A Statement from Jim Tananbaum

Burning Man Project board member and Caravancicle founder Jim Tananbaum has addressed questions raised about his 2014 camp in Black Rock City.

The following was posted today on Caravancicle.com … we’re reposting it here for your convenience:

I am writing to respond to a number of posts regarding Caravancicle, a camp of which I was a member in 2014 – I also helped envision and fund the camp.

I first want to apologize broadly to anyone who felt disrespected by our camp or concerned about the implications of our camp’s operation to the long-term health of Burning Man.

I have been attending Burning Man every year since 2009. Burning Man is a singularly impactful event for me and, since first attending, I have become deeply moved by the 10 Principles, the potential for these principles to change the world, and the environment of the playa as an embodiment of the principles. This is the reason I joined the Burning Man Board of Directors. It is also the reason why I wanted to create a camp environment that would help enable my friends to share the transformative experience of Burning Man. In addition, we wanted to introduce a more sustainable, communal and aesthetically pleasing alternative to RVs to the playa. It was always our intention to provide an open environment, which welcomed everyone and was consistent with the spirit of Burning Man. It is clear based on blog posts and comments made online that not everyone experienced what we intended.

For that, I would like to apologize. Despite our best intentions and efforts, some things did not turn out as planned.

Caravancicle is the third camp I have been involved with at Burning Man. My experience has been with larger camps requiring some workers to provide the infrastructure. Our camp was constructed by a long-term Burner with deep respect and care for the community, who was hired to manage the camp. He also led the build for the camp we did the year before. We have worked with people in the past to build out our camp who were hired by the camp organizers and then would enjoy the Burning Man experience when they were not working. Our campmates would staff the bar, greet people, give out gifts, etc.  This year, our plan was to gift a neighboring camp infrastructure in exchange for their assistance in building ours. We were trying to build community through sharing resources.

To make a long and painful story short, our partners were not able to complete our build and our remaining staff was left having to build out toilets, showers and other infrastructure (without having planned to and therefore not having the proper resources to do so). During this crisis, many people in our camp rose to the occasion, but a few, like “SherpaGirl,” decided to leave and then wrote a disappointing account of her few hours in our camp. Another person in camp posted a sign asking for help without asking anyone else. We had some first time Burners in the camp, including the person who posted the sign. We also had many return Burners in the camp.  I think most people attending Burning Man have had some unexpected situations; we did, and we tried to adjust to these in the moment.

The hero of this unfortunate situation was our camp’s manager who worked tirelessly for 2 days along with other camp members to help provide basic infrastructure for all of us. While the crisis was going on, all of us were greatly distracted and weren’t able to properly respond to the many people coming through our camp. Our supplies were also dwindling. Since the camp was so large, we used wristbands to help manage the food, water, and booze supply during non-public hours. It was really sad for me to read the accounts of people who visited our camp and were turned down for drinks during the day (including a number of my friends). Ughh….  If we had simply posted a sign providing details on camp gift times, it would have made a big difference.

Our camp breakdown was also compromised because the group responsible for providing the infrastructure was also responsible for part of the breakdown. In the end, our camp manager and some other members of the camp, plus breakdown staff, cleaned up our camp by Saturday after the event. We took a photo of our campsite before we left the playa and it was free of MOOP. We then learned that a camp next door was having significant issues with clean up and we sent trucks back to help them. It is unclear to me as to why we remain with some red marks on the MOOP map.

To specifically answer questions:  I did not profit from Caravancicle (in fact I gifted money, as I do every year). Our bar was open to the public at night but not during the day. We should have posted a sign to make this clear. On Friday night, used up all of our booze to gift a huge party for anyone who visited our camp. We regularly gifted very yummy homemade popsicles and herbal tea but were not able to set up the gift stand in front of the camp as originally envisioned because of the build crisis we had. We regularly gifted drinks, water, and electrolytes at night.

Regarding questions on the 10 Principles of Burning Man

1. Radical Inclusion: Burning Man welcomes people from all walks of life. Referring to Caravancicle campers or members of any other camp as “the rich people” is creating a class system within Burning Man, which I don’t believe is beneficial to the community. Our camp welcomed people from all walks of life. Sometimes we had art cars that were filled up with our camp members and would not have been safe to include others. During other parts of the days, these art cars welcomed anyone to come on board until they were filled to safe capacity.

2. Gifting: Burning Man is devoted to acts of giving. Caravancicle gifted popsicles, tea, booze, water and electrolytes, but at the beginning of the week we did not serve non-camp members drinks during the day and failed to make it clear to non-camp members that we would be offering drinks during nighttime hours to everyone. We did gift a blow out Friday party with full bar and snacks. We could have greatly improved our communications on this matter.

3. Decommodification: Our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorship, transactions, or advertising. Caravancicle was in no way affiliated with any third party sponsorships. We hired a team to produce the camp (as many camps do), but Caravancicle did not participate in any advertising. The ‘promotional materials’ and website were sent to guests who were invited to join the camp. We did not actively promote the camp. No one in Caravancicle made money off of the camp.

4. Radical Self-reliance: Although many of the more physical aspects of self-reliance were lost on the Caravanciclers, camp members were encouraged to exercise and rely on their inner resources. Just as in other camps, many members spent extensive amounts of time reflecting and self-exploring out on the playa. They faced many of the same challenges every other Burner faces at the event.

5. Radical Self-expression: Caravancicle was an act of creative expression in and of itself. The camp had months and months of planning and effort put into it, including help from many of its members. While not all members of the camp participated in the creative aspect of building the camp, each brought their own unique personality, costumes and contributions to Burning Man.

6. Communal Effort: While I can’t argue that Caravancicle members had significantly less work to do as far as cooking and maintenance, all members were still responsible for chores around camp including, but not limited to, picking up trash and being responsible for washing their own dishes. We also created a beautiful space open to the public that fostered cooperation and collaboration.

7. Civic Responsibility: Caravancicle assumed responsibility for the conduct of our events. We refused alcohol to minors and to people who didn’t have cups in order to limit MOOP. On one specific instance there were so many bikes parked outside one of our parties that the Rangers had to come inside and let us know. We killed the music and shut down the party immediately, making sure the mess was cleared up right away.

8. Leaving No Trace: Our clean up was delayed because of our co-dependency on a partner camp. We were able to clean our site, with pictures taken that document a clean site on Saturday after the event. It is unclear to me why we received red marks on the MOOP map, but I think we were generally docked points because we were late in leaving. We also sent back help for a neighbor camp that was having difficulties cleaning up.

9. Participation: Members of Caravancicle participated and achieved through “doing”. I urge everyone to remember that for some of our campers, this was their first burn. Personally, I contributed substantially less my first year than I have in years since. This year, however, I allocated vast amounts of time, effort and money to create something beautiful to share with the community.

10. Immediacy: Most Burners agree that Immediacy is the touchstone of value in our culture. Just like every other participant in this community, I wish to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves. I did not get it perfectly right, but I did make my best effort to create something beautiful and creative, unique and innovative.

Regarding other questions that have been raised about me and my camp:

Plug and Play: While a lot of personal responsibility was deflected onto camp employees, I have worked tirelessly since the beginning of the year planning, organizing and executing a camp that brought beauty and value to the playa. Although some of our campers were “plug and play” participants per se, the act of judging them or excluding them goes against everything that Burning Man stands for regarding radical inclusion.

Profit: There have been suggestions that our camp was for profit. I can assure you our camp generated no money and was not, in any way, a money making venture. Additionally, the Burning Man organization was in no way involved with the planning or production of the camp – it was an entirely personal project.  Our website was meant to be viewed by 60 or so people who were planning to participate in our camp and was password protected. The material which referred to artists was produced by our partner camp and not us as a way of describing what they envisioned. Our partner camp described this as fully endorsed by the artists they included. I am sorry that people outside of Caravancicle camp were able to gain access to our website and share our draft material without our authorization. I am also sorry about artists whose names they included without their authorization. Caravancicle was trying to create an environment which shared the beauty of our architecture and design with other creative forces on the playa.

Burning Man Project Board of Directors: I joined the board of directors because I’m passionate about the impact Burning Man culture can have on the world, and because I believe my professional experience and perspective is valuable to the new nonprofit at this early stage of its development. I believe Burning Man and what it has to offer the world is still very nascent and am thrilled to be working with other board members to steward its growth and development.

I believe there is a silver lining in the discussion our camp has engendered because it has caused a healthy dialog about the implications for Burning Man’s evolution. I am proud to be a Burner. I am proud that my fellow Burners felt passionate enough about the sanctity of Burning Man to push this discussion, and I look forward to taking new ideas and lessons learned into the future.

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247 Comments on “A Statement from Jim Tananbaum

  • Jaded says:

    I would have liked to have seen this two months ago (what took so long?), but at least he’s apologizing and taking responsibility. This whole screwup needs to be a lesson for any future big camp organizers.

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    • rambler says:

      This is a awfully poor apology crafted by the pr department of a multi million dollar corporation. If their best arguments are that “we tried” and at least we didn’t have to get “minors drunk” because we brought our own “mistresses of merriment” to take care of our customers. This is the excuse of a high priced pimp. nothing more.

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    • amalin says:

      If Tanenbaum would take responsibility and draw his conclusions he would get that it is time to quit his board membershit and leave……… How many burners does it take to say – fuck this shit????????

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  • Dan S says:

    Apology accepted. Can we move on now?

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  • abouttime says:

    Thank you for addressing some of the questions we have raised as a community. While there are still a few lingering unanswered concerns, I feel a lot has been responded to and the tone is genuine. Thank you for that.

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  • sam says:

    Thanks. I know it won’t be enough for some parts of the community but you sound as real as any of the gossip or rumors being passed around as fact. I hope your voice is not lost to the din of fearfull complaining that all is lost. All is not lost. The experiment continues :)

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    • stevy says:

      Did Caravansicle register with BLM get a buisness lic. and insurce and pay their 3% as required by the use permit? I really hope you did since it was obviously a commercial enterprise, even if you mismanaged it to the point you lost money you still owe based on sales. btw, how did you manage to lose money on this? can you be trusted with monetary decisions?

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  • LEMUR says:

    The government doesn’t care if you made a profit, or if you’re a “non-proft.” Judging by the hired staff, among other things,….it certainly sounds like this camp was a commercial venture. …..and not “strictly sharing of actual expenses.”

    Gifting popsicles and “drinks” wont remove the taint of this commercial operation.
    ..I’d like to hear how hired staff members can be rationalized by anyone as a “strict sharing of expenses”

    …..it seems like this will be the go-to excuse of the commercial camps coming “we gifted drinks/lectures/dj/something and didnt make a profit!!” ….all while selling accomodations for dozens of people in dozens of RVs or “sustainable alternatives.”

    thankfully, our legislators wisely saw that excuse coming! According to Title 43 subpart 2932 ….even if you dont make profit,.. and even if youre a non-profit… if youre doing this kind of a thing, youre still a commercial operation.

    and in some folks book, commercial camps (whether they are “theme camps” or not) ..are stinky bullshit that dont belong in our celebration of gifting.

    Commercial use means recreational use of the public lands and related waters for business or financial gain.

    (1) The activity, service, or use is commercial if—

    (i) Any person, group, or organization makes or attempts to make a profit, receive money, amortize equipment, or obtain goods or services, as compensation from participants in recreational activities occurring on public lands led, sponsored, or organized by that person, group, or organization;

    (ii) Anyone collects a fee or receives other compensation that is not strictly a sharing of actual expenses, or exceeds actual expenses, incurred for the purposes of the activity, service, or use;

    (iii) There is paid public advertising to seek participants; or

    (iv) Participants pay for a duty of care or an expectation of safety.

    (2) Profit-making organizations and organizations seeking to make a profit are automatically classified as commercial, even if that part of their activity covered by the permit is not profit-making or the business as a whole is not profitable.

    (3) Use of the public lands by scientific, educational, and therapeutic institutions or non-profit organizations is commercial and subject to a permit requirement when it meets any of the threshold criteria in paragraphs (1) and (2) of this definition. The non-profit status of any group or organization does not alone determine that an event or activity arranged by such a group or organization is noncommercial.

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    • J'ai says:

      About time someone reveals the truth to this fiasco and the excuses used to defend wrongdoing. Caravancicle was an insult. Perhaps Mr T didn’t see it and is expressing what he was told but they were un neighborly, unfriendly, and certainly left in a hurry. I was there at clean up………

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      • Timeless says:

        Hey J’ai, remember me?

        I get it about the rocky start at Caravacicle! Happened to me too…
        My first installation’s lighting failed miserably…me and a punk crew member bickered like old ladies. A massive wood carving got arsoned (I think by the same fool who got The Man that same year…) So I know shit can happen — especially at Bman.

