Victory for the Little Guy! [Updates]

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Over the last couple of years, we’ve been following with keen interest a lawsuit in Canada. The plaintiff was Decommodification, LLC – a private company the founders set up, which owns all the Intellectual Property assets of Burning Man and is paid royalties by the Burning Man Project for their use. The defendants were Napalm Dragon and Burn BC – a Vancouver-based arts collective co-operative that has been participating in Burning Man and other burn events since the early 90’s.

Here is some of our previous coverage

Canada Draws Battle Lines for Burner Culture May 14

BURNILEAKS: Bullying the Burners Sep 14

Embattled Burners Ask for Support Sep 14

Help Canada Sep 14

South Bhak Oct 14

Quick Update from Canada Nov 14

Burn BC Admits Defeat in Battle for Public Domain Jan 15

The lawsuit saw some eye-brow raising moves from BMOrg, including a claim by founder Crimson Rose that she invented fire dancing.

A year ago, it seemed that BMOrg had won – Burn BC couldn’t raise enough money for a lawyer, and was forced into a default judgement.

Napalm Dragon explained how he was prevented from even mounting a defense in our Jan 2015 story Burn BC Admits Defeat:

A couple of months ago the Lawyers for Decommodification LLC (The new American Corporation that now owns the American Burning Man Trademark) blocked Burn BC from defending itself.

They would not allow the directors of Burn BC to submit a defence, suppressing a very lengthy defence I’d put together for the organisation.

(I was hospitalised with a major panic attack from the stress of dealing with this).

The judge gave 30 days for Burn BC to find a lawyer. If Burn BC could have found a lawyer, we have mountains of evidence that could have easily defended Burn BC.

So without a lawyer, the flimsy claims against Burn BC went to default judgement. Without a reasonable defence for Burn BC, the Judge was forced to rule based on weak claims by the plaintiff.

Decommodification LLC didn’t just stop at $10,000 plus $25,000, they also wanted the Burn BC website. There’s NO need for the website.

The Judge ruled $10,000 damages (based on one sided claims, and no defence), and turning over our Burn BC website to Decommodification LLC. I can’t blame the judge, he had limited information, and Burn BC was completely unable to defend itself.

The judge ordered them to cease using the trademark, they agreed – so BMOrg got what they want, right?

It seems this small victory wasn’t enough. Decommodification LLC – apparently using the Burning Man Project’s extensive legal resources – had to burn the villages too. They pursued Napalm Dragon personally for damages. No matter that the guy has no money, and they take in $32 million a year. He needed to be taught a lesson, publicly shamed, ruined. How dare he be throwing burns and contributing to the community for 20+ years! How dare he try to defend himself against outrageous claims and character attacks! Destroy! Exterminate! Humiliate!

Well, karma can be a bitch: it looks like this strategy backfired. Since Decommodification LLC was going directly after Napalm Dragon personally, he was able to represent himself in court without a lawyer, something which was not possible the way the original case had been structured. It seems the Court did what courts do, looked at the facts, looked at the history, heard the arguments from both sides, and made a ruling based on the law – resulting in a total defeat for the American Decommodification company, and vindication for Canadian Burn BC.

Here is Napalm Dragon’s initial report on his victory:

Burn BC Founder and Champion of Burner Rights, Bhak Jolicouer

Burn BC Founder and Champion of Burner Rights, Bhak Jolicouer

The final paperwork came back today.
I WON!!!
I ROASTED the lawyer, and he caved. He very literally cowered before the courts.

The Burn BC Arts Cooperative is alive and well, I am in the clear, and I forced Decommodification LLC to, not only back off of me, but to leave me alone and relinquish any attempted claims to otherwise very important sacred cultural domain I’ve been intimately involved with for over 20 years.

I briefly thought about going all the way with it; pushing “Burning Man” finally and completely (and undoubtedly) back into the Public Domain where it is and belongs (and could have without a lawyer). I was very literally one Court Motion away from doing it.

But, instead I roasted the Lawyer, and demanded respect, and demanded some clear terms, and got EXACTLY what I wanted and had declared for over a decade.

I was able to do this because Decommodification LLC was not satisfied with destroying Burn BC by forcing it into an undefended default judgement and just leaving me alone.

No, the vengeance of one greedy sadistic and highly duplicitous and domineering woman, and her asinine arrogance, nearly led to her complete downfall by one punk from Canada and his little prank.

[Metaphorically speaking] I had her, and her entire plot by the balls, I squeezed tightly to get her attention, then said “Leave me the F**K alone, I am free to do and say what I please, and if you push me any further you lose every exaggerated claim”.

When Decommodification LLC came after me personally they screwed up. They gave me the opportunity to finally defend myself; and when this finally came before the courts, I completely ROASTED the lawyer. He was very literally cowering before the “judge”, and went pale.

All the egregious demands disappeared.

I then turned it around and said (metaphorically) “This is what’s going to happen, and this is what you are going to do.”

So now it’s done and I’m moving on, and I am free to do and say what I please; as has ALWAYS been my right, as an Artist, Prankster, Empresario, and Sacred Clown.

F**** You!!!…and your Burning Man too.
Keep that dead lie far away from me, and anyone I love.

Now I can finally get back to what I really want to do before this giant stinking pile of bull dung distracted me.

BMOrg have not had their Propaganda-spun statements tested in a court very often. There were a couple of big cases in 2007. Founder John Law tried to keep the Burning Man name in the public domain for all Burners to use, saying “If Burning Man is really a movement, the name should belong to everyone, not three guys who don’t get along anymore”. Although the case got a lot of media attention, and raised the hopes of many Burners, it was settled for an undisclosed sum before going to trial. In the Paul Addis arson trial, BMOrg controversially provided muddled information that ensured a mischievous prank in the Cacophonist spirit was treated as a terrible, malicious felony. Addis got jail time, lost his legal career, then became yet another Burner whose exit from this “movement” was a horrific public suicide.

I asked Napalm Dragon if he had any further comments for Burners.me readers. He said:

I want nothing to do with Marian Goodell or her “Contractually Obliged Brand Cult”.
Anyone who “volunteers” for any project, group, or event, “controlled directly or indirectly by Decommodification LLC” through the use of the so called trademark “Burning Man™” is being taken for a ride by a private American corporation that wants to join the Billionaires Club on the backs of the wide eyed and naive, lost in a labyrinth of past relevance.

The last Great Cultural Emergence of the 20th Century is moving on, leaving behind an empty calcified echo of a spectacle.
The culture created Burning Man; “Burning Man™” did not create the culture.
There is no longer a home for the culture under this so called trademark “Burning Man™”.

When it comes to Burners.me, know that I forced Decommodification LLC to agree to make no claim to “The Burn”. SO the culture has a place to go, freely, and of its own free will and accord, and it’s beyond the reach of Decommodification LLC. (IN WRITING).

Fuck “Burning Man™”, that term missed its opportunity to have a profound, respectful, and positive relationship with relevance, and instead chose to suffocate an agonising and slow retreat into obscurity.

When Decommodification LLC went after me personally, the lawyers could not block me from defending myself (like they did with Burn BC)
I waited for someone who understood the significance of this to hand me a lawyer, and when it didn’t materialise. I played my cards wisely.

Unable to block me from defending myself, I decided to turn it in my favour and completely roasted the lawyer before the Canadian Federal Courts. All the egregious demands faded in the presence of the courts.

I protected some sacred terms, protected Burn BC, and protected myself.
I’m bowing out of this stinking saga with this last prank; and letting Marian Goodell and her American Corporation Decommodification LLC fester in the pursuit of a meaningless trademark in Canada.

Anyone is free to oppose the application with CIPO, I will not be participating in any opposition.
I’ve lost interest. I have nothing but disdain for Decommodification LLC and the words “Burning Man™”.

I’m now going to take some time to consider the most epic prank of my life, and think about the love of my son, and the love of my wife, and our rights to be the creative people we are; unfettered by the looming shadow of a “Contractually Obliged Brand Cult”, or the American Corporation that claims to control it.

