Tuesday, November 09, 2004



someone posted this article discussing the franchising of burning man and its cult-like characteristics. it is a *great* read and i think that anyone with any sort of opinion on the event should read it. (all of it. it's worth it. really.)

i got all incensed and started writing in the margins and such. there are a few threads on tribe to check out (on burning man, burning woman, sf bay burners...) that have interesting thoughts.

some of his points are well-taken, for suresies. mass-marketing of individuality... *sprrrroing!*

'endotromania: a movement, charismatic in its origins, which at its greatest extent becomes its opposite, ritualized and routine.'

i want to write all sorts of essays in response. in the meantime...

-if burning man *is* a cult, is that bad?
-is it really cookie-cutter to spread a message of creativity and freedom of expression? isn't there a distinction between encouraging individuality and suggesting a *type* of individuality (which is definitely worth recoiling from)?
-de facto, there seems to be a lot of differences between the various bm regional networks. and there's tons of focus on community, little focus on the man.
-regarding the political party issue... seems like this wouldn't be feasible. burners lean left, but in different directions--libertarians vs anarchists vs democrats vs socialists vs greens--and there doesn't seem to be a solid political theory behind bm that folks could get behind, unless it's libertarianism without capitalism, which is a paradox, or anarchy, which probably won't catch on :)
-he's assuming that people who use burning man as part of their spirituality view it as a religion, but that's a silly assumption--one can have spirituality without religion and ritual.
-i totally disagree with his assertions about ritual--i think that given most burners' tendencies, it's amazing how little ritual there actually is.
-do people really focus on larry harvey as a leader???

if this author is right, then i'm *stoked*--he's predicting that the franchising will be highly successful, that we're going to have our own super-popular political party, and that we're going to be more pervasive than islam!!!


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