It only took 3 1/2 months – and, quite probably, me spending an hour yesterday talking to a reporter from Bloomberg Business Week, then passing his details on to Caravancicle’s manager – but finally the community gets to hear things straight from the horse’s mouth. Burning Man Director Jim Tanabaum has issued this statement at caravancicle.com (re-posted at burningman.org, which is lucky because Caravancicle has now taken their whole site down):
A Statement from Jim Tananbaum
Burning Man Project board member and Caravancicle founder Jim Tananbaum has addressed questions raised about his 2014 camp in Black Rock City.
The following was posted today on Caravancicle.com … we’re reposting it here for your convenience:
I am writing to respond to a number of posts regarding Caravancicle, a camp of which I was a member in 2014 – I also helped envision and fund the camp.
I first want to apologize broadly to anyone who felt disrespected by our camp or concerned about the implications of our camp’s operation to the long-term health of Burning Man.
I have been attending Burning Man every year since 2009. Burning Man is a singularly impactful event for me and, since first attending, I have become deeply moved by the 10 Principles, the potential for these principles to change the world, and the environment of the playa as an embodiment of the principles. This is the reason I joined the Burning Man Board of Directors. It is also the reason why I wanted to create a camp environment that would help enable my friends to share the transformative experience of Burning Man. In addition, we wanted to introduce a more sustainable, communal and aesthetically pleasing alternative to RVs to the playa. It was always our intention to provide an open environment, which welcomed everyone and was consistent with the spirit of Burning Man. It is clear based on blog posts and comments made online that not everyone experienced what we intended.
For that, I would like to apologize. Despite our best intentions and efforts, some things did not turn out as planned.
Caravancicle is the third camp I have been involved with at Burning Man. My experience has been with larger camps requiring some workers to provide the infrastructure. Our camp was constructed by a long-term Burner with deep respect and care for the community, who was hired to manage the camp. He also led the build for the camp we did the year before. We have worked with people in the past to build out our camp who were hired by the camp organizers and then would enjoy the Burning Man experience when they were not working. Our campmates would staff the bar, greet people, give out gifts, etc. This year, our plan was to gift a neighboring camp infrastructure in exchange for their assistance in building ours. We were trying to build community through sharing resources.
To make a long and painful story short, our partners were not able to complete our build and our remaining staff was left having to build out toilets, showers and other infrastructure (without having planned to and therefore not having the proper resources to do so). During this crisis, many people in our camp rose to the occasion, but a few, like “SherpaGirl,” decided to leave and then wrote a disappointing account of her few hours in our camp. Another person in camp posted a sign asking for help without asking anyone else. We had some first time Burners in the camp, including the person who posted the sign. We also had many return Burners in the camp. I think most people attending Burning Man have had some unexpected situations; we did, and we tried to adjust to these in the moment.
The hero of this unfortunate situation was our camp’s manager who worked tirelessly for 2 days along with other camp members to help provide basic infrastructure for all of us. While the crisis was going on, all of us were greatly distracted and weren’t able to properly respond to the many people coming through our camp. Our supplies were also dwindling. Since the camp was so large, we used wristbands to help manage the food, water, and booze supply during non-public hours. It was really sad for me to read the accounts of people who visited our camp and were turned down for drinks during the day (including a number of my friends). Ughh…. If we had simply posted a sign providing details on camp gift times, it would have made a big difference.
Our camp breakdown was also compromised because the group responsible for providing the infrastructure was also responsible for part of the breakdown. In the end, our camp manager and some other members of the camp, plus breakdown staff, cleaned up our camp by Saturday after the event. We took a photo of our campsite before we left the playa and it was free of MOOP. We then learned that a camp next door was having significant issues with clean up and we sent trucks back to help them. It is unclear to me as to why we remain with some red marks on the MOOP map.
To specifically answer questions: I did not profit from Caravancicle (in fact I gifted money, as I do every year). Our bar was open to the public at night but not during the day. We should have posted a sign to make this clear. On Friday night, used up all of our booze to gift a huge party for anyone who visited our camp. We regularly gifted very yummy homemade popsicles and herbal tea but were not able to set up the gift stand in front of the camp as originally envisioned because of the build crisis we had. We regularly gifted drinks, water, and electrolytes at night.