I was right all along, and I feel at peace with a clear conscience.
I hope this prank offers some peace to Paul Addis, Caleb Schaber, and Howler (Rest well in your afterlife).

This is my parting gift to those I inadvertently led astray, and those who have inadvertently led us astray.
With Love,

Bhak Jolicoeur (AKA) Napalm Dragon
Avant-garde Artist, Impresario, Prankster, and Sacred Clown.
(Now, to get busy with the good stuff.)

Maybe now BMOrg will accept that Burners create this culture and event, not them. The point of Burning Man, and burns in general, is to create a temporary city together for entertainment –  not to cook everybody’s souls using a cauldron called The Devil so they have a Transformational Experience™. The culture has been developed from the bottom-up, grass roots if you like. Replacing it with top-down legal control from a tax-exempt entity and a board of 1%-ers is not going to make our culture flourish for the next hundred years under their Burning Man™ corporate banner.


[Update 1/14/16 1:29pm PST]

Napalm Dragon wanted us to be clear that Burn BC is a co-operative, not a collective. Sorry about that!

He also points out that the owners of Decommodification LLC, mostly are in no ways the founders of the Burning Man event. He has a good point: Larry Harvey is the only one of the 6 who was at the first one; Michael Mikel the only other one who was there at the Beach and Desert; Crimson Rose and Harley Dubois came to the second desert event, Will Roger arrived in 1994 and Marian Goodell 1995. Black Rock City LLC was incorporated in 1997, after the disastrous Helco burn.

Are the 6 owners of Decommodification, LLC, the same as these 6 “Founders”?

Again, it looks like Napalm Dragon is right. We don’t know very much about this private company. It was spun off before the donation to the non-profit, and the main assets of the business were transferred to it. Supposedly, the “6 Founders” each have an equal share, and have to unanimously vote against a transfer to the Burning Man Project in 2018 to stop it. Does it earn royalties from the Spark movie, the newspaper photo rights, music soundtracks, art sales, or anything else? Or does it simply get $75k per year from the Burning Man Project, and nothing else – everything else goes to Burning Man? We don’t know, and I’d love to think it was the latter – but if so why don’t they just be transparent about it? Why are we only going to find out what is going on with all these LLCs and assets and inter-group relations AFTER many years?

Here’s the official story, as of about a month ago:

Screenshot 2016-01-14 14.10.32

Here’s what Corporation Wiki says:

Screenshot 2016-01-14 12.33.06

 

Doug Robertson is listed in the Burning Man Project IRS Form 990 as the organization’s CFO. Ray Allen is the Burning Man Project’s in-house General Counsel. Nanci Elliot is better known by her alias Crimson Rose.

Screenshot 2016-01-14 12.59.32

The address listed here in 3rd street is also associated with Black Rock Arts Foundation, Black Rock Solar, and Tomas McCabe. From CorporationWiki:

Screenshot 2016-01-14 13.43.25

 

Justia lists trademarks owned by Decommodifcation, LLC. Interestingly, the Ranger logo is here, but the name Burning Man and the regular )'( dude are not.

 

Screenshot 2016-01-14 12.54.57

Trademarkia only has one trademark associated with Burning Man: the main one, which proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that Burning Man is a festival. It was last renewed in 2014, with Decommodification, LLC as owner.

Screenshot 2016-01-14 12.57.05

Of course, “organizing community festivals featuring…live music, art displays, and participatory games; conducting entertainment exhibitions” is not even remotely close to Live Entertainment – what are they smoking in Nevada?

Bizstanding lists Larry, Marian, and Harley as the three “Managing Members” of Decommodification LLC. It also lists Brooke Oliver, who claims to have been the legal architect of Burning Man’s non-profit transition.

Screenshot 2016-01-14 13.56.02

 

 

Where’s Will, where’s Danger Ranger? Both of those guys only got paid $70k or so in 2014. Why’s that?

Did donation money given by Burners to support art projects end up going to this lawsuit in Canada? Or did Decommodification, LLC pay for it?

I don’t expect we’ll hear answers to these questions – although it would be a lovely surprise if we do. Simply to ask them, doesn’t make me a “conspiracy theorist”. They are quite reasonable questions, the kind of thing I would ask any $30 million non-profit that wanted me to give them money.


Napalm Dragon has cemented his place in Burner history, along with other eclectic and eccentric figures like Chicken John, Paul Addis, John Law, Caleb Schaber, and (IMHO) myself, who have risked a lot simply to fight for what’s right. A movement that came from a community, not a corporation.

Bhak reached out to the community to help raise funds to get a lawyer. They raised $1650, he wants to wish a big thanks to everyone who donated. If more Burners had stepped up in support, perhaps “Burning Man” might be a free term in Canada today.

The idea that BMOrg need to protect the Burning Man name from anyone else ever using it because people might get confused is kind of ludicrous in 2016, when it’s on Oprah and The Simpsons. Dude. We get it. It’s BURNING MAN™. A name that is now MASSIVELY COMMODIFIED after years of saturation promotion in mainstream media. You need these lawsuits because people might sell t-shirts, really? There are 30,000 merchants on Etsy selling Burning Man products and nearly 8,000 on eBay. Let’s stop kidding ourselves, stop pretending that this is somehow “against Burning Man” or “ruining Burning Man”. This event was built on selling t-shirts. If anything, it’s the “hey it’s cool if we jump the shark, we want new people anyway, doesn’t matter if they’re self-reliant or participants” attitude that is “ruining Burning Man”.

burning man 98 tshirt list

We want to go to officially sanctioned events that are based on the Ten Principles. So why not enable thousands of those around the world, get royalties from all of the franchises, donate generously to art and the environment, and really see if we can make a difference with this culture? Take the royalty money from the 30,000 Etsy vendors, and use it to do some good?

They have enough Burners for that…but do they have enough lawyers? It seems to me that is what is holding our growth back the most right now.

Why is “Burning Man: The Board Game” (free, made by 20-years Burners to entertain other Burners) bad, but “Burning Man: The Musical“, (commercial, by a Google employee who’s never been to Burning Man) good?

Why does Decommodification, LLC feel it has to own Decommodification Itself? What would be the point of that, in a temporary company created only to safeguard Burning Man’s brands for a couple of years? 

Here is Napalm Dragon’s Christmas Day message (and Gift) to those of us who did support him.

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I submit this with a heavy heart.

Yet, I submit this with a burden released from my conscience, after enduring a long, distressing, and frivolous process.

Signed on the longest night of the year (December 21), in sacred concert with the ages, I part ways with the empty spectacle, and protect the integrity of a sacred domain of the arts, and the ancient rites.

My signature ends an era of open cultural relationships with what was once the most relevant cultural event of the 20th century; made relevant by the gathering tribes of the last great cultural emergence of the 20th century.

Until December 21, 2015 I held in my hand the last flickering flame of the Original Burning Man Culture that created the event, created the city, and created the communities.

We created Burning Man.
Burning Man did not create us.
This is the truth, and the truth has set me free.

My submission today, and my signature on this document ends the name of our culture. It ends our relationship with the secret American corporation (Decommodification LLC) that secretly makes questionable claims to what was once the public domain name of a culture, and the public domain iconography of a culture.

In Canada, this secret American Corporation (Decommodification LLC) will soon take control of a trademark based on our Public Domain Culture and Public Domain Iconography in order to steal control of what little remains of our independently developed communities.

I will not be taking part in any opposition to this, that window has passed for me. I held that window open and the loud cries of the vain were all that were heard.

I will not participate in this deceptive practice in any way, or with any organisation, group, or individuals who are blindly mislead by this contractually obliged brand cult.

Our culture and it’s association with what was once our name has lost all relevance. What remains is an illusion, a deception, a mere figment that exploits misconceptions.

What remains is not our culture.
It’s the synthesised echoes of how we express our culture.

It’s a calcified and degraded, proprietary facsimile of the expressions of our culture. It looks like culture, but it’s little more than the exploitation of those of us seeking to connect with our culture.

Our Culture has moved on, and no longer exists within the domain of what Decommodification LLC vainly and arrogantly claims to control.

