12 Shocking Revelations about ultra-rich Burning Man plug-and-play camps!

Dollar sign (reflective_metallic)[Note:   I have responded to the comments below with a new post, which can be found here.  Also a reminder that I do not, and never have, spoken for the Org.]

I am as shocked as anyone that rich people came to Burning Man and behaved like rich people.

There’s only one explanation:  it’s a conspiracy, and it goes all the way to the top!  Yes!  The only way people with money could have possibly used that money to try and game the system is if Burning Man was directly involved!  In on it!  We all know it, but you don’t the half of it!

Here are the 5 biggest, most shocking, examples, of plug-and-play malfeasance – and the Burning Man organization’s complicity in it!

  • A group of prominent venture capitalists paid Larry Harvey $6 million to write them an extra-fun 11th principle that no-one else has.

What is it?  I don’t know!  You don’t know!  But it’s got to be amazing, and we’re not living by it!  Only they are!

  • The compound prepared for the Walton family, which owns Wall-Mart, actually paid its greeters

They brought out a bunch of senior citizens to tell everyone on the playa to have-a-nice-day!  They even hugged people!  And then were paid minimum wage!

  • Haliburton’s massive camp art project was really a derrick testing for oil under Black Rock City.

Sure it shot out flames, had a DJ, and Friday night’s Gushing Oil Party was awesome, but that’s not the point!

  • Billionaire Amazon.com owner Jeff Bezos’ theme camp never even came out in physical form, and instead was available only on Kindle.

Anyone who went is now under the terms and conditions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act!  On the plus side, there was no MOOP.

  • Warren Buffett slipped Burning Man CEO Marian Goodell $10 million to move Burning Man to Omaha, and fix it so nobody noticed.

That giant sculpture with the funky lights that everybody loved?  That was really the Nebraska statehouse.  We were so used!

And there’s MORE:

  • Goldman Sachs’ theme camp drove 6 of the 10 principles into bankruptcy!
  • Google CEO Larry Page’s theme camp was fully automated enough that it could have fun without him!
  • Billionaire Larry Ellison’s theme camp “strategically acquired” six other neighboring theme camps!
  • General Motors’ theme camp, the City of Detroit, still isn’t working well enough to make the trip out!
  • A theme camp hosting the top executives of the world’s biggest pornography consortium was apparently on the playa this year, but didn’t stand out enough for anyone to find it!
  • Billionaire Stefan Persson paid Burning Man $3 million to pretend they were outraged by his camp, so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed in front of the other billionaires!
  • A camp of tech millionaires snuck people into Burning Man, paid for drugs, left trash lying around for other people to pick up, and lots of other shit that poorer Burners have been doing for years!

 

We can’t let them get away with this!  Obviously we need to fix global income equality!  Or bitch about how Burning Man’s run!  Whichever is easier for us to do on the internet!

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat Magister

A member of the Burning Man Project's Philosophical Center, Caveat served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Media Mecca from 2008 - 2013. He is presently working with Burning Man's education department on a cultural studies curriculum for Burning Man culture. Caveat is the author of the short story collection A Guide to Bars and Nightlife in the Sacred City, which has nothing to do with Burning Man. He has finally got his email address caveat (at) burningman (dot) org working again. He tweets, occasionally, as @BenjaminWachs

87 Comments on “12 Shocking Revelations about ultra-rich Burning Man plug-and-play camps!

  • JV says:

    Some of this was kinda funny, but wow. Not helping.

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  • Zig says:

    I believe “weaksauce” is the technical term.

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  • Fred Petricci says:

    i dont know why those in the burning man organization.. at BMIR.. elsewhere.. are so enamored of this caveat guy.

    his writings are really pretty lame.

    he is out of touch

    #1 he thinks this was funny, or amusing, or hit any mark…
    #2 he thinks this piece will appeal to anyone but fellow sycophants and hangers-on among the kool-aid drinking regional contact global leadership wing of the party.

    nice try, kiddo.

    but this isnt funny, it isnt pranksterism.. and most importantly.. most anyone who really matters knows that you have no credibility with the ones who are fighting the good fight…. the former VC of the media wing of the party… who uses the burning man blog to hawk his dumb book says that people complaining are doing it wrong? oh yes, tell us more.