Regarding questions on the 10 Principles of Burning Man:
1. Radical Inclusion: Burning Man welcomes people from all walks of life. Referring to Caravancicle campers or members of any other camp as “the rich people” is creating a class system within Burning Man, which I don’t believe is beneficial to the community. Our camp welcomed people from all walks of life. Sometimes we had art cars that were filled up with our camp members and would not have been safe to include others. During other parts of the days, these art cars welcomed anyone to come on board until they were filled to safe capacity.
2. Gifting: Burning Man is devoted to acts of giving. Caravancicle gifted popsicles, tea, booze, water and electrolytes, but at the beginning of the week we did not serve non-camp members drinks during the day and failed to make it clear to non-camp members that we would be offering drinks during nighttime hours to everyone. We did gift a blow out Friday party with full bar and snacks. We could have greatly improved our communications on this matter.
3. Decommodification: Our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorship, transactions, or advertising. Caravancicle was in no way affiliated with any third party sponsorships. We hired a team to produce the camp (as many camps do), but Caravancicle did not participate in any advertising. The ‘promotional materials’ and website were sent to guests who were invited to join the camp. We did not actively promote the camp. No one in Caravancicle made money off of the camp.
4. Radical Self-reliance: Although many of the more physical aspects of self-reliance were lost on the Caravanciclers, camp members were encouraged to exercise and rely on their inner resources. Just as in other camps, many members spent extensive amounts of time reflecting and self-exploring out on the playa. They faced many of the same challenges every other Burner faces at the event.
5. Radical Self-expression: Caravancicle was an act of creative expression in and of itself. The camp had months and months of planning and effort put into it, including help from many of its members. While not all members of the camp participated in the creative aspect of building the camp, each brought their own unique personality, costumes and contributions to Burning Man.
6. Communal Effort: While I can’t argue that Caravancicle members had significantly less work to do as far as cooking and maintenance, all members were still responsible for chores around camp including, but not limited to, picking up trash and being responsible for washing their own dishes. We also created a beautiful space open to the public that fostered cooperation and collaboration.
7. Civic Responsibility: Caravancicle assumed responsibility for the conduct of our events. We refused alcohol to minors and to people who didn’t have cups in order to limit MOOP. On one specific instance there were so many bikes parked outside one of our parties that the Rangers had to come inside and let us know. We killed the music and shut down the party immediately, making sure the mess was cleared up right away.
8. Leaving No Trace: Our clean up was delayed because of our co-dependency on a partner camp. We were able to clean our site, with pictures taken that document a clean site on Saturday after the event. It is unclear to me why we received red marks on the MOOP map, but I think we were generally docked points because we were late in leaving. We also sent back help for a neighbor camp that was having difficulties cleaning up.
9. Participation: Members of Caravancicle participated and achieved through “doing”. I urge everyone to remember that for some of our campers, this was their first burn. Personally, I contributed substantially less my first year than I have in years since. This year, however, I allocated vast amounts of time, effort and money to create something beautiful to share with the community.
10. Immediacy: Most Burners agree that Immediacy is the touchstone of value in our culture. Just like every other participant in this community, I wish to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves. I did not get it perfectly right, but I did make my best effort to create something beautiful and creative, unique and innovative.
Regarding other questions that have been raised about me and my camp:
Plug and Play: While a lot of personal responsibility was deflected onto camp employees, I have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year planning, organizing and executing a camp that brought beauty and value to the playa. Although some of our campers were “plug and play” participants per se, the act of judging them or excluding them goes against everything that Burning Man stands for regarding radical inclusion.
Profit: There have been suggestions that our camp was for profit. I can assure you our camp generated no money and was not, in any way, a money making venture. Additionally, the Burning Man organization was in no way involved with the planning or production of the camp – it was an entirely personal project. Our website was meant to be viewed by 60 or so people who were planning to participate in our camp and was password protected. The material which referred to artists was produced by our partner camp and not us as a way of describing what they envisioned. Our partner camp described this as fully endorsed by the artists they included. I am sorry that people outside of Caravancicle camp were able to gain access to our website and share our draft material without our authorization. I am also sorry about artists whose names they included without their authorization. Caravancicle was trying to create an environment which shared the beauty of our architecture and design with other creative forces on the playa.
Burning Man Project Board of Directors: I joined the board of directors because I’m passionate about the impact Burning Man culture can have on the world, and because I believe my professional experience and perspective is valuable to the new nonprofit at this early stage of its development. I believe Burning Man and what it has to offer the world is still very nascent and am thrilled to be working with other board members to steward its growth and development.