Pushed to the very brink, I stood next to justice with my back held straight against the wall of truth. I held to my convictions, my rights, my honour, and trusted in my faith that the truth prevails.

In the face of intimidation, being ostracised, slandered, my reputation all but destroyed, and my friends deceived, I stood by the truth and trusted in the power of justice to perceive the truth.

Very literally under the scrutiny of our Canadian judicial system, this deception and intimidation fell apart. What remained was a compromise.

I accepted this compromise and demanded concessions to this compromise that might respect my artistic rights, my integrity, my honour, and my self respect (the only things left to me in this fiasco)

I was failed by the very people who so grandiosely stand on the backs of the artists and declare themselves “the community”. These people loudly proclaimed to support my position, but did little to step up to “Radical Self Reliance”, and offer what mattered. Their words fell to the floor, the empty ashes of an illusion; those of us believing in this illusion vainly grasping at it.

Yet, despite my challenges, I faced the truth on my own accord, and the truth prevailed through the wise mediation of the honourable Prothonotary Milczynski.

I can now lay to rest this deplorable action by Decommodification LLC and move on with my life, as I asked before, and have asked many times before that.

The integrity of my culture now remains relativity intact by other means; holding back the looming shadow over our culture, and out of reach of this secret and deceptive corporation.

I have taken responsibility for my part in being mislead over the last 10 years, and inadvertently misleading others who respected my reputation and good will over the last 25 years.

I can now get on with my life with a clear conscience. My last gift to this community being the truth.

I submit my settlement agreement with a heavy heart, a clear conscience, and a clear perspective on the heinous actions that have transpired over the last 20 years.

I choose today (December 25th) to submit this document to the Plaintiff and the Courts, not as a gesture of good will, but as a reminder of what it really means to offer a gift to the world.

To remind the Plaintiff that a gift was offered to the world, and it was tossed aside like a dirty worthless bone.

I pick up that bone and bury it with grace and respect.

It was a sincere, heartfelt, gift to the community; something we (our culture) offered to the world. Something taken from us, perverted, and tossed away; then synthesized and sold back to our peers with the intent of making the profound; proprietary, mundane, and superficial; something to easily consume from the bucket list of past notoriety, a minor novelty exploiting the good will of vague references to an obfuscated past.

With this settlement, there is no going back.
It is done.

The desert has lost it’s last hope to be anything more than just a misguided, shameful and shallow expression of excess and delusional cultural exploitation; a spectacle cut off from the profound depths of an open culture.

It is no longer a maze of possibilities to transcend the madness, it’s a labyrinth of madness that has no exit.

It’s a culture trap.

A gift is something offered without obligation, and the obligations demanded by the Plaintiff throughout these proceedings with Burn BC and myself were deplorable. They were both egregious and vitriolic. They only served to destroy what remains of the beauty and grace we offered this Culture and Cultural Iconography, and the independent communities that have given (very literally) their love, and their lives to our culture.

Many of us have very literally given our lives to the gifts we offer to our community. We had no intention of giving our gifts to greedy, exploiting corporations. Many of us who could not face our complicit assistance to this deception committed suicide, or died by the symptomatic obfuscation that confuses the profound.

People took their lives, and have died for this culture.
– Caleb Shaber walked into his room in Gerlach Nevada and killed himself with a gun.
– Paul Addis threw himself in front of the San Francisco Bart Train.
– Hours after visiting with my wife and I in Austin Texas, a man went home and shot himself.
– Another close friend swam to his death, and drowned himself.
– Another hung himself in Vancouver.
– Others were murdered by a crazed gunman in Seattle.
– One man hung himself in the Nevada Desert.
– Another recently walked into the fires of an event in the United States.
– A famous CBC radio host died.
– A woman was killed while riding an Art Car.

People died for this culture and because of this deceptive cultural appropriation. These deaths are now empty, sad statements to the deceptive cultural appropriation this corporation has committed with absolute callous disregard for the very culture they claim to have created “from a ceremony on Baker Beach”.

My conscience weighed heavy, it is now clear, and I remember these lives with dignity as I move forward with the rest of my life.

I close this heinous chapter in disgust. I open a new chapter alleviated by taking responsibility. I move forward with a light and clear conscience to live with joy, share in charity, and love with honour, dignity, and respect.

I have fulfilled my obligations.

The intentions of our culture, and our lives, were to offer a gift to the world, and offer a gift to our communities by creating spaces for our communities to flourish unhindered by mediated consumerism, and the marketing exploitation that turns people into predictable products to be repackaged and sold back to us as a limited set of archetypes that we adhere to without question or Critical Thought.

The very foundation of our culture was deeply undermined in the name of pure greed. We were deceived, and as I faced the obfuscation that surrounds this deception, a most egregious realisation was revealed by this frivolous litigation.

It is no longer my concern, this is for others to contemplate.

I am irrevocably done with the words: Burning Man™

What has transpired here with this document I submit, and my signature, is no less than the “end of an era”, not because I have the power to end it, but because I’m willing to recognise the significance of this settlement agreement in relation to the dark shadow that looms over it.

I have been blessed to witness and participate in the last great cultural emergence of the 20th century which emerged around the world throughout the 90’s. It gave profound power and meaning to a name, and cultural iconography.

Now with the stroke of my pen, a cultural relevance is gone forever. It is truly the end of an era. This sad end forced by the unyielding and arrogantly uncompromisingly deceptive greed of one woman and her secret corporation.

When given the opportunity to share in an incredibly significant opportunity to continue respecting the independent nature of our cultural relationships; this was not only rejected, but crushed with brutal dominating vengeance; I realised that the best course of action was to walk away from possibly the most damaging relationship I have ever encountered.

Questionable claims were made by Decommodification LLC under frivolous litigation. There was no reason to waste the precious time of the courts.

The Burn BC Arts cooperative was prevented from defending itself; and even after the matter was clearly resolved, intimidation, and callous technicalities were exploited to undermine justice and force an undefended default judgement against Burn BC.

What remains is a lie, a deception of cultural proportions, a system of exploitation that sullies the very idea of the founding culture here in Canada that gave the last great cultural emergence of the 20th century its power and relevance, and opened a door to beauty, grace, kindness, and the sincerity of The Gift.

A gift is given without obligation. Yet under the guise of a gift, one greedy woman and her secret corporation have taken the greatest gift we could offer to the world, and turned it into a farce, a façade, a lie. She forced those of us afraid to challenge this injustice into obligations that robbed us of hope.

Twenty years of my life have been taken from me, exploited, and destroyed; My reputation ruined by slander, and blindness, and the rewriting of a profoundly beautiful history to wipe the truth from the pages of relevance in a vain and arrogant attempt to own a delusional messianic nightmare based on an outright lie.

My contributions to the history of my culture and my local community developed in British Columbia; and the real significance of it’s impact on the greater cultural evolution have been vainly and disrespectfully wiped from the history books, and replaced by a superficial lie.

I have nothing but disdain for Decommodification LLC (et al), and will never be party to it’s deplorable deception. I will not be party to the death of a once beautiful cultural relationship, and cultural relevance.

Yet, a compromise has been reached.

An agreement has been forged that protects the ancient rites from the delusional claws of this sadistic attempt to “own the exclusive rights to a culture”.

I hold hope in my heart, and feel at peace moving forward. After years of enduring the stunning realisations of what is happening, why it’s happening, and how it transpired, I have found a compromise that can let me live with my conscience cleared and in relative peace.

I can close this ugly chapter and concentrate on what matters. The love of my son, the love of my wife, and the unfettered joy we will have without the looming shadow of this American Corporation and it’s domineering, vengeful, and deceptive practices.

We are no longer party (in any way) to the cultural exploitation of this “contractually obliged brand cult”.

I leave you with this on Christmas Day, the day of The Gift, to remind Decommodification LLC of the vitriolic and divisive darkness they have spread under the guise of “gifting”, and the heavy conscience they must live with on what should be a day of peace, forgiveness, and kindness.

Before this transpired they were given the greatest opportunity to have a dignified and mutually respectful relationship with Canada.

