How does Burning Man change the world? How does this centrally managed counter-culture exist in a world where politics shouldn’t be spoken of, in a 30 minute speech about politics?
The comments are classic (reproduced below). Is he dressed as a faun? Is that a remote control or a pan flute?
Like most of these Millenial Burner TED talks, it is almost entirely about himself with very little about the stated topic.
He boastfully shares that he lied on his resume to get a job in Washington DC (remember, there is nothing in the Ten Principles of Burning Man about honesty, integrity, ethics, morality, or kindness). He doesn’t even care that the organization found out about his lies, it was worse when his friends found out.
Ronan’s husband, “Rainbow”
He went to Hogwarts for environmentalists. He quotes a report from British think tank the New Economics Foundation, which suggests days should have 21 hours instead of 24. Because the main problem most of us have is too much free time.
He was studying a Masters of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University. This is where former Clinton Foundation CEO Eric Braverman – named as the DNC Leaker by Chief of Staff John Pedosta, and now working for Pentagon adviser Eric Schmidt – who was ambushed at Oxford last week by George Webb’s truth-sourcing spidey sidekick Jason Goodman. We’ve also explored some of the recent connections between Burning Man and Oxford University over the fluid gender-reaffirming census, funded by the CIA-spawned Templeton Foundation.
Although Ronan begins his talk by saying “this talk is not political”, by the end of it he is predictably pushing Progressive Politics and “reimagining masculinity”.
The basic gist of the argument is that going to Burning Man and having a transformational episode is the thing that will fix politics by helping people experience their own power. “Personal growth in the future will be the lode star of progress” – I wonder how many holocracy meetings were necessary to Groupthink that?
I guess fake news and political corruption don’t matter if you can just Tune In (to the propaganda), Turn On (by taking drugs), and Drop Out (from meaningful political discourse). Want to transform politics? Focus entirely on yourself, go to raves and party up, have sex with any of the 75 genders you like, merge Google into your brain and get a Robot Heart…it’s all good, do what thou wilt! Just make sure that under no circumstances do you ever read WikiLeaks or Judicial Watch or research #Pedogate.
The 650 people at the 2016 Global Leadership Conference this weekend were the recipients of a keynote briefing from a cult leader. At least, a former one: now Ramez Naam is just a Burner, and award-winning science fiction author.
Participants in the 2016 GLC were treated Saturday morning to a visit by Ramez Naam, celebrated science fiction author, former elected fake-cult leader from the Church of Mez, and longtime Burner.
Mez’s talk challenged Burners and Burner-like humans to take on their civic responsibility as explorers and engineers of inner and outer space. “We are the ones that we have been waiting for,” Mez said.
Mez began by setting the record straight: “I just want to say I am no longer a cult leader. The cult was declared ‘morally bankrupt’,” Mez reassured us. He’s concentrating on his other exploits these days: The author of the renowned Nexus trilogy was recently awarded a Philip K. Dick award for his novel, Apex, so people are constantly congratulating him on his Dick now.
Mez’s first Burn was in ’97, and after his friends gave him a cult for his birthday, he got in pretty deep. He shared that his experiences on playa opened him up to other people in big ways, helping him overcome interpersonal anxieties and reach out to strangers in that quintessentially Burner way. Burning Man breaks down those boundaries, and Mez says this — combined with an interest in the headiest science and technology — is what has motivated him to bridge the inner and outer worlds through writing sci-fi.
Most sci-fi is about outer space, but Mez prefers to write about inner space, somewhere we all boldly go. Just like everyone else in the room at the GLC, Mez has done a great deal of inner space exploration at Burning Man events, producing insights equally valuable in sci-fi and in reality… inner and outer space are intimately connected, and human inventions are constantly widening the bandwidth of that connection. It’s no surprise that, in Mez’s view, those who explore inner space most thoroughly are the ones who drive innovation. Yes, that’s us.
Ramez is a former Microsoft employee who helped create Internet Explorer and Outlook. As well as the Philip K Dick award, Ramez has won the H G Wells award for Contributions to Transhumanism. Yes, Burning Man’s Global Leaders are being briefed on transhumanism by a cult leader. Welcome to Da Vinci’s Workshop, let us tinker with your brain…
Read the step-by-step BMOrg plan for cult indoctrination here.