I believe there is a silver lining in the discussion our camp has engendered because it has caused a healthy dialog about the implications for Burning Man’s evolution. I am proud to be a Burner. I am proud that my fellow Burners felt passionate enough about the sanctity of Burning Man to push this discussion, and I look forward to taking new ideas and lessons learned into the future.
It wasn’t his fault, see. He blames all his staff. The paid workers didn’t do a good enough job, the camp next door who he paid to build his camp for him didn’t do a good enough job, and he lost money on the whole deal. They never used any artists names in their marketing materials without permission, that was the camp next door’s fault. The MOOP? Camp next door. Although they were allowed to stay until Saturday cleaning up (not Tuesday), they got no special treatment from BMOrg. Anyone can bend the rules if they like, hey, like Larry says, they’re not rules, just an ethos.
If “Sherpagirl” hadn’t left when she did, it all would’ve worked out great.
Their camp brought “beauty and value” to the Playa.
“I allocated vast amounts of time, effort and money to create something beautiful to share with the community.”
– what, Jim? What? Please tell us what were the beautiful things that your camp shared with the community. Popsicles? The bingo?
“We refused alcohol to minors and to people who didn’t have cups in order to limit MOOP”
– right. Not because of the laws of the land, or physics.
In one breath he says
Our camp welcomed people from all walks of life…We also created a beautiful space open to the public that fostered cooperation and collaboration.
and then straight away he says:
Sometimes we had art cars that were filled up with our camp members and would not have been safe to include others….at the beginning of the week we did not serve non-camp members drinks during the day and failed to make it clear to non-camp members that we would be offering drinks during nighttime hours to everyone. We did gift a blow out Friday party with full bar and snacks
Of course, we also see the familiar “straw man” misdirection:
Referring to Caravancicle campers or members of any other camp as “the rich people” is creating a class system within Burning Man, which I don’t believe is beneficial to the community
I haven’t seen this issue being raised from any Burners in the community, actually. Just 3 of the Board of Directors now, and a couple of the shit-stirrers on the state-sanctioned forum ePlaya.
It was always our intention to provide an open environment, which welcomed everyone and was consistent with the spirit of Burning Man
Yep, they brought 70,000 wristbands. And money. They gifted us money.
It is unclear to me as to why we remain with some red marks on the MOOP map.
Actually Jim, your entire camp got yellow. That’s bad. Red is really bad.
So not even a Director of Burning Man can explain how they got their score on the MOOP map. In that case, who can? It seems that the MOOP result is rather arbitrary, possibly politically with no recourse, oversight, or explanation.
I’m not impressed. What do you think, Burners?
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If this guy understood Burning Man AT ALL, he would realize that shit always goes wrong, “without having planned to and therefore not having the proper resources to do so,” and that’s part of why people band together in theme camps, and are kind and giving to our neighbors, so that we can help each other, and still be successful despite having to scrap some of our plans. I can’t say that I see why this crisis was any different (except I wouldn’t call lack of toilets or showers a crisis).
Moreover, his ethics and apologies are utter horseshit. When I fuck up at work, I don’t blame the vendor or my coworkers, I take the blame myself. This is like rule #1 of business. Like the guy who prematurely burnt down the Man in 2007, and yet got gifted another ticket after being removed from the event, Mr. Tennebaum can still attend, but he shouldn’t be on the Board and his camp should lose their placement. Those are the only cards we have to pull, and they MUST be pulled. End of story.
ALL of the people financing Commodification Camps are foolish, for the reasons you’ve outlined here. It’s Burning Man, shit happens, fuck yer day. With the 5-figure price tags for luxury camps, comes an expectation from the tourists that is almost impossible to meet.
That being said, there’s no reason why that beautiful bar, stocked full of liquor, and staffed by paid sherpas, couldn’t have gifted drinks to Burners who came to check it out.
I don’t expect Caravancicle will be back under the same name; perhaps it will be Chumpcicle next year.
JT’s post solidified for me, that I’m sticking to regionals. Burnersxxx. You ever make it to a Texas burn. Post about it. I’d like to find you and pour you a few shots in appreciation for burners.me and the coverage you give to issues (and other shenanigans)
Would love to go to a Texas burn, and sink some shots with you. Thanks for the support!
I’m curious. How many Popsicles did they actually hand out? Because it’s half of their name and intention.
