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Burning Man ! (or... what I did on my vacation)


Michael Hardner

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I just returned from my 9th visit to the annual Burning Man festival.

If you've heard about it, but haven't been, then you're likely misinformed as news coverage either falls short of being able to describe the experience, or focuses on some marginal aspect such as celebrities in attendance.

What it is, is an experiment in community living whereby 70K people gather in a desert that has no buildings, no trees, no cacti, in fact no rocks either... nothing but flat open space. These people live a life of artistic self-expression, following ten principles that define respect for yourself, others, and the environment.

The result is a mind-blowing city of lights, art, and music with no cars, no phones/computers, no stores and no money. Just lots of scantily-clad and odd-costumed smiling people. I attend every year and act much as I do here, as a facilitator, and enjoy the challenge immensely. This year the temperature seemed to vary between about 0C to 35C, with awful whiteout dust-storms to boot. There's a bumper sticker I've seen there: my dream vacation is your worst nightmare.

Photo: The giant man effigy is burned on Saturday night at Burning Man.

d5114e9adaa5769bc2f0462c7850a0d2.jpg

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It's really about sex and doing lots of drugs and dancing. Everything else is fluff. Drugs everywhere. Naked people having sex all over the place. Dancing and music. I guess if that's your thing...lol. Hope you had fun and practiced safe sex. Hope you didn't do any bad drugs. You never know what people put in stuff that you take.

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It's really about sex and doing lots of drugs and dancing. Everything else is fluff. Drugs everywhere. Naked people having sex all over the place.

So you've been ? If so, your experience is very different from mine but in a city of 70,000 people that is to be expected. I wouldn't go to Red Deer or Drumheller or Prince Albert or wherever you live and expect to have the same experiences as everyone else (eg. hanging out in strip joints, drinking terrible beer and complaining about immigrants).

If you haven't been then you should ask yourself why you are so eager to believe media reports that this is some kind of cross between Disneyland and an orgy. The term "I want to believe !" comes to mind here.

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So you've been ? If so, your experience is very different from mine but in a city of 70,000 people that is to be expected. I wouldn't go to Red Deer or Drumheller or Prince Albert or wherever you live and expect to have the same experiences as everyone else (eg. hanging out in strip joints, drinking terrible beer and complaining about immigrants).

If you haven't been then you should ask yourself why you are so eager to believe media reports that this is some kind of cross between Disneyland and an orgy. The term "I want to believe !" comes to mind here.

Are you trying to say that drugs aren't everywhere there? Are you seriously denying orgys tents and villages?

That's not all it is but come on. You can get pretty much any drug you want fairly easily. Open sex is all over the place.

Like I said if that drug induced, free love thing is for you then I hope you had fun.

I'm not knocking you for it. Or judging you. Just be honest in your represenration MH.

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Are you trying to say that drugs aren't everywhere there? Are you seriously denying orgys tents and villages?

Are you denying that drugs aren't everywhere, and sex clubs are everywhere too ? Should I call Prince Albert "Fornication-Cocaine Town" ?

That's not all it is but come on. You can get pretty much any drug you want fairly easily. Open sex is all over the place.

How can you say that ? Have you been there ? I certainly wouldn't characterize it as "open sex"...

Just be honest in your represenration MH.

How can you say I'm dishonest without even explaining where you get your information from ?

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It's really about sex and doing lots of drugs and dancing. Everything else is fluff. Drugs everywhere. Naked people having sex all over the place. Dancing and music. I guess if that's your thing...lol. Hope you had fun and practiced safe sex. Hope you didn't do any bad drugs. You never know what people put in stuff that you take.

Really? Where is this again?

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I have a good friend who goes every year. He describes it as a bizarre, sociopathic, frightening, breathtaking, mind bending and wonderful experience. He has given me first hand descripitons of who, what and ? that he encountered. He is also a Woodstock survivor and rates this "celebration" as a more enlightening and soul searching ad "bonding with the world" experience.

I had an opportunity to attend years ago and did not. I am very sorry I did not. I envy you and apparently you are better for the experience.

Congratulations!

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In the desert. It's a giant sin festival for people to openly take drugs. Have sex orgys, wife swapping and the like. Music and dancing etc.

I'm not going to share my wife with another man so I doubt I'd fit in...lol.

I wasn't planning on taking my wife...

Aaagh , just kidding dear!

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In the desert. It's a giant sin festival for people to openly take drugs. Have sex orgys, wife swapping and the like. Music and dancing etc.

I'm not going to share my wife with another man so I doubt I'd fit in...lol.

Well, you've avoided any attempt to explain where you got these misconceptions. My experiences are first-hand from attending the festival 9 times. Yours appear to be just hearsay.

The more you spread misinformation, the more you appear as - at best - a noisy gadfly.

I haven't really noticed you on here before, but now I have. All the best.

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Well, you've avoided any attempt to explain where you got these misconceptions. My experiences are first-hand from attending the festival 9 times. Yours appear to be just hearsay.

The more you spread misinformation, the more you appear as - at best - a noisy gadfly.

I haven't really noticed you on here before, but now I have. All the best.

I never stated that that's all that goes on. I know it's also about art, free expression and the like. To say that the former doesn't go on is ludicrous. I don't see why you take such offense to it. It's not a big deal MH. It is what it is as the kids say.

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I just returned from my 9th visit to the annual Burning Man festival.

---SNIP---

Photo: The giant man effigy is burned on Saturday night at Burning Man.

---SNIP---

Looks like fun.

Isn't Jared to Subway the same as Burning Man to Quiznos?

Actually, I guess the other way around.

Your avatar and Burning Man is a juxtaposition of incongruous parts.

Edited by Charles Anthony
---SNIP--- ---SNIP---
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