It occurred to me that this sign-stealing incident, publicized by its author on various Burning Man facebook groups, happened after BMOrg announced before the Burn that because sign theft was so prevalent, Burners should treat signs as art and decorate them to jazz up their neighborhoods.
The name of the sign stealing-tackling project? ASS
The name of the now-famous tackled sign stealing prankster? David KISS
Kiss-Ass. On K Street.
Get it? Surely that’s way too much of a coincidence to be totally unrelated. Project ASS, my ass.
or, perhaps, God is a Burner, and this is His way of responding to those premature rumors about His death that were posted at burningman.com…
On 8/8/14 BMOrg spokeperson Will Chase said:
The street signs that adorn every corner of BRC are not only beautiful, they’re functional. Not only are they functional, they are critical to public safety. When that ambulance is looking to find YOU, they need to know what street they’re on. SO DON’T REMOVE STREET SIGNS!
Now, despite what we say, we know it’ll happen anyway. So let’s solve this with an art project! Here’s how …
Adopt a street corner in your neighborhood, and augment the street sign with aesthetically pleasing, informative signs of your own making!
We’re calling this the Adopt a Street Sign (ASS) project, because we’re 12-years old.
Radical Self-Expression, meet Communal Effort. BOOM. Make babies.
Of course, no-one could have anticipated that if you tell 70,000 anarchists “DON’T REMOVE STREET SIGNS”, that some of them would disobey.
The cross-referencing aspiring DJ is happy to promote his upcoming gigs with Christ at david-kiss.com. I mean, really? Another coincidence? I would dismiss this as being not a real figure, except there is a David Kiss on our Facebook group trying to defend his sign-adopting actions by attacking us and dismissing the economic value of the sign.
The street prank has been publicly endorsed by “Founder” Peter Hirshberg as a “Cacophony-like prank” that I just didn’t get. It seems I’m far from the only one who doesn’t find theft from fellow Burners funny, whether it’s signs, bikes, or a beer from a cooler.
The self-publicization of this act by the prankster at this time is a convenient distraction away from the connection between plug-n-play camping and the non-profit Burning Man Project’s Board of Directors, some of whom appear to have financial interests in these types of camps. The story broke when Kiss published his Project ASS art piece antics on Facebook on Friday 9/5/14 at 2:02pm. The story about Jim Tananbaum broke on Facebook the night before, at 6:17pm in a smaller group and then was repeated at 7:37pm on the Burning Man unofficial group.
The choice of Star Star is interesting, since they seem to have had a lot to offer the Playa in comparison to others. There are rumors going on about an A-list hollywood actor being the money behind the camp, a gift to his campmates because he picked up the tab. I see nothing wrong with anything Star Star did in this story.
In a way, isn’t this whole “incident” serving the purposes to promote star-star as the model for others to follow, and continue the discussion about Plug-n-Play camps which is proving so popular in the mainstream media? When we investigate this plug-n-play camp, we find performances being gifted and Burnerly behavior of discussion with the marauding vandal over Principles – there are good guidelines in the story for how plug-n-players should behave when confronted with louts like this.
It promotes pranking and it promotes plug-n-play – while pretending to protest against it, it’s really just continuing the conversation about it. That’s the way it works with these pranks, irony or not, your attention is directed to a particular issue of the prankster’s choice. It encourages Burners to take out any frustrations they have with the governance of the city on each other, not BMOrg. It downplays the growing problem of theft as just another type of art. Kiss’s actions and ASS’s purpose appear to be the same. Kiss-ASS united.
Where do you draw the line between prank, irony, satire, snark…and civilized behavior? BMOrg, it seems, is happy to say “stealing is going to happen, adopt your own, let’s turn it into art”.
For some time, I have been considering another potential motive behind the OMGSTEP and all the other seemingly bizarre decisions BMOrg makes with the ticketing and treatment of Veterans. Something more than just money.
What if this is all a prank to them? One big farce? With us as the patsies, set up in the petri dish for their amusement? “Let’s come up with a new rule, and see how they respond! It’s art! It’s pranking! We never said don’t be evil, in fact we launched this thing with Hellco and bought souls with contracts!” The more shit they can put on the community to make their burn worse, the more complaining there is about it on social media, the more suffering they can create – the more amusing it is to the Creators with the Power To Make Suffering. They sit in First Camp and network with 1%ers who paid $650 for tickets on the sly, who flew in on private planes and scooted over on Segways. They laugh at the unconnected Burners who spent the year in the STEP queue hoping for a chance to go, only to have tickets yanked out from the queue at the last minute for no apparent reason. They laugh at the Burnier-Than-Thous who refuse to buy tickets on the aftermarket and lecture others about it, out of some misguided sense of loyalty. “Ha ha, look at these Burners on Facebook trying to stop scalping, when we the borg are sending out emails trying to sell tickets above face value! In the name of charity, of course.”