According to Sherpagirl, one camp member got into it and stood in the street handing out the organic popsicles. According to JT, they regularly gifted them. All that booze, and their gift was herbal tea and popsicles? Why build an elaborate bar, if not to gift drinks?
So reading this I am gobsmacked (as the Brits would say) by the double speak and plain tone deafness of the response.
So here are my thoughts on his response:
Radical Inclusion: OK so help me out here: when did “Radical Inclusion” come to mean that we need to make it easy for people with the means to rent access to the playa. It seems to me that Radical Inclusion means welcoming anyone who makes the effort and investment to come to the burn not bringing the burn to them. This is not radical inclusion this is radical customer acquisition.
Gifting: The fact that is was the camp that gifted and not the individuals is messed up. “Gifting” was part of the service the campers (aka customers) paid for it is not comparable to the drinks, hugs or conversation served up by the awesome crew of the camps like Lost Penguin or the art cart we built and brought to the playa for everyone to enjoy. Gifting is not a service you buy.
Decommodification: Selling access is commodification regardless of whether you advertised or made money. Caravancicle was a service produced and offered as a product for sale. That by definitions is commodification.
Radical Self-Reliance: Literally non existent. Only in an Orwelling world would using your money to buy services constitute “radical self-reliance”. There is nothing radical about this.
Radical Self-Expression: Since I don’t know the campers I can’t really say how much of this took place.
Communal effort: Non existent
Civic Responsibility: Who knows?
Leave no trace: Epic fail, Opulent Temple, Distrikt, White Ocean…. all cleaned up, enough said.
Participation: Who knows?
Immediacy: Again, who knows but it seems that the camp was built as a way to be insulated from the burn not engage in it. I hope that the campers walked out to the deep playa, talked with strangers, marveled at the art, stopped when they wanted to and lived in the moment but again, who knows?
Plug and Play. Let’s be honest this was not a plug and play camp it was a safari camp that brought no beauty or value to the playa. It may have brought beauty and value to the campers but no one on the playa saw any of this. I walked down K street a couple of times and did not see any of this only a wall of trailers and air conditioned portapoties. I am not judging the campers I am judging the camp. None of the campers are exclude or would be excluded. The argument that these participants would only come if they are served by such a camp and that excluding the camp means excluding them is flawed. Everyone is welcome on the playa but this does not mean that the playa must conform to them.
Profit: This camp was about making money. Whether it was to cover costs or make a profit is not something I can pass judgement on. They advertised, charged money and promised services in return. Just because the web site was “private” or invitation only does not mean it was not a money venture.
And to finish a couple of ideas:
1. Next year instead of organizing a camp Jim should consider join a camp, maybe an old line camp like Distrikt. Work the bar, do the chores and absorb what the burns is like from the ground.
Instead of building a camp how about “inviting” people to the burn and then placing them with existing camps. Think of these participants as exchange students being placed with host families. Hell pay the camps to host them and show them a good time. Not only would this be radical inclusion but they would really get to experience the burn.
Great comment, I agree with your points and suggestions. I am interested to know if Caravancicle got a vendor permit for the camp. I contacted the BLM today and asked for the list of 2014 licensed vendors.
I just have time for a quick response, but most of this, this right here is what I would have wanted to compose. I am most stunned at his conveniently limited view of decommodification (being a board member and all). I am most irritated by his repeat of the “excluding rich people” distraction.
LOL, this one time we (4 of us) went to see the Stones front row, and the spin doctors were the opening band, so we did our best to party in the room until we hoped they would be long gone (it was at the Skydome)… but… we didnt party long enough up in the room and when we got down to our seats (really, floor front row center) those goofballs were still playing. We basically ignored them, talked amongst ourselves for a moment, looked up at the spin doctors, pointed at them and laughed and then all 4 of us took a walk to get a another beer… We came back when they were long gone.
I despise spin doctors and JT is one of them.
Fuck him and the sherpa he road in on.
On another note…
I WISH YOU A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW PARTY!!!
Thanks for all you do… you are a good man, I hope you get everything you desire for Christmas.
A shout-out from Santa! Thanks, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you as well. My new years’ resolution is to be more naughty than nice 😉
Washing your own dishes is communal effort? I can just imagine a future Burning Man where that’s the standard for communal effort. I won’t be attending it though.