His cult, the Church of Mez, was created after his first trip to Burning Man in 1997, and ignited the Transhumanist cult revolution.
SEATTLE, Washington–February 2, 2003–Church of Mez Adjusts Earnings, Files Chapter 11. The Church of Mez today announces its intention to file an adjusted earning statement and that it has filed for protection from its debtors under chapter 11.
“Clearly, we have been morally bankrupt from the start,” said the former CEO Mez from atop a pile of chocolate covered thai hookers. “But we’ve been hiding the fact that the Church of Mez has actually been making money for years. I mean buying Oracle was just supposed to be a joke, one look at PL/SQL and we figured those jackasses would never be worth anything. We tried to hide it, but you can only burn cash in your back yard for so long before the neighbors start to talk … Larry, you bitch, find me more hookers, these ones are lazy.“
“It was just one questionable investment after another,” admitted the Church CFO. “Amazon in the mid 90’s… who the hell would want to buy books on the internet? Then we started to make money on them, finally decided to sell them short in 2000, well that was a bad idea too and we had to hide another 7 billion in the back of the bus. Our fucking accountant even managed to earn us a tax credit for the hundred thousand pairs of blinky devil horns we used at burningman. And then we thought that being awarded the Playa Chicken as payment for outstanding debts was a bright spot, the disposal fees alone would be enormous, but when KFC bought him from us… well it is all just horrible.”
After a brief and drunken board meeting, all Church of Mez employees were laid off. All remaining cash assets are to be dumped into a desert porta-potty in the dead of night according to time honored Church tradition.
The Church of Mez, Inc. ignited the fringe transhumanist cult revolution in 1998 with the inception of the Church of Mez and is recommitted to its original mission–to bring big hair and loose morals to artists, scientists, computer professionals, and other miscreants in over 140 countries around the world.
This is a Church of Mez report from 1998, when Google launched at Burning Man and the theme was about a search engine sucking all the world’s data called “the Nebulous Entity”. They brought with them contracts for people to sell their souls; 150 did. Was this the same contract as the 1996 Helco one “Standard Short Form Contract for Purchase of One Soul” that Larry Harvey asked a lawyer to draft? Or are there multiple contracts for selling your soul floating around the Burner community?
If anyone has a copy of these contracts, I’d love to read them.
Dear Mommy, Daddy, all my friends and teachers, and especially little sis.
This year’s summer vacation was the best ever. We went all the way to Venus. Sev says we ran off and joined the circus, and one of my other friends claims we went to someplace called Nevada, but I’m dead positive that we visited another planet. I’m sure ’cause the terrain was alien, the people were all different colors, there were huge and frightening creatures, and the name of the place – Black Rock City – doesn’t appear on any map at all.
We worked really hard on our vacation this year. So hard I’m amazed we all stayed friends through the vacation! We bought a rocket ship disguised as a bus and got it all gussied up for the trip. We got ourselves a big old tent and a giant scaffolding to make a tower with and packed ’em up. We nabbed lotsa couches and carpeting and loaded ’em on the roof rack to decorate with. And of course, we brought lots of t-shirts and contracts to buy people’s souls with.
Souls sure are cheap! We brought back 150 of ’em, each one purchased for a t-shirt, condom, and fortune cookie. Most of ’em we got pictures of in our book of souls, and all of ’em signed a contract as airtight as we could make it. Heck, if it weren’t for the dust storm, pretty naked girls, and other distractions, I’m sure we would have filled out all of the 300 contracts we took with us.
Our camp was down on the southern (quiet) side of town, but pretty near in towards the giant MAN that ruled this strange planet. We were right near our friend Bianca’s smut shack. Bianca loves us, we loved her from last year, and now some of us who got carried away at Bianca’s are gonna be loved in the movies, or maybe on the web. At least, we sure can’t think of any other uses for the kinds of pictures they got of us.
…That was okay though, ’cause we had less to carry back! After they burned the MAN we got all excited and burned half of our furniture, along with our neighbors the giant Pez site. Kirby and I picked up each 6 foot Pez in turn and charged out into the desert screaming “burning pez! burning pez!” and threw it onto the massive fire. Then we brought out Leo’s couch and Ethan’s futon and Nancy’s cage for the prodigal Fluffy and threw them all onto the fire screaming “burning mez! burning mez!” Now we have less stuff.