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  • Brian Miller says:

    Yet the Bmorg still has no time to answer any of the questions that the community is interested in… This lame dodge trying to put a comic spin on actual concerns is pathetic. It’s funny, but in a sad, out-of-touch way. Keep at it Bmorg, keep playing us all for fools.

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  • Bart Wolfe says:

    Sorry. Was this supposed to be funny?

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  • Woody says:

    I can think of no better illustration for how out of touch the BOrg is with the actual community than this exact blog post.

    Why not mock the community and its very real, very substantial concerns about the lack of transparency or any sort of representation in these key decisions, sarcastically? What could go wrong?

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  • Penham Klockerchy says:

    what a fucking pathetic, idiotic and disrespectful post.

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  • Red Wizard says:

    Not funny at all. I wanna say something else but for now I’ll just say as a regular I feel quite insulted. This is an issue and I don’t feel anyone has found a healthy answer yet.

    Report comment

  • Celeste says:

    What a waste of writing.

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  • Ken Dahl says:

    (**********) That’s a raspberry to you too, BM.ORG

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  • tastless says:

    This rude post just makes me feel sad. The party really is over at BRC.

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  • Dr. Yes says:

    Are you guys just intentionally taunting some of your biggest and longest-time supporters? What the heck.

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  • Mark says:

    Should’ve been filed under “Missing the Point”

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  • Chris Blencowe says:

    Please BMOrg… use your space and time in positive and constructive ways in dealing with the very real issues and concerns of the day of the greater Burning Man community. Posts like the ones above are insulting to the countless individuals who have given so much to what has made this event so special. All we ask is that BMOrg directly confront and address the real issues so we can all begin to move on (including BMOrg).

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  • DMT says:

    Wow.

    This is actually, genuinely, insulting. To the ENTIRE community.

    Well-played, BMORG, well-played.

    NOT.

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  • Dave Rabbitt says:

    This isn’t funny. This is insulting. And it makes BMORG look bad.

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  • Maybe I’m too old, too much of a burgin or too jaded (NY’er thru and thru to a seasoned crisp) but this is the LAMEST and most stupid response to “why I keep burning”……..who are you trying to kid? If the 10 principles are shibboleths, then BRC and BM is the biggest farce on the planet. Your crude attempts at humor are not up to the OED definition of parody, satire or wit……a South Bronx twerkin tammy could ‘dis your lame brain in two seconds flat! If your shill is the best BMorg can trotter out to bleat, someone has lost touch with reality? Maybe it doesn’t matter if you are all on the way to the bank. Come clean and own your Commodification and stop pretending this is some form of EDM dusted Kumbaya in the desert. F**kin stupid!

    Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and WE will execute judgments on thee; and the whole remnant of thee will WE scatter unto all the dust……..

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  • James says:

    Wow. Just wow. This isn’t even decent creative parody. It’s just crap. I know most of the blog authors here are volunteers – but they should be fired anyway. If you’re trying to lighten the mood, maybe you can ask some Piss Clear veterans to write proper snarky comedy on the latest fiasco? Because the current gang is clearly not up to the task.

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  • average white girl Jennifer bishop says:

    SO -OO.. REALLY GUYS …hired an asshole to make fun and sweep shit under the rug ? Just admit you ARE OVERWHELMED and camp Sherpa slipped one over you . LARRY HARVEY , you and I are human , but this is making cry babies out of Burners that started with you .
    “We made a mistake, we will hire and recheck all ticketing and camps that are not SURE AND TESTED “.. There ! Was that so hard ? Love too everyone , just say the truth !

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  • Boycott Volunteerism @ BM says:

    Caveat Tried To Rape Me, A Little.

    Do you think we’re stupid? See how easy it is to make tackless jokes on serious matters? If the organization can’t or refuses to resolve this matter with respect to the greater community — perhaps the community will do it themselves. Sooner or later unchecked disrespect flowers into animosity.

    Here’s an idea…. Boycott Volunteerism @ Burning Man. Force them to pay a wage to every single person who works to build the city or provides a service like greeting, cafe, gate, lamp lighting, etc. How about providing some trash bins and showers too? If greasing the wheels for the wealthy is *in*, then volunteerism is *out*.

    James Doolittle famously said, “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.”… until you screw them over.

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  • Dezaad says:

    I think I’ll just keep saying it until it gets through: I love rich people. Some of the best people I know are rich people. I hate commodification camps, and the BMORG’s complicity with them.

    Caveat appears to be pathetic.

