Five Ways San Francisco Improves During Burning Man

Categories: Burning Man
desert burning man-sf-improves.jpg
Flickr/DoNotLick
On the surface, San Francisco appears to be a complicated beast of alternative subcultures, underground groups, and distinct communities. Truth is though, there's only one truly definitive divider between all of us -- Burning Man. You either want to pay hundreds of dollars to go get covered in sand and hippie dust in the desert while dressed like a moronic Mad Max extra, or you don't. And for those of us who think Burning Man is the most pretentious and obnoxious gathering of regressed adults on Earth, it's easy to be deeply irritated by everything that is going to happen in Nevada next week. But fear not, San Francisco Burner-haters, we've discovered a bright side. Here are five ways San Francisco gets better during Burning Man. 

1. Adult Hula-Hooping Numbers Vastly Decrease

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hoopgirl.com

If the adults who hula-hooped in public did so merely for exercise, or a challenge, we totally wouldn't mind. We'd be all "Oh look! There's a grown human whose childhood kinda sucked, so they're making up for it now! Good luck to you!" But no. The grown ups hitting the parks of this fine city of ours, avec plastic circle, never hoop in a manner that screams anything other than: "Look at me, world! Look how my hula hoop sparkles in the sunshine! Look how I am one with the circle of life! Look how free and sexy I am!" Newsflash, dicks, hula hooping makes you the opposite of sexually attractive -- it makes you look like an overgrown five-year-old who can't put its midriff away. So, non-Burners, let's all enjoy the fact that next week, we can all go to Dolores Park without having to bear witness to this affected nonsense.

2. No Unicycles in the Bicycle Lanes

unicycle.jpg
tubulocity.com

Anybody who traverses San Francisco via the medium of bicycle will tell you that the only thing more annoying than getting stuck behind suit-guy-on-a-Segway downtown is stumbling across idiot-on-a-unicycle in the Mission. Yes, yes, you've only got one wheel -- we get it, very clever. But your wobbly ass insisting on using a circus novelty act as a valid means of transport is wholly annoying for anyone else forced to share the road with you. Enjoy the desert this week; we'll enjoy our lovely, unencumbered bike lanes.

3. Risk of Smelly Dreadlock Contact Drastically Reduces

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Yesterday, beloved San Francisco DJ Richie Panic Tweeted: "Touched by a dreadlock." We don't know the context of the Tweet, but as people who are all too familiar with getting whipped in the face by crusty 'locks on Haight buses, we are amused. Accidental physical contact with a strangers' dreadlocks is about as pleasant as finding someone else's hair in your lunch. Not all dreadlocks are gross, not all dread-wearers are unwashed. But some of them are. And chances are they'll be at Burning Man next week, which means rush hour on Muni just got a little less stressful.

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26 comments
snow2crow
snow2crow

I would never go to Burning Man.  But, I don't hate those who do. Although I can't imagine why anyone would want to suffer in a scorching desert!   I'm not against Hula Hooping.  It can be good exercise.  I think that I should get a Hula Hoop in fact.  And I don't care what anybody thinks.

Duke
Duke

The definition of the word, "pretentious" is: Attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed.I fail to see where the article is attempting to impress anyone. The language is hyperbolic & somewhat provocative, but there is little prestige to be won by going after such an easy target.

Nonetheless, I can totally empathize with Ms. Alexandra as to why she uses this adjective because it's rather accurate. With the majority of burners I've encountered (I can easily estimate that number in the hundreds) whenever I've expressed my disinterest or indifference to their lifestyle pow-wow, they have uniformly resorted to the "you just don't understand" explanation... such encounters bear eerie similarities to discussions with fundamentalist Christians & Scientologists about the reasoning behind there beliefs. It's as though any opinion contrary to their own can't occupy equal space or value in the conversation, which is not only juvenile, but condescending & exceptionalist as well as pretentious. I am perfectly capable of comprehending the meaning of a given event & still not be the least bit compelled by it. Me having an opinion that doesn't validate your own doesn't make me "negative." It just means I hold to a different point of view. Not being the slightest bit interested in paying hundreds of dollars to "participate" in Burning Man doesn't make me a socially-conditioned automaton any more than being a non-Christian makes me a "lost sinner."