Gosh, timelines sure are hard to keep straight. ‘Cause all the burning furniture was after the MAN burned, which was after the Temple of Rudra, which was after the Nebulous Entity, which was after the Dust Storm.
The MAN was absolutely the best. Last year he shot fireworks out of his hands and feet as he burned. But his year he just exploded in a giant shower of fireworks in every possible direction like a dozen fourth of july’s, shooting sparks and fire all over the people gathered below with their giant vertical flamethrowers and flare guns and flames on chains and even car engines carried on litters by slaves. I was sure some of them were gonna be goners but I hear everyone lived. And even after all the fireworks explosions were gone the man was burning bright. So bright you couldn’t see his outstretched hands or widespread feet at all. Yes siree, he was one 30-foot ball of glowing white fire for half a minute, maybe longer. Brighter than the sun, I say. And after all that there magnesium in his heart burnt out he was burning all aflame, redly and brilliantly, still clinging to life so dearly they had to tug on his lines to bring him crashing to earth. “The MAN is gonna burn!” they were yelling on the megaphones beforehand, and burn he did! And then we danced and danced and ran around his funeral pyre till our left sides were red and burnt from his heat and we were pouring sweat into our burns, then off to the Entity and home to burn what we dared of our camp!
…If the temple was a bit staid and stable, the Nebulous Entity was anything but! We visited the Entity many a time, but it was the special night of Saturday when we got to follow in its glorious wake! We’d gotten ourselves abducted by the aliens that serve the Entity (and had abducted one ourselves for examination) and came out to find the Entity preparing to move! Imagine that 20′ tower of fluorescent sea-life, industrial lighting, strange tentacles, and forbidding sounds propelled by all its slaves across the playa! Well, needless to say we were frightened, but having just been abducted no choice was ours. We were caught in its thrall and follow we must, and glad we are to this day! The Entity is not malignant, merely alien. It is friendly, joyous, mischievous, and totally oblivious to human life. Those who remain well clear of the path of its might tentacles live to return to it again. Only those foolish enough to stand in its path as it approaches are trod upon and become fertilizer for the desert biome.
Whew, what a break from the tedious Dust Storm! We’d been holed up in the rocket ship all day with our friends Fat Man and Little Boy, seeking shelter from the punishing wind and dust that penetrates everything…Goodness, there’s so much more to tell you about but so little time! We took so many pictures early on yet stopped by Thursday so we could join in the fun around us. We learned so much about physics and even more about chemistry, from the Tesla Coil and Catapult and Funnelator (where we launched broken doll parts into the desert) and from building our camp and powering our lights and playing with our neurochemicals.
We met so many lovely people, like Brandon and Bonnie who sold us their souls and their son Bean’s soul and Bonnie’s unborn child’s soul. And our nice neighbors on either side who slept on our futons. And the pretty girl Sarah at the Fuzzy Dice camp. And a girl named Angel I beat at a game of hangman and who owes us her soul but never signed a contract (though she did give us water)…
Wow. Mom, Dad, I wanna go again next year! Only this time our camp is gonna be bigger and better and closer to center camp. We’re gonna have even more water (300 gallons was awesome – 3000 would be better!), giant art, personal radios, banners we actually hang up, a taller tower, candles we can keep lit in high wind, more strobe lights and blacklights, a higher-bandwidth process for buying souls, pamphlets on all kinds of topics, and so much more!
Love, your son, student, friend, and brother,
p.s. – please tell Santa: next year I want a FIRE ENGINE so I can take it to Burning Man!
BMOrg are introducing a “democratic” grant process for funding art grants, something the community has long been demanding. They have some funny ideas about participatory democracy, though.
Attendees at the Global Leadership Conference will vote on how to allocate a total of $1500 to art. The conference is invite only, and not open to the public. And artists will need to go through their local RC (Regional Contact…although in Australia RC means something else, more suited to this year’s Medici theme).
A democratic grant process aimed at funding innovative community art projects within the Burning Man Global Network. We are interested in projects that create collaborations, break down the distinction between audience and artist, are directly interactive and/or enhance the public, civic sphere.