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  • Nick says:

    You people miss all the point of Burning Man, it’s a place where you can give a hug and be a dick at the same time. It’s a place to express anything in any way you want. It’s not all hugs and kisses and sparkle juice in your face. This post is exactly what I would expect from Burning Man. Stop bitching, stop prying. For a bunch of burners your a bunch of whiners. Everyone wants an answer to what they think is wrong. Radical inclusion. Rich people want to go to Burning Man then let them GO! WHO CARES! Who cares how they act. You may have forgotten about the year that there was BLACK all over the Moop Map from our local burner community, not some rich theme camp. So if it’s a moop issue give them another chance. Burning Man can’t hold everybody’s hands for a week. Organizing a 65k person week long party with medical personal, infrastructure, bathrooms, art grants, ice, law enforcement…etc isn’t an easy task, and if you think you can do better than do it. Larry Harvey did in the 80’s, so why can’t you? Things change and you should too. I think most of you people with your rude comments had this coming. Don’t like it? Don’t Go!

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  • Boycott Volunteerism @ BM says:

    PS – If you’re too stupid to understand how the privilege of wealth undermines volunteerism, you should just stop reading these comments. You don’t get it.

    Volunteers believe in a cause. But maybe Burning Man is no longer an experiment in community, art and culture. According to Fest300, it’s just one more stop on the circuit of parties.

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  • Dustino says:

    Wow, just wow! This is some petty bullsh*t! The community that has busted their asses for years making this what it is, has an actual concern, with a paper trail to prove our concerns, and this is how you respond to us!!? I sense a class action lawsuit comin up, so time to clean and fix this, otherwise you might just lose the veterans that make this possible! Walking on thin Ice BMorg is!!

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  • babygirl says:

    Another reason I will no longer support BM…..sad, just a bunch of money hungry politicians at this point

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  • Dan Fox says:

    Wow. You are making it really hard for me to “dupe” volunteers into building (working every weekend outside of day jobs for 16 weeks) 5 story premiere burns. Apologize. To me and my crew. Now. -Fox

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  • thought police says:

    The “let them eat cake” attitude shows your ignorance and indifference, and it wasn’t even funny!

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  • KellY says:

    No, really, fuck you right back dude.

    I really can’t imagine why the LLC would squander the goodwill they generated by posting Halcyon’s essay by following up with letting this shitbag piss all over so many people’s concerns. is this their version of being “Fair and Balanced”?

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  • Ryan Wilson says:

    KellY, I think they are trying to get people going by having two totally opposing viewpoints fracture the discussion. If you look at the substantial number of comments (the vast majority positive for Halcyon, and the vast majority negative on this poorly done essay) I think we can see that the community isn’t buying it.

    I encourage folks to check out regionals in their home communities – rather than donate money to non-transparent, 45 licensed vendor BOrg, instead party with your community in incredible places all over the world!

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  • randy marsh says:

    Caveat,
    The quality of your posts has been rapidly declining over the past year. At this point, you’re pretty much the only one who finds your writing interesting or your jokes funny. Please, for the sake of the Burning Man community and the integrity of the BMOrg (or what’s left of it), move on to another project and stop feeding us this garbage.
    -Everyone

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  • flim says:

    Make better mistakes, Caveat

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  • Nickipedia says:

    I thought it was funny. I actually thought I was reading Burners.me for a minute and was glad that xxx had chilled out a bit and stopped taking everything so seriously. Then I saw this was the official Burning Man Blog and slapped my forehead.

    Not gonna go over well. Nice attempt, and frankly, what I’d expect from an organization started by prankster cacophanists and discordians, but if the first few dozen comments are any indication, this ain’t gonna do much in the way of ‘tidin over’ anyone.

    There are gonna be some hard choices coming up, figuring out if you’re going to keep shielding your delicate new rich buddies or remember where you came from and hold them to the same standards as everyone else.

    Its the same problems populist politicians face. You start out knowing exactly who your people are and how to support them, then you get some success and all of a sudden you’re surrounded by a completely different crowd. People of means. Higher maintenance people, used to having their way. After a while, if you do well enough, you’re almost walled off by all the wealth from the proles from whence you came. It’s natural to start thinking that these affluent movers and shakers were the ones who got you there once you’ve spent enough time around them, when in fact, they only came to the party because of all those creative bastards clamoring outside with pitchforks and torches…

    Good luck!

