Hooligans Attack! White Ocean Sabotaged, Camp Collapses

2016 white ocean lineup

It seems the Occupy Burning Man Class War long promoted on eplaya.burningman.com (while being simultaneously dismissed as irrelevant at the BJ) has finally come to fruition.

White Ocean was sabotaged by hooligans, who trashed their camp and glued doors shut on their trailers. Rather than sympathy from the Org, they were told they deserved it.

Screenshot 2016-09-02 14.25.33

Some Burners might laugh at this, thinking it’s a throwback to the glory hole days of the Cacophony Society, but it’s not cool. This is way more than a prank. Pranks should be funny. Like this:

zos billboard

It goes against the whole point of Burning Man, which is radical inclusion. The vandals are MOOPing all over the Playa, “in the name of the Ten Principles!” What dicks. Not to mention that it might not be the smartest thing to mess with these people.

White Ocean put on a huge stage, bring some of the best musical talent in the world, give it away for free – so they deserve to be punished by Burnier-Than-Thous? For what, not gifting enough? Having people in their camp from other countries? First Camp is where people should be protesting.

The result of this attack is more likely to be “raise prices further so poor people can’t come”, rather than “all the rich people will now leave”. Camps will now be forced to have security staff, velvet ropes, members-only areas, all the things the vandals presumably hate. Generators will be closely guarded, strangers will be looked at with suspicion.

Sadly, this is symptomatic of the huge rift in the community caused by the BMorg 2.0 attitude, as exemplified by the “Man upside down” theme of this year. The message from Larry Harvey on the official Burning Man blog is that art comes from rich people sponsoring poor artists, instead of a communal effort by all of us where anyone can be an artist so everybody’s got to try.

These days, some people have $190 tickets and others have $1300 tickets. Burners don’t think “that’s so awesome that they paid more for tickets, they’re funding art” – because the extra money quite clearly is not funding more art. Instead many think “most of my friends couldn’t get tickets and these sparkle ponies don’t even care about our values or appreciate how  lucky they are to be here”.

Instead of Da Vinci tickets funding more art, the annual Art Grants budget was adjusted to include the Man, Man base, and Temple, as well as grants to Burner artists. Of course, all the same old names who’ve been getting grants for decades get rewarded each year, whether they need the money or not.

What about Vehicle Passes? Did this money go to art? Vehicles? To making Burning Man or the world a  better place? Or did it go to flying the 100+ full time, year-round Org staff around the world to a bunch of festivals on recon for Fest300 while courting wealthy patrons to finance off-Playa real estate deals?

Screenshot 2016-09-02 15.19.30

When vehicle passes came out, we were told it was for the environment and improving local roads. Were the roads any better this year? All we have heard about is Police stings at the Gerlach crosswalk.

Perhaps related to this attack, or perhaps a total coincidence, but a structure in an unnamed camp collapsed, injuring 6 people. 1 had to be airlifted out, BMOrg aren’t saying where. From SFist:

A Burning Man theme camp collapsed earlier this week, injuring six and requiring that one festival attendee be airlifted out of the desert for medical treatment. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports that this all went down Monday, and that festival organizers are keeping a tight lid on the details.

According to the paper, the structure was part of a theme camp — not one of the giant art projects that cover the Playa — but officials are not saying at this time which camp. Five of the injured six, whose names have not been released, were treated by medical personnel onsite and one needed x-rays from medical contractor CrowdRx. The sixth was sent elsewhere for treatment, although Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham did not confirm to the paper to where or for what injuries.

We can safely assume, however, that Paris Hilton was not one of the injured as she was still Instagraming away as of yesterday.

The 70,000-person festival is no stranger to accidents, and has serious medical care facilities on site as a safety measure. And while most years are free of accidental deaths, it was just two years ago that a woman died after she was tragically run over by a bus.

The collapsed structure was officially closed off Tuesday morning, and we assume the five injured and released attendees are, at present, dancing to some deep house.

[Source]

Meanwhile, back in SF, the Chronicle reports that the 3% drop in city population due to Burning Man has been quickly filled up with tourists. Probably taking advantage of the glut of week-long AirBnB rentals.

 

Quiznos Commodifies Burner Culture [Updates]

homer quiznos

20th Century Fox has a new film coming out “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials”. Quiznos makes sandwiches. Put two and two together, and what do you get?

Burning Man 2.0. When the Shark ate the Subway.

Here’s the “offensive” commercial:

Taco Bell did it first. Without any known repercussions. So why wouldn’t their competitors try it too?

BMOrg are pissed. Could it be because these guys hit a little too close to home, and somehow nailed EXACTLY the problems happening with our culture now? You know, the ones BMOrg either deny exist, or tell us they’ve listened to us and completely solved (while actually doing nothing), or if there is any acknowledgement, blame on us?

Laugh at yourselves, Burners. Because some of this is really freaking ridiculous. A unicorn car that shoots fireballs? Is that somehow not ridiculous?

Some choice quotes:

“Don’t you understand?

Understand what?

How to look cool on Instagram?”

“They lied to us. They said it was an anti establishment society based on radical self expression. Now it’s become a place for rich people to tick off their bucket list.

True dat.

How does BMOrg respond? “Ha ha, yes that’s funny, everything we do is just an ironic prank, like all the Satan/Hellco stuff, or being the first org since the Nazis to officially employ a Minister of Propaganda?”

Nope. Threats of lawsuits. Quelle surprise.

From the Reno Gazette-Journal:

Burning Man isn’t laughing at a new Quizno’s advertisement.

