Burnier-Than-Thous Ruin It For Everyone [Updates]

…everyone who likes Pee Funnels, that is.

For many years, female Burners have enjoyed the great equalizer that is the Pee Funnel. It prevents unhygienic contact with gnarly port-a-potties used by tens of thousands of crusty Burners. It makes it easy for women to pee into jugs without leaving the comfort of their tent. Pee Funnel Camp has given these devices away for free: 30,000, by their estimation.

Now, there is no more Pee Funnel Camp –  thanks to some Burnier-Than-Thous who help BMOrg by going undercover on eBay to snitch catch scalpers. These people are strangely silent when BMOrg gets busted selling tickets above face value themselves. It seems that $650 to BMOrg is “good”, $650 to Burners is “against Burning Man”.

In this case, it appears BMOrg had no interest in looking at evidence or hearing other sides of the story. It’s a simple matter of the word of a snitching Burnier-than-thou, versus that of Veteran Burners who have given countless hours and gifts on the Playa. They’re guilty without even the chance to protest their innocence. BMOrg seem completely uninterested in evidence or any system of unbiased governance and independent oversight. They’re content to continue running the city with the system of Crowdsourced Tyranny, Radical Hypocrisy and Unchecked Favoritism that fuels their money-making machine. Just keep those Virgins coming!

pee funnels 2009lWell done Burnier-than-thous, by trying to stop scalping – which isn’t even a problem, according to Larry – you have taken away one of Black Rock City’s long serving institutions. You think Burning Man is better now, that you saved us from scalpers? Well what about the scalpers still running the damn thing? Every lady on the Playa forced to piss in an uncomfortable situation, please think of these anonymous narcs and what they’ve done to you and all Burners.

What were these boogey-man scalpers going to do anyway? Take tickets away so popular camps couldn’t go? Nope, that’s BMOrg’s job. With the help of their Burnier-Than-Thou army, destroying  Veterans with selectively enforced “rules”, one camp at a time. You want Pee Funnels? BYOPF.

Here’s the back story:


If there were a Black Rock City Prison – I’d be in it. This is the story of how Pee Funnel Camp was falsely accused of scalping tickets on eBay and lost placement, early arrival, art placement, and most of our tickets.This will be my 15th consecutive year at Burning Man and my 12th at the helm of the best and worst idea I ever had: Pee Funnel Camp. Pee Funnel Camp was awarded 13 Direct Distributed Tickets, 9 of which were purchased by me, and I got two of my own pre-sale.Two of the members of PFC I found via ePlaya and they are traveling from Ohio. Because we had never met, they were understandably wary about sending me money for tickets. I offered to use eBay as security, and to include the camp donation of $100 in the ticket pricing – selling them 2 tickets for $1000. As soon as I put up this auction – another buyer swooped in and hit Buy It Now. I told them the story and cancelled the sale and re-listed – and the correct buyer got the tickets.During this process I was horrified to learn that there were “rats” on eBay trolling for scalpers. I listed my extra pre-sale ticket on eBay with a starting price of $250 and a Buy It Now price of $750 to see if I could catch a rat. Someone contacted me and offered me $650 per ticket and asked me to supply photos of the numbers on the back of my tickets. I used my campmates’ Direct Distributed tickets for this. They immediately turned me into the org for scalping tickets.Ticketing voided all 11 tickets bought under my name. Then Pee Funnel Camp had its placement and early arrival revoked. We then had our art placement revoked for the 2nd Pee Funnel Dispenser. I started to regret my curiosity and mild civil disobedience.I wrote to ticketing, placement, and art with appeals – but they would not hear my story nor see the screenshots to prove it. I even offered to step down as organizer because I feel fucking AWFUL about what I put my camp through around this (this debacle is costing my camp thousands of dollars) – but they refused to let PFC live without me. To them it looks like I listed 5 tickets on eBay for above face value, but based on their claim of what I did: they never looked at eBay or investigated – they just went on the word of the rat. My name is being thrown around the org with hate. I have been blacklisted.The rat that turned me in, upon hearing my story: “Oh shit. My wife LOVES Pee Funnel Camp and so do I!”

