Some Burners will go “who cares”…but if you type “Burning Man” into Google and set time to “past 24 hours” under Search Tools, you will see that this is the main story being discussed on the Internet about Burning Man. Celeb coverage includes Business Insider, Harper’s Bazaar, New York Post, Hollywood Life, Marie Claire.
It seems that many people very much do care. Where else can regular folks party with billionaires and A-list stars, for only $400?
Maybe later in the week there will be other Burning Man news on the Internet for us to discuss. Hey, if you don’t like this story, write your own! We welcome guest posts.
Susan Sarandon got a lot of press for carrying Timothy Leary’s ashes in a procession to their final resting place under a masturbating nun, before they were merged with the rest of the ash after the Totem of Confessions burned.
Katy Perry made her Burning Man debut with video of her falling off a Segway, which has gone viral globally – 511,000 likes just on her Instagram feed.
Jared Leto handed out oranges. Diddy tended bar. Leonardo di Caprio was a rumored sighting last year, this year his girlfriend was confirmed.
Voices of Burning Man reports that “soccer star Ronaldo” was there, asking to be gifted some merch at Robot Heart [NB: the sport is called football, because you kick the ball with your foot, not hold it in your hands]. Turns out it was Ronaldo Lima, not current Real Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo.
Also rumored to be in attendance this year was Paris Hilton. Her Twitter feed was silent between Aug 29 and Sep 7, before she jetted off to Ibiza for a foam and diamonds party.
Katy Perry, singer
Susan Sarandon, actress
Karlie Kloss, model, Victoria’s Secret angel
Suki Waterhouse, model (note the numbered RV)
Poppy Delevingne, model, socialite
Cara Delevingne, model/actress/singer
Dasha Zhukova, magazine editor, Mrs Roman Abramovich
Derek Blasberg, magazine editor, author
Constance Jablonski, model
Mohammed Hadid (Real Housewives husband)
Jared Leto, actor
Kelly Rohrbach, model, actress, athlete – Leo di Caprio’s latest squeeze
Shanina Shaik, model, and DJ Ruckus “the most sought after DJ in the world”
Michelle Monaghan, actress
Candice Swanepoel, model, Victoria’s Secret angel
If anyone encountered other celebrities at Burning Man this year, please let us know in the comments.
I think it is kind of sad. I’ve been going to Burning Man for about 20 years. They used to ask that people cover up company names on your uhaul trailer you bring out there or any other large advertisement. I think that is pretty much forgotten these days. Celebrity sightings? It used to not be about those type of things. But I suppose all things change, including Burning Man.
“It used to not be about those type of things. But I suppose all things change, including Burning Man.”
That’s why I now call it Burnt Man. Defaultification has been encouraged and taken over the event. It used to be a special space with special people defined in their own context; now it is just another spectator event.
As Figment says, “What are you bringing?” If you are bringing your camera for Instagram posts of celebrities, that says a lot. And if you include the Borg in your definition of “celebrities,” that says a lot, too. https://vid.me/0qwe
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Other than Susan Sarandon, I have no idea who the hell these other “A” listers are.
If you click the names on each you can find out. P.Diddy is one of the most famous and successful musicians in the world, and has been for more than 20 years.
I found Susan Sarandon pulling that publicity stunt with Leary’s ashes ridiculous. First of all who says Leary would even like Burning Man? So, on that note, I found the whole thing to be reminiscent of the Mormons doing baptisms for the dead- right on down to Sarandon wearing all white.
I think you’re right. I’m surprised ABP didn’t see through it. If I had heard about it circumspectly (i.e. there were rumors of…) then I might have thought better of it but Sarandon is using every avenue of the media she can to blow her horn. Is her career fledgling or is she desperate for attention? Such a pompous and pretentious act.
Plus it appears she was using twitter to push the manufacturer of some expensive shoes she wore to BM. Maybe she’ll become a high priestess of the cult!
Maybe she’s emblematic of the new breed of burner, it’s all about me, notoriety, and product placement.