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  • Syd says:

    I usually enjoy Caveat’s posts.

    Not this one.

    2014 was my first Burn, and I hope it’s but the first of many. And I am in no way saying rich people can’t come to Burning Man–to do so sort of blows Radical Inclusion right out of the water. On the other hand, nothing is ever perfect, and there appears to be enough evidence that some things went seriously wrong this year. Things that can only be dealt with by BMorg to ensure that (a) there’s only one set of rules, (b) the rules get applied equally across the board, and (c) the process of creating and enforcing those rules is transparent to the rank-and-file Burner community in order to avoid even the appearance of favoritism or making light of the community’s concerns.

    Seriously, if some bunch of well-heeled partygoers wants to sit in their own little enclave and miss the entire point of Burning Man (as I understand it, and I am only an egg Burner-wise), that’s their loss. But if they’re abusing people in the process, it has to stop. And posts like this, which belittle people’s concerns rather than treating them with respect and actually, y’know, addressing those concerns in a factual way? Not helping.

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  • TattooGoddess says:

    you you guys (the org) realize just how many vet burners you are turning off and who are in packing their shit right now because of all this bullshit and now this. A FUCKING LOT OF US!!! I am not the only one who is 99% sure of saying fuck the burn, I’m done. I even had friends who are newbies and seeing this shit storm and having second thoughts about going. You have artist who contribute large works of art publicly saying they won’t be coming back, huge well know theme camps who are saying the same as well. Open your fucking eyes ,take your heads out of your asses and your hands out of the money bags and see what the fuck you are doing to the community. Your losing your people. The people that make this the burn.
    You need to make some changes and make them quick. This post just adds fuel to the fire. Wow. All I can say is wow.

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  • Jackalope says:

    Wow. I’m impressed by how insane this is. I don’t know that I’ve ever encounter anything that failed so spectacularly at being funny. Michael Richards cringed reading that…

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  • dani says:

    Maybe the plan all along was to dynamite the burn. Let some board member fuck everyone over. Lose all the volunteers. Piss off artists and the people that let’s face it, MAKE THE EVENT. And then slink off with millions in cash and not have to do again.

    The man this year burned a long time. Long enough to say forever?

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  • Dr. Yes says:

    I just want to draw attention to Dan Fox’s comment, below. For those who don’t know, Dan’s one of the artists that has been consistently, for multiple years, producing major art pieces on the playa, such as the Trojan Horse, Anubis, and Alien Siege Machine.

    Why should he spend all that time volunteering and producing things for the community when the BMORG treats his work like a product they can resell at 100% profit margins?

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  • Jason Silverio says:

    Sad trombone. Really? Now it’s weak sarcasm time?

    Maybe dani is correct here, the only way to really change it is to sabotage it from the inside. Maybe they really want to end it, but can’t.

    Next year’s theme: No Burning Man. Talk about real cacophony! Seriously, what would happen if it didn’t happen?

    Actually, that would be a Larry masterstroke. I Don’t think he’s daring enough anymore. Too bad.

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  • Peter says:

    Understand the sentiments this blog stirred up, not trying to minimize them in any way. Just Caveat does not work or even volunteer for BM (anymore), and he writes, ‘Also a reminder that I do not, and never have, spoken for the Org.’ So sure bash his writing, and chastise the org for not reviewing his blog before it was posted here but what is posted here are not the words of the org. I understand there is enough frustration over what happened and the silence around it that a tone deaf post like this is sure to add fuel to the fire no matter what. The org still needs to provide appropriate responses to the issues but just like the authors on an editorial page, for most of the time the blog writers speak for themselves. As a few have said, Caveat really wrote a bad attempt at humor on this one.

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  • Nomad says:

    Wow. This is right out of the Sam Vaknin playbook:

    3. Firmly convinced that the group is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status groups (or institutions).

    4. Require excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation – or, failing that, wish to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).

    5. Feel entitled. They expect unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. They demand automatic and full compliance with expectations. They rarely accept responsibility for their actions (“alloplastic defences”).

    6. Are “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., use others to achieve their own ends.

    7. Are devoid of empathy. They are unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of other groups.

    8. Are constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about them.

    9. Are arrogant and sport haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, punished, limited, or confronted.

    From “Collective Narcissism: Narcissism, Culture, and Society”
    Collectives, societies, and cultures or civilizations can be as pathologically narcissistic as individuals
    By: Dr. Sam Vaknin

    He must be very gratified that you are doing this so publicly.