Participants in a session at the annual Burning Man Global Leadership Conference will award a total of $1,500 however they wish among any qualified projects. This is meant to both serve as an exercise in structuring and judging a grant opportunity as well as a way to provide a small amount of support and encouragement to worthy projects.
– Deadline for grant submissions is March 25th. (Midnight U.S. Pacific Time) – Judges will review the grants at the 2016 Global Leadership Conference (March 31st- April 3rd) – Winner(s) will be announced Sunday afternoon at the GLC. (April 3rd)
Individuals, Groups, and Not-for-Profits are all eligible to apply. All projects *must* be endorsed by a local Burning Man Regional Contact. The RC does not need to be heavily involved with the process, but rather they will serve as a point of communication between the granters and the grantees.
The total amount of grants given will be $1,500. This amount could go to one project or be split among two or more, so it might be helpful to explain what you would do with the full amount as well as how you would use a smaller amount.
The 10th annual Burning Man Global Leadership Conference (GLC) is an annual conference of Burning Man community leadership that happens each spring in San Francisco. From humble beginnings in 2007, where 70 Regional Contacts joined us at Burning Man HQ, the GLC has since grown to include over 400 participants from around the world.
These highly-energized folks are Burning Man’s global representatives and community leaders, ambassadors of Burning Man culture in their regions who throw any of 65 Regional events in 20 countries. They participate in the GLC to share ideas, best practices and inspiration, and to make the invaluable face-to-face connections that may just lead to the next big thing.
The conference is for organizers and community leaders in the Burning Man Regional Network, and space is limited, so attendance isn’t open to the public
Those of us not on the list will be able to participate by reading Tweets from the Chosen Few in attendance to see Larry dressed up as a worm, a guy with a slinky in his beard, and other hilarity. We might get to watch a few select sessions on YouTube.
In other news…
You can buy tickets to the Burnal Equinox – Night of a Thousand Guilds on March 19 at Public Works for $20.
Congratulations to Piper from Distrikt who is thrilled to be the latest member of Burning Man’s Communications team. Is she filling in the clown shoes left by departing Minister for Propaganda Will Chase? We shall see…
BMOrg’s Global Leadership Conference just happened, at the Kabuki Hotel in Japantown. Why there, you ask? Well, perhaps this is just a coincidence, but it’s a Joie De Vivre boutique hotel, part of the empire built by BMP Director Chip Conley. Hope they got a good discount on the space.
BMOrg had promised us that we would be able to watch the sessions on video, even if we weren’t lucky enough to be invited to the conference. Unfortunately, Friday’s sessions were plagued with technical difficulties, so all we at home got to see was the warm-up. @motorbikematt from the Mars Rover Art Car team (and NASA) was in charge of the streaming; it appears sending live video from the Mission to Mars, is not as technically challenging as streaming it from the Mission in San Francisco. The stream was working slightly better on Saturday. Not all of the sessions have been uploaded to YouTube, I hope they will be soon.
Of course, they’re still camped in a private Commodification Camp which is not shared with the public. And they’re making this statement at an event that regular Burners can’t attend, only insiders.
Marian made the point that if we want change in the Org, we should just be patient because it’s a hundred year plan. She revealed that the size of the business now is $34 million in revenues.
They are going to cut the wait times at Will Crawl by a third to a half – so it might drop to 4 or 5 hours. They are negotiating to increase the population cap, too – a team of 5 are going to Washington in 2 weeks, meeting high level people in the Department of the Interior and Law Enforcement.
You can see Marian’s presentation in this video, you will need to fast-forward to 18:49. The recording is a little patchy.
Handheld lasers are now banned; fixed lasers are still permitted.
Handheld lasers to be banned. Fixed lasers will be allowed. #bmglc15
As much as I love lasers, this is probably a good thing. Idiots scanning the crowd led to blindness for a BRC Ranger. Another safety concern is people pointing lasers at the Man and the Temple on burn night. Both structures get packed with highly inflammable materials – it’s not just wood – so that they burn brightly and in a controlled fashion. Right up to the Burn, there are people inside the structures preparing them. If some of this combustible material was hit by a powerful enough laser, the whole thing would go up before it’s ready – maybe before the people can get out.
