The people next to you have an RV. Does that make it OK to steal their shit?
Obviously not, unless you’re an asshole. Which David Kiss clearly is. Not only to commit the acts he describes below, but then to go on to pen an article about it. And not only to write the article, but to post it all over Facebook.
Since when did the Tin Principles give Burners an excuse to ignore the basic moral conduct of goodness towards your fellow Burners?
written by David Kiss:
It’s been difficult to ignore the articles and discussions regarding the “plug and play” or “turnkey” billionaire camps in the weeks leading up to Burning Man this year. It was especially difficult to ignore them for me, as I’d camped at around 8:20 and L, right down the street from them.
As the week wore on and I got comfortable in my neighborhood, I couldn’t help but notice the billionaire camps, not just because of their million-dollar RVs and rows of tractor trailers parked so closely together, in a clear message for outsiders to stay out, but also because of the vibe I got as I rode down K street. It had a very different vibe than the rest of Black Rock City. There was no friendly interaction on the street. There was none of that community feeling.
There were plenty of impressive and elaborate “front yards” and art installations just beckoning to the curious burner to check out, yet all were empty. I didn’t feel welcome. I kinda got the feeling that these were just there to look good, for lip service, maybe even as a subtle competition amongst these wealthy elite, come to the desert to get their taste of Burning Man.
My own opinion on these camps is this: if you can afford to hire coordinators, “sherpas”, and chefs, rent movie trailer portapotties, live in a million-dollar RV, etc., then do it, by all means! If you’re giving someone a job, enabling them to pay their rent and feed their families, that’s amazing. If I were a billionaire, I’d probably do the same.
But be involved in the community. Don’t just write a check supporting an art project. Get your hands dirty. Engage. Get off your Segway and ride a bike, struggle in the soft playa sand, walk into other camps, and talk to people. Certainly don’t build a camp that is meant to keep people out.
One morning, after a particularly insane night of dancing and exploring, I wearily rode my bike down L street towards my camp with my friend. And then I noticed it. A sign that said “Service Entrance”, decorated in a burner-y motif. Service Entrance? Are they for real? I suddenly felt like I was backstage at a “real” music festival.
In a sudden fit of anger, I decided to steal the sign. Fuck it, I thought, if these guys are gonna have a fucking service entrance, they should expect their sign to be vandalized.
I yanked it off the trailer it was loosely attached to, and strode off, dragging it behind me like some sort of cross.
I got a few feet down the block before I heard someone yelling. Huffing towards me was a fat, rich-looking guy who was clearly not used to being defied. Spittle flying, he yelled at me that he was going to get me arrested, and that I’d better put that sign back immediately.
Now, I have a real problem with authority, so I laughed in his face and said, “Really?! You really can’t understand why someone might want to take this sign?! What do YOU care anyway!” He continued to yell, and talk to me as if he was king and I his servant.
At this point I changed my tone and tactic, and attempted to have a normal conversation with him. Here was my chance to engage with someone so different than me, and perhaps we’d both get something good out of this encounter. Maybe I could get him to see the ridiculousness of this, maybe he could get me to understand something here. Boy was I wrong. Dude proceeds to grab my bike, and proclaim that I could keep the sign and he’d keep the bike. This actually seemed like a good deal to me, and I laughed at the absurdity of the situation as we both started walking off.
At this point we’re interrupted by a young burner-looking dude wearing a radio. He manages to get rich guy to walk away, and then explains that this sign is here for safety reasons, and asks me politely to leave the sign. I do that, grab my bike and we walk away.
I couldn’t believe that these people couldn’t see the humor in what had happened, couldn’t understand that if you’re going to build a camp with a fucking service entrance at Burning Man, someone might be tempted to steal your precious sign which kinda symbolizes everything that is wrong with what you’re doing. So I walked back and grabbed the sign again. I was intent on taking that sign, putting it in my camp front yard, and burning it at some point.
I get about a block away, when a white pickup truck tears up, and the young burner-looking guy gets out, followed by a mean-looking security-type dude with a murderous glint in his eye. I look at both of them and can actually visualize my face getting clocked by this dude as he drags me through the dust.