They choose greed, and get the empty remains of the fading echo of the past. The greatest gift slipping through their fingers, greased by money, and replaced by ignorance.

Good bye forever to this deception.
Napalm Dragon
Avante-Garde Artist, Impresario, and Sacred Clown.

[Source: Gofundme]

 


[Update 1/14/16 2:00pm PST]

Anon wanted links to the court documents. Here’s one. If anyone else has any, please share.

94 comments on “Victory for the Little Guy! [Updates]

  1. Pingback: Back to the Further Future | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  2. Pingback: Who Won, Who Lost, What’s Fact, and What’s Propaganda? Decommodification LLC’s First Legal Stoush | Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

  3. Here is the Facebook Link
    https://tinyurl.com/BurnBC-End-Game

    There is a lingering question that has been posed to me in light of some PR published on a website in the USA, regarding why “I WON”.

    The reason I WON is clearly explained to anyone willing to read and understand the following in it’s entirety (every single word), and really think about it; not like a game of Checkers, but like a game of Chess. Or for the gaming enthusiasts, like a game of GO.

    The American corporation Decommodification LLC can say whatever they please, their owners have been doing it for years. I’ve talked to university graduates who’s thesis papers about “this culture” were rejected by professors as outright garbage for badly sourcing this kind of propaganda almost word for word; as essentially lazy “research”.

    I’ve read some it myself and it’s rambling dribble, with no foundation on anything substantial.

    A PR campaign by a Privately Owned American Corporation is just Marketing spin. It’s Propaganda (Literally) If that’s anyones source of information, they just want to believe what they want to believe and nothing will change the washed brains of a “Contractually Obliged Brand Cult” who want to freely exploit the goodwill of many beautiful people, while raking in millions for other people taking advantage of them.

    This is the end game.

    Any deviation from this PR story is grounds for ostracization from “the community”. (AKA) that which is “controlled directly or indirectly” by Decommodification LLC.

    It’s none of my business.
    I don’t care.

    (Metaphorically Speaking)
    I held a window open for other people as long as I could, and when that opportunity passed for them, I took the exit I planned all along and leveraged it for what I wanted, to begin with, and left. The culture is gone from this meaningless name, and I’m following it out the window.

    The door is closed, the window shut, and the idiots who signed contracts and gave away their personal rights are trapped in a room slowly suffocating on the rotting stench of this decrepit corpse, to the bitter end.

    I’m walking in the open fields in the sun.
    At peace, with no obligations whatsoever to any of this.
    My conscience clear.

    ** Now regarding the less metaphorical realities of how the Federal Court works and WHY I WON.**

    Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is either lying to you, or has no idea what’s happening.

    Something like 98% of cases in Canadian Federal Courts are settled out of court, and never go to trial. So a smart person works proceedings like a Chess Game, NOT Checkers. Or for anyone who’s really into ancient gaming; as an Atari in Go.

    In other words, if all you see is one chess match, you’re missing everything else that matters.

    I forced Decommodification LLC to make some serious concessions, that are not in the public record, and are by no means confidential. I am in no way bound to any “Gag Agreement”, and never conceded a key detail that will always remain my Trump Card if anyone hassles me in the future.

    I hold these papers in my hand right now, and only a few people clearly understand exactly why this is so significant.

    If you remember, at the outset of all of this, I made it extremely clear I did not want “Burning Man”. Neither did Burn BC. This was my Atari.

    My goal was to offer it to Canadians and walk away and essentially be done with it as a mutually respectful gift to the culture I nurtured here in Canada, before it was ever even vaguely associated in any way with a stick man.

    But, one woman called it “My mark like NIKE” in a phone call to me on April 1st of 2013, and proceeded to call this a “Battle”, turn this into a “War” and claim “The Community” as her pawns in this sadistic game of hers. As she put it, “Three little dots”, on her game board.

    Insignificant little dots, coloured red, yellow, and blue; condescending little details in what I later realised was an epic End Game in a 20 year plot.

    So, you see, I leveraged the arrogance of a highly vengeful woman who walked right into my Atari, and went after me personally.

    Once able to defend myself, I moved proceedings one motion away from a complete dismissal on grounds that could have brought the entire Decommodification LLC plot crashing to the ground…

    My Atari was complete.
    I forced concessions from a literally cowering and slightly terrified lawyer (working for the largest law firm in Canada, representing a multi million dollar privately held American corporation) who’d been caught essentially misleading the Court based on a weak (at best) case, and I walked away with what I wanted all along.

    … and as a bonus, my pawn.
    Burn BC; completely intact.

    My prize, the concessions in my agreement.
    In writing, legally binding.

    Not a nickle paid to me, not a dime paid to Decommodification LLC.

    I won, with a clear conscience.
    Now they can fuck off and leave me alone, as I requested in 2013.

    They can say whatever they like, spin it however they please, outright lie at this point, and it doesn’t matter to me.

    I won.
    I’m at peace, my conscience is clear, and my art is mine; that art being an expression of the culture that gave a little bonfire in Nevada some meaning for a few years.

    I’m going to explore the next paradigm without this epicly obnoxious shadow of Ember Dude looming over me, my art, my family, and my culture.

    With Peace,
    I put down the gift I held with curiosity, an enigma in a pandora’s box, waiting for anyone willing to see it.

    I’m going to literally play with my three year old son now, and keep teaching him chess, so he can one day learn to play Go; A Japanese game I played in the hills of Hawaii at the age of 9, while living on a property next door to Terence McKenna.

    With Love,
    Bhak Jolicoeur (AKA) Napalm Dragon
    Artist, Impresario, and Sacred clown.

    Like

    • You’ve got secret papers revealing all. Oh, if only you could share that information with us, we’d all understand. But you can’t, because of some underpants gnome reason, but a few key people know, yes, yes, a secret cabal of people, and if this knowledge were to get out, why, it’d be armegeddon or something. And then all this nonsense about chess (and “ancient gaming!) and childhood with Terrence McKenna.

      Man, I hope you find some peace.

      Like

  4. I’ve been saying this for years – your participation is tacit approval of the actions this corporation imposes on the very people who build it up. But most burners don’t care about such things as long as the party rages on. It’s a bit hard to reconcile and smells a lot like hypocrisy. This burner culture that promotes itself so hard as progressive, yet it ignores the big pile of toxic shit laid on their heads, or worse – asks for seconds.

    But I’m not ‘like that’ and I can burn in my own way and just stick to my friends and have a good time.

    Well, darling – you’re part of the process, even in the tiniest of ways, that is basically a raping of the creative talent, those energies and resources of the Bay Area and beyond for about the last 20 years or since BM entered phase 3.0. You can’t hide it, you can just continue to ignore it and party on. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it just makes you an insipid one. But it’s not really your fault. Who can blame you when you surround yourself with such support in your safe space? Not me.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Might any person desire to pen a guest post in regards to other burnerly festivals?

        The BMOrg priorly stated, numerous times, of that ‘If you do not like the manner we are managing our festival, start your own.’ Many awesome burner groups did so, and tickets are, at present, on sale for awesome burnerly festivals, and each festival has their own culture. It is not permitted to converse upon these festivals upon any website, or Facebook group, controlled by the Borg, or controlled by their assimilated drones in contract as brand managers for their Burning Man(TM) brand, owned by their for profit Decommodification LLC, thus numerous Burners are not of the knowledge of these awesome festivals. These awesome festivals are of cultures that discourages festival bros and EDM kids from attending the festivals.

        Envision Festival in Costa Rica, February 25 to February 28, envisionfestival dot com.
        Serenity Gathering, March 17 to March 20, serenitygathering dot com.
        Lucidity Festival, April 8 to April 10, 2016 dot lucidityfestival dot com.
        Further Future by the awesome Robot Heart, April 29 to May 1, furtherfuture dot com.
        Lightning In A Bottle by the awesome DoLabs, May 25 to May 30, lightninginabottle dot org.
        Ignight Fire Flow Conference, June 17 to June 19, ignightconference dot com.

        Other burnerly festivals, and art events, not within the control of the Borg, might be included within a guest post, in the manner of Symbiosis, Figment, Wasteland Weekend, Shambala, and of other burns.