My belief is some of the celebrities are awesome in due of the good they have done, in the manner of the comments, , by reb, below. Susan Sarandon gets Burning Man, discussing it with Jimmy Kimmel, in this awesome video. At near to the same time, Supervillain Elon Musk, whom gave a TED talk at the burn the prior week, discussed, with Stephen Colbert, the manners of which he is making attempts to save the world. Scarlett Johansson was on the couch, with him, she was queried in regards of the manner of which she and Elon Musk were mates. She avoided, in a most nervous manner, discussing Burning Man in regards of the query.
In addendum, in regards of the queries of who cares, might the Daily Mail version of this article, in actuality, obtain 30 million views, in the manner stated within their comments?
Why is it important that a media celebrity “get it.” If you need that validation, well… you don’t get it.
Are you going to list some celebrities?
What is your definition of “celebrity”?
And frankly I would be more impressed with pictures of you and your camp… I am certainly more impressed with you and your accomplishments than any of the “who?s” posted. It may all be perspective relative, but you seem more like a “celeb” than any of “them”.
Thank god that the dust doesn’t care if you are a celebrity or not! Really loved the dust storms and the cold weather they are the great equalizer
Yeah, those RVs and catering by sherpas are no protection from the elements. No, wait…
Yeah I was thinking the same thing. Sucks.
Sarandon wasn’t the only celeb plugging a brand, I think this is the norm on instagram. Lots of celebs have been promoting companies that gave them shoes, bags, clothes… Kind of like the red carpet at the Oscars where companies just give celebs something so they get photographed in it and say the brand.
I envision New York Fashion Week and Paris designers embracing the “burner aesthetic” for upcoming lines, the new thing.
Makes me want to get as far away from BM as possible.
Then there is *this* celebrity opening his mouth…. “I don’t think black folks like to camp as much as white folks,” Larry Harvey said.
Ignorance like this makes me cringe.
Come on, as crass as it may sound, it’s pretty true. For whatever reasons.
Care to cite some sources there, JV?
And just what makes you and Larry think going to the NV burn is “camping” anyway?
That article states exactly what I’ve heard from black friends and co-workers when I tell them about Burning Man. I know they’re half joking, but it’s usually some form of “black people don’t camp.” The author even says she has to overcome her black friends’ preconceptions about camping, because most of them have never camped, nor no anyone who does.
And OF COURSE there are black people who camp and who go to Burning Man. Never said they’re weren’t. As for actual statistics, here’s the most detailed report I found: http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/pdf/research.camping.2012.pdf
On page 11, they break down camping participation by ethnicity. African-Americans comprised 2% of campers, while making up 13.2% of the US population. Whites make up 84% of campers, while being 62% of the US population. Conclusion: black people don’t camp much. Nothing wrong with that, it just is.
Fair enough. But those beans look pretty good.
Agreed, I’d camp with that group any day.
Eating beans is one of the opportunities when you are camping out, unless you are in one of those $800 tents.
My black friends who go to BRC state “Black folk don’t camp”. My friends would be the exception to their own ‘rule’.
Comments like Larry’s shouldn’t be said, whether it not some like him thinks it’s true. Generalizing statements about groups of people are not helpful or appropriate.
He was asked a question about why black people aren’t that represented that much at Burning Man. His answer is about as good a one as can be expected from anybody. What if he mentioned average income for black folks? Would that be generalizing? Should the question even be asked? For chrissakes, even when Burning Man was super cheap, almost no black people went. Oh well? Does every event need to be diverse?
One could simply say the event is open to everyone, rather than speculate the reasons why some don’t attend. I don’t think it’s appropriate to generalize about groups. Because it’s never accurate, and can be perceived as arrogant to speculate. But hey, he’s gonna say what he wants. Not my problem if people think he’s racist or not.
He could have said “‘I don’t know, I’m uncertain, or we’ve thought a lot about this and haven’t reached a conclusion” instead he shoved his foot in his mouth. My guess is his ego is too big for that kind of honest admission.
Nah, I think we should encourage ignorant idiots to self-identify. If they can’t keep up on their Mark Twain, that’s their problem.