“Do you understand why I’m taking this sign? Don’t you realize how you guys come off?”, I say.
This dude looks at me and says that he understands and that he’s a long-time burner. He then goes off on a nearly ten-minute rant listing all the reasons why this camp “isn’t like the other plug and play camps.” He talks about how much money the people in his camp donate to art cars and art projects. He mentions that him and his wife make “artisanal” something or other in the hills above San Francisco. He tells me that they’ve sponsored an art piece in the deep playa that has allowed an artist to have her first piece of an art at Burning Man. “Her first!” He explains that there are people like the angry rich guy in this camp that haven’t been to Burning Man before and don’t fully get it yet.
I tuned him out very quickly as he went on and on, because I realized that he was really talking to himself to make himself feel better about working for these people, perverting the very ideas of Burning Man. I let him rattle on until he exhausted the topic, thanked him for explaining himself to me, that yes, I now understood why their camp was sooo important to Burning Man, and rode off. I knew he was a lost cause and I wasn’t interested in getting a beating over a damn sign.
And now I propose an art piece for next year: Camp Douchebag; a camp located on the open playa near 10:00 and L; a towering, wooden facade of RVs, trucks, giant generators, and abstract art, complete with wooden Segways and a bar staffed by people that studiously ignore you. If you can manage to get inside the piece, by climbing up and into it or maybe by getting in via the “service entrance”, you’ll find rows of pre-curated costumes, “Sherpa’s”, a chef preparing artisanal food, and perhaps a group of models that have been paid to come to Burning Man.
There seems to be real dilemma for the Burning Man organization regarding what to do about these plug and play camps. Well this is my solution. Bring it out front and center, stick it in everyone’s faces, and then…BURN it.
Radical judgement, radical narcissism, radical entitlement.
He had to look at a sign? Someone call this guy a Waambulance:
In an entire city built on Gifting, what sort of person feels the need to steal? And what, did he think they would just go down to Home Depot and get a new sign?
I’m still trying to get my head around how someone can justify something like this to themselves, let alone go and boast about it to others. The other Burners even tried to explain things to him, but in his arrogance their words were beneath his high and mighty ears. Listen to him – “I was like Jesus with my cross”. No you weren’t…”bro”.
The difference between this city and Beverly Hills, is it is made up of tens of thousands of RVs. Located in the stinking hot, dry and dusty desert, Black Rock is one of the largest RV cities in the world. RVs that are in remote locations for weeks at a time need to be serviced. Otherwise biohazards and outbreaks can occur. Service trucks need a road to get inside the camps, so that their hoses can reach the tanks. There needs to be a way to indicate to Burners not to pitch tents or dump their bikes on that road. Radical self reliance: make a sign. A clever way to make things easier for everyone.
Basically this dickhead is saying “it’s a city, and people steal shit in cities, so there. I’m a poor loser, so they deserved it”.
How the fuck does he know if people in a camp down the road from him “engaged” or “got their hands dirty”?
Here’s what Star Star actually did:
I got the scoop this year on what [Star Star] are about and it did somewhat ease my concerns about this particular slice of richie-richness at burning man. First and foremost this camp does contribute. All week they host live circus, music, and dance performances from some top notch Bay area talent on some of the most amazing mobile circus rigging you are likely to see anywhere, let alone at Burning Man. These are come-one come-all events. I’ve never seen a plug and play offer anything even close to that level of gift. Then I found out about the structure of the Camp. No one pays to camp there. One person pays for everything. It is a complete gift.
And here’s the description of their Theme Camp, which was there in the guide for any Burner who wanted to read, rather than vandalize:
Star Star – Live Music – Movement, Dance, Yoga classes daily. Lively shows and aerial performance throughout burn week on our gorgeous rustic stage with full daytime shade. Kick one back and come shake your business at the Star Star Roadhouse!
Hometown: All Over
Although some Burners seemed to support the actions, I’m not going to promote those trolls by sharing. It was on the snark group, so perhaps they weren’t being serious. But some serious Burners were:
“Service Entrance” signs are pretty normal at most large theme camps and villages. As someone who seems to take pleasure in stealing other people’s shit, you seem pretty qualified to be a member of “camp douchebag.” I hope they press charges now that you’ve admitted that you stole something and only left it behind when you got chased down by the owners.
