Have a Transformational Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, Burners. Here’s a guest post from AleXander Hirka to amuse you


Chanting “You will be transformed!” from his perch on the right arm of The Man Float, its founder and marketing philosopher Larry Harvey brought The Burning Man Global Transformation Movement ®™ to New York City’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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Photo:
The Burning Man Global Transformation Movement ®™  float at the Thanksgiving Day parade, 26 November 2015. Riding on The Right Arm Of The Man, in a typical Burning Man uniform, is founder and zen marketer Larry Harvey.
Photo by AleXander Hirka, 10x ex-Burner.

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Harvey, along with other members of the BMorg, spent the previous evening inflating their massive float balloon with inspirational and transformational hot air.

Holding the balloon strings during the procession along Central Park West were a who’s who of celebrities including Katy Perry, Susan Sarandon, Dennis Kucinich, Karlie Kloss, Suki Waterhouse, Grover Norquist, P. Diddy, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg.

The Weez Burners Marching Band kept a groove going by playing “Get Lucky” a hit made famous by Daft Punk, who regularly play at Burning Man, usually near the “trash fence” perimiter art.

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Comments from Burners:

“We are all completely transformed by this amazing experience in the desert.  All the things we did before we see in a completely new way. The old patterns are broken, The Default World is altered.  I mean, like before Burning Man I was just a tech geek who wanted to make a lot of money by controlling FaceBook algorithms  so more people would get hooked on the experience and buy more product a-and . . .well, after Burning Man I’m a completely transformed person.”
~  Mark Zuckerberg (as he was heading into Macy’s for a bit of Black Friday Xmas shopping after the merchandising parade)

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“Once a guy wears a tutu he’s changed forever. There’s no commerce there at all.  You just shop for months in advance and lug it in and lug it out.  Radical. huh?  That guy goes back to what we Burners call The Default World and where once was a suburban consumer of mass produced capitalist media product there is now an enlightened Burner.  So different. You can just like see it in his eyes.  He knows. We know. We are Burners. Yeah, everyone who goes understands because are transformed inside; even if they look the same standing in line for the latest Star Wars franchise hit at the Cinemaplex.”  ~ Hopsing Bonanza (playa name)
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“You’ve seen how Scientology and est have transformed the world for the better. Well this is even bigger than that.  Yeah sure it’s a wild party in the desert, but it began in California so you know they’re going to add that special New Age level; what those snobs in New York call woo.  So now it’s really all about spreading the Burning Man ethos, the ten principles, which are like the commandments, but different.  It includes things like: rich and poor people are the same, share your water, and pick up your trash or you’ll get poor placement next year.  And don’t get hung up on commodities and do stuff, participate.  I participated in airport arrival and departure. Gifting is great – which is why the float in the parade this year, because it ends with Santa, who is the biggest gift giver ever, right?!  Truly original and groundbreaking view of reality – things that will transform the world once the Burners reenter the Default World and Burner Consciousness transforms it from within.” – Denis Kucinich

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“Being a Burner is adding the ultimate Imprimatur Of Cool to the resume of your life.  A whole new network of extra evolved humans.  Beyond Deadheads and PhisHeads.  And it’s a place that hipsters can wear colors.  I’ll never be the same.  I can promise you – you’ll never be the same.  Can’t define how, but you’ll be transformed. There are websites and videos to tell you all about it and what you need to get to radically survive, even where to buy the uniforms. It’s all part of this MSTFest300 thing where people going to festivals will change the world.” ~ Madame Psychosis (playa name)


Cheers to Broke-Ass Stuart for this bonus image. Someone’s giving a lot of thanks in this parade!

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Video

Mad Max: Road to Burning Man

First we had Game of Thrones opening their fifth season with an episode named “Burning Man”. Now this…

I can’t wait for the new Mad Max movie, which critics have said is like Burning Man gone wrong.

[Update 4/14/15 5:38pm]

The name of the Game of Thrones episode was “The Wars to Come”. The misinformation came from Forbes, usually a fairly trustworthy source.

What Your Favorite Music Festival Says About You

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Noisey, Vice’s music division, has an amusing look at the different subcultures attached to various festivals. Of course “it’s not a fucking festival” Burning Man gets a mention:

BURNING MAN

You’re having a mid-life crisis, so you decide to leave the materialistic life you lead as a computer programmer behind and split a thousand dollar trailer (with wifi and air conditioning) with some people who will forever be referred to as your “Burning Man Friends.” You buy a vintage top hat and goggles for the affair, you’ve built a sweet art car for cruising the Playa, and you have a friend named Rainbow who is bringing acid from Mexico. Even though you own a Canon EOS Rebel camera, you use a disposable camera to capture the grittiness that IS Burning Man, and you and your fellow Burners use them as #tbts every Thursday for an entire year.

Burners be like “yeah right, acid doesn’t come from Mexico!”

Some other highlights:

COACHELLA

Your dumb friend bought tickets to weekend one instead of weekend two AND RUINED EVERYTHING, so you’ve spent months trying to make the swap. You’re LITERALLY starving yourself to fit into the Free People romper you bought specifically for this occasion—or you’ve spent months doing dumbell bicep curls, barbell bicep curls, hammer bicep curls, and cable bicep curls to fill out that neon Urban tank (SUN’S OUT GUNS OUT, BABY!)—and tell everyone how stoked you are to finally see alt-J. None of your friends knows who alt-J is, and you feel really hip. Hip like a hipster!