We having a saying in Australia…”pig’s arse”. As in “pig’s arse they washed their own dishes”. Pics or it didn’t happen.
JT: “I’ve been going to every Bunring Man since 2009”. So, that means last year at this time he had attended only 5 Burns, but somehow he is on the board and feels he has this all figured out. Hard to argue with that vast amount of experience, (tongue firmly planted in cheek). He needs to step down, not later, but today!
I chuckled hard at the 5 years comment too.
It reminds of of Jack in The Shining,..
“Oh yes, I am full recovered, I haven’t had a drink in 6 weeks”…
dat long long, sooooo very very long long, term. LOL
Commodification camp clusterfuck aside, that picture of the bar, Jesus. I’m really conflicted. On the one hand, it’s a fucking amazing installation. On the other hand, you can’t even tell it’s on the playa. Limitless funds can do that, but it’s just taking all the fun out of it. I don’t care if the popsicle camp followed every principle and left on time with zero MOOP, something that extravagant just makes me feel empty inside, And yeah, the place is empty. Was it ever hopping with people? The comparison to Distrikt is great, because that camp has probably the highest continuous traffic on the playa, their stage set up is awesome without being ridiculous, and the bar is just a fucking bar cranking out drinks for free. THAT’S Burning Man, to me. It looks like a bar in the desert, not a cheesy W Hotel lobby.
Were they concerned they might disturb their precious guests’ sleep with noisy Burners having fun?
To say “we only serve camp members during the day” when you have PAID BAR STAFF and are clearly displaying tons of booze is LAME.
Not to mention against Radical Inclusion, Decommodification, Gifting, Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Immediacy, and Participation. “I’m so cool I can pay someone to make a VIP bar at Burning Man and get it featured in interior design magazines” is a form of Self Expression, I guess.
It is a form of expression, you’re right, which is why I’m conflicted about it. The joy of expression at Burning Man, for me, is people cobbling together amazing things out of ingenuity and (necessary) frugality. It’s not about bringing default world industrial-level infrastructure. But again, it’s not my place to tell anyone how to express themselves. It’s just kind of disappointing.
Another thought: I’m a web developer, I knew fuck-all about open desert wind shelters and dismantling Ford F-150s and welding, etc., before going to Burning Man. Now I know about them. I learned something new, I went outside of my comfort zone to bring something interesting. Someone like JT’s talent is in business and, I’m guessing, hiring the right people to execute a vision. That’s exactly what he did with something like the popsicle camp. DId he go outside his comfort zone? I don’t know, doesn’t seem like it. Again, not my place to tell anyone how to burn, just an observation. And I point it out because there’s more and more of that on the playa now. People creating “peak experiences” by using their wealth to hire people to build shit. Meh to that, I say! MEH!
He outsourced recruitment and then blamed his recruiter for the non-performance of his team; he outsourced manufacturing and blamed the manufacturer for unfinished product; he outsourced Leave No Trace to his manufacturer, then blamed the DPW Resto crew for unfairly scoring “a few red marks” on his entirely yellow camp site; he outsourced Self Reliance on behalf of his camp to his team of sherpas, and then singled out the one who blew the whistle; he outsourced “picking up chicks” to his Mistresses of Merriment, who perhaps weren’t so merry when they learned they’d have to use a porta-potty like everyone else.
If he has a talent for hiring the right people to execute a vision, he didn’t display it in his Commodification Camp.
His career suggests he’s an expert in doing deals with Other Peoples’ Money, not building and managing effective teams. Usually in deals he has a contract, and if the other party doesn’t perform he can sue. In this case, the other party seems to have said “fuck yer day” and left his vast paid staff to finish the on-Playa porcelain toilet building themselves, thus creating strain on their “day jobs” of not serving alcohol from the “free” bar to Burners who didn’t pay $17,000 for a wristband.
Maybe he should’ve hired the same event production, catering, and video production companies as BoD Chip Conley to build his camp for “vast amounts of time, effort, and money”.
I echo your cry of “MEH!”
Hear hear and a hearty harrumph!
100% accurate description. Could not have been better said. I am a business person too. I build my camp. I hammer stakes into the ground and I pull them out. This is what burningman is. I would not have it any other way.
JT should resign from the board. If he is sorry, he should come in 2015 and build the camp right. No reason to be on the board for that.
The fuck up is too great. RESIGN.