It is interesting to note that in this case, which I would see as a workplace injury, it was Burners who provided the financial compensation to the injured worker. BMOrg just made up a new rule to restrict the behavior of Burners. I kind of think it sucks that Burners pay for this and get punished; all BMOrg has to do is come up with a new rule. Lasers could have been managed with licenses, regulations, and fines – like how they are handling drones – instead of an outright ban. This seems like a knee-jerk reaction. What’s next, someone OD’s, so they make drugs illegal? All have to pay the price for the idiocy of a few, while BMOrg has to pay $0. Burners carry the cost, BMOrg get all the benefits. They don’t even have to worry about their workers comp insurance premiums going up! Since they’re side-by-side with Burners, perhaps they could at least match the funds raised by Burners.
BM founder Harley Dubois is determined to change corporate America.
This reminds me of the Timothy Leary days, when all politicians and CEOs needed to do was drop acid and then they would “get it”, so the world could be saved.
BM founder Crimson Rose is fresh back from Ireland, where she was sent to watch David Best’s Temple burn.
In Crimson’s session, she revealed the combined power of Burning Man Arts (basically, The Burning Man Project acquired Black Rock Arts Foundation as well as Black Rock City LLC). Her numbers also include art grants within the Regional Network. Art grants for 2015 are up to $1.2 million, and a further $100k has been granted to off-Playa art projects. Of course, we don’t know what the official figures for Burning Man Project are for 2014 or 2015, that information is years away – we’ll just have to take Crimson’s word for it. Was any of the $1.2 $1.3 million “in kind” contributions, or was it all cash? Again, we won’t know until we see the 2015 IRS Form, some time in 2017. This new multi-year lag in transparency makes it easier for BMOrg to make claims that can’t be verified, which in turn makes the Minister of Propaganda’s job easier.
For 2015, Burning Man Arts received 510 Letters of Intent for art projects. Of these, 222 were invited to submit a grant proposal. 210 were submitted, plus 34 from the regionals. In total 123 grants were awarded in 2015, for $1.3 million – an average of $10,569 per artist – substantially down from previous years. The amount of Art Grants as a percentage of revenues has stayed about the same, even as revenues have grown massively.
I have updated my previous table with the new information, and to list BRAF and Art Honoraria grants together.
The 2014 and 2015 figures have been distorted further by including art grants from the Regionals network. It’s not clear to me if these are now funded by BMOrg, or by the Regionals from their own ticket sales. So far, I have no information that BMOrg ever sends money to the Regionals for any type of grants; rather, the Regionals are required to put some of their own ticket money into funding art projects. If BMOrg are going to count all these art grants in their public figures, then they should count them the same way in their tax filings. Right?
There seem to be four types of Art Grants now:
Honoraria Grants – partial funding of on-Playa artworks
Global Art Grants, continuation of BRAF’s Grants to Artists program. 12 years starting in 2003, awarded $450,000+ to 112 projects – an average of $4000 each. These were in 23 US states and 18 foreign countries.
Civic Arts – formerly a BRAF program. 10 years, starting in 2005. 45 projects to date. $216,800 to 8 projects in 2014 (average $27,100 each).
Community Innovation Grants: collaboration and partnerships with like-minded people.
Crimson stated that since 2001, Burning Man has funded more than $8 million in art. Let’s drill into that a bit.
That’s over 14 years; in the last 5 years, they’ve made more than $122 million in ticket sales to their Art Festival, and spent just under $5 million on art. We will probably never know how much they spent on lawyers and accountants since 2013, the last year when they made their financial chart available to Burners. Now it is secret, while they boast about being more transparent. Ah, such irony! What we do know that in the 5 year period of 2009-2013, they spent more than $6.6 million on lawyers and accountants, and $3.6 million on art.
Interestingly, BMOrg are no longer sharing the 2010 Afterburn financials on their web site. They’re still available at the Wayback Machine.
Dennis Kucinich spoke about Quantum Physics, manifesting your ideal destiny, the nature of reality, and being a Fox News analyst.