People can say whatever they like. I am sure that statement is made hundreds of times in BRC – I have heard it myself. If Larry were not a Borg celebrity, his statement would be ignored, The fault is in those who give Larry the “celebrity” status and hang on his every word. Are we to correct Larry, or correct our granting him celebrity status? Hint: One is much easier.
Hey, HEY! You are talking about the Borg Chief Philosophy Officer. Tone`down on the facts there, pilgrim. Don’t you want to be invited next year?
Can you find Larry in this picture?
(The other one is Philip K. Dick.)
Eh. My son got back from his second burn, he had an amazing time bringing his first project out there: a smelting pot that he used to melt aluminum cans into cool medallions, literally turning trash into art. I couldn’t be prouder. Multiply him by many 1000s of newer burners who are excited about the culture and have the energy to contribute. So celebrities are now showing up. Who cares? They will keep attending until the next shiny object appears, and then they’ll move on. They were there (for the most part) when it was a grubby little underground art-freak festival, and they won’t be there in a few years when the mainstream novelty wears off of Burning Man.
Make that: “they WEREN’T there…”
The problem is what will be left of the NV burn after the caprice of the Borg and their BoD screw it up. They are accruing long-term social and political liabilities with few and fleeting assets. They are already taking the real money and running, leaving the event to pay the social and political bills.
All of those pop people are kind of meh, kind of hard to tell apart from all the pretty glitter stuff, but quite surreal the image of Fat Ronaldo there…
Yeah, I don’t really see most of the people listed as celebs. I don’t consciously follow pop culture, and I don’t really know or care who most of them are or what TV show they may have been on. Being a “socialite” is equally unimportant and unimpressive. It’s like any geek subculture- some people know who people are and care, and most have no idea.
So to me, seeing most of the people in this article being listed as celebrities is much like a self-fulfilling prophecy. When people stop caring, people will stop talking about them; when people stop talking about them, people stop talking about them.
That is, except the geek subcultures who are interested in what they’re interested in; not my cup o’ tea, but whatever. There has always been lots of that; without it there would probably be nothing to attract these so-called celebrities in the first place to a hot/cold dustbowl full of prehistoric fish shit.
But when it comes to Cults of Personality, I say burn ’em.
It’s like the Philip K. Dick quote about reality: “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” This can be applied to most of the people listed in this post as a “celebrity.” If people stop believing and saying they are celebrities, how many would still exist as such? Sarandon and P. Diddy. That’s about it.
Wow. And just what qualifies Sarandon and P. Ditty as enduring celebrities? What have they contributed to civilization? How have they uniquely enriched your life?
Come on now, they’re super famous and have been for years based on their artistic output, like it or not. Most of the others on this list, I honestly don’t know what they do other than “model” and maybe reality TV personality. Once the models hit the age of 30, poof, they’re gone. And reality TV stars don’t have much of a shelf life either.
If your camp was full of Sarandons and Combs’, would you get done what is needed? Don’t know that can be said, but being “super famous” does not make it, unless the super famous was earned from an element of getting things done.
Answer this question: What of your past burn experiences would you give up to have what burn encounter with these celebrities? That should illuminate what has meaning to you.
This is just a guess as to Susan Sarandon’s appeal to some Burners. She was in probably the biggest cult classic film of all time: The Rocky Horror Picture Show (and mostly in her undies). I’d guess that film’s mainstream glorification of crossdressing and homosexuality ranks high among the large SF-based population of BRC over the years.
Wikipedia also talks about her awards and activism. “She is an Academy Award and BAFTA Award winner who is also known for her social and political activism for a variety of liberal causes. She was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1999 and received the Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award in 2006.” She’s one of relatively few celebrity activists, having come out early against the U.S. Invasion of Iraq, a Nader Raider, and other stuff I admittedly just looked up. She’s contributed to civilization by using her influence to try to stop war and the possibility of Bush getting elected.
A freakin’ Oscar, a SAG Award, and five Emmy nominations.