        If not for the Burning Community I may never have returned! Mmmmm. Poor ol’ DPW…they let me scramble off to salvage the last of my, now melted tools and irreplaceable art while they grunted out the trailer wreckage and moop (Sorry Panther!! I still owe you guys…sorry dude…) The commissary fed me, people offered showers and hugs and belly-pats, an art car offered cargo space–and J’ai reminded me that I could go anywhere from there… Met Larry, he offered the BRC Ranch to store my finest till I could re-group… By the time I wobbled home my email was full of condolence, a trailer, tools–and money, all from other burners! They only asked me to return with more art, which I have done ever since…

        And here’s some silver lining for our dear plug’n players:

        One burner/investor would later pay me to create another, much bigger sculpture for American Dream. The 30 foot sculpture went twice to the playa, then to a string of Decomps and then it became the first ever Playa Artifact to be shared at a Tahoe venue (18 months.) An official appraisal later called that “provenance”, which TRIPLED its value…I can show you the docs!

        That’s when a long germinating idea began to root: Privately funded art, owned by burners as a store of wealth that accrues each time it’s shared. 24/7 burner communication devices in public venues; no batteries required…

        Sooooooo…. Now our turnkey camps are being asked how they can help the community — and what better way to win a burner’s heart than art that burns from the inside out, as part of the sculpting process. Performance that entertains till dawn yet survives into default… (A new art form I call Fire Inside.) Too crazy? Click my name up there.

        I need a financial wizards to help create “alternative investment vehicles” as an alternative to community grants; investment-based funding for playa projects. A way for wealth to give back to the playa and maybe just do well by doing good — that’s feeding the comodification snake its on tale…

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    • Scott c. Van Sanford says:

      Sounds to me like their actions matched SEVERAL of these definitions, so I’m certainly hoping they’re going to kick in the 3% if indeed it IS properly owed…

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  • Joseph says:

    Enough already if your camp needs a wrist band to include you actually exclude.. PERIOD Can’t we all just party on together ????

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    • Ken says:

      I have been a part of 7 different camps in 8 years and 4 of them required wristbands because we had meal plans that were paid for in advance and it is the only way to keep track of who paid and who didn’t in the camp. Wristbands are not an indicator of anything.

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  • Gary says:

    Thank you for finally passing the buck to someone else. We’ve been waiting for a while. Now we can aim our pitchforks at Lost Hotel and your in the clear to proceed as usual. Also, these first comments are really obvious plants. Nothing you wrote deserves a “thank you” or any praise.

    and this final turd you laid on us deserves no comment:

    “Although many of the more physical aspects of self-reliance were lost on the Caravanciclers, camp members were encouraged to exercise and rely on their inner resources. Just as in other camps, many members spent extensive amounts of time reflecting and self-exploring out on the playa. They faced many of the same challenges every other Burner faces at the event.”

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  • Amoni says:

    Apologies are always a welcome sight. Burning Man is nothing is not forgiving. It is also a place of constant learning. To this end I offer this advice.

    “This year, our plan was to gift a neighboring camp infrastructure in exchange for their assistance in building ours. We were trying to build community through sharing resources.”

    This is not “gifting”, it is bartering which is commodification.

    I’m with Dan S., time to move on to next year’s ‘crisis’.

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  • Chris says:

    The very first night I had a bartender willing to share a very delicious cocktail, so impressed I brought people from my camp the next night and was turned away(on tuesday) stating booze now for “guests” only. Everyone I know had similar experiences from that point on. That’s fine, but I was then lied to, being told no one at the camp was paying for their experience, and that everyone there had to build where they were staying. Within 2 minutes of this conversation a woman came up from the back furious that she had missed dinner and demanded that the bar tender or another camp employee cook her dinner. Seems pretty effed to me.

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  • Chowski says:

    wheres the part about the paid to try dancers – the “mistresses of merriment”. What part of “paid Sherpas” sounds anything like Decommodification to you? I suppose, in your world of buying whatever and whomever you want, these kinds of social concepts are beneath you and your parasite billionaire class buddies. Your apology is weak, late, insincere, and not accepted. Keep your lazy, entitled richy-rich customers away from my home. Or, let them work it out like the rest of us -struggle and pay and work for months to contribute to the event rather than consume other people’s art and work and generosity. I genuinely fear that I will be punished (they made me supply my email to write this) by being denied tickets next year. And some day, there’ll be no burn, just paid attendees coming to party and observe, to be waited on by their Sherpas and their lap dancers. Sad that this is our leadership. How default.

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  • Chromatest says:

    I think it’s important to remember that bigger isn’t always better. When you have a camp that is so large that you need wristbands to know who should be eating, just so you can afford to “create an environment which shared the beauty of (y)our architecture and design”, maybe it’s time to step back and downsize. It’s okay to save some of the beautiful architecture and design for next year.

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  • Joanna says:

    Sorry Jim, but I do not believe that you are being honest. Why did it take you so long to reply… planning your lies, maybe?

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  • Nick Valuy says:

    You should resign from the board. This doesn’t prevent you from going or doing a camp right next time. Why do you need to be on the board?

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  • zak flying around says:

    sounds like an overall unpleasant experience. but oh well, life is full of small disappointments. I myself had a wonderful time with the tribe at pyramid lake. it’s sacred there. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Welcome to my country.

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  • Celeste says:

    Really don’t see how it’s not commodification when you pay people to work for you out there. So it’s okay if you do it Jim because “other camps” do it? If only that first time burner hadn’t put out that sign trying to hire someone on the playa and if only sherpagirl hadn’t spoken out so that you wouldn’t have gotten caught? Also nice to try and throw sherpagirl under the bus because she spoke out and left after “only a few hours.” Sounds like you have no intention of changing your practice of hiring people to work in your camp on the playa in the future.

    And who wants to bet he won’t respond to any comments? Even though he posted this apology on the camp website, up there comments are not enabled. Doubt he will respond to any comments or questions people have here.

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  • zak flying around says:

    and hey, Tannenbaum is a very interesting name.

    Mrs. Nusbaum’s credit card: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCJx1uV38ZQ

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  • tb says:

    This was painful to read. Absolutely no accountability. You messed up. You had no regard for the 10 principles. Take some of the responsibility. I camped down the street from your camp. What a cold, sterile, unwelcoming place it was. Day and night. I feel bad for the people that paid 17k for that burning man experience.

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  • Chron says:

    NEWSFLASH: You didn’t “create” anything except excuses (and money) to pay for your radical dependence on another camp and it’s employees to build your living structure, private porcelain toilets and showers.

    Your gift of “something beautiful and creative, unique and innovative.” was a purchase for yourself and anyone who paid for a wristband. Popsicles? Fucking popsicles!? Let them eat cake!

    Oh, and thanks for the civic contribution when you “refused alcohol to minors and to people who didn’t have cups”. Most would call that common sense or obeying the law. In other words, it’s okay you didn’t bring or build your own camp, but screw anyone who didn’t bring their own cup to your camp (during undisclosed specific hours) for a refreshment.

    Keep rejecting those drinks Jim. The dry, sweltering desert will eventually drive those thirsty non-cupholders out of your members-only camp of classless nouveau riche. Thanks for the 10 point defense of how you shared popsicles with the community. Did you make them yourself? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

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  • Coco says:

    The word that jumps out at me is “hired”. If you want to bring your friends out to experience BM for the first time, get them involved in the planning and/or build process. They will learn and grow in to our community better and faster than just being observers. Sure, very few will dive in head first on their first trip but I know plenty of busy, busy people who helped build art cars their first trip out. At the very least, build and strike your own camp! Make it as opulent and flashy as you want it to be but by hiring people, you cheapened and short changed the experience your friends could of had by contributing. Yes, this is an important discussion to be having and know that these plug and play camps disappoint so many of our community. It really crushes my heart about something I hold so dear. Please do better next year.

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  • Chron says:

    If the board feels this person and his ideologies represent Burning Man going into the future — the board has lost all integrity in it’s respect for the 10 Principles. And if they can’t respect them, no one else will either. They have opened themselves up to greater scrutiny by letting this carpetbagger represent us.

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  • Towhead says:

    This doesn’t ring true to me.

    If you had a camp infrastructure crisis, why was building private toilets and showers your priority? I’m all for conveniences on the playa but why is serving your clients the priority over serving the community?

    Perhaps that’s the problem? Maybe no one should have clients on the playa except for BMorg approved vendors.

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    • tb says:

      JT and Caravancicle were BM approved vendors

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      • Scott c. Van Sanford says:

        *IF* this IS true, then as preapproved vendors I would THINK it’s automatically implicitly implied that they should be kicking in the 3% owed that SEEMS to be in question as to they owe it. If NOT then I would truely LOVE to know how and why they, and the camp leading board member, feel they could even Possibly NOT owe it!

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  • matt c says:

    Just happened to have wrist bands?

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  • Andy says:

    “I wanted to create a camp environment that would help enable my friends to share the transformative experience of Burning Man. ”

    I would suggest Jim, that providing so much assistance, luxury or not, to your campers cheats them out of the transformative experience and turns them into tourists.

    CREATING flush toilets in the desert is a transformative experience. POOPING in them is not.

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  • Nunuv says:

    See, this is the problem: “larger camps requiring some workers”. How about next time, create a camp in which its members personally do the hands-on creation, instead of having someone build toilets for them? I thought everyone who attended Burning Man was supposed to be a participant. By hiring workers you created an us vs. them environment in which your privileges were purchased at the expense of another person’s experience. That’s the part that goes AGAINST decommodification, radical self-reliance, and radical inclusion. Could you read those 10 Principles one more time to try to understand that?

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  • Someone who actually gives says:

    There is almost nothing that Jim wrote that is acceptable by any BM standards. Unbelievable. You don’t need hired staff. What the hell does “gifting hours” mean??? Never even heard of such a concept. It sure sounds like “a symbolic gesture in which we pretend to fulfill the intent of giving.” I don’t know what kind of experience you have at BM Jim, but if anyone comes into my camp asks for something I try to provide it. That’s whats all about. Its not about checking the “gifting” box on your application. This isn’t a hedge fund contract. This is people giving themselves. Well, most people, clearly not YOU.

    Ughh. Sickening. Please resign so we can put this all behind us.

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  • Finn says:

    Such bullshit. Much clueless. Wow.

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  • Tiamat says:

    Reading this, and commenting at all feels… tired. This man’s lack of accountability and responsibility, and his nervous side – stepping of the issues at hand is disgusting, and obviously not in keeping with the community which he claims to love.

    Burning Man was supposed to be something different, where the drag and drudgery of the default world was not applicable. It was supposed to be the home of art, of human ingenuity, and free thought. It isn’t that anymore. It’s becoming what it sought to escape; the stupid, financial rate – race where anything different or beautiful is trodden upon by the priveleged.

    Typical of narcissistic, abusive men, this man doesn’t even seem to realize or understand that he’s done something wrong. Because people are only people to him as long as they’re useful, and benefit him in some way. He plays the victim when his lies and bullshit backfire.

    Good luck in dealing with the crusty Burner community, those who are truly self-reliant and contribute so much. You’ll need it.

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    • Sandstorm says:

      I love you! :)

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      • Bleurose says:

        Indeed. Most everyone has caught the important discrepancies so I will just say that the comment about “hiring people like many other camps do” is nonsense. HOTD has been running its camp for 20 years, we are one of the longest continuously operating bars on the playa. We hire no one. We all contribute to building, setting up, serving, etc. We don’t serve minors. We serve ANYONE. When people ask “when is the bar open?” we say “if there is someone behind the bar, it is open!” If someone wants to start serving, they do. There are no “hours” for gifting or drinking or otherwise. We don’t even have a “special drink” that we serve. We serve whatever we have. And we all contribute in multiple ways. We aren’t perfect, but we all try to work together. When my hand was broken in a fall on the second night of BM, I was worried I would have to go home because I hadn’t yet put up my own camp since I had been helping put up the bar and kitchen and shower and other stuff. The entire camp pitched in to help me in any way they could so that I could stay.

        The really funny part about this “apology” is, as someone else noted, the utter cluelessness about how WRONG almost everything he says in his defense is when considered from the perspective of what BM is SUPPOSED to be about. Defending hiring people because others do it isn’t right… you should be helping the rest of us try to REDUCE that situation, not exacerbate it and then pointing to it as a defense of your own wrongdoing. Using “workers” so that you don’t have to do the work isn’t right, even if it might be helpful at times. At BM, that is just WRONG. Okay, I don’t want to see LAWS in place to try to bar this, but I want people to feel ostracized if they are called out for their bad deeds, not trying to defend them as if they did the right thing.