The toasted sandwich company published a parody video, “Out of the Maze and into the Playa,” on YouTube earlier this week, a day after the weeklong utopian arts celebration in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert concluded on Monday. The plot sends the characters of the “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials,” a not-so-well reviewed science fiction thriller to be released later this month, to Burning Man as a test of character…

Burning Man takes issue with the clip and is considering legal action, not because of the mockery it makes of the more than 70,000-person annual event but because the video is theft of the event’s intellectual property, according to Burning Man spokesman Jim Graham.

“We are pretty proactive about protecting our 10 principles, one of which is decommodification,” Graham said. “We get a quite a number of requests each year from companies wanting to gift participants with their product or to capture imagery or video of their products at the event, and we turn them all down…We’ll be coordinating with our legal team to see what action we can take…Burning Man’s busiest time of year, when it comes to defending decommodification, is immediately after the Burn, Graham said, when companies and individuals attempt to market their products by paring [pairing] them with Burning Man content.

…Burning Man has taken it to legal action in the past…Burning Man won the lawsuit against Girls Gone Wild, Graham said…Burning Man makes an effort to support certain businesses that serve the Burner community, many of them Reno-based, by promoting them in one of Burning Man’s annual newsletters each year before the event.

It’s not Commodification when BMOrg does it. Still, I’m all for supporting local Burner-friendly businesses, including the 100+ vendors licensed to sell stuff at Burning Man. Quiznos seems pretty Burner-friendly to me; clearly, they understand where our culture is at in late 2015.

Burning Man had not taken any legal action against Quizno’s as of Thursday evening.

[Source: RGJ]

Fat-Homer-SimpsonI find some chuckles in the empty threat of the $30 million charity tax-exempt non-profit BMOrg suing the $8 billion phone hackers over at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, or the $14 billion hedge fund behind Quiznos. To make their case, Larry and Marian would have to swear on the Bible that parody is not a legitimate art form and must be censored and suppressed. Then they would have to prove how their sold out event was financially harmed by millions of dollars worth of mainstream media advertising – while the other Fox product, The Simpsons, can parody Burning Man and that’s totally fine.

Personally, I think this Quiznos ad is brilliant. Timely. Poignant. Very funny. #nailedit!

“The course of this festival will determine the course of humanity. Until next week when you return to your desk jobs”

If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?

Perhaps this is karma for all the Satanic pranking of Burners by BMOrg lately, such as bugs are here and they’re everywhere and they crawl up inside you and bite” at burningman.com, or don’t share photos that we share on social media, that’s why we have teams of lawyers”; or lining up at Will Crawl for 8 hours with no shade or water to pick up your $400 tickets; or the idea that we are saving the world through a dusty rave; or that we are supporting the arts by underpaying artists and screwing them in contracts and saying they shouldn’t ever sign their work. Even the theme this year was that we’re all chumps, suckers, and rubes, while they’re hucksters and carny barkers.

It sure has seemed like they’re laughing at us in recent years. Well, now the whole world is laughing at them. Let’s see how they take it. So far, not so good.

Given the recent mass media obsession with Burning Man, this lawsuit (were it to ever eventuate) could rapidly become the biggest story in the world – a convenient distraction from the real current affairs of global economic meltdown, Hillary keeping State Department secrets on a home-brew email server shared with her tax exempt non profit, refugees who are all young men of fighting age storming Europe, and Israel/US lining up against Russia/Iran in Syria over gas pipeline routes.

BMOrg’s usual trick of going to the media to fight their battles against small town judges and sheriffs, ain’t gonna work against the world’s biggest and most powerful media group and the world’s 13th largest hedge fund.

Chocotacos just seem so quaint these days.

Dr-Nick-Food-Simpsons-Group-Pyramid


 

[Update 9/12/15 1:58am PST]

Quiznos is a privately held company with revenues of about $400 million and more than 2000 stores around the world. It is the #2 sandwich maker in the US, after Subway. Since 2012 they have been majority owned by Avenue Capital Group, an international investment firm with 200 employees and offices in 8 countries. It is the 13th largest hedge fund in the world, 15% owned by Morgan Stanley, with $14 billion assets under management. Chelsea Clinton worked there from 2006-2009.

The founders of Avenue Capital previously worked for multi-billionaire Robert Bass, who is Chairman of Reno-based supersonic aviation company Aerion Corp, a DARPA contractor.

Quiznos has a long history of legal battles, they are no stranger to court and seem to have used lawsuits for marketing before.


[Update 9/12/15 3:10am PST]

Thanks very much to Nomad for finding this. Toasty.TV is part of a broader Quiznos parody marketing campaign.

Daft Punk – Back Once Again

2015 daft punk trash fence

Image: Timothy Stoner | Facebook

Just when you thought that the horse was dead and had been flogged beyond a bare semblance of a carcass…we get Daft Punk. At the trash fence. Burning Man 2015.

Earlier in the year, Burning Man’s “other” Nevada regional featured Daft Punk.

They did a trial run, even writing a guest post on this blog about it…and then decided they needed to do it One More Time.

daft_punk_deep_playa

daft-punk-trash-fence

daft fence

 

At the Burning Man Facebook Group, Burners tried to make sense of it all…

Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.16.15

Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.05.33Screenshot 2015-09-07 22.58.44Screenshot 2015-09-07 22.59.18Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.02.22Screenshot 2015-09-07 23.03.50

Image: Vincent King Gutierrez | Facebook

Image: Vincent King Gutierrez | Facebook

https://twitter.com/TheFestivalGuy/status/639687522960961536

View this post on Instagram

#daftpunk finally!!! #burningman

A post shared by Tucker Gumber (@thefestivalguy) on

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Whether it was some dudes in helmets playing a CD, or a cover band, or the real Daft Punk – can we all just agree to move past this “joke” now? It was never funny.