Death Guild Thunderdome has a “Service Entrance” that we gate off with an iron fence and only open for pump trucks and our art cars. It’s there because we scrape together enough dough to have our own potties which people break into our camp to try and use, and because people don’t seem to understand that we run a performance art installation and our camp is where we, you know, camp. Running a camp on the Esplanade is a pain in the ass, because we get a fuck ton of drugged out hippies who think that walking into someone’s camp (we don’t have anything in our camp except our personal shit – if you want to interact hang out at our bar or come to dome fights) is the “burning man” thing to do. I personally hate the idea of walled off plug and play camps, but they’re out in the boonies and in general, if you want to hang out in the boonies with your paid staff and your professional chef, go for it. The idea that anybody’s camp (or their stuff) should be open for your use just because it’s there is ridiculous. Don’t steal shit. Stealing shit makes you a douchebag...I feel that people think rich people are going to edge out less-rich people. I’m unemployed and the only reason I was able to go is because I scraped together my budget for te burn when I was still employed – including my ticket, my 14 days there (7 days working, 7 days playing/working – DGTD is a working vacation for sure) my budget was $700. But stealing their shit is lame. It’s the lowest form of “pranking” – if you’re going to prank someone, make it funny. Hang out outside their camp and offer “star maps” or something. Take a megaphone and offer “advice” to people leaving (“Turn back now! It’s not safe out here!”). If you’re going to be an asshole, be a FUNNY asshole.
1st off, the guy stole a sign to something that had nothing to do with him and wasn’t effecting anything about his burn other then what he let it effect. 2nd, most every large camp on the Playa and a lot of the mid and smaller size ones have a service entrance. If you brought an RV, did you not create a lane or a way for the RV pump trucks to reach your grey and dark tank outlets ? Service entrance. Most of the large Esplanade camps made roads that go deep in their sea of RV’s…. Service entrance. The only difference I see is this camp made a sign that said it. So what. It didn’t say Private Property, Keep out.
I like the idea of the satirical art project, but you handled this lamely. It seems like you had written them off from the beginning and refused to listen to anything they said. I bet those art projects and cars sure appreciated the donations!
Peter Hirshberg, who has been promoted as one of the Founders of Burning Man, saw this as a clever political statement, a throwback to the good old Cacophony Society days:
You missed the entire point of his art and reaction. He saw this faux nonparticipatory behavior in the hermetically sealed camp and pranked them. Sounds like cacophony society/ clever art behavior to me. The point of his piece wasn’t that he took a sign, it was a contemplation on this new form of not quite getting it fortress community- making
You bet I missed the point of his “piece”. I certainly got the point of the theft, and being a public nuisance. Is bike stealing an acceptable form of protest too, Peter? “oh look at that bike, it’s decorated so much, they must be rich! I deserve to take that. Stealing is an art“.
If they had gone and stolen signs from First Camp, the protest might have meant something – because it was directed at the decision makers who have socially engineered our culture to be this way. A civilization is not built on the principle of “rob thy neighbor”. Making life harder for RV dumps for camps that put on free circus performances is not true to the Burner spirit in any way. If that kind of thing is acceptable at a Cacophony Society event, then take your theft and imitations of Christ to one of those.
I can’t believe I’m defending big money at burning man, but here’s a short list: Caliope, Mayan Warrior, Star-Star, Robot Heart…all huge money art or art cars. all amazing. And yes Embrace was also amazing and mayb e had more heart but nonetheless you can’t say millionaire brought nothing to burning man…
…Yes it is all inclusive. Yes it is plug and play, and yes it is free for those camping there. On top of that the staff are paid decently and given tickets to the burn and have to work minimal hours during the event though I’m sure set up and breakdown are hellish with that level of infrastructure I don’t know how I feel about the “Service entrance” sign, that’s just out of place, but I guarantee you there are smaller poorer theme camps phoning it in and offering far less to the Burning man community than Star-Star. Plug and play theme camps that offer nothing to the public really should be denied placement. Star-Star, as much as you may resent the divide between rich and poor deserves to be there. One man has put a mountain of resources into giving something amazing to burning man and that in my estimation balances the scales given that radical self reliance is utterly and totally dismissed by the 30 guests that camp there.