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  • kendrick says:

    unbelievably disappointing that this is the response to widely raise, justified community fears about the event the people who don’t come anymore built. thought better of you caveat. we know rich people are there. we know the people in charge sold out their ideals almost twenty years ago.

    our biggest problem is the enabling of these camps, the allocation of tickets in underhanded manners that have never been addressed & preferential treatment for the wealthy. stop helping them commodify while destroying things like pee funnel camp! your principles are looking more like flat out lies instead of half truths every day.

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  • Robyn says:

    Good Lord, who wrote this crap!

    Message to the clueless ORG: this isn’t helping. Still delaying to make up a good excuse?

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  • Feeling very disrepected says:

    It might as well say FUCK YOU DPW, you dumb fucks working for free!!!! LOL!!!!

    It might as well say FUCK YOU GATE, you dumb fucks working for free!!!! LOL!!!!

    It might as well say FUCK YOU TO ALL OF YOU dumb fucks working for free!!!! LOL!!!!

    Larry and the BMorg are selling us out.
    They are marketing us all. They are getting rich on all of us.
    Burners the people of BRC are burning man, not Larry and the BMorg.

    It would be one thing if this was Coachella and the attraction to the event was on a main stage, then they could say and do anything they want, but with burning man it is the people who come and build BRC who are the attraction, and the BMorg is selling that to the safari camps… AND TODAY THEY ARE RUBBING OUR FACES IN IT.

    Anyone, AND I MEAN ANYONE, WHO THINKS THIS IS FINE AND FUNNY AND RESPECTFUL is way way way out of touch they need to be taught a lesson in manners and respect.

    You fuckers of the BMorg can not make even one simple reply to soothe the people of BRC… but instead you send this person in to make fun of us? You make fun of our concerns?

    FAIR WARNING- Never in the history of the world has saying “Let them eat cake” worked out well for the people who felt saying something as shitty and disrespectful that.

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  • Matt Conlon says:

    Dear Burning Man,
    You are fucking up big time. Please take a few moments of self-reflection and get your goddamn shit together right quick. We are all embarrassed for you.

    Regards,
    Jackass

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  • PrincessBunnny says:

    Does Mariam know you’re squandering her Social capital?

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  • leo says:

    Caveat,
    Nice try. When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!

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  • MadMaxine says:

    wow you guys (BMOrg). Add “tone deaf” to the list of things you need to work on. This wasn’t actually on the list before (or was buried somewhere after item #14), but it’s moving up with a bullet. Jeesh. And yes, this was a needless expenditure of social capital. You guys should be watching those pennies these days, because that account is looking pretty light.

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  • Leo says:

    Caveat,
    If this post didn’t have your name on it, I would swear it was written by a troll. Your other post doesn’t help either.

    Report comment

  • phoenix says:

    What a dumb bunch of words. You can do better. This one sucks big time. look for reposting in burners.me with or without your perms.

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  • Pluto says:

    I may be fairly new to this world, only been a few times, but even I get that ‘rich’ or ‘poor’ is irrelevant, there are only ‘givers’ or ‘takers.’

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  • Sarge says:

    Just repeating what needs repeating for the billionth time:

    We don’t care how much money someone makes – all are welcome.

    We care about camps going out to earn a profit on-playa, and getting special treatment while violating the principles the rest of us hold dear. There are many wealthy burners included in “the rest of us” by the way.

    PLEASE stop trying to make this about rich vs. poor, that’s not the issue and you honestly have to know that by now.

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  • Bullshit Strawman says:

    What a waste of pixels. Just complete drivel.

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  • barbender says:

    OK, so Caveat doesn’t speak for the org. But who DID approve this piece? Will someone stand up and say “Yes, I thought this was a brilliant piece of writing that will foster intelligent discussion of this hot topic and bring us new insights”? This piece was horseshit in all ways. It wasn’t funny, it brought no new ideas to the conversation, and it was generally insulting to anyone who cared about this topic. Let’s be clear. IT’S NOT ABOUT RICH PEOPLE! It’s about how people run their camps and whether the org encourages good stewardship. Camps as profit centers, creating exclusive enclaves, dumping moop, squandering tickets on paid staff are all bad ideas. The org just needs to stand up and say the right thing.