        Like

        • Yes yes yes. The pressure is mounting. ABP and Nomad think I should make a calendar of events . I agree. I am writing a book and want to publish that first . And I am working pretty hard on it.

          After I speak my truth, I would be happy to organize an online calendar of all burn events everywhere, at my expense, on behalf of the community.

          ABP and Nomad I love both you guys, and hope for you to meet each other one day. We are all very different people, on a similar wavelength. I think all of us would get on great with JV too.

          Like

          • No, a principle of Burner culture is of ‘If you want something done, do it yourself.’ I can not do this in due of other priorities, but there are 80,000 other Burners, any of whom might pen a guest post as their contribution, and participation, towards the Burner community. I would never request of you, burnersxxx, to do more work in this manner, thank you for all you have done for the Burner community.

            Like

          • I see the burn alternatives effort as a 3-step process: 1) amass a list of all events; 2) organize the list and decide on the cross-comparison metrics; and, 3) maintaining the list and calendar. We can all work on (1) right now, as I have suggested before, by adding comments to this thread:
            https://burners.me/2012/03/13/100-global-alternatives-to-burning-man/

            (You can always readily find this thread by searching for “100.”)

            I have already posted those that ABP has posted here, above.

            If Burnersxxx can help keep (3) going, and provide the web-site commodity effort to create (2) with input from all, that would be good.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Would love to meet up someday with the regulars here. I’d say on the playa, but I’m guessing no? 🙂

            You can probably find a list of alternative burner events on Fest300. Ha, I kid. But actually, you probably can.

            Like

          • Meeting on the playa is highly improbable, if only for ticketing reasons. Besides, with the risk of roving bands of Borg assassins, one of us would need to be at a separate safe location.

            However, meeting at a non-Bog burn event in SF is more likely. Might be a natural result of putting together the alternative burn list. Meeting in Manhattan always works for me. …Dinner at Per Se, or the Mandarin Oriental of dinner is good. (He he, just kidding.)

            Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with your sentiment, however, I am not so sure that one can “rape” the willing; that is a little too much victim mentality for my tastes. People, including the talent, willingly cough up a few hundred dollars each for the privilege of having the fruits of their talent (and labor) used to make a profit for others; it is an individual choice that all Burners must make to participate in the party with all of the supposed cool kids.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, ‘rape’ is too harsh and not accurate. It’s more exploitation through coercion and lies and other strange pressure techniques. That koolaid comes on fast and hard. I was under its influence for a number of years, but I wasn’t as badly addicted as others I knew who were totally dependent and got chewed up and spit out by the machine. That was back in the transition years between BM 1.0 and 2.0, when the writing on the Wall wasn’t as legible as it is now, so I blame that for my gullibility as a rationalization for being so dumb and blind.

        @JV The good thing about getting older and wiser is that you can make blanket judgements and feel fine with it. Exceptions always apply and always prove the rule.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Most burners I know have issues with the BMORG, are well aware of its failings, but still enjoy going. I’d hardly call them insipid, koolaid drinkers, etc. I think those of you who refer to people as such once bought into the Burning Man dream hard, and have since become disillusioned, as usually happens when expectation are set so high. Almost every burner I know, with a few exceptions, never thought Burning Man was going to change the world. They see it as a unique gathering of people where you get the opportunity to interact with some amazing art, act/dress pretty much how you like, and meet a lot of fun people who are in a great mood, generally. Because of that perspective, I find it hard to put myself into the shoes of those who so cavalierly lump anyone who still enjoys Burning Man into neat little labels.

          TB, I’ve had the exact opposite experience as I’ve gotten older. I’ve found people are more complex and aware than I once gave them credit for when I was younger, so I’m no longer able to slap blanket statements on groups of people with any conviction. I’m sorry that aging hasn’t given you that perspective.

          Liked by 1 person

          • “Most Burners I know have issues with the BMOrg”…seems true for most I speak with. We party despite them, not because of them. Jury’s still out on the “saving the world”, they promised us a new really huge thing and part of me still wants to believe they’ve been feverishly working away on that

            Like

        • “Yes, ‘rape’ is too harsh and not accurate. It’s more exploitation through coercion and lies and other strange pressure techniques.”

          Rape seems apropos, when you consider the actions of Bill Cosby. Far beyond the drugs, he was able to “take without permission” using the techniques you cite. At least it applies to those who feel used by others by coercion and misrepresentation.

          @JV – I would note that the Borg makes much of their sponsoring art and artists, and spreading their (as yet unclear) magic sauce, and account for much of their “program costs” on the 990 – the expenses that have exploded over the past 10 years. Yet these are they very things you do not support. And you still want to jump though the ticketing hoops to be part of the show. At what point do you decide that the people who are sponsoring the event are disjoint from the event you seek? Have you tired other burns? Ever been to a Night Market? Figment?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Night Market is awesome, I’ve been to one, I think the second one in SF. Totally brilliant. Haven’t been to Figment. It looks like a more conventional city arts festival that is fun for the whole family, which is nice. I’d say you can’t really compare any of them as they each offer something different. But, there is more in common between Night Market and Figment, than between either of those and Burning Man. The former are held within city limits, there’s no camping, no alcohol, and less space to roam. I do enjoy a variety of arts gatherings, so I’m not saying Burning Man is the end-all be-all. But from my experience, it is somewhat unique and has less in common with other gatherings, even the ones where you do camp.

            Yes, I’m willing to go through the ticket hassle, just like I’m willing to do for concerts that sell out quickly if it’s an artist I really like. Same deal. Demand exceeds supply. I don’t see it as “jumping through hoops,” it’s just reality. And you’re right, I do disagree with the BMORG’s policy on sponsoring art and “spreading the word,” but I do agree with a lot of how they’ve managed to keep the event going. As I’ve said before, I and many others are not so idealistic that we must agree 100% with institutions we’re involved with. Everyone has their threshold. Doesn’t make any of us fools as long as we know what we’re getting in to.

            Liked by 1 person

          • @JV – To me, supply exceeding demand usually indicates that the experience is common and necessarily commodified. I walk Manhattan all the time considering restaurants. As a hard and fast rule, I NEVER wait in line. A cue tells me that the resources are strained and the experience will be less than ideal. I prefer a place that has enough people to show that people like it, but not so many that it becomes a “scene.” Experience has shown that you have a far more memorable experience when you can take your time to enjoy, even if you are a server.

            Same with performances, which is what I love about Night Market. There are exceptions, like seeing Einstein in the Beach. You have either seen it, or not. Still, getting the BAM tix were like the old Burning Man, and most all other ticketed venues – you get them or you don’t, and then your life moves on. As soon as I heard that the burn in CT had a Borg-like registration process to get tix, I bailed entirely.

            Unless I like the normalized commodity that is being offered – I go elsewhere that might offer something creative. And in fact, that’s why I went to Burning Man in the first place. Life is too short for reruns.

            I may never return to Transformus, unless they put back up their recent past financials on their “transparency” (sic) page – the ones they used to show. I suspect the Borg has gotten to them, one way or another. The Borg, and any official regionals under their influence, are tainted by the profiteering and pointless bureaucracy over the past 10 years that has made the NV burn far less than it was. It’s one thing to be subjective as to what you want, but if I want to go somewhere you have to lock your bike and wear a chastity belt, there are better options. For me, a burn experience is removed from most default world elements, which is no longer the NV burn.

            I seek a place without dogma or boundaries, but where basic personal and community respect is there, where their is true gifting, complete equality, and non-fungible participation in that slice of life. The Borg has left that far, far behind.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I mostly agree with you here, Nomad. I prefer events that are a bit under the radar, when the energy is fresh and before the meatheads show up, so that you know everyone participating is basically on the same wavelength. It’s an awesome feeling, that collective focus. And it’s always fleeting. I chased things like that for a good part of my 20s and early 30s. But now, I’m at a place where I want to stay rooted in a scene that I’ve helped to build and maintain, in my small way. If I’m always chasing a new thing, I feel like a vampire looking for new blood.