…Also, Our theme camp (which has a budget somewhere in the neighborhood of $6k, in other words theming on a shoestring), while not gated, is definitely set up to discourage randoms from walking around our back lot. We have a front of house and chill space that is welcome to all, but would really rather not have drugged out weirdos and undercover cops roaming and sniffing about our housing. Radical inclusion only goes so far. Where is the line? Am I expected to let strangers walk into my yurt open my cooler and drink my beer uninvited because radical inclusion?
There’s nothing stupid about security and privacy, in a party with tens of thousands of people roaming the city on illegal substances. Clearly, there are thieves and vagabonds about.
You’re not a real burner unless you’re sleeping in a rickety lean-to and subsisting on beef jerky and pickle juice. All of these “Shade structure” and “Sturdy tent” wannabes are ruining the burn
As in favor of class warfare as I am out in the everyday world I call this sort of thing bull shit!
If anything having the ultra-rich and politically conservative or libertarian attend and spending at least some time amongst the rest of us has a chance of bringing about just a little enlightenment. Inclusivity was one of the first things that drew me to burning man getting together working together with people you would never see let alone spend time with in the default world.
After the first year doesn’t the second year always bring out an even greater investment of time and money in preparations, or maybe joining a theme camp? Elaborate contraptions for making showers, water evaporator, and silt filters. Then there are those that get into food prep and elaborate meals, for a number of years the camp I was with put together a full thanks giving turkey feast for the camp members in the middle of the week. While we made living in the desert easier and more fun we also provided a better stocked full serves Bar for our neighbors and patrons theme nights a mutant vehicle, every year more. And yes the actual camping space was out of bounds to anyone who wasn’t invited. The more people can afford to spend the more they spend and the is the true burner way,…
Stealing is stealing, period. Just because he’s stealing from a plug-n-play asshat camp doesn’t make it right. Jeebus, people, I live my week in a tent and that doesn’t make me any holier or burnier than thou because I’m not in an RV. It’s not class warfare, it’s BS douchebaggery.
david kiss your a fucking douche bag!!!! Stealing and vandalism is just that… Regardless how much $ someone has, your actions bring you down to trailer trash. Im no billionaire but i would not associate with someone that wants to spray there negativity on the world. If you dont like what plug and plays, go spend your time with other amazing people on the playa. Black Rock is a city that is open to all, poor, rich, all nationalities, races and everyone in between. Fucking get over it!
I find it funny that people haven’t realized that there has always been a TON of money at burning. Theme camps aren’t cheap. Art cars, not cheap. The Man and Temple, not cheap and money spent literally for burning too. In the end, you make the burn what YOU want. If one is telling someone else how to burn, that person is in the wrong.
Welcome to the civilization of Burning Man: Millenial Edition. Where we protest against BMOrg’s policies by taking it out on each other.
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Hunter, you hit on a great point here. As a 15 year burner who came in to the event after being sucked into The Cacophony Society, all I can say is that stealing this sign was the BEST possible action to take, since it lead to some sort of higher awareness of how the camp was DOING IT WRONG. I did the SAME THING when I saw two signs at OPULENT TEMPLE, a major sound camp that has been coming to involved with Burning Man for over a DECADE. They had signs posted that said “For Staff and Invited Guests Only” posted on the Esplanade. After freaking out the high-end ravers at Robot Heart for sunrise in my dirty klown outfit, I saw these signs and went apeshit. I took them down and took them straight to First Camp in a fit of tattle-telling. Seems like maybe they hired a camp manager who was CLUELESS about BM values. Acculteration of staff is a major problem with these big camps. Everyone needs a Burning Man Boot Camp course to get it before arriving. Wish this was somehow required in Gerlach for virgins, and especially PNP camps. Just an idea.
how the fuck was the camp doing it wrong? The service entrance was for delivery trucks for 12 camps that were handing free food out.
OPULENT TEMPLE has a huge dance floor right on the Esplanade. This major production includes a backstage space that houses the fire, sound, and other power equipment. The camp’s technical members need easy access to this stuff. It’s a hazardous spot to have a crowd or people smoking nearby, so that’s why it’s “For Staff and Invited Guests Only”. And since this is the backstage area, all the better viewing angles are on the other side anyway.