The org asked us to operate on our honor – and I did. I would never sell my camp down the river. I donate every weekend of my summer and the entire month of August to handmaking Pee Funnels and organizing the camp. I sink a lot of money into the camp, but I’m well-paid and that is the way I contribute to Burning Man. PFC has given out over 30,000 Pee Funnels over the years. Our port-a-potty ads have become a staple of BM culture.. I have personal relationships with Burning Man staff.

I’ve always hated the org and I took a risk to prove that the shitstorm that is ticketing this year is unfair and awful on every level. This being the case: I never intended to sell any tickets to anyone for above face value, nor to distribute our DD tickets to anyone but PFC. What I intended to do was to prove that their ticketing system is an absolute failure — and that they are not stopping short of entrapment. There are rats trolling eBay and offering extra money to people who have listed tickets for face value, then turning in anyone that bites. There is no nuanced investigation of these claims – they are taking these reports on the word of the person who baits and tattles without checking into the proof. This is what I proved at the expense of Pee Funnel Camp. It was surely a mistake.

Don’t worry though. We’ll be there. We don’t have early arrival or placement (please help us with this if you can!) – so we’ll be late to the game, but nothing can stop Pee Funnel Camp. If you’d like a box of Pee Funnels (130 or so per box) for your camp, village, or project — please let me know. We need to expand our distribution system so that we do not end up paying to store leftover Pee Funnels due to our shortened stay in BRC this year.

I realize that this was an incredibly stupid thing to do and that neither myself nor Pee Funnel Camp is entitled to, well, anything.

Stand Free and Pee! Brought to you by the Urination Liberation Organization.

On behalf of myself and Pee Funnel Camp – my heartfelt gratitude goes out to the hundreds of camps, art projects, and other people that offered their love, assistance, and support in the wake of me releasing this story.





[Update 8/4/14 8:03pm] Burner Bridget says that we are not telling both sides of this story, and that there is more information here on an ePlaya discussion. Read it if you have time and would like a more informed opinion on how this all came about. Despite this “evidence”, the facts remain: no Pee Funnel Camp for 2014.

[Update 8/4/14 8:43pm ] The discussion at ePlaya just further proves my point with this post. Absolutely atrocious behavior and hatred being spewed by the Burnier-Than-Thous (BTTs) towards a fellow Burner in the name of rule enforcement. A smug email from BMOrg. Only one Burner coming to Pee Funnel’s Defense, saying “wait a minute – if rules are rules, then it matters if the rules were followed or broken”. To this commenter, and to me, it appears that no rules were broken. Even if they were, this is hardly the first theme camp to re-sell tickets it got early access to purchase. It seems the “judgement by email” was executed against this entire camp, at which point a few vocal members of the community go “so there” in online forums and that’s it. Banished for ever! Something that helped 30,000 women at Burning Man, doesn’t even matter, the minute some “rule violation” occurs. The justice system in Defaultia is much more fair and balanced than this.

To save you having to read 2 pages of threads of this crap, here are some key postings:

The Placement Team wrote:Thank you for your feedback and concern regarding Pee Funnel Camp.

On July 20, 2012, it was brought to our attention that our main contact for Pee Funnel Camp was engaged in re-selling multiple tickets for above face value (scalping). Following a thorough investigation by our ticket office, all tickets under the name of this person were voided (with instructions on how to return the tickets for a refund).

We then canceled the advance, reserved Placement of Pee Funnel Camp, and associated early arrival passes. The Placement team’s reasoning and perspective in this matter were explained to the camp lead. Specifically, the camp lead was reminded of the instructions that were sent on March 16, 2012, along with the Direct Distributed Ticket purchase codes intended only for their camp.

Those instructions clearly stated:

“Remember: it is your responsibility to make sure access to these tickets goes to the people who are integral to the success of your project.”