            And anyway, as you mention, there are certain things that you will endure the masses for, like Einstein on the Beach. Well, Burning Man is that for me. In light of that, we’re really just talking personal preferences here. There are things you’ll stand in line for, and there are things I’ll stand in line for. Hey, turns out we’re both humans!

            Liked by 1 person

      • “it is an individual choice that all Burners must make to participate in the party with all of the supposed cool kids.”

        Funny, but I suppose that is reason enough for me not to go.

        -Nomad
        Deep Thought, Designated Troublemaker, Purveyor of all that is True

        Like

    • Here is the Facebook Link
      https://tinyurl.com/BurnBC-End-Game

      There is a lingering question that has been posed to me in light of some PR published on a website in the USA, regarding why “I WON”.

      The reason I WON is clearly explained to anyone willing to read and understand the following in it’s entirety (every single word), and really think about it; not like a game of Checkers, but like a game of Chess. Or for the gaming enthusiasts, like a game of GO.

      The American corporation Decommodification LLC can say whatever they please, their owners have been doing it for years. I’ve talked to university graduates who’s thesis papers about “this culture” were rejected by professors as outright garbage for badly sourcing this kind of propaganda almost word for word; as essentially lazy “research”.

      I’ve read some it myself and it’s rambling dribble, with no foundation on anything substantial.

      A PR campaign by a Privately Owned American Corporation is just Marketing spin. It’s Propaganda (Literally) If that’s anyones source of information, they just want to believe what they want to believe and nothing will change the washed brains of a “Contractually Obliged Brand Cult” who want to freely exploit the goodwill of many beautiful people, while raking in millions for other people taking advantage of them.

      This is the end game.

      Any deviation from this PR story is grounds for ostracization from “the community”. (AKA) that which is “controlled directly or indirectly” by Decommodification LLC.

      It’s none of my business.
      I don’t care.

      (Metaphorically Speaking)
      I held a window open for other people as long as I could, and when that opportunity passed for them, I took the exit I planned all along and leveraged it for what I wanted, to begin with, and left. The culture is gone from this meaningless name, and I’m following it out the window.

      The door is closed, the window shut, and the idiots who signed contracts and gave away their personal rights are trapped in a room slowly suffocating on the rotting stench of this decrepit corpse, to the bitter end.

      I’m walking in the open fields in the sun.
      At peace, with no obligations whatsoever to any of this.
      My conscience clear.

      ** Now regarding the less metaphorical realities of how the Federal Court works and WHY I WON.**

      Anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is either lying to you, or has no idea what’s happening.

      Something like 98% of cases in Canadian Federal Courts are settled out of court, and never go to trial. So a smart person works proceedings like a Chess Game, NOT Checkers. Or for anyone who’s really into ancient gaming; as an Atari in Go.

      In other words, if all you see is one chess match, you’re missing everything else that matters.

      I forced Decommodification LLC to make some serious concessions, that are not in the public record, and are by no means confidential. I am in no way bound to any “Gag Agreement”, and never conceded a key detail that will always remain my Trump Card if anyone hassles me in the future.

      I hold these papers in my hand right now, and only a few people clearly understand exactly why this is so significant.

      If you remember, at the outset of all of this, I made it extremely clear I did not want “Burning Man”. Neither did Burn BC. This was my Atari.

      My goal was to offer it to Canadians and walk away and essentially be done with it as a mutually respectful gift to the culture I nurtured here in Canada, before it was ever even vaguely associated in any way with a stick man.

      But, one woman called it “My mark like NIKE” in a phone call to me on April 1st of 2013, and proceeded to call this a “Battle”, turn this into a “War” and claim “The Community” as her pawns in this sadistic game of hers. As she put it, “Three little dots”, on her game board.

      Insignificant little dots, coloured red, yellow, and blue; condescending little details in what I later realised was an epic End Game in a 20 year plot.

      So, you see, I leveraged the arrogance of a highly vengeful woman who walked right into my Atari, and went after me personally.

      Once able to defend myself, I moved proceedings one motion away from a complete dismissal on grounds that could have brought the entire Decommodification LLC plot crashing to the ground…

      My Atari was complete.
      I forced concessions from a literally cowering and slightly terrified lawyer (working for the largest law firm in Canada, representing a multi million dollar privately held American corporation) who’d been caught essentially misleading the Court based on a weak (at best) case, and I walked away with what I wanted all along.

      … and as a bonus, my pawn.
      Burn BC; completely intact.

      My prize, the concessions in my agreement.
      In writing, legally binding.

      Not a nickle paid to me, not a dime paid to Decommodification LLC.

      I won, with a clear conscience.
      Now they can fuck off and leave me alone, as I requested in 2013.

      They can say whatever they like, spin it however they please, outright lie at this point, and it doesn’t matter to me.

      I won.
      I’m at peace, my conscience is clear, and my art is mine; that art being an expression of the culture that gave a little bonfire in Nevada some meaning for a few years.

      I’m going to explore the next paradigm without this epicly obnoxious shadow of Ember Dude looming over me, my art, my family, and my culture.

      With Peace,
      I put down the gift I held with curiosity, an enigma in a pandora’s box, waiting for anyone willing to see it.

      I’m going to literally play with my three year old son now, and keep teaching him chess, so he can one day learn to play Go; A Japanese game I played in the hills of Hawaii at the age of 9, while living on a property next door to Terence McKenna.

      With Love,
      Bhak Jolicoeur (AKA) Napalm Dragon
      Artist, Impresario, and Sacred clown.

      Like

  5. “Avant-garde Artist, Impresario, Prankster, and Sacred Clown.”
    *rolls eyes* Someone get this man a step ladder to help him off his high horse.

    Like

  6. It would be helpful to provide links to the documents, or the documents themselves, that caused this article. This includes, but may not be limited to, the court’s decision, any settlement agreement(s) and/or stipulation(s) and the final judgment from the court that sets forth the determination from the court (as to him personally and the corporation) and the ability to enforce that determination/judgment.

    Everything else is, as they say, commentary, especially where you have a non-lawyer characterizing legal documents that may or may not be a correct characterization of those documents. He may be entirely correct as to what he claims, but it may also come as no surprise that sometimes legal documents get misunderstood by even the finest trained or untrained legal minds. This is what often leads to litigation.

    Liked by 1 person

      • If I had links I wouldn’t have asked. Ask Napalm Dragon for the documents and then post them. I find it curious that you automatically seek verification documents from BM, and only then barely trust them, but you then accept and trust what someone (and a person with a clear ax to grind) claims without seeking documentary proof before posting. At least be fair to seek transparency and proof from all sides before you agree/disagree.

        Like

        • I did ask him. And I posted a link to court docs for you, see update.

          I haven’t asked BM for any verification documents, and highly doubt they would provide them anyway. We’re still waiting on the 2014 tax return for the Black Rock Arts Foundation, which they are required by law to produce and yet is still MIA for some unknown reason.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think if you employ a Minister of Propaganda for 25 years, it’s appropriate to question the veracity of anything you say. Could Napalm Dragon be lying? I guess, but hard to see their motivation at this point.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Napalm Dragon’s motivation is that he was sued by them. The Borg’s motivation is that they need to keep the burners under control so they can manipulate them to keep making the shoes for free. That’s why we need to see the objective court documents, or at least those from each side as tested in court.

            Like

          • Still waiting to see the original court documents referenced in this post. This includes, but may not be limited to, the court’s decision, any settlement agreement(s) and/or stipulation(s) and the final judgment from the court that sets forth the determination from the court (as to him personally and the corporation) and the ability to enforce that determination/judgment.