The next few days are going to be long and exhausting, challenging GLC participants to pack as much information and ideas and conversation into their brains as possible before heading back to their region to bring the seed home. One thing’s for sure, they’ll leave as tired as they are inspired.
Oh and here’s Larry Harvey in a worm costume:
[Update 4/13/15 1:13pm]
There has been some confusion in the comments about the funding of the Regionals.
Here are the relevant slides from Crimson Rose’s presentation.
So it looks like for 2015, there were 78 Burning Man projects, as well as 27 art projects funded by the regionals. This makes 105 projects, and $1.2 million. It appears to me that the funding for the regional art projects is being included in the total. However, maybe there has been some sort of policy change now, and money will be flowing from the non-profit out to all the Regionals to spread Burner art through the world. We can only hope…
Everything might be within the $1.2 million, including the $100,000 Global Arts Grants. And what of the Civic Arts grants? $216,800 cash handed out in 2014, is this part of 2015’s $1.2 million budget, or on top of it?
As for Global Art Grants, it seems the 4 international projects are part of the 18 total; but, are the 18 counted in the 105? Are the 8 Civic Arts Project part of it? Or is it actually 131 art projects funded in 2015?
The most recent Black Rock City Census has revealed that today’s Burners lean pretty heavily to the left. 43 % of Burners are card-carrying members of the Democrats (versus 6% Republican and 3.5% Libertarian), and for Burners that aren’t particularly tied to a party, 76% voted Democrat at the last election (versus 7.4% Republican and 5.6% Libertarian). A hefty 92% of Burners came in somewhere between “left” and “center”, while only about 0.1% consider ourselves Right Wing.
So it should come as no surprise that BMOrg have gushingly announced the headline act for their annual BurnerCon Global Leadership Conference: two-time former Democratic Presidential Candidate and Fox News Political Analyst Dennis Kucinich.
Kucinich went to Burning Man for the first time last year, giving a speech at IDEATE and an on-Playa in depth interview with Luke Rudkowski from We Are Change.
Now he has learned enough to tell the rest of us how important Burning Man is to changing the world.
We are excited to welcome a special guest keynote speaker to this year’s GLC! Former U.S. Representative Dennis Kucinich will join us in person on Saturday, April 11 to address why Burning Man culture matters to humanity at this time of great global change.
Dennis is a statesman and philosopher who believes the fundamental truth of our existence is human unity — that we are all one, and that we are interconnected and interdependent. This belief has guided him through public life and he shares it with audiences everywhere. An internationally known environmentalist, Dennis is passionate about the great evolutionary potential which comes from repairing our relationship to the natural world and to each other.
He has had a long and distinguished career in public service, including serving as a Cleveland City Councilman, Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio State Senator, and U.S. Congressman. He was a two-time Presidential candidate.
Dennis participated in Black Rock City for the first time in 2014. Through the creativity and human connection of Black Rock City and the Burning Man Regional Network, he sees that “Burning Man represents an incandescent vision of a world within our grasp.” [Source]
Within whose grasp? Burners live in this world. Does he mean politicians? The Man? Let’s hope he can show us concrete examples of how he has learned from our culture and is now changing the world with it, and spreading it to others.
I have to disclose that last week I became a huge fan of Mr K, when I learned that he recommended this book to a friend at Burning Man:
Like the Bilderberg Group and Bohemian Grove, the Global Leadership Conference is just for the elites of our culture. It’s not open to “rank-and-file” Burners, only specially selected members of the Regionals Network, and other insiders. BMOrg will be streaming their main sessions live on the Interwebz, for those of us who want to provide global leadership by watching passively from our armchairs. They assure us that the videos will also be available afterwards, if you don’t manage to catch the panel discussions live.
Burning Man’s Social Alchemist Bear Kittay, L; Burner Dennis Kucinich, R
Friday, April 10
9:00-10:30am PDT Plenary Session 1: The Next Creative Renaissance, Busting it Out, Building it Up, Bringing it Home!
10:30am-12:00pm PDT Plenary Session 2: Updates — From the Desert to the World
Saturday, April 11 9:00-10:15am PDT Plenary Session: Keynote Talks with Marian Goodell and Dennis Kucinich
Watch the stream here. We will be live commenting it on our Twitter @burnersdotme …if I get out of bed early enough.