 

So, yeah... I totally understand... and I'm still not impressed. Sorry. P.S. I fail to see what's so reprehensible about "ghetto kid robot dancers down by the cable cars dancing for money." From what I've seen, those "ghetto" kids are very talented & I'm happy to put a dollar in when the hat gets passed. Is calling someone "ghetto" a convenient way of calling someone, "black" without actually saying it?    Wow... slick.

Josh Edelson
Josh Edelson

Just saw a naked man walking through downtown carrying a briefcase. Somebody forgot to buy a Burning Man ticket.

Cal Callahan
Cal Callahan

they didn't pick up all the mattresses and couches left on the curb in my neighborhood this year :(

Susan Ayoob
Susan Ayoob

I do prefer the city without them, I must say.

Meredith Obendorfer
Meredith Obendorfer

Don't tell my friends who are at BRC now, but it's always nice to have a quiet city (and this is one of the quietest times, along with the winter holiday week)!

Oneofmanyfirespinner
Oneofmanyfirespinner

Holy crap I just read the last two. You are a BIGGER pretentious egomaniac than any fire spinner. Shit the most pretentious thing I have ever come across in my life is this article... 

 

Again put down your hateraid and do some research. There is SO much more to burning man than the social stigmas and stereotypes you buy into. Honestly I feel sorry that you will never go because of your negativity. It may not be what it used to be, but the ritual and spirit of the festival is and always will be there through the commercialism.

 

Plus "Mutants" and "Mutant vehicles" relate to the group SPAZ inspired by TAZ. Go look up mutant fest 13 & 14... That is a truely horrible festivle filled with pretentious jerks that actually ended up with someone dieing my first camping festive from a psychedelic RC overdose on the 13th festival and the next year I did not go they where raided by the federal government officials. Nothing at all like the organization that goes into the temporary community of burning man that truely represents the temporary audio zone philosophies. 

 

Seriously get your facts together before you write more trash like this.

Oneofmanyfirespinner
Oneofmanyfirespinner

This article is essentially trash. Burning man is a huge part of the culture of our country and city. It is not just some festival in the desert where people go to do drugs... While it may be a big part of it. There is SO much more history to it that this writer obviously doesn't understand.

 

Why don't you put down your hater juice and acctually take some time to learn about something before talking trash about the many people apart of it and the aspects of it.

 

This comes from a firespinner who HATES your description of hula hoopers. At least they aren't ghetto kid robot dancers down by the cable cars dancing for money... Or the man playing his ipad synthesizer... At least they are just trying to have fun.

 

Why don't you get outside for once and see what this city really has to offer rather than being just another piece of trash dissing a culture that they can not understand and refuse to try.

Mitch Lopez
Mitch Lopez

No I'm not but glad they're leaving. More parking,more space at bars and restaurants. I wish they would stay at BRC indefinitely. ;)

Dee Dee Russell
Dee Dee Russell

No. Yes. Been there done that. More power to them all.

PapaPJ
PapaPJ

HA!

You're making fun of burning man!  

Oh!

Hee-hee, how, just how, incredibly....

 

Common...

Guest
Guest

The author obviously has issues to work through.

gabek
gabek

@amrucker Some day I’ll go to Burning Man and I’ll tell you all about it :)

StillwaitingtogotoBM
StillwaitingtogotoBM

 @snow2crow It is not a desert really it is a Playa. The Playa is like a watery surface that recedes its water during the time of burning man ( I was told this upon researching it seems dry year round. I was told at some times water will surface at random areas than recede in little patches. It may happen, but I don't know what the phenomenon is called). What is unique about the playa landscape is the REALLY fine particulate dust that will get into EVERYTHING you bring to burning man and stain it forever. Your car, your bags, everything in Ziploc bags, and even you. It is a true test of endurance along with other things. It really is whatever you want it to be.

StillwaitingtogotoBM
StillwaitingtogotoBM

 @Duke Just cause some burners are buttholes does not mean they all are. I do agree I have ran into my fair share of pretentious, egocentric, egotistical, and downright rude fire spinners.