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  • Nate says:

    Thanks for disregarding the options of those who are genuinely concerned about the direction our community is heading and then flat out insulting us. Its good to know the org has our best interests at heart.

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  • Peace says:

    So disrespectful…fuck off

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  • Angry Burner says:

    Caveat hits another one completely off the mark. Grape job, man! Way to get an already disgruntled community into a tizzy. You sir are an idiot.

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  • Patrick (Buff) says:

    Seriously?

    I couldn’t even finish reading it, it made my stomach and heart hurt to much. Ow.

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  • Patrick (Buff) says:

    *too* much, I mean. Derp.

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  • Alex Dimic says:

    What’s worse than propaganda and sarcasm??? When it’s not even funny!!! If you’re going to post articles, they should be 1) entertaining or 2) at least addressing the issue people deserve to have access to if this is truly a non-profit. WHY are these turn key camps allowed extra tickets, disability privileges, etc? So much corruption, very sad.

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  • David says:

    The BORG is absolutely the worst at knowing how to deal with their loyal citizens. Remember their response…or lack of response, to the ticket lottery fiasco. They were also digging themselves in deeper and deeper and long stretches of time passed without any suitable response. Then, a professional media person wrote a perfect letter to the BORG and suggested how to address the situation..and it was perfect. The BORG listened and pretty soon they issued a response that was very similar to the one that had been suggested. And the solved the problem.

    It appears that there are people in the BORG that have contempt for the citizens of Black Rock City..and it shows in blogs such as these. The ‘Let Them Eat Cake’ comparison is very fitting. Throw in a little Richard Nixon. Caught with their pants down and their response is pure contempt. But I don’t believe that everyone on the BORG feels this way. There must be some people that still care about this city and the magic that we all create. I hope I”m right. So here are a few suggestions…

    1. This is a good thing. You have people so in love with what you have created that they care enough to just not give up…and try to communicate about their issues. You have a loyal fan base that is growing every year. You have a chance to change the world–and there is some responsibility there. Understand that an uprising of voices is good.

    2. Admit when you are wrong. Burning Man is a living, breathing thing..and it is growing in huge ways. You admitted that you were wrong about the lottery…and people respected you for it. They accept that you gals and guys are human…and that there has never been an event like Burning Man–and there is trial and error. Admit that you tried something and it didn’t work. We’ll forgive and move on.

    3. Show respect for your citizens. Don’t treat us like we don’t matter–we matter. We are your worker bees, your artists, your eccentrics–you create the space and we bring the party. And we show our love in so many ways. If you lose track of this…then you’ve lost Burning Man.

    4. Return back to the principles of Burning Man–or replace them. Sure, BM has grown and maybe those principles don’t apply anymore…but don’t ask us to continue on with them while the BORG disregards them. You have a message…or at least you used to. Right now the message is muddled and confused. Repair this.

    5. Be upfront, be accountable. If you are going to make money off TK camps, let us know that. Tell us why it is important. But don’t send them secret letters asking them not to share the info with social media. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t want to come to the light of day. BM is already wildly successful and has made many of the founders rich. You deserve that. But greed is something else.

    6. Understand that you are not invincible. When people tell us that BM has jumped the shark and is totally commercial and isn’t as good as it used to be…we are the people that defend it. We are your ambassadors. We educate and train people to come to BM with an open heart. But don’t think that this couldn’t turn around quickly. There are too many great regional events..and more being planned all the time. If you fail us, we will walk away. And we will talk and write and share about our disappointment to the world. We will bring out art to other events. If the people who bring everything to the party leave…well, its not going to be much of a party without us. Hearts grow cold…please believe that. You have felt our love, our excitement, our passion…if that is important to you, please show us.

    Every day more and more Burners are becoming aware of this situation. It is growing. Anger is building. There is a wave of momentum growing against you every day. Good luck with your decisions on how to handle this.

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  • Fixit says:

    BMORG: Out of touch with the community, or just don’t care about the community? BM is nothing without it’s community, it’s disappointing to be treated with such disdain and have our concerns brushed aside and mocked. Shame on you.

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  • Veo says:

    Wow. Just wow. Totally unproductive.

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  • Leo says:

    Hey Caveat,
    First it’s answer girl, then Will, now you. When will we get some straight answers instead of sarcasm, disrespect, red herrings, smokescreens, and spin?