        This whole apology just proves how this is NOT just a tempest in a teapot. I wasn’t sure before, but now I AM sure. Mr. Tananbaum should NOT be a member of Burning Man’s board as he simply doesn’t get it at all. Should he be barred? No, not at all, In fact I hope he comes back and tries to do better. but he doesn’t belong in a position of authority and recommendation if he can’t see the very essence of his own mistakes.

        This so smacks of being sorry for being caught and not really being sorry because of something that was done.

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  • Kampy says:

    Despite the numerous claims throughout this post of this camp having the “best intentions,” it seems to me that it failed at all 10 of the Principles by which theme camps, and indeed all participants, should be guided by.

    Tananbaum makes it seem as though hiring “staff” to “produce” your camp is a common practice on the playa. And while I know there are other camps that do, it directly contradicts what makes Burning Man unique and special. Radical self-reliance? Decommodification? Communal effort? Hardly!

    This post would be laughable if this was just some deluded trust-funder who just doesn’t get it… but what makes this especially disappointing is that Tananbaum was (and still is) a board member of the Burning Man Project…

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    • Pink says:

      Yes I was waiting to get to the end of the comments before I mentoone that glaring statement. “Many” camps hire people to design & build their camps? More like very few camps hire ANYONE for any purpose. And those that do hire builders are as fucked as you are in terms of the spirit and principles of the Burn.

      Oh, and ‘sherpagirl’ was there for days, not hours per her story. And per Danger Ranger’s rant, at that point you threw the camp manager under the bus. Now he’s a long time burner and none of the mess is his fault either. Posting hours a camp is open to the public is pretty damn common. My camp has done it from day one.

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  • Ross Williams says:

    I haven’t been involved at all, up til now, regarding this topic. I’ve kept my thoughts to myself and allowed this process to unfold. Much more has been revealed by how this process has been and is being handled, than by anything substantive that has been done to rectify the scenario.

    Jim Tannenbaum, A burner since ’09 and now on the BMorg Board ? wow. sad.

    “I have become deeply moved by the 10 Principles, the potential for these principles to change the world, and the environment of the playa as an embodiment of the principles. This is the reason I joined the Burning Man Board of Directors.”

    Again, just WOW !! Really? You have been so deeply moved by the principles that have guided this community for much longer than you have been around, and first crack you and the BMorg get, you trample all over them, enough so that a significant portion of the community if not a majority, believe all of you are blatant hypocrites. You’re all either; 1. Greedy as hell with little respect for other members of your community. 2. Blatant liars and hypocrites 3. Manipulative propagandists. 4. Rather stupid for not understanding the differences between what you have done with your camp and what the principles are and…… now your on the board ? Wow !!

    “For that, I would like to apologize. Despite our best intentions and efforts, some things did not turn out as planned.”

    Dude ! It turned out EXACTLY as you planned…. the camp, a seat on the board, $$, jet set friend, …….. EVERYTHING turned out exactly as planned, except, you broke the rules, you trampled them, and everyone else along with them…. and your fellow citizens are pissed. That was the only part that didn’t follow, “the plan.” Why are you a board member, if you can’t even pull off a “burner” camp as planned ? Having been a leader of various camps, placed on the Esplanade, or in a key hole for several years myself, that line is simply not believable, and if it is true you are an undeserving board member based on anything other than cash and connections. Seriously, what are you bringing to the party that will positively impact other community members, when you can’t run a camp according to the rules ? This is beyond ridiculous and beyond embarrassing to anyone who is a serious individual.

    Best of luck blow hards !!!

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    • Sandstorm says:

      Well said, sir. Well said. :)

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    • Ghostwheel says:

      Burning man is at a crossroads. No matter which way it goes, it will survive; but it may be changed.

      Burning Man can continue to be the keeper of the ten principles, and a force for changing people’s outlook and perception of the world around them.

      Or, it could become the new Coachella.

      Lots of people only see burning man as a big party in the desert that has sold out and gone commercial. This is a chance to prove them wrong. Will the rest of the Board stand by Jim, or will they stand by the 10 Principles and oust Jim?

      Their decision on this matter will prove once and for all what they value more: the money a board member _might_ contribute, or the contribution Burning Man makes to creating a better world.

      They can not have it both ways.

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  • ibdave says:

    Jim, principle #8-MOOP. I have been going since 1998 and consider MOOP as my friend. Along with 10 days of MOOPing I relish the 2-3 hours of Playa MOOPing before I leave for home to say Thanks for those 10 days. Where were your “guest” doing before leaving?

    Did you encourage your “Guest” to volunteering doing the event?

    Sorry Jim, I also think you need to resign from the board

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  • ren says:

    proof it buddy, show some documentation. sounds like some sorry ass excuses

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  • ibdave says:

    To ad, I haven’t seen this much brush up since “SEX.COM” was written in the sky or the year the pot fertilizer ad was pulled behind a small helicopter. Never saw them again.

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  • Ross Williams says:

    BTW… I’m also the individual in Reno who was contacted to help renovate THE MAN after the arson in ’07. I paid my workers triple time to pull off what was asked by the BMorg, in less than 24 hours, delivered to BRC, personally. All this, in an attempt to not disappoint fellow BRC citizens. I also learned a lot about how the BMorg operates thought the process of them attempting to find the art files, weren’t sure if all the files were complete and had numerous excuses as to why, all of which had us flying blindly in an attempt to cover everyone’s butt after the arson. And after all of that, when we arrived at the gate @ BRC, we were endlessly hassled for about 1 1/2 hours by staffers who didn’t believe us about the cargo we were carrying. I was told I was “lying” and to wait until someone decided to deal with me and refused to call Center Camp…. “upon arrival”, per the instructions I was given by the BMorg…. and I would be ushered in with the materials and art work ordered. I am also the person who used to print “pro bono” all the CAD maps for the BMorg, LEOs, BRC Rangers, etc., for several years. I am not a whiner. I am a disenfranchised citizen, who perhaps knows too much and has seen too much to believe the current lies. Ross Williams

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  • Suki says:

    As the manager of small camps, big camps and in between, three crucial parts make or break a camp. Communication. Delegation and Expectation. Running a small camp (15), mid size (50) and large (150) is like running a small company. You find the best people in the camp to take on certain jobs and determine their strengths and weaknesses months before you hit the playa. Communication is key. Sounds like your communication broke down. Delegation. Who can do what and if they fall down, it happens, who can step up to the plate? Expectation is the most difficult. What do you expect from your virgins? What do you expect from your camp members? Now 60, it is difficult for me to do the physical workload I did previously. Determining special gifting times is not an issue. With my camp, it is necessary because we are a jewelry teaching camp. The onslaught is overwhelming, but we plan and bring backup.

    Look, we all make mistakes. I have made some pretty stupid ones. The question I have, rather than the apology of what you did wrong, is what did you learn? How will you in the future make good choices that benefit all? What I have learned, is if my camp is so big it requires a spreadsheet, then it is really too big. What is in the harm of starting small and growing? It would be interesting to see your vision and how it failed. The playa will take your best laid plans, chew them up and spit them out. If you have minor cracks they will be fissures. Lastly, you mentioned that you bring value to the playa. What was your value? Was it thoughtful and creative? Was it worthy of the impact your camp would place on the resources of us all?

    So, if you had to do it differently, what changes would you make? I hope your value is lesson learned. Burning since 2006.

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    • Disco Ball says:

      Suki, this is flat out the best response to all of this that I have read. I hope he reads it and takes it to heart.

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    • BrewHo says:

      Suki, dynamics change when the basis is a paycheck. Delegation is not the same as hiring someone to make a problem somebody else’s headache. That’s just as true for communications and hiring a PR firm for damage control as it is for building a camp and hiring Sherpas and “mistresses of merriment”. It’s not a matter of learning to execute the model better, it’s about learning the flaws in the model. Decommodification and self-reliance cant be outsourced.

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  • Riky says:

    Everything about this sounds like an excuse to hate on rich people… They made some mistakes, whatever, we are only human.
    If understand anything about Burning Man, you will accept the apology and move on with your life. Such a waste of energy…

    “Although some of our campers were “plug and play” participants per se, the act of judging them or excluding them goes against everything that Burning Man stands for regarding radical inclusion.”

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  • Contre says:

    You should resign from the board!
    You clearly missed some of the content os the principle. That is not bad but a challenge to make it better, much better!

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  • C.O.L.D. Agent Chainsaw says:

    Jim, I’ve really wanted to not put you in the bad guy seat, but you’re making it really hard. Your response here indicates that despite your best intentions (giving you the benefit of the doubt), you haven’t fully gotten your head around the idea of decommodification and the gift economy. Let me give you a couple examples:

    Commodified: I contract with artists to provide my camp with infrastructure, thus helping the artists and making my camp awesome.

    Gift Economy: I donated money to an artist’s kickstarter because I want to see that concept come to fruition.

    ___________________________

    Commodified: I hired workers to help give my friends the best experience they could possibly have at this years burn.

    Gift Economy: Me and my campmates came together to distribute our unique gift to the citizens of BRC.

    There are thousands of further examples, but the key idea is that in each of those commodified examples, you are using your assets to leverage access to another asset. Gifting in contrast has no expectation of reciprocity. Unless you have found a some crazy crew of weirdos who truly want to gift you and your friends a sherpa’ed experience, the structure you describe is built on commodification.

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  • brooklyn burner says:

    Jim – you need to resign from the board. There is absolutely nothing about this response that sounds genuine. A mere collection of excuses. I’m sorry to have someone like you on the board of burning man. I am part of a very large camp that includes people of all levels of financial means. We don’t hire anyone. Everyone works hard to build our camp and contributes to the community as a whole. Otherwise, what’s the point of coming? What’s the point of taking a week from the default world to be disconnected from your means and all that defines you every day? Jim – you call yourself a real burner. But unfortunately you have missed the whole point of this experience.

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    • Sandstorm says:

      Well said, Brooklyn. Well said.

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    • Ross "NATURAL MAN" Williams says:

      “Jim – you call yourself a real burner. But unfortunately you have missed the whole point of this experience.”

      This pretty much says it all. What Jim and the BMorg have done with this camp is the equivalent of spoiling a child by doing their homework FOR THEM !! They will NEVER internalize or comprehend what is going on with this community, until the mingle, get dirty, clean up… do all the things normal citizens do to make the community what it has become. It’s just sad. Resign !!! You’re in over your head and have no clue what is going on. Jim, apparently you took an exit long ago and missed everything wonderful about BRC, the ethos of it’s culture and the wonderfulness of it’s citizens.

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  • Blue Sheila says:

    I had a build disaster once. My tent broke!

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  • Brigit says:

    Why is this man on the board? How can we get him off? I agree with so many of the other comments–this is a mealy-mouthed and insincere sounding NON-apology. I don’t think JT ‘groks’ Burning Man at all–so WHY is he on the board? How did he get on it? Why does he remain?

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  • Garth Palmer says:

    It seems to me that anyone taking it as common place or acceptable that people are hired to provide infrastructure or manage camps is not experiencing the event in a way most people will relate to. He started burning from a place disconnected from how most people experience the event. It’s natural for him to have fucked up and hurt feelings. It’s awesome that he’s apologizing. People burn differently and it doesn’t make them any less authentic or integral to the event. But these camps that bring the real economy to the playa, where people earn wages or are primarily committed to serving paying campers inherently remove equality and freedom from the event. It’s counter point to the ethics and principals of the event in a very obvious way, despite statements made to the contrary. It’s shameful that someone who promotes that kind of thing is on the board of directors.

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  • Robyn says:

    What a load of smoke and empty justifications. Jim Tananbaum needs to resign from the Project.

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  • brm15 says:

    I’ve been Burning since 2002, so this it what it sounds to me:

    2009 Tananbaum bierner opportunistic scumbag who doesn’t accept responsibility. Look at his picture. Send him back to kindergarden to learn ten real principles. With that dishonest attitude, he wouldn’t last a day in a kindergarden yard. Poor baby, he would be all alone.

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  • Jeff says:

    The longer this thread gets, the more the first four comments stand out from the rest.

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  • Satellite says:

    I have one question to put to Mr. MBA: If ALL of the camps at Burning Man were run exactly as “his” camp was this year, (not as he “intended” but as things actually played out, and as have been reported by those who were there, sherpas or “staff”, camp members or “participants”,) WHY would anyone in their right mind want to attend? This is a basic business-101 question! I might suggest that they would have a better party at EDC in downtown Las Vegas instead, as there are plenty of 4 star hotels, 4 star restaurants, and concierges at the ready, all at their beck and call. Burning Man is for those wiry souls tough enough to figure it out for ourselves, not for those who need to hire servants to do it for them. And any camp that need wristbands to identify who belongs, is just too damn big and not-connected enough to be called a camp.

