The line in the sand has been getting more and more blurry over the years.
While there is no commerce on Playa, obviously we need to buy goods and services for our trips. As a community, we are still working out how corporations can work with Burners in a healthy way.
For example, many rental companies have had an “illicit affair” model in place where lying was a part of the process. “Don’t come back with hickies, lipstick on your collar, or dust in the engine…and whatever you do, don’t tell us you are taking it to Burning Man!”
But check out U-Haul’s olive branch offering to Burners renting trucks: A video showing how to cover logos (and honor the Decommodification Principle) without damaging the truck. Plus they share a list of clean up tips and local resources.
U Haul would have scored 100% except for the cutesy use of “Barter Supplies” as a header at the bottom instead of just “Supplies.” (Gifting is NOT Barter.)
Now, if this video is a part of a marketing push, I may change my tune. But for now I’m giving big dusty props to U-Haul for addressing the reality of the situation without pandering or exploiting the community.
NOTE: I am a 17 year Burner with a passion for the event, the principles and our community. Like the vast majority of writers in this space, I am not a representative of the BMORG. This is not an endorsement of U-Haul by myself and especially not by Burning Man. It is simply an (interesting to me) data point in the ever-evolving integration between the default world and Burning Man.