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  • XaOs says:

    This is how it could be: BMORG makes ever more $$$ on their various schemes. They use some of that to endow a few monumental installations and other “attractions” with the help of some old-timers / insiders who still want to play the game. More Commodity Camps attract more 1%’ers who are inspired to fund more giant, flashy pieces or art, MVs, and sound camps. These are on display for the wonderment and amusement for the ever-increasing percentage of noobs and party-goers. Meanwhile, fewer and fewer of the highly creative, idiosyncratic, and absolutely amazing projects happen while those who reject the idea of their gifts being packaged and resold to elites and virgins give up and go away in disgust. Thousands upon thousands decide to put their creative energies and hard-earned resources elsewhere: regional burns, special happenings, street fairs, homegrown festivals, warehouse parties, back-alley burlesques, and the like, bringing about an explosion of DIY culture and participatory entertainment everywhere, for everyone. Thank you Larry, Marion, et al for changing the world! Mission accomplished! Now you can go retire and leave us in peace.

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  • AC says:

    This was entirely a wasted attempt at… whatever it’s supposed to be.

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  • Jack Torrance says:

    I’ll bet none of these whiners has ever managed to lift a finger as a volunteer for the org in any capacity. Never sat across the table from BLM and tried to negotiate the feds demands for excessive policing down. Never travelled nonstop to raise funds to keep the whole thing going.

    Waaaaaaaaahmbulance at the corner of Burnier-than-thou and Self-Deficient, stat!

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  • Leo says:

    Jack,
    I’m not sure how your comments are relevant to the discussion here. We are talking about commodification of Burning Man. I would venture to say that 90% of the comments here are not whining but asking legitimate questions the the BMORG refuses to comment on so far. If you have volunteered, raised funds, or negotiated with BLM, I applaud you for your efforts and contributions.

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  • Ray Russ says:

    Marginally funny but… c’mon.

    The writer comes off as a tool for the org writing something this silly when promised answers to legitimate questions grows louder and more pointed each week.

    Does anyone really think that such a sophomoric post will do anything to abate the growing clamor of the BMORG’s blatant hypocrisy in regards to the turnkey camp imbroglio?

    This is a classic PR disaster.

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  • Someone says:

    barbender, I believe at least some bloggers have the power to post unilaterally, without interim approval.

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  • roissy says:

    Wow, maybe the event will not sell out next year, if fact it might be better if all of the disgruntled poster’s above took a year or two off… Believe me there are plenty of others that will slip into your slots. With a lot of the posts reading about the same, I would not be surprised if the same six people wrote most of them…
    It is now official: Burners have lost their sense of humor…

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  • Mark says:

    Who Care, It’s Burning Man Life Get Use To It

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  • Sprout says:

    Wow. A post from the BORG letting us know how very trivial our concerns are to them. A peek behind the curtain to the snarky way they’re talking about our concerns in their closed door meetings. Ick.

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  • mancakes says:

    What a contemptuous post. Way to treat your audience like idiots.

    AND AGAIN with the confusing of the issues. Rich people at Burning Man? Is that the issue? Afraid not. I started the change petition, and do you see any mention of rich people? Nope. Rich people have been coming to BM for well over a decade, and contributing for that time.

    The problem is commodification. The problem is packaging the fruits of volunteer labor and selling them.

    Which to some extent is what the Borg does, when it charges us $400 (or $650) for the privilege of coming and building the city that is their cash-cow. But at least they provide some shared infrastructure – Arctica, the Man, roads, potties, roads & logistics and some (minimal) art grants. It wasn’t the best arrangement but it was tolerable.

    A camp coming and doing the same thing, and GIVING NOTHING BACK is intolerable. That is the issue. Rich people don’t come into it, so stop trying to spin this as a 99% issue, or class war, or gentrification (even if the last analogy is somewhat applicable).

    The demands of the community are pretty bloody mild:
    – Enforce their own rules WRT theme camps, minimum level of interactivity, placement and directed sales.
    – Reinforce that commercial activity is not permitted at the burn, and make an in-principle statement that for-profit camps are verboten (even if they lack a mechanism to enforce such)
    – A mea culpa from the Borg, preferably involving the removal of Jim Tanenbaum.

    Why the fuck are you complicating this with your parables of gentrification, which are supposedly “unsolvable”? My ass. The Borg just needs to do the above to start getting us back on side.