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  • Name says:

    Please resign from the board immediately.

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  • Eggchairsteve says:

    This is the response we’ve been waiting for??
    This 20 year Burner is finally disgusted by the Board…
    Wow.
    Jim Tananbaum, step down now. This is embarrassing. Just embarrassing.

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  • Average White Girl Jen says:

    So… Larry ? Crimson ? Will ? Take notice that there really isn’t anything at alk but sorrow and disgust for this 1-10 numbered excuses why he shouldn’t quit ? Have you a read a long winded resume that said NOTHING? This is what came to my mind here n Fluff fluuf and no content! Hey Jim??? ” remember. ..many were virgins” makes you look like an ass clown even more . It was my first burn , and as veteran burners, YOUR SO CALLED LOVE FOR BURNING forgot community. You should be ashamed! ! If you dont build create and come together and make it happen. .then you’re faking it. Also… we heard you LOST MONEY already. So nobody made any is because you fucking did it wrong . You DONT UNDERSTAND how dumb you sound ..and since 2009 is NOTHING to brag on since your greed oozeswith lies and pleads to be forgiven. RESIGNATION IS YOUR PATH . You need to be horse whipped if you EVER try selling the experience. Get a grip ..quit now .

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  • The anonymous cloud says:

    How about you step down as director … sever all ties with burning man and let people who want to actually follow the 10 principles get tickets instead of giving them to your special friends so that you can exclude other people.

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  • Jason Silverio says:

    Burning since 2009? So you weren’t there for the Early burn 2007, or the amazing Euchronian ‘Belgian Waffle’, or for a Pepe Ozan opera. You never sat in the Eggchair or drank at Bianca’s. You didn’t ring in the New Year every day with Asylum or see a sunrise Hamsa Lila set at Disorient. You didn’t marvel at Big Rig Jig or most of Kate Raudenbush’s masterpieces. In short, you weren’t building your camp small, humble and in step with what you knew of Burning Man over a period of time. If you did, you would have learned the lessons of what it takes to do it right out here. You also wouldn’t be saying sorry to the people who did.

    Yeah, sorry indeed. Too little, too late Jim. “Some things did not turn out as planned” falls on deaf ears to people who plan for things not turning out as planned. You would think as a fucking Burning Man Director you would know this! A half-assed google search would have given you a trove of blueprints, horror stories, warnings and great advice on how to avoid almost every bad decision you made with planning and making this camp. You have people at your fingertips with playa-planning ninja skills. Which makes me feel that you must have ignored all of them and just did this fiasco in a way that no one could stop you. Like a CEO that thinks he is smarter than everyone else without doing the real work to earn the position.

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    • BrewHo says:

      Well said. jT is so self absorbed he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.

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    • Bleurose says:

      Danger Ranger said that when he first ran into Mr. T, he said “looks like you really stepped in some shit”. LOL that was an UNDERSTATEMENT. More like he fell into a vat of it and got drowned.

      Seriously, he is probably NOT a “bad” man and I hate to impugn him in that way. What he is as many have said, is clearly misguided and he should step aside from the board and actually spend a few years REALLY doing Burning Man in a personal way and figure it out for himself. Then, if he STILL thinks that this is the way he wants to do several weeks of his life a year (or more), maybe he can provide some real insight for everyone. Or maybe he will try it out “for real” and go “whoa! this isn’t what I want to do” and be gone. I wouldn’t dictate that decision, I would let that be his choice, but there is no way he should be in a position of influence in our community until he has really come to understand it. And if the rest of the Board members don’t see that, maybe they are as screwed up as he is and need to go too.

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  • Nickipedia says:

    Jim-
    The comments after the first four plants are brutal but accurate.

    You’re doing it wrong, and likely have been since the beginning. It is right and just that you are a pariah, and those like you who continue on the path to commodification will follow in kind.

    Probably best to resign. There is no justification for how you burn.

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  • Jason says:

    Gifting is so transformative. Like today, for lunch, my plan was to gift a Subway clerk 8 pieces of paper with a picture of George Washington on them in exchange for his assistance in providing me with a sandwich. I was trying to build community through sharing resources. Don’t you just love decommodification?

    First-year Burners don’t need excuses, they need to DO. My first year (2014), I staffed our day bar/snacks/shade hangout most hours of most days, and helped random bar guests with various issues. I researched and built my own monkey hut variant. I put up my own hut & tent with minimal assistance. I put together my own wardrobe. I cooked. I MOOPed. You don’t need to be a useless leech your first time out.

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  • I’ve been very moderate on this whole issue thus far. I’m willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I accept that people burn in different ways. In general, I think that the best response to people doing something you don’t like on playa is to ignore it or try to engage with them. This post has done more to turn my opinion against JT than anything I’ve seen before. Tone-deaf, entitled, and buck-passing. Embarrassing.

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  • fw says:

    Yeah, I call BULLSHIT JT. AND on BMORG for putting up with him. I am SO f*ckin’ tired of people whining “radical inclusion” as an EXCUSE to skip the other 9 principles. Would you really radically include someone who arrogantly ignored the other 9 principles, because “RADICAL INCLUSION!”? F*ck that. Paying someone to provide a product for you to hand out is NOT gifting. Hiring people to come to the event just to work, with repercussions in the default world if they don’t, is NOT decommodification. Radical self-reliance, give me a f*ckin’ break. Your guests are paying thousands of dollars to have shit done for them. Buying professionally-designed custom fit costumes is NOT radical self-expression. I think you get the idea. The BIG question JT is what are you going to do next year? What did you learn? And when are you going to resign?

    Here’s the thing: there is a REASON Burning Man is held in the desert. It’s BECAUSE it’s a harsh environment. If people can’t handle it, it’s really not for them. Seriously. Don’t f*cking come if you can’t handle it. Stop trying to sell luxury “just to let the experience rub off on them.” If you ever run another camp, every MEMBER better do f*cking dust angels as the first order of business.

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    • Sandstorm says:

      fw: You wrote:

      “Yeah, I call BULLSHIT JT. AND on BMORG for putting up with him. ”

      It was Larry & Co. who put JT on the board. JT is just a symptom of a diseased leadership group at the heart of the power structure that runs BM. Even if JT resigns or is pushed out people who share his willingness to flout the (supposed) ethos of the event will still hold powerful positions within THE BORG and THE BOD. The event is f*cked with these people at the helm.

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    • BrewHo says:

      Historically, Burning Man is in the desert because after a few years the neighbors wouldn’t put up with it on Baker Beach. Now history is repeating itself, the neighbors in Black Rock are becoming unwilling to put up with the ass-hattery.

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  • Sandstorm says:

    JT: My response to your would be mea culpa is as follows.

    1) You’re doing it wrong.

    2) You think that it’s okay to transplant standard capitalist modalities from Defaultia to BRC (e.g. paying hired staff to build, maintain, operate and break down your luxury camp).

    3) Your version of what happened at your camp doesn’t match numerous eye witness accounts of what went down there. Your post doesn’t even match the details contained in Danger Ranger’s recent post about SHERPAGATE. Am I to believe that Ranger Danger, SHERPAGIRL and the other people with firsthand knowledge about what happened at your camp were all somehow lying or mistaken?

    4) I’m not buying what you’re selling. After Ranger Danger’s recent post about your camp I was actually willing to give you a break. I wanted to hear from you what happened at your camp. Well, your post is a failure in many ways. It was published almost 4 months after the end of this year’s burn. It tries to paint your camp’s critics as being purveyors of class warfare. You tried to spin bartering as gifting. You lied about the extent of SHERPAGIRL’s involvement in your camp. You didn’t even address the well-documented existence in your camp of the Maids of Merriment. You portray the manager of your camp as being a stand up guy when both Danger Ranger and SHERPAGIRL highlighted the fact that the manager was or became no such thing.

    You’re a very affluent and successful business man and your camp and this post is the best that you could do?

    IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO RESIGN FROM THE BM BOD. YOU AND YOUR FELLOW EXCUSE MAKERS IN THE BORG ARE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE MANY WONDERFUL PEOPLE IN THE BORG WHO MAKE THE EVENT A REALITY.

    Is there anyone in THE BORG who gets the fact that Larry & Co. went down the wrong path years ago and are damaging the event from within with each new fiasco, be it on the playa or with ticketing for the event or via this website?

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  • Lachrimae says:

    Hi Jim, nice to finally talk to you here. Too bad you had to take a parting shot at Sherpagirl. The burner community has respect for her — more so than for the BMORG at this point. Well, you took a cheap shot at her, so I think it’s only fair that you should be thrown under the bus too. It’s time for you to step down from the Burning Man board of directors. You have poisoned the well.

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  • HooHoo says:

    Nothing is more hilarious than butthurt burners.

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  • Hobo says:

    @rambler
    >fresh meat…

    16 is legal in Nevada. Don’t judge.

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  • jimbo says:

    Can we arrange to have the greeters give a wristband just to the people who come in a car or truck or van so they get special entry into art cars? I don’t think the art car builders want spectators on their artwork anyways.

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  • Cat9919 says:

    This is your board, Burning Man.

    Good luck with that!

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  • Dragnet says:

    Go to the store, buy stuff, think that makes you fit in, hire people, qualify your apology, trash people by naming them, leave a mess, make every excuse possible and blame others throughout your ” apology”, spin your way of attempting to get people to accept you as an equal, offer nothing but store bought junk that lacks any soul or sweat equity, spend your time on things that benefit you, pretend to represent us since u r on the board, a recent arrival to the playa with no history except attending with the huge crowds, usurp people’s energy as we spend time wasted on complaining about this plug and pay stuff rather than investigating our creative ideas, ah hell I m weary of my rant……..I have some perspective active out there since 97…………get rid of 75% of bar camps and we will have a better city! Going to a barn? I can do that at hone…….

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  • Steve-O says:

    Jim Tananbaum is motivated by greed. His priority in life is money. He’s been very successful. However, I don’t know why he even goes to Burning Man. Clearly from his post he just doesn’t get it. There are numerous events around the world that are more suited to his style.

    Burning Man should NOT be going in the direction of JT’s Caravancicle. JT should NOT have a position of power or influence within the Burning Man community.

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  • Money says:

    Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo

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  • Lughnasa says:

    1) Jim T should resign
    2) Jim T is not reading this comment thread
    3) BMORG is probably not reading this comment thread, and if they are they are writing it off as whining
    4) I have no answer to this, but: What are WE going to DO to get Jim T. off the board?

    Go.

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  • Truly says:

    Lotta spin here. About 10 times too much for me to believe any one thing it says. I’ve got to say, my over all impression is that things are worse than I thought.

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  • BM says:

    Good grief.

    There is no personal accountability whatsoever in the statement. It’s just a list of all the people this camp Radically Self Relied upon to solve all their problems, and a pile of blame. That, and the beautiful little nugget about how they “gifted” another camp infrastructure in exchange for labor. A cynic might point out that is not actually a gift, it’s a straight up commercial transaction, but I digress.

    I was not in the camp calling for board resignations on the back of this controversy, but reading this, I can’t imagine how the BMORG can stand by this guy at this point. I almost wonder why they posted this here on their blog instead of just leaving it on the Caravancicle site. They had to know the reaction it would elicit, I wonder if someone decided to throw JT to the wolves to hasten the question of his departure.

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  • simon of the playa says:

    worst.apology.ever.

    seriously.

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  • Mutant Vehicle Owners of America says:

    Deflection of his responsibilities. An epic whiner.

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  • Cyberfairie says:

    Wow, I have followed this issue since it flared up the first time right after the burn but this pitiful excuse for an apology is the first time I feel compelled to comment.

    Sir, an apology that starts with ‘I tried to do the right thing’ and ends with ‘but it’s all their fault’ isn’t really an apology. I don’t really know what your original intentions were, and at this point I’m not sure I’d really believe anything you said anyway, but the results were so anti-burner philosophy that I’m indignant that you would even try to use the 10 principals in your rant about how much of a burner you really are despite growing evidence to the contrary.

    Obviously I am just a little peon who first attended a burn in 2002, but my two cents is that no matter how much business experience you bring to the table we do NOT need someone like you on the board.

    The Burning Man fire burns a little dimmer today…

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    • notrich says:

      I concur 100%. This blog post was worse than no response at all.

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      • Scott c. Van Sanford says:

        No, it let us see the TRUTH of how he feels, that to me at least was Invaluable. Disgusting, it’s true, but invaluable BECAUSE of that… (Sigh)

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      • Bleurose says:

        The scary thing isn’t the apology, but that the people who are the “official communications of Burning Man” didn’t read this clearly enough to see how idiotic it was to put forth as an explanation or apology. That means that the people in the inner circle are either as obtuse or as wrong as this guy is.