“We trust the integrity of this community with the multiple-ticket order option described above, to maintain the one ticket per person limit
across these categories. Should you end up with a ticket surplus, please sell them back through the STEP ticket process”

We have reviewed the explanations and appeals put forth by the camp lead. They do not hold up – our ticket office does not cancel tickets unless they have substantial proof of wrongdoing and identity. Our decision in this matter is final.

Pee Funnel Camp can still arrive, setup, and pamphlet the event as a non-registered camp once our Gates open to the public.

Thank you,

– Placement

“It was brought to our attention” – thus proving the presence of the rats. The Burnier-Than-Thous, who think it’s great to wreck Burning Man in the name of rules that BMOrg break themselves.

BTT Trishntek said: Please don’t claim to be a capitalist and a free market individual while disrespecting the TEN PRINCIPALS and BMorg. Capitalism and free market have no place in a decommodified community.

Remember, this was 2012. Before “Decommodification, LLC” was announced by the founders as their free market capitalism way of securing royalties for use of the trademarks and images from our party. Before Burners had seen giant Bank of America neon signs on the Playa.

Diabolita is the “Pee Funnel Perpetrator”, the Heroine of our story, Luke Skywalker versus the BTT Empire. To her credit, she stands up and tries to explain herself, in the face of howling and name calling from the BTT’s that any regular reader of the comments to this blog would recognize.

Good god, I could go on & on (and have elsewhere)

Your entire defense reads as someone who got caught fucking up major, and is now desperately trying to pretend they didn’t do anything wrong to save face to your camp & the rest of Burning Man. I read your defense & it convinced me that you probably did try to scalp tickets. In all honesty, I think it’s you who dragged Pee Funnels name through the mud, not the BMorg. Think about it: I’m sure most people didn’t even know about this until your clumsy post.

{mod hat on}[/quote]

I could also go on and on – but we’re never going to reach an agreement.

The fundamental disagreement is that I don’t have any problem with scalpers nor do I find them a threat to this so called “community” – I am a staunch free market capitalist. I view the tickets as a commodity, Burning Man as a privileged event for the privileged (it would make me happy if the tickets were far more expensive – it would cut down on the population and solve a lot of problems) and if the org doesn’t want them viewed that way they should issue non-transferable tickets (though that would have fucked me this year so right now I’m sure glad they didn’t). I wrote to them early in the game and BEGGED them to the airline ticket model or really to follow ANY WORKING MODEL rather than make up their own.

Sounds pretty wise to me. In 2012 this blog was just getting started, and these views – though widely held – were not so frequently expressed. Back then, people had to have some courage to provoke the ire of BMOrg. They didn’t want to piss off the World’s Biggest Door Bitch, or their whole camp might get spanked. Which in this case appears to have happened.

BTT Eric has asked her a bunch of questions.

As to your points:

1. Ceded – totally stupid thing to do. Wasn’t thinking it through. Virgin said “let’s use eBay”. I said “okay.” I didn’t have any idea it would be a problem. It wouldn’t have if I didn’t proceed to do what I did next. Not only that – I didn’t and don’t really care what the Org wants. It’s my anarchic ways that got me to BM in the first place, and that got me in trouble this year. It never occurred to me that there would be people ratting. I tend to operate like Burning Man is still the way it was my first year – blinders indeed.

2. That is out of context. At that point I thought I had 2 extra pre-sale tickets – and I was going to GIVE them away to my friends for helping with PFC. Situation changed as my camp did – it never happened. I would have had 1 extra ticket had they not been voided. I would have given it away for free to anyone that would sit with me and shove tubes into holes for days on end.

3. Because I don’t think there is anything wrong with scalping. (As a side note, to me there seems little difference between scalping and offering tickets at different price points. It’s a nice idea to think that those that can afford more will pay for those that can’t, but that sure isn’t what happens. Everyone goes for the lowest cost tickets – I did for years and only bought pre-sale this time to get more rounds in the lottery.) Population growth is the major concern of “the community” (and the planet)- demand over supply is what got us into the ticketing ordeal. Curtailing the population through pricing the tickets highly doesn’t bother me. It certainly seems more fair to me than doing it randomly through lottery. Tell me how rats help the community:

A scalper sells a ticket for above face value. They are ratted. Best case scenario: the person that bought it contests the sale and hands it back to the scalper – who returns it for a full refund. Worst case scenario: they walk with the money while the buyer, unaware that the scalper has been caught, shows up to the gate to find their ticket has been voided because a “rat” turned the scalper in.