Diddy also has an Oscar as an Executive Producer, 3 Grammys, plus another 6 Grammy nominations. Wikipedia also summarizes: “Combs founded Daddy’s House Social Programs, an organization to help inner city youth, in 1995. Programs include tutoring, life skills classes, and an annual summer camp. Along with Jay-Z, he pledged $1 million to help support victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and donated clothing from his Sean John line to victims. He has donated computers and books to New York schools. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley named October 13, 2006, as “Diddy Day” in honor of Combs’ charity work. In 2008 Combs was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
Katy Perry has boatloads of AMA, MTV, and People’s Choice Awards, but the fact that she has no Grammys despite her insane popularity just goes to show that it’s not just a popularity contest.
Although noone here might care about the entertainment business, there’s no denying that Oscars, Grammys, and Emmys are some of the highest caliber entertainment awards on Earth. I’m not saying they’ve uniquely enriched my life, but how many people really have, in a way that I can articulate? But as far as being enduring celebrities, Sarandon and Diddy hold both high accolades in their fields, continue to work in them, and do humanitarian work that have improved many peoples’ lives.
And even if smartphones got no reception on playa for instant photo gratification, the MSM and satellite phones will always find their way into the event.
Celebrities giving each other awards does not get anything done. It is the ultimate self-validation, largely in response to a lack of direct influence. Peabody awards are a different story, but I am not seeing that here.
These are all triangulation and inferred values for Sarandon. “She’s contributed to civilization by using her influence…” is using that inferred celebrity factor that I would reject. Did she swing a hammer to help build your camp, or use her credentials to encourage others to do it. Big difference to me.
Did not know about Combs. He has used his money to do good, and that’s good stuff regardless of the source. Buying the hammer for those who need it counts.
You asked this question: “And just what qualifies Sarandon and P. Ditty as enduring celebrities?”
I and another commenter answered it pretty well. Celebrity status has nothing to do with humanitarian contribution, mostly to do with some kind of achievement in the arts or politics, for better or worse. As for how they’ve enriched my life, I can’t say P. Diddy has at all, personally, but Sarandon has been in a few movies I really enjoy, particularly (and predictably), Rocky Horror Picture Show, which has had enduring appeal through the years for me and my family.
As suggested by the comment thread above by Mack Jogger, we all can define celebrity for ourselves. The problem is when you let others do that with no subjective respect of those others (i.e., the media). The only real solution is to ask what they mean to you.
For me, external agencies are pretty limited to people and organizations I respect, like Peabody, Pulitzer and Nobel (go dynamite!!). I can also rely on information from others to give praise to those who have objectively helped others in need; if Wikipedia is correct, Combs would fit.
But personally, it is easy and most probative for a personal inventory. Ask who, if removed from your experience, would lessen your life and who you are. While I like Sarandon’s performance in Rocky Horror, she is replaceable in that role for me. While not the same, the picture would still largely have the same meaning with another in that role. What are essential are Sharman and O’Brien, and Tim Curry’s performance.
This is the way I came up with my list of people I would like to chat with at the Abstininthe Bar. I would be a different person if I had not experienced Lori Anderson. While attending one AIR performance she gave some insight as to her art: when asked why she performs, she said it was not to express herself, nor to teach something to others, she said it was to understand the world.
So for me, a “celebrity” is someone I celebrate for who they are and what they have given my life. No one in this post makes that list.
Of course, we all have our own heroes or people we admire and whose work has touched us in one way or another. But, it’s hard to deny Sarandon’s celebrity status. Again, the Dick quote paraphrased: if you stopped (or never started) believing Sarandon was a celebrity, would she still be one? Well, yeah, because enough other people see her as such.
I do agree that she wasn’t essential to Rocky Horror like Tim Curry was. It’s funny, my wife and I were just having that discussion last week because there was some blurb about Curry always trying to live down that role. But, I’d still get a kick out of running into her on the playa. I wouldn’t fawn over her or anything, but I’d probably give her the “hey you’re that person” look.
“…because enough other people see her as such” is not justification for me, because: a) “other people” get no automatic credibility with me; and b) you got the Dick quote wrong – if everyone else stopped believing in her celebrity it would no longer be real.
