ Dan and talking about our mutual love of Derrick Carter
6. Temple + Burn – as usual I was a blubbering mess.
7. Figuring out wtf Immediacy is. Or at least I remember figuring it out. Now what was it again?
8. Trying to be everyone’s playa fairy godmother. I love giving shit to people. Love it. It’s so fucking awesome having more than you need so you can give it away
9. Kimba’s award ribbons. I got a 1st place for “Best Rebar Hammering” and a participation ribbon for “Wild Goose Chase.” Best Alarm Clock Award goes to Syd. 1st place in the category of Cuddling is confidential
10. Totally just realized I shared my dinner with Deekline.
11. Kiwi Tails make excellent moop brooms in a pinch.
12. Post office guys are freaking hilarious. Totally working their next time.
13. Dulce making out on stage on burn night
14. Cos dancing during Brian Peek’s set
15. Joel, my bike fairy
16. Getting to see my old friend Jasmine, who made the trip all the way from Montreal
As for lessons, I have just one.
1. Don’t have anything to do with the financial sponsors of the Ocean camps. I got off easy compared to others, thankfully, but by Burn night I was totally crushed because of their flagrant disrespect for my friends, our hard work, common courtesy, consent, personal boundaries, Burning Man, the playa, and actively flaunting their disobedience of every single one of the ten principles. I really really don’t want to go over the details it was so disgusting and rampant. I was very optimistic about my playa-related work this year. I thought it was a good way to help people experience Burning Man and to share that experience with their friends. But these people were not their to gift the experience to their friends. They were there to show off how much money they have and how “cool” they are to their friends and not in ANY way to share a wonderful experience with people they care about. I can’t think of anything less Burning Man than the attitude “I can treat people and art projects like shit because I have a ton of money.”
Dealing with people who so completely trash something so important to you was really, really hard. But it wasn’t just at our camps. It was everywhere. Everytime I mooped NO ONE stopped to help. NO ONE. I think it was particularly bad at the sound camps (where i tend to spend most of my time). The lack of civic responsibility was appalling. The organizers of sound camps just can’t clean up after everybody’s messes (lord knows we try every year). We absolutely need to do a better job of educating attendees at our sound camps and make sure they know that they NEED to clean up after themselves if they want us to come back. This also goes for any organized camp. Everyone needs to learn how to moop and everyone has to fucking do it. If the camps don’t teach the noobs the ropes, how are they ever going to learn? We have about 30,000 noobs or relative noobs (at least since I started in 2008) and we need to teach them how it’s done. Myself included. I suggest we institute a mandatory quiz on the Survival Guide at the Gate. If you don’t pass (ie. haven’t read the Survival Guide), you don’t get in.
Here’s a few more guidelines I think should be used for anyone wanting “the Burning Man Experience”:
If you haven’t mooped for at least 8 hours straight in 110F heat, you haven’t been to Burning Man.
If haven’t help set up and tear down a camp, you haven’t been to Burning Man.
If you haven’t participated in an art project (this includes sound, performance, and installations), you haven’t been to Burning Man.
If you haven’t volunteered for a municipal organization (Post Office, DPW, Gate, etc) you haven’t been to Burning Man.
If you haven’t had to make dinner out of the 3 things left in your cooler on Sunday, you haven’t been to Burning Man.
Goals for next year (if I go)
1. Make a giant blinking sign for my bike that says “WHY ARE YOU NOT FUCKING MOOPING?????”
2. Volunteer for the Post Office.
3. Help my friends out more
4. I definitely need more music.