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I’m Melissa, one of the coordinators of Star Star as well as the person who has run logistics for a major project that Star Star now shares resources with.
the service entrance sign is used for way more than porta and RV pumping: nestled in the heart of Star Star is also the 5-year strong Community Refrigerated Truck Project, and that service road allows for 12 different camps (from all over the city, funded in all sorts of ways) to access the refrigerated truck that helps run projects ranging from giant restaurants that gift meals to thousands, a farmer’s market camp that literally gives away over 2,000 pounds of produce… the CRTP receives refill deliveries from two locally owned reno-sparks distributors, including Bonanza Produce (who literally deliver to over 30 camps on playa) as well as the first year of receiving deliveries from the Great Basin Food Co-op. that service entrance allows mutant vehicles to pull into Star Star and access their food in the truck (as well as the delivery trucks that allow for fresh food restocking to take place). so yeah.. an important sign that literally helps nourish thousands of citizens of Black Rock City. Including David Kiss, if he was eating at Shady Waffle or any of the other 11 camps that served food from within the truck on that service road…. without defining the Service Road, we’d have a really hard time letting these camps easily access this critical shared resource.
thanks for clarifying, Melissa. This makes the vandal’s actions seem even worse, he’s not attacking one camp, he’s attacking 12 – and all the Burners they generously gift to.
I’m sure he’ll find a way to justify his actions based on his skewed sense of situational ethics.
maybe just put that on the sign. either in really small print or on a super huge sign…
yeah… i read this whole article and the comments this far… melissa’s comment should be at the very top of this thing. thanks melissa, thanks star star, thanks mr. kiss for an entertaining read.
also, maybe put this whole article including comments on the sign too.
I’m Melissa, one of the coordinators of Star Star as well as the person who has run logistics for a major project that Star Star now shares resources with.
the service entrance sign is used for way more than porta and RV pumping: nestled in the heart of Star Star is also the 5-year strong Community Refrigerated Truck Project, and that service road allows for 12 different camps (from all over the city, funded in all sorts of ways) to access the refrigerated truck that helps run projects ranging from giant restaurants that gift meals to thousands, a farmer’s market camp that literally gives away over 2,000 pounds of produce… the CRTP receives refill deliveries from two locally owned reno-sparks distributors, including Bonanza Produce (who literally deliver to over 30 camps on playa) as well as the first year of receiving deliveries from the Great Basin Food Co-op. that service entrance allows mutant vehicles to pull into Star Star and access their food. so yeah.. an important sign that literally helps nourish thousands of citizens of Black Rock City. Including David Kiss, if he was eating at Shady Waffle or any of the other 11 camps that served food from within the truck on that service road….
Please take a step back, center yourself, and really think about both sides, not just from a burners view, but as a collective conscience of beings.
we must look at both parties sides and the right an wrong of both, there is no black and white here, a large scale of gray, with people choosing to see either light or darkness in this case.
can we agree that stealing is wrong? ….yes.
is stealing okay if it is for a cause, a statement?
(getting a little grey here, its foggy as to moral just)
can we agree that a sign is important for safety, but not essential?
Can we agree that BM is where people do radical self expression?
is one personal beings exploration of self expression wrong?
Is there something wrong with an event intended for radical artist and like minded individuals to be pushed out be “the man”, as the man buys in, the real heads are pushed out, cant afford, and ridiculed for trying to express there anguish for this extreme class clash.
Is there something wrong with class discrimination?….yes
Is there something wrong with an event that has transformed from one beautiful thing, to a new entity, ment to bring together everyone, no matter class, race, religion?
Is there something wrong when segregation is so strong a fucking sign is given so much value, a man means of transportation is considered equal trade?
is it wrong that both parties were so frustrated that either would hear either each others points.
this could have had an awesome ending if both men put there ego’s in check.
More money, more problems: Dont hate someone for having more things than you, pity them for they will not understand true happiness of just being, having little and feeling so whole and full. we must pitty the fool, love him at arms distance, as both have much to learn, as we all do.