To use your line of reasoning for the Dick quote, everything in the world is real if anyone believes in it, and that was not Dick’s intent. If no one believed in the Republican Party it would be gone; therefore, it’s not “real.” No one in Hiroshima believed in the atomic bomb, but it nonetheless wiped them out. That’s the “reality” Dick was referring to.
Well now we’re getting into the whole “human construct” thing. I think Dick may have only been referring to God vs. material/scientific realities. When it comes to culture, something is indeed real if someone or some group believes it. And you know, the more we study the mind, the more that applies to material surroundings. That light reflecting off the atoms that make up a tree that our human eye is receiving and then passing through our optical nerve up to the brain which reorders it into something we’ve learned to recognize as a “tree?” Well, that’s reality, Jack. But if humans stopped existing, it would go away. Tree falling in forest, and all.
Nope. Remove humanity from the planet and the tree, as we know it physically, still exists. What is removed is our perception of the tree. And yes, if Helen Keller falls in the woods, it does make a sound – there is just no one to hear (perceive) it.
If we set up a battery-powered radio broadcast from a microphone in the woods, and the next day a virus wiped out humanity, and the next day she fell, some alien receiver could receive that signal. (Keep in mind that the aliens could all be dead too, so still no creature might “hear” it.) No belief is required.
What about those you DO consider celebrities for helping humanity or whatever criteria you have? Take away the people whom they’ve helped, and what do you get?
As far as I know, sound waves would still be produced, but with no ears to receive that disturbance and no brains to interpret and transmit it as “sound,” there’d be no sound as we know it. Maybe an earless alien would have the capacity to see those sound waves. Maybe the tree itself would “look” like shards of light. Who the fuck knows?
Sorry JV. You are into fuzzy thinking.
“What about those you DO consider celebrities for helping humanity or whatever criteria you have? Take away the people whom they’ve helped, and what do you get?” > You put Combs on your list; no such people on my list. If there are no needy people, they are no celebrities from helping them.
“As far as I know, sound waves would still be produced, but with no ears to receive that disturbance and no brains to interpret and transmit it as “sound,” there’d be no sound as we know it.” > Wrong. With some good batteries, my sound level meter will work just fine with all of humanity dead. Aliens could come and use it to measure what we called “sound.” Pretty cool for them, even if they had no way of hearing sound. No belief needed. Sound is reality.
So your celebrities are a priori celebrities? Ha, OK.
Your sound meter would register the waves, but it wouldn’t register sound as what we hear, whether is a rumble or music or whatever. Our ears and brain interpret those waves as “sound.” Yes, the waves would still exist and some alien might interpret them visually or some other unknown way.
I meant to say: “I don’t really see most of the people listed above as celebs” “When people stop caring about them, people will stop talking about them; when people stop talking about them, people stop caring about them.”
I thought the whole point of becoming a “celebrity” and a “house-hold name”, is that people outside of their geek subcultures know and perhaps even care a little bit who these people are. Nor am I going to assume someone’s a douche just because they’re rich and/or famous. Genuine, caring people are cool, no matter what their social status, appearance, or event attendance is like.
Plus, there are lots of famous and unfamous douchebags who only care about ego and social status, but I’m not about to discourage them from going to TTITD. It could be good for them. That is, BM may have been good for them before it went mainstream and is now “the hip place to be seen”, and before goddamned social media.
But if someone “gets it” and enjoys going, I hope they have a great experience. It seems like it’s mostly the MSM and trashy Pop media that makes more of a deal about certain people going to BM than they themselves do. I never see dumb posts from Musk or Zuckerberg or the Google guys about their Burns- only the people who want the media to “cover” the “gossip” about them going to TTITD.
Anyway, I’ve got to give everyone who actaully left their camps props; especially in such a dusty year! I know how hard it is to leave camp, and I always roughed it. Maybe some of these people only left their camp once, but those camps were probably nicer than my daily surroundings, so props to them for even entering the perimeter!
Katy Perry could have definitely had a blast without ever even having left the airport all week. She didn’t have to blast out that video of her Segway fail either! She could’ve picked a more flattering picture of video instead. Sure, we could say that dorky is the new hip, and even bad press is considered good press to some, so maybe that’s behind some of her motivation. But deep down, sooner or later, everyone just wants to feel “normal” at some point. “Normal” is of course subjective to people’s beliefs. To put it another way, I’m sure celebrities would get pretty fucking tired if their families treated them the way most people do- they just want to have some people who will love them for who they are- not what their name is, what they have, or what they’re “known for”.