        A bad situation, either way.

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  • Sage says:

    All paid employees should leave before the event starts. All services of the camp shall be done by the camp members.

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  • Leo says:

    JT: What a limped-dick excuse for an apology. It is a shame you have to throw everyone under the bus rather than taking some responsibility. Sherpagirl did the burner community a big favor by exposing the dark side of commodification camps.

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  • Milkman says:

    Your carefully crafted words read in a most disingenuous way. Why should we believe your attempt to lay the blame on your “partner camp” when you won’t even call them out by name. Your statement below stood out to me:

    “Profit: There have been suggestions that our camp was for profit. I can assure you our camp generated no money and was not, in any way, a money making venture. Additionally, the Burning Man organization was in no way involved with the planning or production of the camp – it was an entirely personal project. Our website was meant to be viewed by 60 or so people who were planning to participate in our camp and was password protected. The material which referred to artists was produced by our partner camp and not us as a way of describing what they envisioned. Our partner camp described this as fully endorsed by the artists they included. I am sorry that people outside of Caravancicle camp were able to gain access to our website and share our draft material without our authorization. I am also sorry about artists whose names they included without their authorization. Caravancicle was trying to create an environment which shared the beauty of our architecture and design with other creative forces on the playa.”

    Talk about not taking responsibility for what appears on your own website! It’s obvious that this private website was all about promoting a for-profit experience. If not, why would this site highlight artists who were not even associated with your camp? While I don’t doubt that your “partner camp” created the site, it’s obvious for anyone who has seen the content of Caravancicle’s website that it existed for promotional purposes, not for camp planning.

    I can understand how this artistic vision got out of control and sucked a bunch of people into an uncomfortable & unwilling association with your camp, but when you try to sugarcoat what happened with this bullshit statement, you lose all credibility. Take some responsibility for what happened, and be transparent.

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  • Issimo says:

    I’m a solo burner. I have no desire to be a member of a theme camp at this time. My interpretation of the 10 principles is somewhat different from JT. Here’s hoping he will read our responses, retire his board membership and start over. Alone. Somewhere out @4&K next year. Here Jim. Try these:

    Radical Inclusion: Anyone is welcome at my camp.
    Gifting: If you need it or I feel moved to give it to you (unless it will negatively impact my existence or well being) , it’s probably yours.
    Decommodification: I shall conduct no business at the event, in the name of the event or that will affect anothers participation at the event.
    Radical Self-reliance: I bring everything I need and am prepared to everything I need to do to ensure my survival and happiness.
    Radical Self-expression: Here it is- whatever it is! (envision Rolling Stone tongue)
    Communal Effort: I will offer assistance in line with my abilities wherever I can. I will find a way to reflect the yearly theme. I will participate when invited and alone when moved to. I will work to know and assist/participate in other camps/my neighborhood as needed/invited.
    Civic Responsibility: I shall be a good citizen of the city. I will moop constantly. I will gently/appropriately assist others to be good citizens of the city. I will not brown anyone else’s burn.
    Leaving No Trace: I live this way anyway.
    Participation: I will put myself/my creations out there, try new things, interact with everyone I can, climb a bit higher than I think might be safe, and generally do things I’ve never done before or encourage & guide others to do the same. I will strive to enjoy things/myself more.
    Immediacy: I will not hide. I will seek out and engage artists. I will disagree openly with a point of view if necessary. I will listen. I will endeavor to dispense with bullshit. I may not know what I will be gifting until it happens.
    Each One Teach One: Whaaa??? AfrikaBurn has an additional principle I have unknowingly followed since my first burn. Wherever you can off the playa: continue to be a burner or when on the playa: teach others by living by example.

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  • Yourmom says:

    This “apology” reeks of genuine disconnect from the 10 principles. “We tried to fit our camp into the 10 principles after the fact but our plug and play campers didnt make it work.” It scares me that you are “passionate about promoting a culture” that you seem to have little grasp on.

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  • When I went to the Global Leadership Conferences in 2012 and 2013, the largest message throughout them was “We, through spreading burning man’s culture, are *changing the world*”.

    What I see here is the world changing Burning Man. The world of business and politics infiltrating to the highest positions of the non-profit project and exerting the influence of money, changing our event and our culture for the worse.

    We’re not changing the default world, the default world is changing Burning Man.

    This is no longer a social movement that I can believe in and give towards freely.

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    • Forward says:

      You are definitely on to something here, brother. We must be ever vigilant to commodification creep. The culture of our experiment in community is founded on a shared commitment to just a handful of guiding principles. Caravanicle is not the issue, even if it violated multiple cultural norms. We can bounce back from isolated missteps. I’m worried about pernicious trends. How long before you can purchase your Burning Man Package on Travelocity?

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  • eggchairsteve says:

    Just exactly how is this all NOT a conflict of interest for a Board member??

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  • Dr. Yes says:

    Jim, I think you mean well but you come across as tone-deaf. I wrote you a letter in response here: http://www.burn.life/blog/letter-to-jim-tananbaum

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  • paul says:

    caravancicle sounds like an awful camp full of people who simply don’t know how to burn. reading the apology made me sad, i would have not liked to be next to a camp that was so disconnected that they didn’t even recognize one another. they would not have “made my burn” thanks for the memories, burning man. i was super great while it lasted, it was the greatest show on earth. love and light.

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  • Dubl D says:

    I know how near and dear Burning Man is to this community’s collective heart, and the passion/commitment around creating the experience year after year (whether in a small or big way) is truly awe-inspiring.

    but…

    I have to say that all this grumbling isn’t really all that productive… is it?

    I personally expect and welcome the inevitable awkward or unpleasant experience on the playa as part of the process. And then I pull myself together and move on to the next moment, which is typically back to amazing in some way or another. To those who have a story about direct interaction with this camp: why are you still carrying it around? Did that define your entire experience of the event, or are you just choosing to hold on to the past in a way that diminishes your present and future? I’m not still pissed off at the dude who flaked out on building our camp in ’06… I could be, but what purpose does that serve?

    Now, to all of the conversation around this camp’s impact on the greater community I say this: isn’t there always some enemy at the gate threatening to ruin the sanctity of our beloved burn? And what progress have we made towards achieving some idealistic image of what Burning Man should be? Since I started going there has *always* been plenty to bitch about… “large sound camps and ravers ruined BM, tourists and weekend yahoos ruined BM, RVs ruined BM, rich people ruined BM, shirtcockers ruined BM…” why not ask a better question like “what can I do to fix BM?” The things that threaten to dilute the culture and ideals are not going away, especially now that it’s a household name (on the Simpsons – really???) So is it better to combat that threat by exclusion and making people wrong, or by everyone turning up their burniness dial to 11 so as to outshine anyone who doesn’t get it… yet!

    Sorry to ruffle feathers, but I just felt this conversation was a little one-sided. Let’s all put down our torches and pitchforks and consider what more *we* can do to further contribute to everything that makes the burn so freaking awesome… Mr. Tananbaum included. Because for every scalper, scammer, raver, tourist, or PnP profiteer we proudly strike down, there are surely two more waiting to take their place.

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    • fieldofbutter says:

      Now THIS is burneresque.

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    • Turn up the burniness dial to motherfucking eleven!

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    • Bleurose says:

      I’ve been going since 2002 and I agree, there has always been something to rag on. And I am not really interested in ragging on Mr. T per se (a post or two ago i said I hope he comes back and tries to do things a little better this time). I don’t have any problem with ANYONE trying, failing and trying again. My ONLY complaint is that this is NOT a man who should be sitting on the Board and I also am concerned that there are others there who may have gotten so disconnected that they don’t realize it either. If Mr. T resigned and if others on the Board soberly realized that this is not just a trivial matter, I would NOT be seeking Mr. T’s last ounce of flesh (or even his first ounce). I would embrace him back next year (I’d even say COME STAY WITH US AND LEARN THE WAY WE DO IT!) because everyone deserves a second chance or third chance or as many chances as it takes. But that doesn’t mean they should be leading the band, either. And right now, Mr. T is in a position that has influence on a lot of what BM is all about.

      And simply put, he doesn’t belong there.

      Have a happy holiday!

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  • Corvus says:

    I, too, had my first burn in 2009 and have been there every year since.
    I, too, had a transformative experience and went on and on about it afterward.
    I, too, am a member of a large camp, some 200 members, and we pay a fee (barely into three figures) to do so.
    We don’t have to hire anybody to build or run the camp, though; we do it ourselves.
    I can understand wanting to do something outrageous, just because you can — every year we have our Thanksgiving feast on the playa feast where we roast three turkeys and serve ’em with dressing, cranberries, and veggies galore (haven’t figured out sweet potatoes yet).
    I can understand trying to talk all of your friends into coming — mine got tired of hearing about it and my insistent proselytizing. Many of them were reluctant because of the harsh climate and isolation. After mulling it over I came to the conclusion that Burning Man in general and Black Rock City in particular are not for everyone. It was the harshness and remoteness that led to the transformative experience.
    I might suggest that someone who is not willing to come to BRC unless they have every comfort available and every whim catered to would be better off going to Cancun instead. Otherwise they would be like some one showing up at base camp on Mount Everest, then paying a (real) sherpa to carry them to the top on his back. They might be able to say they’ve been to the summit of Everest, but they can hardly say they’ve experienced the climb.

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  • Trinity says:

    Everyone demands an explanation and an apology from the previous posts regarding plug and play, you get one, and you’re still not satisfied? I guess there’s no pleasing some people.

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  • Ray says:

    Yep, well, they did it wrong. Too big, too ambitious and lost sight of the trees for the forest – or something like that. I for one can accept the apology even though much about the whole debacle remains (in my opinion) opaque. Obviously not everyone here is going to accept the explanation(s) or the apology. That’s the nature of an angry crowd.

    Caravancicle was a massive cluster fuck. Lots went wrong and my personal experience there was very, very negative. But like I said, I’m forgiving. Still, I’ll avoid it at all costs in the future.

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  • Marcalatour says:

    I think we should add an eleventh principle, take responsibility for you actions.

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    • longtimeburner says:

      Amen. This is a typical Californian response of “I’m real sorry THAT happened” which distances themselves from the entire event of shit they created and took part in.

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  • peter fuhry says:

    Should we radically include the non-radically self reliant?

    I find this guy’s good intentions believable. But to me, Radical Inclusion is sort of the last refuge of scoundrels. It can be used to justify those who violate the other principles. To me, the principles are Larry’s idea of what it’s all about, but not necessarily on target.

    To me, I’d rather ‘Radical Inclusion’ be taken out of the list. The fact that the principles are not enforced, to me, implies radical inclusion.

    I’d also modify ‘Participation’ to say ‘No Employers. No Employees. Just Participants’. By no means would that prohibit people from bringing employees, or having plug and play camps. But I think it’s a solid principle that focuses on a key thing that makes the event special, in my experience.

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  • Nick Farr says:

    It seems like the repeated flogging around this controversy is doing a whole lot more to harm Burning Man than Caravansicle did. (Granted–I wasn’t there, I broke my back working on my theme camp’s project a few weeks before the burn and spent most of the fall recuperating.)

    Yes, this is a perfect proxy battle for every bone the community has to pick with the organization. However, it seems like it’s all scorching the earth rather than searching for solutions.

    The resignation of one board member isn’t going to solve much more than the thirst for blood. This statement doesn’t elevate the conversation much beyond answering accusations. Transparency would be nice, but is it really necessary? Finally, as has been pointed out previously, do we want the org to get even more draconian with rules surrounding theme camps?

    Do you really want to give this org you rail against the power to enforce the rules you want them to?

    The org takes the tickets, prints the posters, sets the stage and brings the biggest prop. The participants are the players and the audience who get (mostly) free reign to do what they will in the theater.

    One chorus member out of tune with the show might go unheard…if we didn’t stop the rest of the show to listen.

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    • No no no says:

      Uh, it’s pretty reasonable to want a board member on the BOrg – responsible for spreading the 10 principles – to resign for shitting all over the 10 principles from a great height. Leadership & accountability – have you heard of it?

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    • Bleurose says:

      For the most part, I agree with you on this. If he was JUST a “chorus member” out of tune, I would agree with you more. If this was my camp which had done this, most of the reaction would be “eh, move ’em to 7:30 and F for a few years”.

      The problem is that Mr. T is NOT “just a chorus member”. He is like one of the leading soloists. Sitting on the board is a seriously responsibility and the wrong person is there. That is what has caused most of this, I think (or at least it is the primary issue for me).