 

Still if you just look at those people and shut out the whole entire practice and community because of them than yes you do not get it. You are closing your mind to the history and culture that is a part of the burner community. Would you hate painters because of some of egos that exist that community? What about musicians, businessmen, lawyers, teachers, etc.? If you are at that point you are pretty close to hating a race, gender, sex, age group, religion, etc. because you don't like the people you met that are a part of that culture without even understanding it. 

 

Fire spinning does not come from burning man, but many many many years of development through various cultures to become what it is today. Being apart of that beauty, that development, and being able to share it with others is what it is about. If you don't get it than you just don't get it. Still just because you don't understand something does not mean you should avoid it and spread hate towards it.

 

Love to Share life and Destroy the ignorant hate. It's all you need

amrucker
amrucker

@gabek I'd love to go for at least a night. The people I met on my train were fascinating!

Duke
Duke

 @StillwaitingtogotoBM  I never stated "every burner is a butthole." What I said was, "With the majority of burners I've encountered..." And if we were discussing painters, musicians, businessmen, lawyers, teachers, etc., I would then speak to the subject based on what has been my direct experience with said subject... which is all I've done -- nothing more than make an objective observation based on what has been my experience with those who identify as proponents of the culture being discussed. So, if I'm taking issue with anything, it would be with specific behaviors I've encountered which seem contradictory to the rhetoric. (It's difficult to take what someone has to say about "radical self-expression" seriously when they can't seem to allow others the space to express any opinion that does not validate their own.) And I'm not "spreading hate" towards anything. I'm describing what has been my experience & my point of view. Not being fascinated by something is a far, far cry from hating something. I can only form my point of view based on what has been my own experience, not someone else's. To do so would be ungenuine. Though I do not consider myself a part of the culture, I've had ample contact with it from multiple points & over a number of years. I know people who were at the very first burn. I know people who have been going every year for over 15 years. I've shared living space with a few of them. I know people who work for the event. I've attended other events associated with the festival. I'm well-aware of the history. I've heard the stories at least 5 times. I've read the literature. Trust me, I'm quite capable of grasping why some people find it so compelling. I'm just not one of them.

 

I have my own way of engaging "beauty & development" in my professional & personal life & fostering it in my relationships with others.:)

 

"Love to Share life and Destroy the ignorant hate. It's all you need"... all you need to do WHAT, exactly?Are you quoting a bumper sticker?I tend to reference Maslow's hierarchy when prioritizing needs.Base-to-peak it goes:•PHYSIOLOGICAL

Breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion•SAFETYSecurity of - body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health & property.

•LOVE / BELONGINGFriendship, family, sexual intimacy•ESTEEMSelf-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others•SELF-ACTUALIZATIONMorality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts... it gives no mention of platitudes.

 

Duke
Duke

 @dsanfrancis  I already engage in endeavors that enable me to understand & appreciate basic needs of survival. I call it "camping" & "big wave surfing." It doesn't involve 60,000 people or listening to music I don't like or a person riding on a water cart in case I forgot to keep adequately hydrated whilst in the desert. But that's kind of how I like it. From these things I am able to experience action for myself... enough to know that I don't have to put shit in my mouth to know for certain that I won't like the taste.

 

dsanfrancis
dsanfrancis

@Duke the logical mind seeks to define and it is with my experience in this world that things become more tangible. As with any story told to me, it is nothing more than a story. Until I experience action for myself, I never truly understand the significance (if any) of a given situation. Even sciences and religions are just regurgitated nonsense that we learn to accept as fact based on faith. If you haven't already, I wish that you may experience the higher levels of this "maslow's hierarchy" from a physical manifestation such as burning man. In our current state of distractions, being entirely your self almost feels like swimming against a stream. My personal experience from the festival has always been one of watching others, including myself, allow themselves to just "be," without judgement. With little use for mass media and an environment that forces people to go back to understanding the basic needs of survival, i find many to be shocked into reality. I watch people express their angers and joys and watch the situations that I'm in, perfectly melt into moments of revelation, harmony, and unconditional love. It is definitely what you take from it, like any situation. But to be stuck on things such as drugged up individuals, "hippie" mentality, or a pretentious/egocentric expression of someone else's experience will create just that. Allowing those ideas to become your own will definitely define it as such without actually experiencing it yourself. But maybe that's what you want, in which case you're definitely on the right track.

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