Lastly, can we agree that calling eachother names to shame, humiliate, and justify our own opinion is wrong, so wrong i wonder where the real burners are
can the real burners please stand up, excercise your opinions, your allowed to have them, but dont yell at others for sharing there own, and please know
OPINIONS ARE NOT FACTS
Dude should have just creatively altered the sign instead of stealing it, but I pretty much support his intentions. And I’m totally down with his idea for an art project next year. I had something similar in mind.
I’m no class warrior, and fully realize rich people have been burning and financially supporting art projects since practically the beginning. But it’s only the past 4-5 years or so that’s it been an issue, because up until then, entire blocks were not taken up by RV fortresses. Their camps were awfully nice, yes, but not imposing and walled off. In addition, the scarcity of tickets now and the higher percentage of these kinds of camps is causing and will continue to cause unhealthy friction. PnP camps depend on supporting staff to have tickets, and will pay jacked up aftermarket prices to ensure then get them. As others have stated, this means less tickets for others as well as encouraging scalping by driving up prices. My official stance on this issue is: Fuck That. I’m totally cool with directed tickets going to camps that provide art and interactive experiences (for everyone).
So yeah, this Kiss guy was tactless and a bit self-promotional, but I’m pretty much on his side.
What is the funniest of all is that this site makes a big deal of this situation. Some privileged white male stole a sign from a much more privileged white male because younger privileged male misunderstood the purpose of the sign. It isn’t a big deal. And it is more funny than it is despicable. What is an even bigger deal is the institutionalized robbery of enormous ticket prices promoting a celebrity who’s who of aesthetics that only further insulates the privileged club from the people who really want to enact revolutionary change. Some meaningful artists get help to make pieces and hurrah for that, but mostly what I see from BM is one giant privileged BM. When anything gets too big it gets co-opted, be it a farm, a community, or an aesthetic light show supposedly built on the premise of freedom and temporary autonomous zones.
Oh, and I apologize as I had forgotten that Burning Man was changed to Raping Man, so please disregard the BM joke above as it is no longer relevant.
This guy is a moron. Stop stealing peoples shit. Good for you for not whooping his ass Keith. I would rather have rich people that contribute to art at the burn anytime rather than someone that steals my things because they don’t like the way I do what I do. Get a positive outlook or stay home next year. Thieves suck and so do complainers.
As much as David’s reaction was juvenile and counter-productive, there is an argument to be made plug-and-play camps are becoming the Gated Communities of Black Rock City.
At the very least, the camp organizers should make an effort to be more open to the neighborhood. If there was a modest front porch or street-facing lounge where the members would host and socialize with locals, that alone would defuse much of the tension and hostility.
looks like gated communities are needed, to keep the riff-raff like this vandal out
WD here im the rich looking fat guy that confronted David Kiss that morning. I would like to make some corrections to Davids article that he wrote. First of all i am a crew member and builder for Star Star Roadhouse and family friend of Andy and Kim. By no means rich and have been burning for over ten years. Have had my own 70-80 person camp for 5 years ending 2010. David neglected to say i asked him politely twice to return the sign but he refused. By the way my camp mates dont think im fat.
PS more corrections to come
great, thanks very much Keith. Would love to hear the other side of this story
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Advocating class war as a title is ridiculous and tabloids, besides being dishonest. It was a prank. The guy took a service entrance sign. A sign that in some ways does represent the growing trend of spectatorship at our event which aims to foster community involvement. In the end, it’s a sign. No harm no foul. Get off your high horse and laugh at bit, it won’t hurt you.
Only DPW and Gate Crew are allowed to steal things at Burning Man.
You all need to learn how to spell.
Good points regarding the weak article by David Kiss (my ass). What kind of douche advocates theft of others property — whether it be a sign, a bike or a wallet full of cash in someone’s tent? Don’t we already have enough of that going on at Burning Man.
Also, who David to claim it is “His Block” that he is riding down? Last I checked, BRC is everyone’s city! That idea breeds pure ignorant gang mentality and is the impetus behind drive by shootings. Hey wake up — DAVID — it’s a big world out there! So no, its not just your block!