Rats hurt BUYERS not SELLERS. They may prevent the sellers from making a profit, but that’s about all. I am sure there will be people this year that show up and find their tickets voided. Most burners are not nerds about policy and don’t even know that there IS a list of voided tickets to check.

4. Yeah, that was stupid. I was drunk.

5. They are so lawyered up they claimed they copied the legal team on their correspondence with me and did not. I WISH they were more lawyered up. I wish that they would take the money away from funding art (since it doesn’t go to theme camps or art cars.. how is that “fair”?) and use it to fund better lawyers more versatile at defending them from the BLM. I don’t think any investigation happened here because they accused me of listing tickets for $650 – which I never did. The “rat” was the only one who saw that price. My friends on staff claim that it’s an utter clusterfuck and nothing is organized or well thought out.

6. I’ve always hated them as an institution, not as individuals. My friends on staff are not involved in ticketing or placement or any of the like – they are emergency services. Why should they profit off of what we all put into the city? Why are there no elections? Why is there no system of appeals for theme camps but there is for mutant vehicles? Why don’t those that contribute get any say in the way the city is run? I am not trying to play the victim – I’m just reporting what happened. I don’t expect anything or feel entitled to anything (PFC was not placed until they stopped letting us in early, in 2007) – I am just making noise because I do not think that a ticket lottery is fair, nor do I think that doling out tickets to theme camps and art projects is fair. Either make it random – or don’t.

7. Because the person and I had a conversation over the course of some days and I said I had a number of tickets available, by the time they asked for the photos I only had 5 on hand (the rest had been delivered to my campmates) and they wanted to see photos of all of them. Even so – ALL tickets I bought under my name were voided, it wouldn’t have mattered which numbers I showed them.

I paid for all 11 of the tickets. Again: they did not void all of PFC’s DD tickets. Those that were bought directly by PFC members remain valid. I bought most of our tickets this year because I had the money to invest and other people couldn’t afford it at the time.

As for dragging our name through the mud – it really is my prerogative, just as it’s my hand that caulks every single one of those motherfuckers. Don’t want a Pee Funnel? Don’t get one. Want one? It’s yours. Want to tar and feather me for making noise about this silly shit? Okay, I probably asked for it.

Burner Wasting was the only one who stepped up in Diabolita’s defense.

The Placement Team wrote:it was brought to our attention that our main contact for Pee Funnel Camp was engaged in re-selling multiple tickets for above face value (scalping).

Now, that’s interesting.

When I originally read the story from PFC’s view, I thought: Okay, whether it’s believable or not, it appears that BMOrg shot too fast. I wrote a letter about what I think BOrg did wrong to Bettie June and all she responded with was “there’s more behind it”.

My argument was: If PFC’s story is true, then she did not actually sell the ticket, only _offered_ them for sale. And with her own explanation, i.e. not really going to sell them, but only to see how rats react to that, she’s hasn’t done a violation of the rules.

Now, the above quote confirms this clearly: BOrg accuses her of selling. But she didn’t. So BOrg isn’t true to their own rules here, and instead uses out-of-scope measurements. That’s fucked up. How can they by the judge of others if they can’t even see how they abuse their power themselves?

While she (PFC) didn’t make a smart move, it’s even worse what BOrg did here: Punish for something that clearly didn’t happen.

Or did the sale actually go through? Then the PFC story is really a lie. But if not, it’s just a lot of hypocrisy from mean people who are no better from those they criticise and a wrong (illegal by their own terms) move from BOrg. Clearly

I don’t think there is anything wrong with scalping either. BMOrg does it. Larry Harvey said it’s not a problem. So who is making it a problem? The Burnier Than Thous, who got their way and killed 30,000 pee funnels over 11 tickets.