Introducing Moontroll's 2010 Burning Man/Get Found 2010 videos (double-feature!)

We're back....

We have succeeded in upgrading our website software and restoring the past 4 years of blog posts here on dBM. Hooray! Working on this fix, I realized how much good storytelling this dBM blog does of the past several burns: who we camped with, what projects we worked on, hurdles we faced and conquered and the larger Burner culture that informs and inspires us. Glad to have it working again, and with the new software, we’re going to be able to do some cool redesigning and adding new features over the coming months. Thanks for tuning in friends -- join us on our new group page on Facebook, drop us a line at [email protected] and feel free to make a donation to the ongoing development of dBM via Paypal in the sidebar.

Ritual, twisting logic, release, transformation, giving, synchronicity : A report from Burning Man

The Man: Humanity in Transformation
Story and photo by Eric Francis Coppolino

Editor's note: We read a lot of online media stories about Burning Man, most of them following the same sensational, overused storylines, most of them failing to capture the true soul of the gathering. This one from Chronogram magazine is a wonderful exception, and manages to hit on several themes we can relate to. It ruminate on the collective powers that get raised on the playa and positions the gathering in relation to mainstream society in an authentic and insightful way. The author knows what he's talking about, though we may not follow all of the astrological references, and we're thankful to read somebody else's thoughtful interpretation of Burning Man. (We bold-faced ideas that are especially meaningful to us.)

I spent a week in early September at something called Burning Man, a kind of festival in the Nevada desert held each Labor Day. The event takes its name from the burning of a giant neon and wooden effigy of a man, which is burned on Saturday night as 40,000 people gather around and watch. The photo above is the Man, which has become something of a cultural icon, now more than 20 years in circulation. Burning Man traces its history back to 1986, when the founder, Larry Harvey, burned an effigy of a man on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. The event was moved to the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada several years later and is now the annual meeting place of a far-reaching, extremely energetic subculture.

Astrology is about symbolism, and in this article I’d like to look at a few of the messages of the fire ceremony that’s at the center of this elaborate, creative project called Burning Man. I think for most people who participate, the theme is so intuitive, they don’t really think about it much. You get the message in the creative fire that surrounds the symbol; it comes across as real world. Given the freedom and the safe space to do so, women strip to the waist and walk around in public. Many guys wear skirts and tutus. Everything is connected to a concept, an idea, a game of twisting logic around into something sensible in a different way.

In effect, Burning Man grants many people permission to be who they are, and, in the absence of concrete knowledge, to test out some ideas of who they might be; and not have to worry too much about the legacy of who they were yesterday...

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Defining Moments, 2009

This Burn was my third (nonconsecutive) pilgrimage to the playa and the most powerful by far. Seeking a way to ground my energy and emotions upon returning to my homeground in the Pacific Northwest, I headed out to the San Juan Islands last weekend to visit two dear friends at their home on a cliff above the wild shore. I told stories about my experiences at the Burn for hours; a few days later, one of the friends commented "you seem humbled by your Burn this time around." That is a perfect description of my current state: humbled. Also: in awe. thankful. blessed. in love. connected. pregnant with possibilties. floating in a state of grace, not fully existing in this world or that.

"Tell us about one of your defining moments on the playa this year …" is the question John Curley posted on the
Burning Blog last week, and over 75 Burners fresh from their Black Rock City tenure answer with stories that are moving, hilarious, sacred, bittersweet, transformative and heartfelt. I connect to the thread of humility that is braided through the many impressions shared. I feel waves of playa-love pulsing through my newly-reinvigorated heart as I read these personal reflections. I hope you can feel them too, and I invite you to share your own defining moment in the comments at the end of the post.

* * * * * *
One evening early in the week, as the sun was setting, I walked out into the desert alone, behind BRC, where there was no one. I was utterly alone, no other humans near by. I asked my creator what I should do. My creator informed me that I must lose the costume first…and so away it went, layer by layer, and then the jewelry, and necklaces…all of it off, I stood completely naked, bathed in the blazing colors of the setting sun. I walked away from my belongings, and my footprints appeared in the cracks before me, before I stepped into them, the footprints appeared. They were already there, waiting for me to fill them. My body found a rhythm and I intuitively moved in a kind of slow ti-chi-yoga dance, that let my joints crack and free themselves of their restrictions. I have been in several accidents, have broken many bones and have limited range of motion, but I felt freed of all of it. Free of pain, regret, fear…..FREE. With my creator that evening, I found myself once again. A child, an embryo, a man, a woman, all together, all encompassing, a creative being of light….free to BE… as I was gifted this life to be.

Later that evening, a fellow burner gave me a bumper sticker that says ‘Fear is Funny’.

And I have not stopped smiling since.

* * * * * *

I decided to trek to the temple alone on Saturday afternoon after much debauchery. I was delivered into a dust storm on the way, and couldn’t see a single structure or living person at first. Rather than feeling worried it was the most peaceful experience of my life. Later, I would come apon pockets of people and art that would recede into the dust again like apparitions. I finally made it to the temple and cried like a little girl- for me, for loved ones, for everyone there. It was like my soul was wiped clean for the very first time. It was so stunning and surreal.

* * * * * *

Watching the temple burn with friends, we were awestruck when a phenomenal cellist humbly played next to us. We listened for a half hour while he drew all the sorrow, love, yearning and spirit of the temple through his strings, and then moved on. I am so grateful for that beautiful experience.

Also, I got to surrender to the moment many times this year – going with the flow, against my programming and typical behavior or responses, I got to experience immediacy more than I ever have before in 10 years of participating in Burningman. Here’s to playadipity!