            Like

          • From the court document linked to in the BJ comments:

            I have reviewed the affidavit evidence submitted by the Plaintiffs on this motion and I am satisfied that the evidence shows that:
            • the Plaintiffs have, since as early as 1986 and certainly by the mid-1990’s, organized and conducted an annual event, now located in Nevada, which has received broad notoriety not only in the United States but in Canada and probably elsewhere;
            • that event is known as the Burning Man event and can be described as a combination art festival, social event and experiment in community living;
            • the trade-marks Burning Man and Decompression have become well known as being associated with this annual event;
            • the Plaintiffs have licensed others to conduct such events;
            • since at least 1996, these events have become well known in Canada including with an association with the trade-marks Burning Man and Decompression. There has been significant effort to advertise and promote these events to Canada, thousands of tickets to these events have been sold each year to Canadians; these events have been well publicized in the Canadian media;
            • since in or about 2009, the Defendant, Burn BC, has commenced to organize similar events in Canada. This Defendant has, by its website and otherwise given the impression that it is authorized by or associated with the Plaintiffs and their events. This Defendant has used the words Burning Man, Burn BC and Decompression in association with such activities;
            • the Defendant, Burn BC, has no license or permission from the Plaintiffs to carry on such activities.

            Is any of that disputed? Doesn’t seem so to me.

            Like

  7. Here’s the question.
    Would you do what you do, the way you do it, for the shoe company Nike?

    Think about that answer carefully before you criticise people who’ve had their lifes work stolen from them.

    I’ve done my duty to clear my conscience, and I’m getting on with my life. I have no desire to have me, my art, or the people I love exploited.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sure, he was sued, and now he’s disgruntled. I don’t blame him for being disgruntled. But, I’m a little tired of getting lectured by burnier than thou people about how anyone participating in Burning Man events is just fooling themselves. It’s a little condescending. Also, this guy always seemed like an asshole to me. Still. I’m glad he won the suit against him personally.

      Like

        • “Let me say, anyone participating in Burning Man(tm) events is just fooling themselves. Does that make me burnier than thou?”

          Indeed it does. Most of us are perfectly aware of the failings of the BMORG but still enjoy the burn for what we bring to it, and for the people we spend it with. You know, it’s possible to have the same facts and come to different conclusions. I’ve been reading here for awhile now, and while I don’t agree with everything the BMORG is doing, I agree with enough of it to keep me interested. You obviously feel differently. Doesn’t mean either of us are “fooling themselves.”

          Like

          • “…but still enjoy the burn for what we bring to it, and for the people we spend it with.”

            As long as you can do that, any live with paying to be monkeys in the cage for the CCamp spectators, that’s up to you. As I posted a few days ago, I am sure there might be the 30,000 burners there like the last time I went. The problem is the other 40,000, who are either spectators of people taking advantage of the burners and burner culture. I was happier when bike locks and chastity belts were not on the “must bring” list.

            Oh, and I can’t do my theme camp because we can’t be sure we can all get tickets, and as all of us have only so much time on this earth; I count time making the theme camp better a plus because it is creative and shared, but time getting tickets is a minus because it is in no way a reflection of who I am and why I was here.

            Like

          • I don’t know about you, but when I’m performing, I need an audience. I crave an audience, in fact. I’ve never cared about the “participator vs. spectator” argument, because there has been and continues to be more than enough participators and performers to make the event vital and interesting. What I do care about is yahoos and assholes, and that is a growing problem, one that comes with greater awareness of the event. It sucks, but honestly, I have maybe one or two negative interactions with people each time I’ve been. That’s a fantastic ratio. I haven’t been since 2012 and my wife and I are planning to go this year, so maybe I’ll see a difference.

            The ticket situation is frustrating, but unlike you, I don’t think the BMORG is gaming the system in any way. I do disagree with them on not tying tickets to names, but I think they are doing what they’ve decided is the best way to deal with supply and demand discrepancy. I totally understand people who opt out of attending because of the ticket situation. I simply decided it’s not enough to keep me away.

            Like

          • “I don’t know about you, but when I’m performing, I need an audience. I crave an audience, in fact. I’ve never cared about the “participator vs. spectator” argument…”

            JV, that’s where you and I differ IMMENSELY. Sounds like you could be on a stage, or on film or TV, and still do your thing, since your audience does not participate other than simple reaction. Your audience is largely fungible.

            My theme camp may have some performance aspects, but that is only to get things started. It simply cannot happen without the active interaction of the participant(s). And each participant constitutes a major portion of the experience. In that way it is much like the MST3000 camp. I prefer camps where I can engage and become a part of the experience. If there were no such camps in BRC I would likely not have gone back. As I wandered BRC, the experiences I remember seeking and looking forward to are those where I was personally engaged, not part of a passive audience.

            Like

          • Well sure, our stuff is interactive too, and pretty reliant on participation. I think we mean the same but our terms are different. I was thinking of “audience” as people who might not have brought something tangible to share, but still jump in and interact, thereby helping create the situation I’m going for. And of course, there are times when I’m just performing and the people in front of me aren’t necessarily interacting. It ebbs and flows.

            So, those people are my favorite to interact with, because maybe it’s their first time, or maybe they just haven’t gotten anything together to bring, but their tickled and willing to participate when an opportunity is placed in front of them.

            Liked by 1 person

      • “…the suit against him personally.” How does it feel to fight to pay $450 to these guys so they can pay lawyers to sue people personally?

        And let me say BAD lawyers. They missed the non-representation card that they played in the first lawsuit, that they could not play in the personal lawsuit.

        I wonder if the Borg lawyers were trying to justify their annual retainer, or they were going for extra billable time. Would be interesting to know. Either way, the Borg is getting ripped off with bad advice from council, even if only the Borg themselves wanted to push this to the next stage. The real world is a bitch when you step outside of the little NPD environment you create.

        Wait… I know: they should try to move the venue to Texas and claim they are suffering from narcissienza. Let’s make some new law here!

        Liked by 1 person

        • “How does it feel to fight to pay $450 to these guys so they can pay lawyers to sue people personally?”

          I don’t agree with everything the BMORG does, but then I can’t think of an organization or institution that I’m involved with, either as a customer or participant, that I agree with 100%. We all have different thresholds where we no longer feel comfortable being involved with an institution. I still mostly agree with how the BMORG has managed Burning Man. You don’t. Neither of us are fooling themselves.

          Like

          • How much of your perception of the Borg is based on observation of facts, and how much on projection and denial because of what you can bring, create and share?

            How has the Borg made things better for burners like you over the past 10 years when the overhead and profit has changed from less than $1 million to over $20 million?

            Do you think that their “outreach to improve the world” has any merits? If so, please illuminate us.

            Like

          • “How much of your perception of the Borg is based on observation of facts, and how much on projection and denial because of what you can bring, create and share?”

            Again, my disagreement with you on certain details does not equate denial of anything on my part. People can disagree on how to proceed after consideration of the same facts. For some BMORG decisions that I disagree with, I simply don’t attribute malice to, while you and burnersxxx tend to see something sinister in their actions. I could be wrong in my assessment, or you could be. But I don’t think either of us is in denial or fooling themselves.

            “How has the Borg made things better for burners like you over the past 10 years when the overhead and profit has changed from less than $1 million to over $20 million?”

            They’ve managed to keep the event going through massive changes in cultural awareness of the event, regulatory ups and downs in Pershing County, and huge increase in attendance. I don’t agree with everything they’ve done, but I do believe the decisions they make are carefully considered and, for the most part, are intended to shepherd and grow the event in a manner they envision. We can’t turn back the clock, nor can we realistically throttle attendance to some agreed upon limit (20K, 30k, 40k? etc.) without seriously damaging the spirit of the event. I wish less people wanted to go, frankly, but that’s not the case.

            “Do you think that their “outreach to improve the world” has any merits? If so, please illuminate us.”

            No, and this is my main gripe with the BMORG. I think they should focus on facilitating the event in the Black Rock Desert, full stop. Let burners spread “Burning Man culture” on their own. Trust in the community. But I can’t do a whole lot about this other than voice my opinion. And as I’ve said earlier, I don’t expect to agree 100% with any group or institution I’m involved with. The event still holds most of its magic for me, and I still get excited when I think of going. I haven’t even been since 2012, but my wife and I are most likely going this year. We’re both excited. And we’re both absolutely not fooling ourselves.