Blah blah blah blah blah. You’re worse than a politician with your double speak and placations. Furthermore I don’t give a shit what your experience at the burn was like from within your walled garden.
You aren’t a burner like most of us. And you don’t get Burning Man.
Hey Ken, I’m not in agreement with the whole debacle either but in your above post I’ll note that you’re coming perilously close to falling into that chasm of ‘burnier than thou’ when you diminish someone based on the number of times they’ve been to the event. I’ve met first timers who ‘got’ it quicker their first time than some I’ve known who’ve been going for a decade. Careful where you step.
Steve, I think a contrasting (and comparing) look at the accounts given by the whistleblower/SherpaGirl, M2, and JT would benefit most from your ability to use different formatting for different authors. It would make a good new post. I’ll just give one example below. The whistleblower (who I believe later wrote another account as SherpaGirl- it’s been a few months, so I’ll have to verify this) wrote many things about her views of JT’s intentions.
“Missing Motel Build lovingly crafted every single detail of popsicle camp. Everything from our private bathrooms, our rectangles, and every piece of furniture in it, the lay out of the camp itself and a majority of the beautiful details that made this camp an actual art instillation to be admired by everyone passing by. Popsicle camp, from my perspective, had just invested money in property that would use to just rent out to cover the expenses and then make a profit as well.” [it also sounds like she stayed for at least days (pre-event?), not the “hours” claimed by JT.]
“Our camp was constructed by a long-term Burner with deep respect and care for the community, who was hired to manage the camp. He also led the build for the camp we did the year before. We have worked with people in the past to build out our camp who were hired by the camp organizers and then would enjoy the Burning Man experience when they were not working. Our campmates would staff the bar, greet people, give out gifts, etc. This year, our plan was to gift a neighboring camp infrastructure in exchange for their assistance in building ours. We were trying to build community through sharing resources.
To make a long and painful story short, our partners were not able to complete our build and our remaining staff was left having to build out toilets, showers and other infrastructure (without having planned to and therefore not having the proper resources to do so). During this crisis, many people in our camp rose to the occasion, but a few, like “SherpaGirl,” decided to leave and then wrote a disappointing account of her few hours in our camp.”
Decommodification has been one of the Ten Principles we’ve been looking at that this BMP BoD violated. The whistleblower clearly states her opinion that profit was one of JT’s intentions. Another Principle is Radical Self-Reliance. It doesn’t take a 5-time Burner to know that hiring a crew to build your elaborate camp is not going to fucking work if they are also building their own similarly elaborate camp. Staffing your own bar, greeting, and mandatory gift distribution isn’t the same as building or maintaining a 1000 Gallon-a-day plumbing infrastructure.
Speaking of infrastructure, JT claims: “This year, our plan was to gift a neighboring camp infrastructure in exchange for their assistance in building ours… our remaining staff was left having to build out toilets, showers and other infrastructure (without having planned to and therefore not having the proper resources to do so).” WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTT??????????????? It’s quotes like these that require no counterpoint- the lies just hang themselves.
OK, one more quick discrepancy. SherpaGirl: “Our camp had a couple of art cars that we rented from other artists. Our staff would be in charge of driving. They would directed to only allow members of the camp to ride on them. The DMV rules of the festival require that any art car driving is required to be for public enjoyment. We were told to go against those rules and be sure that we maintain our members VIP status.” JT: “Sometimes we had art cars that were filled up with our camp members and would not have been safe to include others. During other parts of the days, these art cars welcomed anyone to come on board until they were filled to safe capacity.” Oh, so anyone was welcome to board during “other” parts of the days.
JT really destroys his own credibility. He’s sorry for the way people felt, not for what he did. He’s sorry that other people screwed up.
Also, when you compare one sentence to an adjacent or nearby sentence, his attempt at wordcraft is shown to be contradictory. It’s like saying: “I always Drink Pepsi: all other times I drink Coke.” WTF?
I agree that would be an interesting post. I’m considering it – a lot to do IRL before the end of the year.
Danger Ranger is obviously lying, proved with photos of my RV and Caravancicle’s bar; he himself said “don’t believe everything you read on the Internet” as he was spouting his BS. JT is passing the buck, and his version of events differs from all the other accounts. “Sherpa Girl” might be a disgruntled ex-employee, but to me there was a real ring of truth to her words. The “hero/villain” camp manager has a completely different take on the situation from anyone else, his story has not yet been told.