Let me ask you David Kiss what if someone stole your bicycle? What would you do — steal someone else’s bike? Is that how it works (in your mind)? Really?!?! Think about it.
I suggest you rethink your personal moral code and values. Look, there’s no shame in being mistaken we’ve all been there but there is a lot of shame in holding on to something once you learn that its not right or the right way.
Everyone makes mistakes. You can change — we all can change and I think that’s part of what Burning Man is about. I see change is a sign of strength! It’s you, David Kiss, who has to make the choice.
But If you don’t want to change for the better and quit stealing then do us all a favor and stay home next year.
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And that folks, is how Gaza was created in the promise land…
So what next? Beheadings under sharia law?
We steal all the street signs every Saturday…sign stealing on playa is a long tradition. Hell, do any of you “stealing is stealing” people know who the Cacophony Society is/was? If you guys are so far removed from burner culture that this is a mystery to you….well finish this sentence yourself.
I couldn’t get 4 artists tickets this year to perform because you guys are driving up the prices and sucking up all the tickets.
There is an entire camp called WrongTown dedicated to doing these types of pranks…French Quarter had a 30′ clown that they moved periodically to wherever Larry was that day because he hates clowns. Pranking is part of playa culture, deal with it…sometimes its political, sometimes its just for fun…if you don’t like what the prank says about you, then maybe you need to work on you.
Ok, and I’ve been camping with different large sound camps for 5 years. I’ve never seen a “Service Entrance” sign on playa…
I don’t think that the author understands what “Service Entrance” means. He seems to think that it is for a hired waitstaff and does not realize that grey and black water tanks make their way through the camps and city. I am sure that he is grateful for the awesome guys that come though twice daily to “service” the porta-potties that he uses.
With that said, Star Star was a very kind and hospitable camp and even offered to send their art car to our camp to pick up our brood of virgins and feed them. Thank you, Star Star, for making whatever art-installation you sponsored a reality, and simply for being good people.
Thank you for sharing that. Star Star sounds awesome, they even went to the trouble of trying to educate the guy – who clearly was not interested in listening, learning, or admitting that he was in the wrong.
Your interpretation may be right, but the writer’s mindset makes no sense. What “workers” would there be, using the service entrance and not being part of the camp? Does he think there are separate “slave camps” that the Sherpas have to commute from every day?
I saw one tattooed on some random guy’s ass back when Jiffy Lube was a around.
Seems like a lot of this energy and anger could be useful in the “default world” ?
Many camps with RVs and/or Kitchens have service entrances. They usually don’t post such a nice sign, but service trucks drive around to pick up the gray water and solid waste. Many long-time old burners get their tanks pumped during the week. Seems like there are bigger things to get upset about.
I cannot count how many articles and comments I’ve seen reflecting negative commentary and judgement about wealthy groups of people attending Burningman this year. Everyone has a right to their opinion, yet lets be clear here….none of the naysayers are a final authority, know all and expert on what Burningman is or should be. Nor are the naysayers of the wealthy attendees anymore privileged to acquire a ticket and attend than anyone else. Radical Inclusion is a key principle to understand and demonstrate gracefully. When I read this article about the sign thief, I mostly just heard judgement and self righteousness. It’s like almost everything the author stated was a personal form of hypocrisy. Community is not created by segregation, separation and judgement. It is created by mutual participation, diversity, sacrifice, acceptance and gratitude for one another. We all have positive contributions to gift and share among one another. I believe this is the attitude that allows healthy possibility to flourish and allows a cohesive evolution to occur. How bout showing up at one of these extravagant camps and sharing your Love? Finding no fault, and allowing something or anything great to manifest. The experience of Aaahhh doesn’t stop after the Temple burn if proper principle be applied ongoing. To Inspire another and create positive effect, Love is the distinction to exercise and Be. Yes?
So, you’re surprised that there are assholes at Burning Man? From which alternate reality do you hail?
Burner Kristin wrote, “I feel that people think rich people are going to edge out less-rich people.”