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  • JV says:

    You people aren’t getting it. When guests were arriving, the private toilets weren’t even ready to use. Do you know what that means!? THEY HAD TO POOP IN THE PORTAPOTTIES WITH THE UNWASHED MASSES!!! Can you appreciate the gravity of that situation and give JT a break, here? His guests had just flown in and were exhausted after a brutal and slightly dusty 10 minute Segueway ride across the playa, and now they were expected to help finish setting up camp! After that hardship, you people STILL expect them to clean up MOOP before leaving!? Heartless, all of you.

    Here’s the thing, JT. I’m a web developer, I knew fuck-all about open desert wind shelters and dismantling Ford F-150s and welding, etc., before going to Burning Man. Now I know about them. I learned something new, I went outside of my comfort zone to bring something interesting. Your talent is in business and, I’m guessing, hiring the right people to execute a vision. That’s exactly what you did with something like the popsicle camp (albeit not so well). DId you go outside your comfort zone? I don’t know, doesn’t seem like it. Again, not my place to tell anyone how to burn, just an observation. And I point it out because there’s more and more of that on the playa now. People creating “peak experiences” by using their wealth to hire people to build shit. Meh to that, I say! MEH!

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  • Sandstorm says:

    I wonder when the overlords of this board are going to stop in here and let us know that the LISTENING TEAM is listening to us and will GET BACK TO US ASAP. Keep HOPE alive.

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  • Elder Wrong says:

    As a representative of the Army of Shirt Cocking Elders of Latter Day Saints, the Lord of Shirt Cocking appeared to me last night and revealed until me, His humble shirt cocking servant, that Jim Tananbaum must atone for his sins by Shirt Cocking to all Burning Man events. Only through contrite repentance of Shirt Cocking will Jim Tananbaum find the peace and forgiveness that he seeks.

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  • Revvy says:

    Lots of talk of responsibility, Jim, but you never mentioned the word accountability. You also didn’t say that you were ever responsible, either.

    In other words, Jim, your apology doesn’t actually apologize for anything. You don’t stand up to be responsible or accountable for anything that went wrong. It’s all the fault of other people, unforeseen situations, and poor interpretations.

    The BM BoD needs leadership, Jim, and you’re not capable of providing it. Please resign.

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  • Ghostwheel says:

    Burning man is at a crossroads. No matter which way it goes, it will survive; but it may be changed.

    Burning Man can continue to be the keeper of the ten principles, and a force for changing people’s outlook and perception of the world around them.

    Or, it could become the new Coachella.

    Lots of people only see burning man as a big party in the desert that has sold out and gone commercial. This is a chance to prove them wrong. Will the rest of the Board stand by Jim, or will they stand by the 10 Principles and oust Jim?

    Their decision on this matter will prove once and for all what they value more: the money a board member _might_ contribute, or the contribution Burning Man makes to creating a better world.

    They can not have it both ways.

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    • Lughnasa says:

      Ghostwheel is spot on.

      I’ve read many posts containing, “There’s a crisis every year. This is just one of them. Next year it will be something else.”

      Perhaps that’s true. This may just be the crisis of this year.

      My gut tells me this is a turning point and in several years we’ll look back and clearly see that one of two trends came from this crisis.

      1) BMORG did nothing of substance concerning commodification and allowed Tananbaum to stay on the board making way for more profiteers to turn the Burn into just another default event.

      or

      2) BMORG heard the many burners and realized they were right and got Tananbaum off the board and reignited a fierce push to follow the 10 principles, profits be damned.

      Sure will be interesting to watch.

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    • longtimeburner says:

      agree.

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  • notrich says:

    This makes me very sad. It reflects such a watered down understanding of the 10 principles. How is the acceptable by the founders. This is an embarrassment. WTF. Dear board, WAKE THE FUCK UP. You are hemorrhaging social capital, and for some reason you don’t feel it. Volunteers are going to jump ship. Artists are going to jump shit. I am going to give less next year because apparently a whole lot less is expected than I ever thought. Shit, this guy is on the board and he clearly doesn’t get it.

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  • Margot Tucker says:

    I met Jim on the Playa 2013. He held me verbally hostage for about 60 minutes on an art car. Endlessly bragging about flying in 50 (or so) of his friends, providing their housing, chefs and bartenders to wait on them etc etc. I asked him about radical self reliance. His reply “it doesn’t matter. Look at their faces. They are uncomfortable now. But in a few days they will relax and this experience will have changed them. And I gave them that!” he seemed to miss my point. Not to mention he and his friends left trash all over the art car that I later had to clean up. Here we are a year later and he is still as clueless as ever. But why shouldn’t he be? He buys his way into everything he does. He is on the board because he is wealthy. That really is the only reason. They already have business savvy board members who are extremely dedicated to BRC.
    This post may seem cruel. But honestly I feel sorry for him. Watching him acting like a king in a castle at Caravancicle talking to people he genuinely likes and them having them turn to me and say “he is a clueless douchebag” was sad. Hearing endless stories from the overworked, underpaid, under cared for employees of his camp “…I’ve never been treated so poorly in my life” said one of the bartenders. Jim seems to care so much for his friends luxurious experience and care very little for others. Again just sad.

    Jim, I also think you should step down from the board. C’mon show some integrity. Create real change. Start with yourself. Don’t accept a position solely based on your net worth. See your sycophants for what they are. I wish you the best of luck.

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  • S Shaw says:

    When you needed more help, why didn’t you and your fellow campmates pick up hammers and help? Isn’t it because you feel entitled not to because you paid money to have lowly staff do this for you? Had Ari (the manager) run everyone away with only slave wage offers?

    I have run large camps and art cars for years. Never for one moment do I feel entitled to not help because I put a lot of money into something. –‘The car needs gas? I’ll go back to camp and get some.’ ‘We need another sledge? I’ll go find us another one’— This is the kind of behavior I see from so many on the playa. Obviously, even though you had enough people (staff or not), you could not stoop to do such menial tasks. You probably had not arrived yet on your private plane. Yes, I know that you encouraged your paying customers to fly in so they would not have to wait in lines with the proletariat.

    Participate Jim. And not just with yours & your friends money. I don’t feel bad for your manager, Ari, at all. He was paid more than handsomely.

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  • daKINDone says:

    Nice try Jim.

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  • Tom says:

    “If I could only just take a little peek into Burning Man without the dust and all the other stuff that goes along with it”. How many times have we heard that line from friends and family. We may have even said it ourselves before going. Thus the beginning of pay and play. Jim Tananbaum saw this and attempted to supply the demand. It’s understandable. What is not understandable is preferential treatment for ticket sales. The cast system was started long ago when Burning Man began selling tickets at different prices.

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  • Happy_Kitty says:

    JT, I feel your pain. It’s just impossible to hire decent help anymore!!

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  • Joe says:

    Thank you, Jim. Very well said. I applaud you for this, although I don’t believe you owed it to anyone. I find it disturbing that our community has recently become overwhelmed with a snarky, aggressive, and sometimes disrespectful tone in social commentary on this issue. I thought Larry’s recent blog was also well said and articulated the issues that face our community as we continue to grow. I encourage fellow readers and commentors to reflect on the issue at hand, examine how your perceptions and attitudes towards other’s contributions may or may not be appropriate. In order for this great social experiment to work, we can’t blow up from the inside. In times of strive, we need to band together. Lashing out at one particular group’s camp is shallow and derisive. Do I think Jim’s camp was a failure? Sure, but who’s camp hasn’t failed?!? Did Jim’s camp violate the 10 principles? I don’t think so. But even if they did, who am I to judge? I’m only a fellow contributor who loves to haul myself, my camp, and 50 of my best friends, 600 miles out in the middle of the desert every year for the best social experience available. Jim, I applaud you for this message and personal reflection. And I look forward to seeing your improved camp on the playa next year!

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    • vampire hunter. says:

      how much do you get paid per comment?

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    • Gary says:

      Wow. Unreal. You can’t see how he violated the 10 principles? Can we at least order a couple BORG trolls that sound half way realistic. This is beyond asinine.

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      • Joe says:

        Thanks for helping to make my point, Gary. I am not a troll and I have zero affiliation with BMOrg. I am a regular burner, just like everyone else. This last year was my 4th and 3rd with a theme camp we created, built, transported, etc. The struggle is real for theme camps, we all face challenges in the middle of the most unforgiving place in the US. I feel for Jim and his situation. I’m sorry if you can’t see that he tried and therefore you feel he broke the 10 Commandments, I mean principles. Did you read Larry’s blog? Or are you just trolling, spewing hate and snark?

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      • Gary says:

        Joe. Sorry to label you a troll. I just find it unbelievable that someone who claims to orgaznize a theme can’t see how he made every effort to avoid the 10 vague ideas. I run a huge theme camp and its been almost 10 years doing it. We have millionaires, poor artists, carpenters, programmers, assholes and even a few douchebags for good measure. Not a single one of them would find what JT wrote acceptable. What you wrote is so radically different than the other 200 posts it stands out dramatically.

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      • Joe says:

        Gary, thanks for acknowledging my comment stands out amongst the 200. I’ve never been an internet commentor type person, but I felt compelled this time. Primarily because of the 200 people spewing hate. I don’t understand the particular vigor with this issue. Even if what everyone says is true, I don’t see the problem. Jim’s camp did not ruin Burning Man for me. When I walked by on K Street, I didn’t feel some overwhelming sense exclusion. It was just another camp that wasn’t open when I walked by. My camp has bar hours. Times are not always well posted. I’ve had people stop by the camp when the drinks weren’t ready and I’ve turned them away. They didn’t attack me on social media for months after the event. I drive an RV and I’m unapologetic about it. As Larry said, its human nature to try and upgrade our living situation. If I had 10K to blow on BM, I’d pay someone to go out there and build me an apartment with running toilets and a shower too. Who wouldn’t? I can understand the handful of people who legitimately were affected by Jim’s failure complaining, but everyone else, why? I can bet that 180 of the 200 commentors here had never heard of Jim or his camp until after they returned from the burn. To me, this is another example of the burnier-than-thou syndrome. Since entering the community, I can say that has been the most negative part of my experience. Why do people feel the need to judge others based on their contribution? I feel the overall snark and aggressive social media commentary is inappropriate and derisive to our core values. If you want to talk about people breaking the 10 principles, let’s start right here with all of these negative, non-inclusive comments that are attacking someone’s else’s Gift and Participation. For me, I’m happy to engage in a more positive tone, acknowledge that mistakes were made, and move forward. The BMOrg changes I feel have addressed any legitimate favoritism issues. I trust that they are working as hard as possible to ensure the 10 principles are followed by everyone as best as possible. But without forgiveness and empathy, we can’t move forward as a community to make the event we all love so dearly, a better and more accepting place for all – rich people included.

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      • BrewHo says:

        Joe, thanks for engaging on this. I can only speak for myself, but the strength of my reaction is because someone who is on the BoD for the BM Project, chartered to promote the Guidelines, er Principles, into the default world, clearly doesn’t get them and in fact trampled all over them then compounded it by highlighting his hypocrisy. It’s akin to a preacher touting chastity being unmasked as a whoremonger.

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      • Pink says:

        If I had 10k I’d have some work done on the camper van I’ve driven up every year since 2005. Put solar on it, get the 110 working again. I get such a sense of accomplishment when I see what my camp has built each year, because each year about 20 of us have planned and built and made it just a bit better over the prior year. We all have different strengths, and have different ideas, and I get great joy at seeing what Roger has done with the tower, or a new piece of furniture Windy built. Sunday opening day, I walked around the public space and was just astonished at how beautiful it was…and it was beautiful and WE built it.

        I grow from each burn because I let my boundaries get stretched. I build with my friends. We create and give to the community what we’ve created and let the community explore and stretch their boundaries. This is my burn. If I wanted a resort, I’d go to one.

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    • Finn says:

      “snarky, aggressive, and sometimes disrespectful tone..”

      Welcome to burning man, precious flower.

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      • tmtatc says:

        ” If I had 10K to blow on BM, I’d pay someone to go out there and build me an apartment with running toilets and a shower too. Who wouldn’t? ”

        Not I for one. I go for the back to basics, semi-paleolithic social experience. If it gets to where I feel I am just a monkey in the zoo for pampered and babied economic royalty/tourists and someone is profiting mightily on that operation, then count me out. It undermines the what made Burning Man such a wild success. It is not there yet, but the trend is there, these camps are the living embodiment of it, and I feel this trend needs to be tempered before it gets out of hand.

        Paraphrasing some other commenter here, if a majority of camps at Burning Man were like Mr.Tananbaum’s, the event would be profoundly different, as in boring!

        I think you miss the underlying concern about the direction of the event. Will it continue to be an alternate culture in a TAZ, or will it become Disneyland in the dust? Commercial exploitation camps that are the center of this uproar are clearly a step in the direction of Disneyland.

