Happy Holidays and Happy Burning

Dear Burners. Thank you for reading this blog. I started it in February last year, in the midst of BMOrg’s ticket lottery scandal. It seemed like the Burner community wasn’t being fed the truth, and so we wrote about that. And time proved us to be right – to the displeasure of some at BMOrg.

When I go to Burning Man, I stay in an RV. It’s a cheap one I bought off eBay, because the Playa is hard on equipment. I’ve been to Burning Man in larger RVs. I’ve stayed in camps with meal plans, I’ve paid people with tickets and accommodation to drive me in and out of Burning Man. Usually, I’ve driven myself, but let me put it this way: I don’t stay in a tent.

I realized that some of the opinions I was expressing here, were maybe not reflective of the whole Burning Man community. So what – it’s my blog, I have First Amendment rights like Burning Man keeps suing for…I should be allowed to express my opinion. But as this blog became more popular, I started to wonder if I was unduly influencing the crowd with my own personal, biased, opinions – that were not reflective of the majority.

cartoon-santa-hatSo I invited another writer to come and contribute to this blog – Whatsblem The Pro. He had a large community discussing Burning Man on the Internet, an event (like Black Rock City, LLC’s hostile takeover of the Cacophony society-spawned event) that is shrouded in the fog of war and mists of history. To me, he was someone who comes from the other end of the spectrum of Burners: he is not flying family members to the Burn in private planes, he is not spending thousands to support different art cars, he is slogging away unpaid to make Burning Man art installations that we all get to share in.

Maybe I did the wrong thing. Maybe I invited the wrong author. If there are other voices in the Burning Man community who want to be heard, please speak up – there’s no time like the present! I hope everyone can understand that I invited another voice in, to present another perspective, NOT because I agree with that perspective.

I feel that it has been interesting and useful, over the last year or so, to have a couple of different voices and viewpoints about Burner culture, and the question of if BMOrg (or it’s new, still undefined, successor) is the best steward of our culture going forward… for centuries. Maybe I’m wrong, I know we’ve created some controversial opinions here. Despite what some think, we don’t exist just to bash BMOrg at every turn. We bash them when they fuck up – don’t blame the messenger!

I would like to thank Whatsblem for everything that he has brought to this blog. But, the time has come to clear confusion, and CLEARLY part ways. Burners.Me is now large enough in audience, that people are starting to get quite concerned about things that are written here. Recently, as editor I have had to step in and tone a few things down – just for the sake of reasonable civil discourse. Life is too short, and this is a frikking hobby to me. I want the opinions expressed on my blog, to be opinions I agree with, or even if I disagree, whoever is stating their viewpoint has to provide at least some evidence to back their accusations up.

toucan raver

Image: SeaStar

Lately I have sensed some confusion about “who is behind Burners.Me”. Even Whatsblem has been telling me, “everyone thinks I run this blog”. He is in Reno, and I can’t speak to what people in Reno think and say. Let me clear this up: it’s me, BurnersXXX, aka Zos. You can email me at zos@zos.org . I started this blog and I have NOTHING to do with Burning Man. We are NOT pretending to be part of Burning Man in any way, I have strived to make this clear from the start. I am sharing my opinions, you don’t have to agree, you can come and share your own, please do!

animals-piranha-fish-goldfish-fish_food-shooting_yourself_in_the_foot-mmon339lIf you wonder why I am not “less” anonymous, it is purely due to my real world life. Those within the bubble of Burning Man see it as unequivocally amazing. Those in the real world, the non-Burners, will understand that for many “Burning Man” is a curse word, not a blessing. “Burning Man”‘s culture has become totally commodified under BMOrg’s stewardship, and it’s a global brand name…and yet, despite their unprecedented (for a rave) media blitz, the rest of the world has NO CLUE about the 10 Principles, and thinks ONLY “drug/sex/orgy” about this party “Festival of Freedom”. Any Burner has had to deal with expressing this disconnect between Defaultia and Our Home.

Thank you all for staying with me this far. I hope I can continue to provide you some entertainment and information in the future: if you keep reading, I promise you the tone will be different. I know there are many readers here who are with Whatsblems “Steal This Movie” view of the world, over my “let rich people come and bring people who get paid to be part of their crew” view. Am I wrong, and others right? No, obviously…why the fuck would I bother to write this, other than I believe in what I am saying?