And they kind of are. Buy purchasing the tickets for all of their staff at most likely much higher prices, they are leaving less tickets to be available for the general population while driving up the after market prices. The other obvious side effect is that participants coming off their work shift just want to go sleep or party in their off hours and will not be in the same mind set as the rest of the city which is volunteering and gifting their time and effort to the community. I could be wrong, but this seems more like Vegas than not, especially with the high rollers vs the strip walkers and the wealthy paying for the things that entertain everyone else. Ironic that both places are in a Nevada desert.
Sherpas are Burners too. It’s not like they live in Gerlach for the week.
Agreed, but are they not paid for their time working as staff for the camp? Do you know for a fact that they are not?
Someone that doesn’t want to see a plug and play camp in their neighborhood is being just as elitist as the rich guy. If Burning Man can’t survive the class antagonisms, then maybe it’s time for a new event. The sign thief can start working on it right now.
Um. He got a bit angry, he did something stupid. Holy shit, imagine doing something stupid on the playa.
As for class war? Shit, they’ve been doing it to us for years.
Incidentally, why are you getting so out of shape about this?
It’s not like he pulled out the black flag, slipped on his balaclava and killed the rich and ate their babies…
Bike theft pisses me off too. To date, there hasn’t been a single Burner who stole a bike, then boasted about it on the Internet. In this case, it wasn’t even enough for the guy that the camp spent 10 minutes explaining to him that they weren’t “plug-n-play” like he thought, that they got Burning Man and were gifting plenty. He didn’t even care. He would rather just promote himself, and the “cross” he chose to steal/bear
Bike theft is total asshatery. Stealing a sign? Petty and daft and in the scale of things not really worthy of such vitriol in my opinion.
I’ve thought of half a dozen (non stealing/violence/nastiness related) pranks to play on the butt-plug n play crews, but I do wonder if I’d get arrested…
… And then I wondered what the likelihood of that happening would be if the same pranks were played on “freemium” regular art camps.
It’s hypothetical of course, but run the thought process through your head. See what answer you get.
I am not sure I understand all the name calling. Do you want people to talk about this or not? Obviously it is an issue that deserves civil/civic dialog. The tone you are creating is pretty combative. Maybe you want to edit out “douchebag” “asshole” and “dickhead” – just a suggestion. It’s not about any one person in particular.
I agree that the issue is broader than just one person, but the person in this case bragged about it on his blog. Which he named after himself. You’ve never seen other sign stealers being called out here. I reserve the right to call a spade a spade, and other uses of names.
This is a weird transition for BM now unquestionably broken through into the mainstream. For those who’ve been years before to experience the creativity, community, and craziness that transforms your consciousness, as it did for me, then you leave prosthelytizing to your friends. I heard the splendid stories from several friends before committing. I handmade my costumes and decorated my beach cruiser with fur and elwire. I must admit that I was overwhelmed many times, but I grew from the experience.
I would advise that judgement on the Playa be radically eliminated whether it be class, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, etc. the fact you made it to BM means something. Yes you are there to have fun and experience the most creative culture on the planet, but you’re also there to evolve. And that requires being uncomfortable at times. I look forward to going back to the Playa to be radically gracious and express my gratitude to everyone that comprises the BRC universe… It’s a learning experience!
I was with you until you attributed this asshole’s actions to the millenial generation. People have been hating the generations after them since Socrates (seriously), and believe it or not many people born in the years arbitrarily lumped together as the millenials contribute a lot to Burning Man (see the Library of Babel for instance). This guy is a self righteous prick regardless of what year he was born.
I said this was the Millenial edition. We are in the 15th year of the new Millenium. I was 26 and a Burner when Y2K hit. I grew up my whole life looking forward to the 21st Century, and what it would bring.
I am pleased about iPhones, iPads, Facebook and electric cars. Bike theft, and now stealing shit from peoples’ camps, getting in the way of the RV service for an entire camp…that, clearly, I am not pleased about. Would it have happened in the 20th century? Maybe. Bike theft certainly wouldn’t have in C20 Burning Man. Was it an ironic prank? Not in any way. And his lame attempts to tie it to a political statement after the fact make his situation worse, not better.
Like it or not, there is a huge sense of entitlement in the generation of Burners now taking over our event. The fact that someone would do this, then boast about how great they are for doing it on social media, is a sign of the new mindset of the Millenium. In my self-righteous opinion.