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  • No no no says:

    Jim, you need to resign buddy, or the board needs to fire you.

    This “apology” is a joke, takes no responsibility for your butchering of the principles you’re supposed to uphold as a board member.

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  • vampire hunter. says:

    Jim needs to go to burning man. Burning man is the best thing in the world for Jim – but Jim needs to go to burning man in a little pickup truck and a tent on an under 3k budget and park in a random place and camp alone and not tell anybody “who he is” nor plan to meet anybody he knows…

    Then and only then will we forgive Jim and Jim will find peace and be happy.
    that is my curse and my challenge.

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  • longtimeburner says:

    you deflected responsibility to some ‘other’ who was supposed to setup and breakdown. nice. how honorable of you.

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  • Tom says:

    Time to resign Jim.

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  • Brently says:

    Sameull Beckett once wrote: “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail Again. Fail Better.”

    As long as you’re making different mistakes every year and not the same ones, youre learning. Thats all we can ask of ourselves.

    Good on you for owning it. Best way to go.

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  • Solar says:

    As if burner since 09 would add credibility….

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  • longtimeburner says:

    exactly. nobody wants to address this!

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  • longtimeburner says:

    Clearly he acted as pimp and as a male who thinks he is better than the rest of the males out there because he attends Burning Man, nobody can question this.

    If the BMORG gets busted alongside for human trafficking in addition to violation of labor laws, perhaps something will finally be done.

    Not to mention the rapes and assault that happen every year.

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  • Black Rock Citizen #22,586 says:

    “Nothing you wrote deserves a “thank you” or any praise. ”

    ^^ This!

    What a load of fucking crap.

    “Apologies are always a welcome sight. Burning Man is nothing is not forgiving.”

    … are we going to the same event? Yagottabe kiddin’ me. Fucking desert doesn’t forgive anyone.

    This isn’t an apology, it’s another blame game. Tananbaum your camp failed. Own it, stop blaming others and accept the responsibility. You got a bunch of lazy rich bastards to give you a buttload of money to come out and pervert the principles, and when it all failed and everyone else at the event started pointing fingers you tried to run and hide, and then blame everyone else.

    You failed. We all fucking fail. Stop being a pussy and own up to your failure. We don’t want your “apologies”, just fucking roast your ass on the burning coals of truth and stop pretending like everything is ok and you’re good to go for another season. Good luck trying to do it again, I guarantee the rest of the citizens at BM are gonna fuck with your shit as much as possible from here on out.

    Radical inclusion baby. We’ll include your ass in all the crazy everyone else gets subjected to.

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  • BR Citizen #0 says:

    Wow really? Delete my comment? Fine let’s water it down for you.

    JT – this was not an apology. You should own up to your failure, instead of pointing fingers at everyone else. Good luck trying to avoid the principles at future events.

    Comments moderators, really, you should grow a backbone.

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  • Windstorm says:

    Jesus dude, you’ve made your point. About 100x now.

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  • Thanks but no thanks says:

    Let me get this straight – 50,000 people spend $400 each for the dubious privilege of spending a week pantomiming the pretense of communal self-reliance in a harsh and unforgiving environment, when in fact all the resources they depend on are hauled in from the ‘default’ world.

    That works out to $20,000,000 in gate fees for what is in fact a private puppet show put on by puppet masters. Does it really cost that much to coordinate the show? Doubtful. These same 50,000 people then seem to think they are somehow different from someone who spends $17,000 to attend as a spectator in the lap of luxury their ‘default’ existence can afford.

    Oh, I know, clearly I don’t ‘get it’. But I do. The ten principles are admirable. You’ll find analogous ideas underlying any legitimate religion, and there are direct parallels with the rules of order governing almost every monastery. If you follow those ideas to their logical conclusion, you’ll have no need for bars or drugs or sexual incontinence either.

    As for transforming yourself, you’d be better off living outdoors in the ‘default’ world for a year. That is not being ‘homeless’. A homeless person is someone who has had their spirit crushed. ‘Living outdoors’ 24/7 is truly burning. You’re really mostly a bunch of fair weather radicals.

    I’ve never gone to Black Rock City, but if I ever do, I assure you it will be in the off season, when all the hypocrites are away preparing for their next ‘burn’. Learning radical self-reliance requires entering a situation where you might actually not survive. It is not an undertaking to be taken lightly. If you think you need burning man to ‘burn’, then you have not yet learned even the most elementary lesson of self-reliance.

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  • Fuck you says:

    you don’t know why you have a red mark???? You don’t know that a 20yd dumpster got filled with HUMAN EXCREMENT and had to be hauled out so the playa could BEGIN to be cleaned from your shit pile???? The fact that DPW had to scour your area and nothing even BEGAN to look like a concept of a MOOP map was held by your camp???

    You have been going for “all of” six years? I’ve met CHILDREN with a stronger idea of MOOP than you and your camp.

    You’re a disgrace to the org. You’re on the board as a political bullshit ally and if you had a shred of dignity you would leave. Oh… But you don’t. Carry on.

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  • Jizz says:

    @Fuck you
    >dumpster got filled with HUMAN EXCREMENT

    PLEASE PLEase please tell me that DPW had to haul the shit out. Please! Nothing like karma biting DPW assholes in the assholes. If this is true I fucking LOVE Caravancicle, and hope this is the future of BM: DPW covered in shit! LOL!

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  • This apology is apt and inept at the same time.

    So what? This was last year’s reason “Burning Man is Over” or whatever whining conspiracy theorists say.

    I hadn’t even heard of Caravansicle until stories about its woeful mismanagement started to appear. I was buy with Burning Man and not focused solely on a single camp, especially one that didn’t seem to be terribly inviting.

    Maybe I’m crazy, but many of the camps don’t seem to be inviting, at least to me.

    Maybe Mr. Tannanbaum is an asshole, or maybe he’s a nice guy who had an asshole PR person write this. I have no idea, I never met him. I don’t care.

    While many of you will still be whining about Burning Man being run by evil corporate overlords (while guzzling PBRs and puffing Marlboros, not aware of the irony) I’ll be planning my travel and burn, squirreling away money from my shitty day job.

    After this “worst thing to happen to the universe, ever” is forgotten, like the other worst things to happen ever, someone will have a new worst thing ever.

    Maybe it will be too dusty, or not dusty enough. Maybe someone who looks and acts like a stereotype stoner hippie will try to buy weed from an undercover cop on the playa, and everyone will complain about it being a police state.

    Maybe someone (or that Burners dot something conspiracy website) will go off the rails about the commissary only being open to people with meal passes or meal tickets. Maybe the members of the Gate/Perimeter team won’t be cuddly enough (be nice to them anyway, they have a big, thankless job) and it will be a problem.

    Yawn.

    Every year it’s dusty. Every year someone fucks up something. Every year a few camps completely bugger something basic. Every year the burn is awesome for the vast majority of burners. Every year, most of the camps do epic shit like it’s easy. Every year the Burning Man community as a whole is awesome.

    If someone only sees negative or thinks Black Rock City is “over” or they can run a better event themselves, maybe it’s time to go elsewhere.

    And, if John Law was right, Burning Man would have been shut down years ago, or it would have become some watered down corporate thing with Budweiser and McDonald’s cross promotions.

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  • Andrew B says:

    I missed the part where you said you were going to remove yourself from the board of directors. Your camp caused such a problem that the rules of the event regarding placement have had to be changed.

    Apology not accepted. You have done nothing to show that you are truly sorry for the blemish you have left on this community, and that blemish will remain so long as you sit on the board of directors.

    Radical Inclusion:
    “Our camp welcomed people from all walks of life.” – So long as they could afford the 17k price tag for one of those wristbands.

    Gifting: we initially didn’t gift to everyone, then when we finally did, no one knew we were… so oops.

    Decommodification: “No one in Caravancicle made money off of the camp”. – Please, no one charges 17k for a ticket and has the money vanish. even if you only had 10 members that would have been more than enough money to make a good theme camp. You invited more than 50 people. That money went somewhere.

    Radical Self-reliance: “camp members were encouraged to exercise and rely on their inner resources…” when that didn’t work sherpas were there, pre decorated bikes and costumes were also available.

    Radical Self-expression: “…including help from many of its members” ($$$$$).

    Communal Effort: “We also created a beautiful space open to the public that fostered cooperation and collaboration”. But only at certain times, that no one knew about because we didn’t post it anywhere, and didn’t allow the public in most of the time.

    Leaving No Trace: “It is unclear to me why we received red marks on the MOOP map.” Red marks in a sea of yellow. which you should know to be terrible. probably because you left moop. perhaps if you had been there yourself cleaning it up, doing moop sweeps, you’d know why you had the marks you did.

    Participation: “This year, however, I allocated vast amounts of time, effort and money to create something beautiful to share with the community.” you did not share with the community. we saw members only bracelets and people guarding the door. this is the impression you left.

    Immediacy: “I did make my best effort to create something beautiful and creative, unique and innovative.” (If only we had been allowed to see it).

    _________

    There is so much wrong with your entire statement… don’t make excuses.

    Personal responsibility deflected onto camp employees – you pretty much blamed them for everything.

    Profit: if you charged 15k per person and you showed this to 60 people, that’s 900,000… if you charged more, obviously that number goes up. if no one made a profit, where the hell did almost a million dollars disappear off to?

    Burning Man project board of directors: this part, this is where you were supposed to say you were stepping down for breaking the conduct rules set forth in the burning man project bylaws.

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  • Peace says:

    JT thanks for responding. I think what this shows is you aren’t ready for prime time when it comes to camp production. Despite being a Burner since 2009, there is a real sense you don’t “get it”. That is probably because your wealth has shielded you from many of the more difficult aspects of BM and has stunted your growth. I don’t doubt your sincerity, just your understanding. I think you serve as a great example of why these concierge camps don’t actually serve in promoting BM culture because they lead to a false understanding of what that is. I’m assuming you will take a break and not produce a camp for a few years and if you tried, I would assume you wouldn’t get placement. That’s good. It will give you time to learn. I would suggest volunteering with other theme camps. Note how other camps use volunteers to setup, cook, work on art etc. That’s for those camps that have a division of labor. If you can’t generate enough interest in your idea to attract the volunteers you need to make it happen, it’s probably not worth doing.

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  • JessicaMarshall says:

    A true act of apoplogy and not a statement would make more sense. QUIT the board of director ors. Your management skills are clearly not up to it.

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  • Dontreallycareanymore says:

    This isn’t even an apology. “I first want to apologize broadly to anyone who felt disrespected by our camp”. I don’t know why some people find it so hard to understand that apologizing for how someone else feels is not an apology. “I’m sorry you feel that way”…is shit.

    “It is clear based on blog posts and comments made online that not everyone experienced what we intended.” I mean, DUH.

    Basically at least one line in every paragraph of this is useless, passing blame on others, and suggesting that the greater community’s outrage is misplaced and all a “big misunderstanding”.

    Does the board of BMP even care, from a PR perspective, how they are representing themselves? Try harder. Not that I care anymore, as any expectations or hopes have gone the way of the dust.

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  • Oscar the Grouch says:

    Hey Jim,

    That red mark? Might have to do with the 20 YARD DUMPSTER OF HUMAN EXCREMENT that had to be towed out of your broken toilet set up… Never mind the countless other issues left for other people to clean up for you.

    You sicken me and I live in a trashcan.

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  • Mr. Trilobite says:

    A leader who blames others to this degree should not be on the BM Board, or any board.

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  • QueenB says:

    If this guy understood Burning Man AT ALL, he would realize that shit always goes wrong, “without having planned to and therefore not having the proper resources to do so,” and that’s part of why people band together in theme camps, and are kind and giving to our neighbors, so that we can help each other, and still be successful despite having to scrap some of our plans. I can’t say that I see why this crisis was any different (except I wouldn’t call lack of toilets or showers a crisis).

    Moreover, his ethics and apologies are utter horseshit. When I fuck up at work, I don’t blame the vendor or my coworkers, I take the blame myself. This is like rule #1 of business. Like the guy who prematurely burnt down the Man in 2007, and yet got gifted another ticket after being removed from the event, Mr. Tananbaum can still attend, but he shouldn’t be on the Board and his camp should lose their placement. Those are the only cards we have to pull, and they MUST be pulled. End of story.

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  • Finn says:

    Hey Jim! Has anyone mentioned you should resign from the board yet?

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  • ibdave says:

    2 more comments:
    1st, it’s been long held that DPW build BRC long before we show up. The rest of us make BRC breathe in many many ways, DPW tear’s down the city, long after were done. They have to deal with many yellow and red marks. This cost us all $$$

    2nd. When a member of any BOD’s shame’s the share holders
    (Were all share holders) that person should resigned or be forced out by the rest of the Board. Jim stand like a man or board members do the right thing.