OUTSIDE LANDS

Your older brother who works for Google hooked you up with some free tix, and you still think flower crowns are a thing. You haven’t caught on to the fact that San Francisco summers are cold as fuck, so you freeze your ass off in a crochet dress you bought from the H&M Loves Coachella collection. You still think Chromeo is an indie band, and “know a guy” who buried vodka and drugs behind a bush somewhere in Golden Gate Park. You’re also a foodie!

TREASURE ISLAND MUSIC FESTIVAL

You rode on a branded sailboat to the festival while watching Mikal Cronin perform on the boat for a commercial. You love MGMT, and you Instagram the ferris wheel at the festival using the hashtag #NotCoachella. Your molly kicked in at 6 PM while you were dancing in the “silent disco tent” (that exists because it’s zany) with your fellow tech bros.

ULTRA MIAMI

You become sexually aggressive when you hear Steve Aoki, and the tape over your nipples is falling off because you sweat more than the average person. Your kandi is majestic. Unfortunately, you peaked on the party bus on the way there.


SXSW, photo by Steven Ruud

 

SXSW

You are a rapper and you want people to listen to your mixtape, you are a band that thought of a really quirky viral stunt that you can’t wait to pull on Sixth Street, you are a music publicist whose schedule is SO INSANE this week, you are a music writer who is SO OVER South By, you are a brand manager for a deeply uncool household product who heard that SXSW is hip, you are a student at UT who gets how it all works, you are big in the garage rock scene and can remember when this festival was cool, you are Rachel Ray, you are an influencer, you are an #influencer, you are Trae the Truth, you have an app, you are standing in line for Fader Fort, you are certain that you are more important than the other people here, you are a street style blogger, you are a street style icon, you have a college radio show, you are a mid-tier marketing executive at Vevo, you’re an Austin resident just hoping to get out and catch some live music, you are sick of it all and ironically going to PF Chang’s, you just happen to be in town and are unironically going to PF Chang’s, you are someone who’s been coming for years because you love discovering great bands, you are a cultural ambassador for a Scandinavian country, you have a quirky interview show on YouTube, you just lurrrrve breakfast tacos, you can’t believe how cheap beer is here compared to New York, you are hoping to build, you work in social media, you are Wiz Khalifa.

See the full list at Noisey.

 

 

Google Employee Creating Burning Man Musical

A couple of weeks ago we brought you news of Burning Man: The Musical – a new Kickstarter project. It seems the idea is ramping up fast, with a big profile from the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The man behind the idea has never been to Burning Man. Does that make him a pre-Burner?

The musical is the brainchild of Matt Werner, a 30-year-old New York City-based Google employee who has never been to Burning Man. This year will be his first.

The Oakland, Calif. native — a former “hacker house” resident and a friend to many Silicon Valley hipster techies — admits that he sees the irony: A virgin Burner orchestrates a musical version of the world’s favorite desert Utopian festival that he has never been to.

His own story seems to be a little bit reflected in the plot of the unborn musical. The story line focuses on a 25-year old techie named Joe who lives in San Francisco and commutes down to Silicon Valley.

Joe goes to Burning Man one year and it disappoints initially.

Who wants to dance with a sparkle pony, right?

Who wants to dance with a sparkle pony, right?

“His lofty ambitions to network with high-powered executives are not met. Between getting dumped by his girlfriend, dancing with sparkle ponies, and nearly dying while on a vision quest in the desert, he reaches a real low,” according to Werner’s web page.

“In the midst of this low, the acceptance, connection, and playfulness he experiences at Burning Man make him start to question his past life of ambition and power in Silicon Valley. The sharing economy and free spirits he meets in the desert make him wonder--is his real mission in life just to make money? Or is it maybe to authentically connect with others and help others?” the synopsis reads.

The RGJ asks the hard-hitting questions:

Q: Are you going to be critical at all of Burning Man and its direction? Is this just about a trip to Burning Man, about Burning Man? Or is it about Burning Man and its direction today?

I’m using “Book of Mormon” as a model. It does satirize the Mormon faith, but it does celebrate it too. It’s laughing with them, and not at them. It is going to be a satirical piece. It’s going to be a musical comedy. I mean, people recognize the absurdity of the festival. It is going to be a celebration of the values, and about the conflict between Silicon Valley and Black Rock City.

Q: Which side of that conflict are you on?

For me, I live in multiple worlds. I’ve worked at Google for five years, but I’m going to go to Burning Man. What is interesting to me, this notion of utopia. Some people I know, they believe that technology will solve all the world’s problems. Then there’s this other version of utopia, where we’re really in tune with ourselves. What I think is fascinating is seeing these worlds collide. I’ve lived in both of them. I used to live with these Russian programmers living in this “hacker house” pad. But we’ve had these really deep, meaningful conversations about all of this. Some of the media depictions have really hammed up the influence of these guys.

Q: So, do these techies come back changed people? Can you be a Google guy, or a tech savant, and be a true Burner too?

If you’re a billionaire, can you really say you’re a Burner? I really don’t know. Working at Google, the co-founders, they’ve all been to Burning Man. Some of the Silicon Valley people that go — some of the guys, they’re going to hook up with girls, and do drugs, and dance. There’s others who are radically transformed, and who do decide to find other work. I don’t have a statement I am trying to make: Silicon Valley, bad; Burning Man, good, or vice versa

[Read the rest of the story at the Reno Gazette-Journal]

There’s a conflict between Silicon Valley and Black Rock City? Could’ve fooled me. But perhaps that is the ironic premise for this Big Farce. Donate here if you want to find out.

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