Otherwise, it sound like a pretty cold, sad existence, where everyone is just trying to use them for their own advancement. So, you could say that the larger problem with the evolution of BM is not that the rich and famous are coming to party. That is just an extension of BM being thought of as an “opportunity” to network and advance one’s career/status. There is definitely something positive to be said about networking in meatspace than from simply behind a screen. But in some ways, I can see why people with money/influence would WANT to wall themselves off from the world if people are often just trying to use them. Many Burners probably just want to hang out and have fun- maybe stumble across Jared Leto and have a good time with him as equals.
But this whole idea that the BORG is trying to cultivate: networking opportunities for advancing careers/power/status is obviously killing the whole vibe. How many people really want to hang out with Diddy (just an example) for the experience alone, and then not tell anyone. Or, how many people want to hang out with Diddy to at least do one of the following: be able to brag that that they did so, slide him their demo, or at least drink his champagne and eat his caviar? In some ways, Diddy has two main options: wall himself off in an RV fortress where people can’t use him, or get way out in public where no one peson can monopolize his time. So it’s not necessarily Diddy’s fault for wanting to attend BM or even have a camp where he can escape to as much as it is the whole concept that the NPD BORG is cultivating that Burning Man is about networking/opportunity/personal advancement.
Even if it wasn’t like that for big name stars, it became like that for artists long ago. Artists who attracted attention/favor have managed to build themselves into idols even if it was just among a geek subculture like other Burner artists. How many people actually make artistic decisions, and how many aspiring artists allow themselves to become Art Bitch to bigger artists for a possible taste of their recognition/grant money, but are actaully more like free labor than true collaborators? It happens with Big Penis art, art cars- even camps, Now the whole Directed Ticket Sales and Early Arrival Pass commodities- even regular tickets and vehicle passes can become ways for people who control their distribution to wave carrots in front of people who just want to get inside the damn gate in exchange for- well, who knows what?
Good article on Tikkun:
That article originally appeared in Jacobin Magazine, and for the life of me I can’t find an attribution stating as much on that Tikkun link.
That the same one cavaet magister and the other borg flunkies were whining about?
So…. make that 20 ways to prospect for business at burning man? prospecting-leads-at-burning-man/
20. Make sure you bring a camera, take plenty of pictures and post them to show everyone what a trendy hipster you are. You went to burning man and you get it !!
A celebrity is a brand, their image is their business. When they post pics of themselves at BM they’re promoting their business by marketing themselves to the press. “Oh, look at me being silly on a Segway!”. It’s total bullshit. And they don’t give a fuck.
When burners say, “Who cares?”… Well, they certainly gave a fuck when it was Krug promoting its brand. But because of celebrity worship, even amongst burners, these fools get a pass on commodifying their participation, and even the art that’s out there serving as a backdrop for these self-promoting narcissists. Oh well.
And the Borg are eating up all the collateral attention.
Besides no self respecting burner rides a segway unless it’s part of a project. I love there are tons of better more stable and playa appropriate bikes behind her. Trust us, we’ve done this before, your consumer items weren’t made to work out here.
Dear any celebrities who might read this, go incognito, put down the damn instagram for a few days, pitch your own tent, actually live, trust me it can be more than just some festival, it can be life changing. Also you will get invited to the cool parties (and no your pre built camps pre-chewed parties aren’t the cool ones, you really have to stop instagraming to get invited to those).
Just like the old days!
Susan Sarondon making a big deal of bringing Timothy Leary’s ashes was ridiculous. Was an attempt to honor him or what I think more likely to show Sarandon’s non-mainstream credentials? Gosh isn’t she cool!!! One attention seeker carrying around the ashes of another.
