Seeing the notes on posts about the Burning Man Debacle™ and for fucks sake I am taking the phrase ‘eat the rich’ away from y’all until you can CORRECTLY IDENTIFY the rich
Rich is ‘arrived by way of their private jet’, is ‘dropped $500k on a submarine ticket’, is ’$500 is a rounding error’.
’$500 dollars for a nine day event they must all be rich white people’ no you reactionary rotten potato that is actually an entirely reasonable price for an entirely normal person to pay for an annual event! $500 over the course of a year is approximately equivalent to one big takeout a month! Being able to afford that doesn’t make you rich it makes you probably not poor! The ‘rich or poor’ narrative is a false dichotomy that completely excludes the fact that ‘richness’ or ‘poorness’ is a SCALE! It’s not fucking categorical! You don’t one day magically flip a switch and go from ‘poor’ to ‘rich’ or vice versa you see incremental changes over time! Wealth distribution is a (these days, admittedly, rather wonky) motherfucking BELL CURVE! . The fact that capitalism is driving more and more people to either extreme of said curve is just evidence of a broken system, but it doesn’t change the fact that most people should have a decent amount of disposable income!
The fact that many people don’t have said disposable income doesn’t magically make the ones that do ‘rich’ it makes everyone else poor. And the people at fault for the massive and growing percentage of people living below the poverty line are not the ones managing to stay above it, it’s the fault of the actually rich, the ones stealing our time and our health and our wages and our future in pursuit of a number on a screen. And the rich are the only people you’re helping by hating the people struggling slightly less than you.
When it comes time to ‘eat the rich’ you’re going to be murdering dentists and librarians and scientists while the actually rich point and laugh from a safe distance as you solve their problems for them.
Some of you don’t care about change, you’re just hurt and bloodthirsty and want a soft target without having to learn anything.
burning man is meant to be an art collective. it is very loosely a typical “festival” and is meant more so to be a social experiment. the purpose of burning man is to establish a temporary society—black rock city, or BRC—in the desert that exists only for that week. it is explicitly and thoroughly a “leave no trace” event. burning man staff and volunteers spend WEEKS after the event picking up all MOOP (”Matter Out of Place”) to restore the desert to its original state, and camps can be punished for leaving moop behind.
the only things that are actually provided by burning man staff are the man, the effigy, the temple, and the fence. THAT’S IT. every single thing at burning man is provided by the attendees. it’s not like going to a music festival or theme park where you just show up; you can, but if everyone did that, there would be no event. not only that but every single thing brought to the playa is also brought out of it. that means every structure, building, sculpture, and so on is built on the playa and then dismantled. camps, too, show up days or weeks in advance to construct their pieces. they are not paid by the event to do this. think of it more like a ren faire or convention where people purchase stalls/tables, except they’re buying a campsite on the playa. and, instead of selling things, they are being given away. some pieces have even become public art installations once leaving black rock city. that is part of why the ticket is so expensive: what you do with your campsite and admission is entirely up to you. and, out on “deep playa” (non-campsite space) you can do basically whatever the hell you want.
burning man also offers low income tickets, some as a raffle and some through an application. they also offer artist grants. this is specifically to allow burning man to remain as accessible of an event as possible. burning man was also very open about their decision not to have an event in 2021 (or in 2020) as they knew only the most privileged would be in a position to attend in the wake of the pandemic. this was also echoed by Death Guild, a camp that has contributed their functional thunderdome to burning man for the last 20 years.
black rock city has a “gift economy”. you cannot use money for anything. for many camps, the art and experiences they provide are their “gifts”, but food, water, jewelry, drugs, sex, etc. are also common gifts. however, one of the main principles of burning man is radical self-reliance. this means that a person is expected to bring any and all provisions that they will need for survival—yes, survival. you are a minimum of two hours away from any civilization, and the weather can swing from 120F during the day to below freezing at night, with everything from hail to dust storms/whiteouts. as such you are expected to be able to take care of yourself and be prepared for anything.
which brings us to “rich people” and the issue at hand: yes, there are “rich people” at burning man, and BRC itself has been doing its best to mitigate the increasing amount of “turn-key” camps that ruin both the spirit and purpose of the event. there also the “weekend warriors”, the closest thing BRC has to tourists: people who arrive for the last 3 days of burning man for the giant party when the man is burned on saturday night. they are often freeloaders, “camp surfing” and bringing minimal provisions under the pretense that “the playa provides”, i.e. expecting other people’s generosity to take care of them. these are the people stuck at ingress (the line into BRC) and the ones most ill-prepared. you can laugh at these people if you want, but the reality is that these fyre fest types are only going to make life harder for the people who came prepared, though this particular kind of flooding is an anomaly.
as other people in the notes have mentioned, many people who go to burning man spend their entire year budgeting and saving for it. burning man is not something you flippantly attend on a whim. yes it’s an expensive event, but it’s because there are really few experiences like it and because the people who make it what it is bust their asses year-round to do so. many artists and sculptors spend time and money creating experiences and art specifically for burning man the same way people pour time and money into cosplay for conventions. so yeah, while there are rich and spoiled white people who go “for the vibes” they aren’t the majority, or there would be no event to attend. regardless it doesn’t mean that they all somehow “deserve” this flood. swear to god you people are uncomfortably close to spouting conservative christian “noah’s flood to wash away the sin” type shit.