What makes a Burner?

What makes a Burner?

photo by Oliver Fluck

The BMOrg mused on this a month ago, asking “Who the hell are Burners?” Perhaps they don’t think we really exist – are we just mirages in the desert, put there for their amusement and profits?

At Burners.Me, we believe a Burner is anyone who appreciates art, music, and beauty, and sometimes feels the need to “Burn” their conventional self for a while and reinvent themselves in an environment where they can be themselves in all their freaky awesomeness. Fire is a metaphor for the “Burn”, but really “To Burn” means “to let go”. Burners can use meditation, drugs, dancing, and other techniques to achieve a state of uninhibited self-expression.

Burners are free spirited and self-reliant, but help each other, rejoice in each other, inspire each other, and celebrate together.

This can happen in the Black Rock Desert, or it can happen at one of many other parties around the world where the community comes together.

This year’s ticket woes have made it clearer than ever, that the worldwide community of Burners is much bigger than Burning Man itself, with large festivals going on around the globe. The BMOrg’s capacity to serve the Burner community is limited, and they’re hoping for some of the Regional Burns to build in numbers and pick up the slack.

Here are some other comments on the topic from the Burner community:

Burner Joey Burton: “Being a Burner means you’re Positive and can do anything and always helpful even in the most trying times and not just at BurningMan ♥ “

Burner Blues Bob: “To me, being a Burner means positive and negative, matter and antimatter. We dish it out. We take it. We are a tough bunch not afraid to criticize or of criticism. We learn to adjust, tolerate, and accept. But we don’t have to agree. We are a real melting pot of opposing ideas, coming together and saying, “I think you’re an ass, but let’s go have a drink”. I don’t have to love you, but for one week I’ll come live with you.”

Burner Menkin: If BM is trying so hard to own the term ‘Burning Man’ perhaps it should be pointed out that it created a counter-culture society of ‘Burners’ who really shouldn’t be limited to only one location and time of year. After all, isn’t that counter culture exactly what BM stands for? Everywhere?

Burner Brody: “I’ve always seen Burning Man as 50,000 people who get together to entertain and delight each other. Who spend months leading up to the Burn consumed with creativity, all leading up to one week where they unleash that energy/creativity/delight upon the populace. It’s not top-down entertainment which perpetuates the entertainer/spectator Hollywood model of fame. It’s a completely democratic, distributed, self-perpetuating model of entertainment, a currency of ideas rather than stardom.”

Burner Peace sums it up nicely: “Believing Buring Man is defined by the 10 principles will only lead to disillusionment and bitterness. There were Burners before there were principles and the principles tried to create a Burner box, but that is antithetical to the spirit that created Burning Man. If I were going to write the principles they would be 1. Appriciate the amazing shit you see. 2. Do some amazing shit yourself. 3. Don’t be an asshole.”

Burner rob the accordionMan made this handy list; you’re a Burner if…

You watch those car commericals that show cars racing across the dessert so you can look at the playa and dream. 

You start planning for Burning Man the day you leave Burning Man 

You buy a ticket the day they go on sale. 

You wear something that you got at Burning Man 

You think about Burning Man everytime someone says either Fire or Dust 

You look on the web for photos taken at Burning Man hoping you’ll see a picture of yourself 

You see something weird and wonderful and you think… that would be great at Burning Man 

You see blinking lights during Christmas and think Burning Man 

You drive people crazy with your Burning Man stories 

You bring back home some playa dust in a film canister… as if you didn’t have enough of it already. 

You know what being “one with the dust” is all about. 

You’re reading this. 

You spend time making a list like this 

Of course, the occasional commenter is not a fan.

Limar: “It implies that there may exist some means of self-selection of burners from non-burners. Most people don’t like burners. so i’d say a burner is anyone who is oblivious to how much they suck, and those who want to be like them. and then everyone else in the world.”

Burner SpaceKitten doesn’t hold back: “Being a Burner is a lifestyle. And the meaning of that lifestyle changes and evolves along with the event itself. To define what a Burner is today is to define the current lifestyle as it now exists…Currently, the Burning Man lifestyle is a slap in the face to every other human being on earth – a wasteful and prideful corporate resort that tyrannizes the culture it has plagiarized.”

Russell: “to me, “being a burner” is pretty damn lame. how’s about we work on being decent people….?”

We’ll let Burner Fred have the last word: “being a necrophiliac means never having to say you’re sorry”!

3 comments on “What makes a Burner?

  1. Pingback: Stuffing the Turnkey | Burners.Me Burning Man commentary blog

  2. Pingback: Atlas Shrugged, Meet Lord of the Flies – Part III, Underground Economy of Art | Burners.Me Burning Man commentary blog

  3. Pingback: “Not just a party in the desert”: Burning Man makes its case on Capitol Hill | Burners.Me Burning Man commentary blog

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