I’m interested to see how Bloomberg Business Week describes the situation in their story.
first and foremost, this man comes off as a jackass. an utter braying jackass.
however, I do believe his intention wasn’t to make money . . . at least not yet. any good business man knows early reinvestment of profits will grow your venture much more quickly. hell, anyone can figure that out. he obviously doesn’t need the money.
but I still see discrepancies between his story and the almighty danger(ous) ranger. m2 said jt had a site manager who took the money and ran, jt says he was a trusted friend, with no mention of money running. so what the fuck was it? oh, that’s right, its lies. I forgot, its just lies.
this is the main issue with a camp who’s members don’t take on the self-reliance physically, and instead have to rely on themselves only to enjoy their vacation package; if something goes wrong, they don’t pitch in and fix the problem, they expect “the help” to do it for them. I know a camp full of members dedicated to the camps mission would have all banded together to solve the problem, instead of finger pointing.
sorry, not a trusted friend, but a “HERO”. the money runner was a hero.
another discrepancy: m2 said the camp manager was a first-time burning man attendee, jt says they were a long term burner with deep respect for the community. which is it?
Most likely explanation: neither is telling the truth.
I think he is lying about his intentions to make money. Regardless, by paying people to be there and work for him and his camp, that seems to fly in contradiction of how I understand commodification. Example, according to
Stephen Brooks is listed as “hired as Virgin Orienter”. Really? They had to pay someone to orient their clients?
I just don’t think the intent of Burning Man is to use it as a paid gig. As a matter of fact, the event would be cost prohibitive if everyone who volunteered to make this event happened rejected the montra that the BMORG preaches about voluntarism.
Move on people.
It’s time to build the future and stop dwelling on the past.
Yep, because BMOrg will magically get better if we just shut up and ignore all their problems, and let certain members of their Board of Directors crap all over the Ten Principles and integrate the Playa with their business activities.
Burning Man has been taken over by consumerist culture since about 2006, or at least that’s when it became painfully obvious to me. There were always tourists and frat boys etc, but by 2006 it was undeniably inundated and saturated by consumers lining up to receive the authentic experience.
Pockets of old-school burners still remain. But the progress of the event will soon enough weed them all out. The gnashing of teeth now is a bit late in the game, but it makes for good popcorn time.
Corporate culture is begging to get on the playa to deliver the spectacle to the consumers in exchange for a bit of soft branding. These groups will replace the faithful that remain.
It’s all about the Esplanade and deep playa now. Theme camps off the Esplanade – meh. It was 2003 when I walked off the Esplanade to go explore other camps and found complete darkness and was shocked. The most fun used to be had at night at those well-lit happy welcoming camps near the potties. Sooo long gone.
The anger now mostly people hanging onto something that is not even there anymore; grabbing at branches on trees that were harvested for wood 10 years ago.
Totally agree about the smaller camps deeper in the city being where the fun is, and I didn’t start going until 2007. So, they’re still there, maybe not as prevalent as in the old days.
JT, playing the politics, blaming other people and the hired help, does not bode well for the Project board to provide adult supervision over the BMOrg, and make the very difficult decisions required for the benefit of the Project. My belief is next week the JRS will state tickets will rise by $40 to an ironic $420, and tickets will not be directed to the awesome Burner community, tickets will solely be directed to people whom require early access to build Larry’s city, and a few others.
In addendum, a blog post will state their current reasonable salaries on the Project, and, perchance, the estimated $1 million for licence of the Burning Man(TM) name and logo, thus they are not taking an unreasonable amount of money, the rise in ticket prices is in due of paying others and supporting the Project. While they do not mention the cash being reserved, each year, for the estimated $12 million for purchase of the Burning Man(TM) name and logo in two years time, or might there be a substantial additional cost for Burning Man(TM) to repurchase IP licence rights of images, soundtracks, or movies from Decommodification LLC, adding to the estimated $12 million cost, not answer the queries of might their Decommodification LLC might take levies upon images or movies of Burning Man, their prior large salaries from the BRC LLC prior to the transition to the Project, or of the cash, or other assets, stripped from the BRC LLC prior to the transition/donation to the project.
Please let this be incorrect, and the responsible Project board members realize things are going downhill with the current leadership being conflicted and they have lost the trust of most contributors. The Project board members must make very difficult decisions for the benefit of the Project, the Burning Man event, and the awesome Burner community and culture. The Project, Burning Man, and the Burner community have a very bright future might the Project board make the difficult decisions.