I don’t give a fuck if she helped fund an art project. Keep all that shit secret. I thought the art was for art’s sake not for business as usual in the default world of ‘look at me’!. Let rich celebrities leave their pathetically weak egos outside the gate. Exalting them introduces a hierarchical structure to the attendees of BM that mirrors the ‘outside reality’. Remember when it was a big deal that the event was thought to be a break or redoubt from the society at large?
The event has gone totally mainstream yet somehow manages to milk a notoriety it no longer deserves. I hope something comes along that doesn’t attract these parasites and that doesn’t mirror the theme of the dominant society-money rules, fuck everything else.
>I hope something comes along that doesn’t attract these parasites…
Many of the people that created the cultural aesthetic of the event that Bmorg ripped-off and now commodifies as a vacation package, moved on and did create their own gatherings but kept/keep it on the mother fucking down-low for this reason.
BM is now officially mainstream, and I’m glad Bmorg can’t effectively promote the event as counter-cultural anymore – now they just call it, ‘transformative’, which couldn’t be more vague. A total culture shift – mainstream personalities, conformist mindsets all pretending for a week to be free-loving happy anarchists… until the wheels hit 447.
Yes, the NV burn is now flypaper to attract and hold those that might spoil the stone soup elsewhere. We have to thank the Borg for that. If you are going to the NV burn you are not going to Burning Man – it is elsewhere.
Absolutely a celebrity is a brand and the Burn is all about its own brands and celebrities as well. Opulent Temple, Pink Heart, Dancetronauts, RoboHeart, Orgy Dome, Larry Harvey, Halcyon, divaDanielle to name a few; these are all brands and celebrities within the Burning Man community that have used their cache elsewhere within the default world to raise money, be invited to other festivals, speak, get gigs, etc. How are these groups/people any different than the default world celebrities whether its extending the awareness of Burning Man or of their own brand throughout the world?
That is the point – the NV burn has become the default world. Take`away the celebrities – both media and Borg – and who would still come? And what sort of event will be left now that it has been tailored to the defaultified in crowd? Will this and the CCamp aspect not drive this to be another Bohemian Grove? It is already invitation-only.
Why hope, with a 1% BoD, that it will make a 180 and go back to being a burner-focus event. Better to participate in another stone soup event where those that make the soup are seen at the top of respect instead of the bottom.
It seems many people and groups try to make a living off of the community if they can. One of my camps did the same thing, we had a very successful year and almost immediately after that people were trying to turn our camp into a year-round business. I hated the idea of that sort of soft-branding on the playa, but others thought it was fine. I left the camp, others stayed. It’s a gray area.
When actual celebrities go out there and issue press releases, or ‘accidentally’ get noticed, or upload media of themselves – that’s hard-branding and no different than what Krug did (imo). The only difference really is that Krug brand sat on a table and the celebrity brands walk around.
That’s cool and all, but what did they contribute?
Narcissistic supplies for the Borg.
Meh, narcissism runs strong in most Burners regardless of celebrity status…i.e. look at my costume, look at my furry bike, don’t fuck with “my burn”…it’s inherent to the culture. As long as the focus remains “radically on the self” and not “radically on helping another”, then it will never be anything else. This fits nicely with the celebrity mindset and fosters the creation of mini-celebrities within the culture itself. I am sure we can all name a few of them.
Social media addiction from an early age has created young adults now who view themselves as stars of their own reality show. Millions of nano-celebrities, each with a narcissistic mindset that has been nurtured since the time of their first cell phone.
I see these NPD addicts everywhere. But BM takes it to a new level for them as a platform to receive a massive amount of validation/supply. The act of being at the event takes a backseat to their need to record themselves as being there.
Burners may be narcissistic, but you missed the point. The Borg, who make the rules but don’t play the game, get off on having these celebrities at “their Burning Man,” which is why they give them, like CCamps, a pass on rules that the rest of us (narcissistic?) burners must follow.
Katy Perry wearing the dumb fur and googles too… So what now? Is that a requirement for BM? Did they add that to the core values that you have to dress like everyone else?
It is their uniform. Be thankful that they make it so easy to ignore them.
It’s like dressing up as Freddy Kruger on Halloween: It lets people know who is bereft of imagination and creativity, but offers lots of security if you are insecure if you fit in.