            Liked by 1 person

          • No inside track, I’ll just try my luck like most of us. Maybe I’ll get one in the initial sale, if not, I’ll try my circle of burner friends. The usual methods, I’m just not bitter about it because I don’t want BRC population to grow anymore, and I realize demand outstrips supply, so it’s either this way, or tie a ticket to an ID (which of course still means you try your luck in the sale), or some kind of “cred” criteria in addition to directed tickets, which I’d be against.

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  8. The Borg sorta started in the right direction, except not.

    I am a member of two stone-soup volunteer groups that necessarily hold trademarks to literally control the intellectual property created by the members. However, the use of the trade marks is up to the MEMBERS, not licensed from some private third party. But even if the BMP gets complete rights to the DecomLLC trademarks, the BMP is NOT under control of those who created the entity, the burners.

    Making “Burning Man” public domain would lead to the problems JV outlined, but keeping private control, disjoint from those who create the event, is just as wrong. You can see what the Borg has done: they are using it for private profit branding, with those who are policing the use of the term those who profit. We now have much of what JV mentions, under the facade of the BMP. But worse, they are mutating the term to mean something quite different to promote their private enterprises.

    There was well-precedented a path they could have taken, but they had no interest in that because it did not serve their NPD dysfunctionality. Instead the term has come to mean tightly-held top-down control, suppressing rather than inspiring and enabling creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “When it comes to Burners.me, know that I forced Decommodification LLC to agree to make no claim to “The Burn”. SO the culture has a place to go, freely, and of its own free will and accord, and it’s beyond the reach of Decommodification LLC. (IN WRITING).”

      Can you provide a link? Did they also promise to not go after the term “Burners?” I suppose that would be tough, considering where http://burners.com leads you. :-O

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    • If the Borg were to do the right thing, they would transfer the IP to a new non-profit where the burners – or at least those that had placed theme camps, playa art, and MVs – were the owners and only voting members. Follow the pattern of the REAL volunteer non-profits to control the IP the members created.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I should add, the BMORG never said altruism is the motive for keeping a tight grip on Burning Man IP. They’ve clearly stated their intent is to prevent the use of the Burning Man name to sell products or as Burning Man “merch.” I FULLY support that.

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          • Open source is a great model for software, where physical infrastructure is limited to server racks and office space, at most. I could be wrong, but I’m not confident that, when it comes to dealing with things like permits and vendor contracts, an open source model would be better (or even work at all) than the current model.

            Creative Commons could possible work for Burning Man IP, if we’re willing to see a proliferation of the term “Burning Man” all over the place in all kinds of capacities. I’d prefer that not happen. I take it you wouldn’t mind if the Burning Man name was used by businesses to sell products?

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      • “If the Borg were to do the right thing, they would transfer the IP to a new non-profit where the burners – or at least those that had placed theme camps, playa art, and MVs – were the owners and only voting members. Follow the pattern of the REAL volunteer non-profits to control the IP the members created.”

        Who would comprise that group? ALL of the members of the placed camps? Just the “leaders” of those camps? Still, that’s 100s of people. Or maybe a subset of representatives? So for each request to use Burning Man IP, or each possible violation of IP, would there be a vote? It seems like a very messy process, but hey, I’d be in favor of non-founder input, as long as that input keeps the IP under the control of Burning Man.

        “If altruism was the motive, they would do that. Allegedly, profit is not the motive. SO: what’s the motive. I have my theories, which JV is gonna love…”

        OK dude, let’s have your (conspiracy) theory. Fingers crossed there’ll be an Illuminati reference. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Larry Harvey has said on at least two different public occasions that he sees Burning Man as the model for a New World Order. Of course, if I were to quote him saying that, I would be a crazy conspiracy theorist.

          Liked by 1 person

          • “Larry Harvey has said on at least two different public occasions that he sees Burning Man as the model for a New World Order. Of course, if I were to quote him saying that, I would be a crazy conspiracy theorist.”

            I think I’ve seen the same articles. Like I said, that’s my main gripe with the BMORG, their focus has become to broad and diluted. I’d say we agree here.

            Liked by 1 person

        • “Still, that’s 100s of people. Or maybe a subset of representatives? So for each request to use Burning Man IP, or each possible violation of IP, would there be a vote? It seems like a very messy process…

          Sorry, but that “problem” is something that is inherent in the two stone-soup volunteer groups I am a member of. One has over 20,000 members, and another has over 50,000 members. You have contested elections where people competing for the position make statements as to what they will do and bring to the job. Certain key issues are put up to a vote of all the membership. It is well-precedented, it’s just not the corporate top-down approach. The elected positions are still volunteers. The paid staff do the bidding of the elected people.

          “…but hey, I’d be in favor of non-founder input, …”

          And just what have the “founders” uniquely brought to the event in the past 20 years that earns them your deference?

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          • There’s a thing called Apache, which the first “Chief Technology Guru” of Burning Man made. It runs roughly half of the 200 million active web sites. It’s free, it’s open source, and yet somehow people make millions off it too. It is inclusive and definitely not top down, anyone with merit is encouraged to contribute.

            Liked by 1 person

          • The method you mention sounds too messy to me. I really don’t think it would work for Burning Man, too many competing agendas. The process would become bloated and bog down the whole thing. I’m willing to sacrifice a little community input for efficiency when it comes to facilitating the event and getting the permits and vendor contracts in order.

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          • “The method you mention sounds too messy to me. I really don’t think it would work for Burning Man, too many competing agendas. The process would become bloated and bog down the whole thing.”

            So you are saying that my two stone soup groups, surviving longer than Burning Man, are fictional? You have never been a member of a dues-paying group where all top management was volunteer? Sure, it’s harder, but anything is harder than a dictatorship.

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          • “I’m willing to sacrifice a little community input for efficiency when it comes to facilitating the event and getting the permits and vendor contracts in order.”

            Having those that make the group and event being in overall control is far from “a little community input.” But that shows how little the Borg operations need to respond to the community in your vision. And you are willing to surrender any burner input so long as you have permits and contracts, with 80% overhead. I figure the AHCAA setting 20% maximum is a good precedent, since managing health care is not easy.

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          • “So you are saying that my two stone soup groups, surviving longer than Burning Man, are fictional? You have never been a member of a dues-paying group where all top management was volunteer? Sure, it’s harder, but anything is harder than a dictatorship.”

            What are the events those groups put on? I’m sure it works great, and I’m sure similar methods could be made to function with Burning Man. I’m just not that interested in trying it out, because there’d be even more back and forth then there is now, and more people feeling butthurt if and when their ideas are not heeded.

            “And you are willing to surrender any burner input so long as you have permits and contracts, with 80% overhead.”

            Not sure about the 80% figure, but yes, that about sums up my view. Facilitate the existence of BRC for a week, and let us bring what we will. As you may know, I don’t even care about artist funding, I’m of the mind that BMORG shouldn’t give money to any artists. So yeah, “set up the city and get out of the way” is my motto for the BMORG.

            Liked by 1 person

        • “…as long as that input keeps the IP under the control of Burning Man.” Do you mean Burning Man or Burning Man(tm)?

          Should Nike keep the IP under the control of Nike? Sure, and they should pay people who design and make the product, pay for the materials and equipment necessary to create the product – you know, like most every other entertainment event.

          Liked by 1 person

          • the world’s greatest social movements are not having arguments about who owns the IP, who gets what royalties , what should we share with our donors and what must be kept secret, etc. Not that that is relevant to BM, who are busy saving the world … Just sayin’

            Liked by 1 person

          • Gee, you think maybe this is not a great social movement? …Nah, the other great social movements just got it wrong. Think of all the money they missed out on! Wait a minute, there IS cash in imposing dogma. Look at the Catholic Church!

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  9. Another disgruntled person telling people they’re “getting taken for a ride” if they participate at all in Burning Man related activities. We just don’t get it, man! Whatever.

    I’m glad the dude won his lawsuit only because BMORG went after him personally, which was a dick move. But I totally disagree that the Burning Man trademark should be in the public domain, for all the reasons many others have stated in the past. Mostly, there’d be Burning Man “merch” all over the place, and stores would be using the Burning Man name to sell their products. No thanks. Keeping it privately held is a necessary evil, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

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