Since the beginning of my writings here, I have tried to present a balanced perspective, despite what the naysayers have to (nay)say, backed up with facts and links and references. I might not be neutral, but I’m no spammer or slanderer. It’s a shame I even have to state that, but BMOrg pretends to be a lot of things they’re not, and they employ gang-stalking tactics like “shunning” and info-wars tactics like “trolls and shills” to enforce their role in our lives. In the end, this is a dictatorship run in secrecy, with lies under their belt. Burners under The Man have less rights than US Citizens under the Constitution.

stock-vector-burning-headless-halloween-man-cartoon-90347905I encourage everyone else in the Burner community who have opinions and insider knowledge to come and share with us. We welcome it, just as we welcome Whatsblem the Pro to continue participating in this discussion with his perspective too. In particular I would like to thank Pico, A Balanced Perspective, Nomad, Bob from BMIR, Matt (or was it Mark) with the inside rave story, and everyone else who has taken the time to give us detailed comments that added to our collective conversation. I started this blog to express my opinions, but my own opinions have definitely changed over time, based on some of the well-made arguments I’ve read here.

What will my blog Burners.Me look like in the future? Who knows, I may never post again! If I do, it will be less of the snark you may have seen in the past, and more about the positive thinking and ideas for the future. I don’t believe 100% in science, since there are more than a few things that science can’t explain or prove…and I don’t believe that Burning Man is scientific. Disprove me if you can! I do believe 100% in magic, it has always worked for me, even when science has let me down. I believe that Burning Man is magic.

I’m going home to renew my US visa. Hopefully you guys will let me back in! Wish me luck please, fellow Burners. If not, I’ll still be writing this blog. More than 25% of Burners are not from the US, this is a global phenomenon now. This post is literally my last act in the United States, possibly forever.

Burn on Burners, happy holidays, happy Hannukah, merry Christmas, happy new year! See you on the flip side.

11 comments on “Happy Holidays and Happy Burning

  1. Pingback: Burn the Endangered Species! | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  2. Thanks for the info, I’ll be honest, I thought it was Whatisblem’s blog too, or had become his/hers. A few months ago this blog went from a cool source of info on Burning Man to mostly a BM/ORG Bashing blog, I had no idea why, or what was going on behind the scenes until you posted this entry, thanks for clearning things up. I’m hoping it goes back to being a great source of information and ideas like it was last spring and summer. Keep up the good work! I know running blogs can be a bitch sometime.

  3. Thanks for doing the blog. Best luck on the visa. C’mon back!

    Reporting, and alternative opinions, are needed on the Org and their decisions. It’s a thankless task, thanks for doing it for a duce of years. And, thanks for the many happy posts on Burner culture, Burner events, and incredible Burners.

    A forum is needed to discuss the huge changes the Org has recently made and is continuing to make. The 6 LLC members are being minted by apparently paying themselves $30 million to $40 million (details annexed on ‘Gift Me Your Project’), while thousands of volunteers and others throw this insane party for near zilch. The Org, for yet another annum, is probably going to ticket about 30,000 Newbies who aren’t helping throw the party, instead of working to get tickets to cool longtime Burners. The rules book, or Survival Guide as it is coined, is now an overwhelming 20 pages, also changing the event to a conformist spectator vibe. They just put their for-profit LLC under the non-profit, while still keeping their for-profit LLC, their control, and their huge income streams, with no details on when this rubbish ends. I hope some scribe picks up on reporting these issues.

    Happy holidays, wherever you may spend them.

    • Cheers ABP. My holidays are a cross between the Hobbit and a Baz Luhrman flick. Without the horses.
      I have no problem with Burning Man making money. They deserve It! I have a problem with BMOrg insisting that this has nothing to do with money, and the reason that other members of the community can’t make money (only them) is about “principles” . The principle at work here is capitalism, let’s call a spade a spade

  4. Well crap… Change, the only thing you can count on. I liked WTBpro’s stuff… didn’t always agree but found it stimulating most of the time. BM is Magic… and The BORG yep… the vail is getting thin for us jaded veterans. Its good to stir the pot a bit just to see what happens. I like RVs and rich people do bring the budget the complaining hippies in tents that love using your private portopotties because they are closer don’t. Lets see what else you’ve got. Bring it. You better post or we will find you.

  5. While not agreeing with all of your opinions(they are after all, yours)i’ve welcomed this look into our community and shared many posts. Keep up the work, keep shining the light. Good luck coming back.

    This, my 14th year at Black Rock, may be it for awhile, just can’t take much more, but i’ll never say never!

  6. Wow… I heard about this on my way home from work tonight and I was surprised. I talked to Whatsblem about “balance” and posted an article on my blog about the issue (www.queerburners.com). I have to admit, I do feel a lot of your same frustrations from BMorg but I also see the positive side of their actions when I can find them as well. Hm… bummer about all that. I look forward to suture postings and maybe I can help contribute as well sometimes. 🙂 Scott aka Toaster

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