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  • Time to Resign says:

    No more discussion. I think the community only needs to speak one word. Nothing else. One word.

    Resign.

    Resign.

    Resign.

    Resign.

    Resign.

    Resign.

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  • NoMoJT says:

    Resign. Resign. Resign.

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  • Bobby says:

    I applaud Jim for taking the time to do this explanation and apology. It’s a shame it goes on so many deaf ears. I’m amazed by all the lame remarks blasting him. I’ve never met Jim. I walked through the camp and loved the set up. Didn’t have a bad experience. Burners are suppose to be loving and forgiving. Stop hating people because they have money or they are beautiful! Radical inclusion means everyone.

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    • tmtatc says:

      It is not about the “rich”. It is not about “hating” the rich. It is that they need to participate and integrate and nurture the community. Plenty of very wealthy people do that, and have done that for many, many now. This is about PnP’s being done wrong, for the wrong reasons.

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    • Dust Monkey says:

      Bobby says: “I applaud Jim for taking the time to do this explanation and apology”

      Jim uses the word ‘sorry’ twice in his missive. Both times he is sorry about something someone else did.

      Jim uses the word apologize twice as well. He uses this word similarly. He says “I first want to apologize broadly to anyone who felt disrespected by our camp or concerned about the implications of our camp’s operation to the long-term health of Burning Man.” where a better, more honest person, would say “I first want to apologize broadly to anyone was disrespected by our camp”. His choice of words implies that his camp did no wrong, but some people may have felt like it did. He also apologizes that “that not everyone experienced what we intended”. Again, this is not actually apologizing for his actions, just for how they were perceived.

      I’m glad that JT gave us his version of the story, but his lawyers and PR hacks extracted every iota of apology from it and made sure that was left on the cutting room floor.

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  • boywonder says:

    Burningman is a cool fest but burners are not all that they claim. I learned this after a 10 year participation. They are just as greedy, back stabbers as the default world. Long ago someone tried to warn me about the spiritual types , they are so quick to love but that is as long as they are poor. The minute there is some money thrown at them they are the same shit as everyone else.

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  • wait a min...... says:

    from the third pargraph I think..
    “Caravancicle is the third camp I have been involved with at Burning Man. My experience has been with larger camps requiring some workers to provide the infrastructure. Our camp was constructed by a long-term Burner with deep respect and care for the community, who was hired to manage the camp. He also led the build for the camp we did the year before. We have worked with people in the past to build out our camp who were hired by the camp organizers and then would enjoy the Burning Man experience when they were not working. ”

    So, If I under stand this corectly you have been “hiring people” to work at burning man for the last three years? You have paid some one to run your camp, and they also had a budget to hire works for your camp. – and you dont see this as an issue?
    ihave paid dues to camps and worked my but off for no pay cause thats they way , it works I would expect a 6 year burner to get that.
    So to simplify – you paid people to work and that means you were running a bussness on playa. it was not a gift.

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  • Jovankat says:

    “We regularly gifted very yummy homemade popsicles and herbal tea”

    So you also broke Nevada Health Department food service regulations? Did you even get a food service permit? If you had t would have been made clear any food preparation off playa had to be done so in a commercial kitchen, not “home made”

    Or do those rules not apply to you either?

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  • Cat says:

    I would like to address those calling the commentators haters and unBurningman.

    I have read almost every comment from the beginning. I hear nothing but concern over the disintegration of the foundation on which this event has been built upon. Burning man has come to represent something powerful to many different sorts of people, and that is what unites us. So yes we are vocal, because we know how strong we are. We all found our strength together in the desert and it is a force. Whining and complaining about rich people ruining burning man has not been mentioned even once that I recall except assumptions by BMorg. We don’t hate you, ever… but we are citizens of Black Rock City and we demand to be represented by someone who represents us. That is the issue, not rich self absorbed people, though you are kind of annoying, but I can ignore you. JT cannot be ignored after this.

    Step down JT, karma is a bitch and the longer you wait the worse it gets.

    Super simple: the 10 principles of Burningman were basically ignored by a board member, someone who represents Burningman. OHH it is an oxymoron, no wonder it is so hard to understand…

    ~….you probably think this song is about you
    don’t you…~

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  • Fishstick says:

    Hey, Board of Directors,

    I hope you’re reading every one of these comments. This is our democracy. This is how we steer the ship. You can do whatever you want, but your actions can disenfranchise. Imagine BM if the citizens cut their prep time in half.

    You can’t control what happens in camps, however you have control of who gets early placement.

    What I’ve learned since attending (since 2005) is that maybe BM isn’t for everybody. I want to be among people who contribute to the survival of the community as well as themselves. Not everyone has this creative spirit.

    You can’t scam an old scammer Jim, load of crap.

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  • Sodium says:

    INSTEAD of booting this dip out for commercializing the event and experience the Org is giving him a megaphone to spin the whole thing with.

    How can anyone take this missive, this guy, this camp or that “non-profit” seriously much less any of their posturing around the Brand of the 10 Principles?

    They don’t take it seriously, why the hell should you?

    Making an profit and commercializing the venture are different things Mr. Doublespeak. Aw, poor baby your startup failed.

    You still commercialized, productized, packaged, marketed and SOLD the event and the “experience”. Just because you didn’t run the business well isn’t really the point now, is it?

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  • Leo says:

    JT: As more information surfaces about your camp, your wordy explantation is up there with “the dog ate my homework”.

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  • Steve says:

    Many burners have socialist mindset – kids nowadays, kind of thing. So you have the angry kids who want to occupy everything so they hate the rich people and at the same time saying it’s not about wealth. That’s all understandable because they haven’t hit their 30s yet and earned real money. Their attitudes will all change, once they have a bit of money to spend. Happens to everyone.

    Then you have the failed hippies with the dot com website from 1999 that failed because no one wanted to buy yogurt online. Even though they say they’re happy living on the commune, there’s always that one asshole who tries to control everything. Every conflict with this asshole reminds them that yogurt was a bad choice, and every luxury car/house whatever the same thing.

    So these people find acceptance at Burning Man because they watched Malcolm in the Middle and thought this thing speaks to them. They place all their spiritual hopes and dreams onto this illusion. So now you all know it’s an illusion.

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  • RIP 10 Principle$ says:

    At this point, it’s clear what the community consensus is. Perhaps it’s time to ask how, and why, this person is on the board at all. In fact, how did a new board get formed — with not even ONE experienced senior staff member but full of people who can’t recognize

    If it was money, not ethos, that got JT on the BoD, then this is truly a test of ethics in the belief system of our culture. Maybe the Ten Principles are just kool aid served by false profit$ who sell high-cost tickets to those willing pay — and who build this bohemia for others to gawk at.

    There are no ten principles — because he just proved it. This incident is enlightening. Is Burning Man the public benefit non-profit we want to support? Or now is it just a tax dodge for investors?

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    • Dust Monkey says:

      The community consensus is that JT violated the trust of the Community, and does not represent the ten principles or the community at large. The community wants to see him do the honorable thing, and resign of his own free will.

      When a person’s (or organization’s) words and actions conflict, pay attention to the actions; there is where you will see what they truly believe.

      How the rest of the org handles this situation will answer your question: “Is Burning Man the public benefit non-profit we want to support? Or now is it just a tax dodge for investors?”

      As of this moment, I’m planning on going to a huge rave in the Black Rock Desert next year; but I can’t bring myself to call it Burning Man.

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  • Melissa says:

    I agree, you should resign for the board. You have twisted the Burning Man principles.

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  • Terry says:

    I think you should have stopped at the apology.

    “Although some of our campers were “plug and play” participants per se, the act of judging them or excluding them goes against everything that Burning Man stands for regarding radical inclusion.”

    It also goes against everything Burning Man stands for regarding radical self-reliance, participation, decommodification, and communal effort. What arrogance and nerve to try to use one of the 10 principles to justify the “per se” plug and play participants while ignoring all the other relevant ones.

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  • Terry says:

    PS — I agree with JT’s statement that first timers get a pass on the 10 principles. How can you participate on the playa, without ever having been there and knowing what it’s about?

    I’m less inclined to be charitable to you, JT. Your actions seem at odds with these grandiose statements about your camps goals.

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  • JK says:

    The latest missive from “Announce-only list for ALL Burning Man volunteers” is asking for volunteers in the SALES organization. Does anyone else have a serious problem with this? I also note that the new website format does not allow for free-form blog posting. Have to enter a reply to an existing post.

    Here is the meat of the content:

    ***************************************
    JOB SUMMARY

    Burning Man’s Salesforce Administrator will oversee our Salesforce platform, systems that integrate with Salesforce, and data processes, policies and projects associated with the platform. This role performs system customizations and configurations while working closely with functional leaders and staff to supports new business processes. In order to enable ongoing adoption and use of the platform, this person will provide training, guidance and mentoring for new and power users of the systems. This person will lead a cross-team and multi-organization group of Salesforce power users and help grow a team of delegated function area administrators to provide governance of our shared data repository and related policies. This person will oversee vendor relationships and licensing for Salesforce and integrated products and apps. This position requires some on-playa support.

    This is a full-time, regular position eligible for benefits in our San Francisco office.

    ***************************************

    Now why, in the name of all that is holy and sacred, would this be happening??? What is being sold? SOLD??? By the ORG!!! On a volunteer basis. How freaking wrong can we get.

    Full disclosure: I expect that since my Burner Profile is the same as my user name here, I have less than a zero chance at purchasing a pass for my 5th consecutive event. But I still think this needs saying:

    The Shark. Has. Been. Jumped.

    And nowhere near in as cool a fashion as Fonzie did it. I saw that episode when it first aired. Cheap ass tandem skis and a leather jacket over an old-school plywood ramp on floats in a harbor. That was at least a cool trick.

    JK – Colorado Redneck Camp

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  • JK says:

    I would label it “integrity creep”. Alternatively known as “fuck you, I got mine”. Just disappointed to see it so soon, when only 4 years ago it seemed like people were truly pioneering the playa to a one. I am sure it is going to be a complete shitshow out there next year, as we lose more and more of the old and crusty contingent.

    If anyone would like to discuss offline, please feel free to email me at jpk34359@yahoo.com.

    Peace, yo :)

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  • G says:

    Fascinating!
    I have never seen a link posted on this blog’s comments before.
    One of mine was not posted years ago because it had a link in it to an image on this site.
    Boom Boom, it will be interesting to see how long your post stands.

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  • Marquee says:

    So… did this entire issue just get swept under the carpet with this post?

    Is JT still on the board?

    Is simply saying ‘others made mistakes while I attempted to make money and failed’ a justifiable answer to non-commodification?

    Does it make it ok to try and commodify if you simply suck at doing it?

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  • Dr. Baron von Realz esq. says:

    Burning man is about growing. We are all figuring this out as we go along. Mistakes were made apologies were given. I may not be getting the whole story but I am going to opt to radically include by accepting that this is a mistake any of us could have made. Being a camp lead myself it seem to me you tried to do too much. Creating a theme camp is a daunting task and I wrestle every year with the delicate balance of providing enough without providing too much, giving back to the community without over working my minions (all volunteers), making sure I follow the 10 principles. Epically decommodification, we are wired (due to the default world) to approach problems with a certain mindset and like a drug the quick fix is money. I struggle with how to create what my camp mate envision every year and if something goes wrong (which happens all the time) I am on the hook. I see multiple camp implode every year, I always make it a point sit down with the camp lead and let them know I am here how can I help.

    My advice is pick yourself up brush yourself off and keep in mind this blog does not represent all burners.

    “Impossible just means it has never been done”
    – Dr. Baron von Realz esq.

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  • stitch says:

    “Cleaned up by Saturday after the event” ??? Tuesday is the very last moment you should be on Playa. You with your jets and resources were 4 days late???. That in and of itself is poor performance.

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  • jimbo says:

    Why have a board like this? Because they aren’t trying to spread the event for the culture but for profit and status. Sincere culturealgrowth happens organically, not by influential board members. The board and the policy makers is not what makes the event, it is the people that attend… just like this country of ours – it is the citizens that indispensable and not politicians. We can’t hit the reset button on the default system so easily, but we can on an event. There is plenty of land and dates to choose from so if you don’t like the BM direction maybe it is time to organize the next evolution. It will start smaller of course but it have learned the lessons to prevent the same type of failures With respect to the politics. It will attract the right people for best experience. A every growing event will always dilute the experience over time. This is because the right mindset people were attracted early. Many of the later members just eventually come to see the spectacle but could care less about the principles. You get less adherence to the principles and you compound the dilution over time until it matches default. This is the entropy of things. The only way to ever solve it is to keep moving and evolving.

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