A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘burning man

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links: Yorkville, Burning Man, Rol San, 29 Dufferin, Cherry Street

  • The Toronto Star looks back at its coverage of Yorkville in the 1960s, back when it was a hangout spot for hippies.
  • Toronto Life shares photos of some Toronto-originated artworks put up at Burning Man this year, here.
  • blogTO notes that Rol San, a leading dim sum place in Chinatown, might be erased by a 13-story tower.
  • The crowding on the 29 Dufferin bus produced by the CNE is something I notice regularly. blogTO reports.
  • The Cherry Street Bridge, after a month, is finally going to be fixed. blogTO reports.

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

  • Bad Astronomer Phil Plait shows four different images of nearby stellar nursery NGC 1333.
  • Centauri Dreams looks at the hot Saturn TOI-197, and the way it was detected.
  • D-Brief notes how galaxy NGC-1052 DF2 has been confirmed as the second galaxy apparently lacking in dark matter.
  • Gizmodo notes new confirmation, from an orbiting probe, that Curiosity detected methane emanating from Mars back in 2013.
  • Hornet Stories tries to correct some misconceptions about the Burning Man festival.
  • The Island Review links to a New York Times profile of post-Maria Puerto Rico.
  • Joe. My. God. notes that Martin Shkreli has been tossed into solitary confinement.
  • JSTOR Daily notes the work of psychologists in the 1930s US who profiled individuals who did not fit the gender binary. Would these people have identified themselves as trans or non-binary now?
  • The LRB Blog notes the fondness of Jacob Rees-Mogg for extreme-right German politicians from the AfD.
  • Language Log shares a written ad in Cantonese from Hong Kong.
  • Lawyers, Guns and Money compares China now to the Untied States of the past, and finds interesting correspondences.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the deep and significant commitment of China under Mao to providing foreign aid.
  • The NYR Daily looks at the complex, once-overlooked, life and career of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, writer of “The Yellow Wallpaper”.
  • Out There notes that, while dark matter is certainly real, “dark matter” is a poor name for this mysterious substance.
  • Jason Davis at the Planetary Society Blog considers the challenges to be faced by Hayabusa 2 when it fires a sampling probe into asteroid Ryugu.
  • Starts With A Bang’s Ethan Siegel considers how into the universe a spaceship could travel if it accelerated consistently at one gravity.
  • Strange Company examines the life and adventures of Jeffrey Hudson, a royal dwarf in 17th century England.
  • Daniel Little at Understanding Society builds on the work of V.K. Ramachandran in considering the ethics of development ethnography.
  • Window on Eurasia notes the new identification of Azerbaijanis as victims of genocide by neighbours, and what this means for the relations of Azerbaijan.
  • Arnold Zwicky has fun, in a NSFW fanfic way, with figures from comics contemporary and old.

[LINK] “Why the Rich Love Burning Man”

The radical online magazine Jacobin features an article by Keith A. Spencer critical of the extent to which the rich apparently now dominate the Burning Man festival. Thoughts?

Burning Man grew from unpretentious origins: a group of artists and hippies came together to burn an effigy at Baker Beach in San Francisco, and in 1990 set out to have the same festival in a place where the cops wouldn’t hassle them about unlicensed pyrotechnics. The search led them to the Black Rock Desert.

Burning Man is very much a descendent of the counterculture San Francisco of yesteryear, and possesses the same sort of libertine, nudity-positive spirit. Some of the early organizers of the festival professed particular admiration for the Situationists, the group of French leftists whose manifestos and graffitied slogans like “Never Work” became icons of the May 1968 upsurge in France.

[. . .]

Participation sounds egalitarian, but it leads to some interesting contradictions. The most elaborate camps and spectacles tend to be brought by the rich because they have the time, the money, or both, to do so. Wealthier attendees often pay laborers to build and plan their own massive (and often exclusive) camps. If you scan San Francisco’s Craigslist in the month of August, you’ll start to see ads for part-time service labor gigs to plump the metaphorical pillows of wealthy Burners.

The rich also hire sherpas to guide them around the festival and wait on them at the camp. Some burners derogatorily refer to these rich person camps as “turnkey camps.”

Silicon Valley’s adoration of Burning Man goes back a long way, and tech workers have always been fans of the festival. But it hasn’t always been the provenance of billionaires — in the early days, it was a free festival with a cluster of pitched tents, weird art, and explosives; but as the years went on, more exclusive, turnkey camps appeared and increased in step with the ticket price — which went from $35 in 1994 to $390 in 2015 (about sixteen times the rate of inflation).

Black Rock City has had its own FAA-licensed airport since 2000, and it’s been getting much busier. These days you can even get from San Carlos in Silicon Valley to the festival for $1500. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg flew into Burning Man on a private helicopter, staying for just one day, to eat and serve artisanal grilled cheese sandwiches.

Written by Randy McDonald

August 27, 2015 at 7:52 pm