Yeah, I’m sure this will just draw more people the event who otherwise would not have noticed. I don’t like celebs. The whole “I’m pretty, look at me” thing is not appealing. Besides, most of these people are not used to real work (their day jobs consist mainly of looking pretty and being famous) so I don’t see them contributing real positive creative energy to the city. But, that’s plenty for a lot of people, enough to draw them in. But if people don’t understand one of the larger intents behind the city (creativity and contribution) then the event/city/community) will suffer. But again, these new people won’t notice what is lost.
If I were there and ran into one of these celebs, I would react in a non-pleasant way. Maybe hack up a hairball, or something similar.
LOL, AND TWO DANCETRONAUTS SPOTTINGS!
This reminds of me of that song, how does it go…
Sing it to yourself as you look over the pictures.
How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people
Now that you know who you are
What do you want to be
And have you traveled very far
Far as the eye can see
How does it feel to be
One of the beautiful people
How often have you been there
Often enough to know
What did you see when you were there
Nothing that doesn’t show
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man
Baby you’re a rich man, too
I kind of love that “celebrities” can go and just be burners among the throngs at BM & just *be* and have fun. I wouldn’t even bat an eye if I recognized them. It is what BM is about. Looks like they had a fabulous time, just like everyone else.
But it’s a whole different experience for them to fly in to a concierge camp and be served daily, have their experience constructed by others, and dine on fresh sushi flown in and privately prepared. That’s not burning man to me. What community? What contribution? What interaction apart from gazing at the masses from their private art cars? That’s just… really weird.
I think you may have missed that Susan Sarandon played a large part in one of the major art installations. Maybe we shouldn’t prejudge someone else’s experience solely on the fact that they’re “famous”.
I think you may have missed the point: there are only burners, not celebrity burners, not royal burners, not common burners, just burners. If Susan Sarandon was a participating burner, that makes her LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. Which means that she is not special. Because NO ONE IS SPECIAL. EVERYONE IS SPECIAL.
Sarandon’s twitter pic was not just about promoting herself, as a brand, but it also promoted the company that made her $700 boots as ‘perfect for Burning Man’ = free boots for life.
Maybe we should come up with some “Guidelines” or something so people will understand why we burn together, so people who don’t know will understand if they might be missing the experience. Let’s work on that…
Going stealth and blending in with everyone sounds like it would be fun for a celeb. But, the social media photo blogging from the playa also seems like a passive way of saying:
1. look at me- I’m cool
2. here’s what I’m wearing- look for me
I remember when getting access Internet on-playa meant being able to download that computer driver you need to fix your project- not whore out.
Also, most Burners don’t ride Segways, so attempting to “blend in” on one of those either shows cultural ignorance, egotism, or both. Sure, I know people who occassionally bring motorized mobility assistance devices, but it’s because they need them; not because they’re lazy/attention whores/it came with their VIP travel package.
Too cool for a bi-psy-cool
I think I saw that DiCaprio guy in a few films that were good; otherwise, don’t recognize anyone that made any difference in my life. Like professional sports, seems like the madding crowd again defines themselves by the attention they give to things that are utterly useless other than to sell to them.
I would trade being in a photo with everyone on the list in the original post, in aggregate, to chat with any one of the following at the Abstininthe Bar:
Neil deGrasse Tyson
But I would rather chat with ANY burner than to “see” anyone in either list. So don’t tell me you saw anyone on my list. Tell me if you chatted with them and discussed anything from dust to Trump.
Maybe that’s not the way many people approach it, specially in certain places, but I think sports can be full of values and inspiration if one looks for it. Plus poetry is “useless” too, and all that.
You can derive inspiration from anything, but just imagine if we capitalized poetry like we do professional sports, or gave poets the media attention given these celebrities that offer poor and largely impossible and fictional role models.
So ma, tell me what inspiration you derive from these celebrities that I call useless. How have any of them enriched your life? How is not anything more than bread and circuses to placate the masses?
BACON! I love bacon. How many camps were gifting bacon?
see also: no one fucking cares.
We will see who defines themselves as “no one.”