* * * * * *

2 years ago I was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer. Last November, after a year of radiation and chemo I was told I only had ‘weeks or months’ to live. Being at Burning Man again this year was a triumph for me and an affirmation of life. When I put a message on the temple I started to cry because I suddenly realized I had changed from thinking about dieing to thinking about living. That was a moment I will never forget.

* * * * * *

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"but most of the time you went for it, you decided to be genuine, and it came right back at you"

photo by Ramona Mayhem

It’s like a memory now, isn’t it?

The dust is out of your hair and your clothes. You’ve been sleeping in your own bed again, and maybe you’ve been out to eat. And you’ve gone to the refrigerator in the middle of the night, and you’ve had whatever you damn well pleased, because you could.

And isn’t it sad?

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The Burn is Near

25 days until the Man burns in Black Rock City…and I won’t be there to see it.

I won’t be there to feel the nearly chaotic frenzy of energy, anticipation, and absolute freedom that comes as the energy reaches it’s peak and the city gathers around the burn pyre. I won’t be there to spin with abandon through the relentless soundblender of camps, people and art cars that covers the playa like an audio blanket. I won’t be at Burning Man this year and I know that I’m not alone. There will only be two of the four Broke Dudes representing Destination Burning Man...
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The Green Man Trilogy and reflections at the Burnal Equinox

DJ Playaduster just posted the third and final installment in The Green Man Trilogy podcast series -- you can stream it over at the podcast page right this very moment!

The story starts with the mix entitled
DISORIENTATION, a sonic sound collage made up of DJ sets, conversations and weird late night soundings that were wild-harvested from Black Rock City and the open playa using a digital soundstick during Burning Man 2007. The piece represents the blissful confusion and spun-out enlightenment that can occur when one travels the city, on foot or bike, through the night until daybreak. It attempts to recreate the mad mash-up of noise that engulfs you everywhere you travel.

REORIENTATION follows, naturally, and it charts a musical course meant to symbolize the soul-navigation that must occur when one leaves the playa, with dust in one's pockets and new fire in one's heart, and begins to reassimilate back in to your daily life at home, work and in relationships. Featuring sporadic commentary from Hekter McElliott, as he attempts to explain his Yvonda version 2.0/Marsupial Thumbdrive theories, this mix also reflects the musical evolution that Playaduster underwent at Burning Man (to sample the range of influences, see DISORIENTATION!)

And so, finally, we arrive at the third chapter,
REINTEGRATION. While careful listening will reveal the musical landscape to be in kinship with the groove of REORIENTATION, the tone and tenor of the conversations and philosophizing takes a distinct turn as Playaduster and Edubious look back and reflect upon the crucible experiences of the Burn.click for more…

moontroll & ramona mayhem's 2007 reports now online

Check out the latest additions to the What is Burning Man page : Field reports from Burning Man 2007 as told by Ramona Mayhem and Moontroll. You can grok them right here...

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Hekter's 2007 Green Man report

In an attempt to catch a bit of the cosmic whirlwind and bottle it up like a dusty tincture, Hekter has produced a lengthy stream-of-consciousness report from his experience at Burning Man 2007...
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Saturday Sunrise at the Temple

Moontroll's second movie, built from video footage, photos and audio field recordings gathered on-playa at Burning Man 2007, is complete and ready for your eyeballs!

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Life's been a whirlwind for the Three Broke Dudes upon returning to the Default World. There was barely time to process our experiences in the desert before we got swooped up by the flow of our routines...

This blog is gonna be pretty quiet through the winter. This whole website is due for an overhaul to reflect the fact that we did indeed make it to Burning Man this year, along with Bellingham's kick-ass Boogie Universal crew and the ill-fated Boogie Pyramid. Did I mention that it collapsed in the first giant dust storm on Thursday? Turned out to be but a simple wrinkle in our plans: we rolled up the wreckage, set it to the side, dug some sand out of our ear holes and partied on. Took the Boogie out underneath the stars, and we're probably all the better for it.

Did I mention that the Three Broke Dudes became the Four? So many tales to tell...

While there might not be moment to moment updates and reports as during the months and weeks leading up to the Burn, we are working with the raw materials that we collected on the playa -- photos, audio field recordings, video, stories, sand, soulsauce reductions -- and plan on sharing what we craft with our friends, fellow Boogiers and Burners and random wanderers to this here website. In other words, Edubious, moontroll and Hekter will be writing stories, making movies and slideshows, mixing podcasts and the like over the dark nights of winter and posting them here and there across the digital spectrum at destinationburningman.com. This blog will make note as to when something is new, and tell you where to find it too (right now, there is a short docudrama film that moontroll made to give respects to the dust storms and double rainbow being hosted on
YouTube right here; he's hard at work on another film following the rise and fall of the Boogie Pyramid and Edubious is halfway done mixing up his musical response to his first Burn in podcast form...stay tuned.)

We also invite you to share your creations, memories and tall tales from the Green Man on this website. Contact us at [email protected] with your ideas, links to your Burning stuff, hallucinations, music mixes, whatever...

Stay in touch!

Back Home

sweet photo by Ramona Mayhem

The Three Broke Dudes have each made it safely back from Burning Man!

As you might have noticed, we haven't updated the dBM blog much since getting back -- I've received a number of emails from readers following the journey asking, "Well, Three Broke Dudes, how did it go?!? What happened with the Boogie Pyramid? Did you see the Man burn early?" etc. etc.

Well, it has been a rough transition for each of us fitting back in to our lives here at home. We're still processing the experience & trying to integrate some of the lessons in to our day-to-day. So, be patient. The storytelling will come. But we're gonna need some time....

Moontroll's Return

Great to see everybody announcing their returns back home -- all safe & sound, if not whacked out, dusty and scrambling for a foothold in this default world...

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Hekter's Return

Hey der Boogiers..

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Edubious' Return

What's up Brothers and Sisters!

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