    I realize you posted this of your own volition, which is funny because as much as I give the Borg a hard time, I actually feel sorry for them on this one – you have really fanned the flames. Caveat se.

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  • Toaster says:

    Who on earth approved this? This is so not helpful to the conversation or funny by any means. So frustrating.

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  • AleXander says:

    “I did not have commodification relations with those camps.” – L. Harvey

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  • BungaloBill says:

    All I need next year is a special colored wristband….and I can do anything I want.
    My God, the possibilities are endless. I can light off Roman candles, drive my diesel spewing ‘Earth Crusher’ 9000 anywhere, and poop on the playa.
    Errr excuse me, dear Ranger/officer/DEA Agent I have diplomatic immunity!

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  • Christophe says:

    I was undecided about doing BM in 2015, but now I know…

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  • Onsie says:

    Wow Bmorg. Is this what listening to the community sounds like? Not only is this post complete rubbish but it’s insulting.

    I guarantee that although you may only see a few hundred active posts online, there are thousands of other Burners watching this shit show unfold. You will be held accountable. You will not ignore us.

    If I do make it to burn next year I’m bringing out full snark and double megaphones to the commodification camps. There goes the neighborhood.

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  • Dunun Paul says:

    That was a piece of shit article that didn’t move my understanding of the issue at all. I’m glad I stopped reading early so I could comment on it here. Fuck you. I think I’m done. I will just be a “decomp whore” and there are plenty of other festivals that my family and I can go to, with out all this bullshit.

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  • Dr. Baron von Realz Esq. says:

    It is funny as hell because it was “generally insulting to anyone who cared about this topic. “ Deep in every true burner is a merry prankster waiting to pounce after all we are spawn of the cacophony society and the suicide club. Being a person who cares a great deal about the topic I can say I was laughing out loud at myself. Caveat in his infinite wisdom pointed out I was not seeing the forest through the trees. What is even funnier to me is that you are all pissed off.

    This is not approved because burners tend to shy away from approval in part because we have problem with authority and tend to tear apart anyone who even appears to have an air of authority like a pack of ravenous wolves on a starry eyed fawn.

    Brilliant Caveat

    Peace
    Dr. Baron von Realz Esq.

    “More-burningman-than-thou is a myth”
    – Dr. Baron von Realz Esq.

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  • goodoledog says:

    What a dumb post. Who has time to write dumb garbage like this.

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  • Robert/Nick: Many thanks forsuggestions. I may be interested to hear involving virtually any benefits towards your WEB OPTIMIZATION strategies after this really is executed.

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  • I don’t trust anyone who can’t make fun of something dear to them; especially something as tacky and kooky as Burning Man. I don’t think Caveat was wrong to post this, and I think more should find their sense of humor and some coping skills.

    The turnkey caps represent a very small minority of the overall population of Black Rock City, but seem to be the apocalypse of the moment — not even all of them, but one specifically that did just about everything wrong … just, everything.

    Maybe I’m an odd one, but I don’t care if some camps are closed off. It’s their loss, and there is an entire dusty around them. I do have a problem with that one certain camp and that certain member of the board of directors.

    I agree with David (and mostly Mancakes) that this turnkey camp thing is a bit of a mess but can be dealt with. I worked in military public affairs (their self-righteousness and opacity makes the worst Borg faux-pas look like nothing) and the media (well, I still do) and this just seems like no one is paying attention or doesn’t realize that not getting in front of the message allows public opinion to fly wildly out of control.

    We just want to know someone is at the help, even if all they have to say is “we’re working on it.”

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  • Capt. Yummy says:

    The 13th revelation is this: Caveat Majister has the creativity of a seventh grade face-booker…
    Real answers to real questions please…

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  • mzfit says:

    Honestly, as a 6 year veteran that has been very involved with one theme camp and founded another – my wife and i are taking the next 2 years off from the burn. We will make the determination in 2017 as to whether or not we ever return. The BMORG responding to the issue of “sherpa” camps and a difference between the 10 principles that we hold dear vs the way that the BMORG has been handing our concerns is the deciding factor as to whether or not we return. I LOVE BurningMan and the changes that it has precipitated within my life – but this has been ridiculous!! I personally have no issue with the Board making money from the efforts that they have put in over the years – but the lack of reasonable response from them over sherpa camps, ticket distribution issues, and transparency have REALLY frustrated me over the last few years!!

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