It’s looking like more infighting, and less leadership, from the BoD.
Compare his camp moop score with that of Opulent Temple’s which hosted literally thousands more people and foot traffic. And I know for a fact that they were off the playa on Tuesday. They had just as big or even bigger installation than Caranvancicle, and yet Caranvancicle had 4 extra days to clean up their crap.
No excuses! Sad. As a member of the board, he should lead by example and be held to a higher standard than the rest.
Diplo and Skrillex at OT. MOOP score by Tuesday: GREEN
I normally can’t stand the pointless muckraking and attacking of the borg that this site is wholly based on…but this JT blog is beyond the pale. This guy is a stinky anchor around the neck of the event, and the borg should have distanced themselves from him immediately, not given him a platform to air his crappy excuses on.
Saying that he lost money on this implies he was trying to make money… Why is he not gifting money… (I lost $3000 (the cost of my experience) this year to go to the burn, if you want to look at it that way)
Considering what I have read about what their dues were, they should have known their budget, what happened to have caused them to “lose money”? All things should have been paid for in advance of the playa.
The whole “gifting” a huge party on friday is a bunch of crap….. There aren’t really any parties on temple burn night, on the man burn night is everyone is out and about, so if you were going to get rid of all your left over booze so that you don’t need to haul it back, the night would be friday.
Running out of booze?!?!?! Pffft!!! Have you ever seen the distrikt bar? It probably does more volume with less money to do it with.
Contrast the elite-looking Caravancicle bar, behind a wall and a curtain, with a bunch of hipsters sitting around who don’t even appear to be drinking…with the Distrikt bar, fully staffed by unpaid volunteers who work their asses off giving out totally free drinks all day long to anyone and everyone in the massive crowd.
Distrikt and so many others do it right. It isn’t that hard but it takes effort personal engagement something money can’t buy.
His blog post seems to have been taken down now…google it, says page not found.
And now it’s back up! Traffic maybe?
yeah, too much, too soon, then too little, too late…
Oh, and by the way, that is the text book example of a non-apology
Jesus Christ. I can’t even read all of that schlog. It never occurs to him that his whole fucking concept of his stupid camp is the source of the problem. You can’t be self reliant when you are relying on 50 others to take care of you and your needs. Opposite much? What a load of self aggrandizing crap.
“4. Radical Self-reliance: Although many of the more physical aspects of self-reliance were lost on the Caravanciclers,”
-He blames both The Lost Hotel and his own campers. Obviously, part of the problem with non-self-reliant camps hiring/enslaving workers is that they see that as a license to blame others and not take responsibility. Maybe this points to the fact that Radical Responsibility is indeed more important than Radical Self-Reliance.
“camp members were encouraged to exercise and rely on their inner resources.”
-like what, cash? gold and silver coins, perhaps?
“Just as in other camps, many members spent extensive amounts of time reflecting and self-exploring out on the playa.”
-well, bully for them!
“They faced many of the same challenges every other Burner faces at the event.”
-What, like not being able to buy your way out of any situation and occasionally having to use port-o-potties?
Y’know the concept that most everything that was messed up was because of delays they blame on The lost Hotel crew, and because their porcelain fucking toilets didn’t work, is exquisitely lame.
The people still want to know: how’d they get so many tickets and placement that late, if there was no special help from BMorg?
2009 bierner opportunistic scumbag who doesn’t accept responsibility. Look at his picture. Send him back to kindergarden to learn ten real principles. With that dishonest attitude, he wouldn’t last a day in a kindergarden yard. Poor baby, he would be all alone.
Meh. Dude is still on the board.
Yep. And another Commodification Camp, Petit Ermitage, are still advertising their pop-up Burning Man hotel on their facebook page. Lots of words from BMOrg, but little change. I predict a ticket price hike for 2015, perhaps $500.
Wow. Just wow.
At this point, I’m over it. We’ve heard what we are going to hear from them on this issue. My ability to digest this mess is exhausted. The popcorn bowl is empty and I’m nauseous. Enough.
If I did not have a job to do out there I would be done with BM. I never fully bought into the 10 Suggestions but still had this thought in the back of my head that maybe, just maybe, BM stood for something more. This thought is now fully extinguished.
As long as they give me a ticket and food I will continue to go but I no longer look to BM as the shining city on the hill. It’s just another gig.