Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Birmingham Trailer Park

You guys!  Great news!  For any of you that have not been going to Burning Man because it's too difficult, too hot, or too stressful, it's not anymore!  It's super easy now, and you should all go!  I agree that in the past, Burning Man used to be this totally exclusionary event where you had to know somebody that went to even find out about it, and then when you got there it was really gross desert weather with dust storms and sunburn, and the event organizers didn't even provide bathrooms and you were supposed to take care of yourself and it was impossible to find your way around because there were no permanent location markers and privacy was nowhere to be found so you had to spend a week with people up your business even when you showered if you could even call it a shower since you at most had a rubber bag with a watering can-esque nozzle to sprinkle water on you.  But now it's not like that (there've been well marked roads and port-o-pots for years)!  Now absolutely anyone can go and have a good time! Isn't that great?!?

First off, let me tell you about how Burning Man now radically includes everyone.  Before, if you wanted to learn about the festival, you really needed to know someone who went, be an esoteric (poor) artist, or a reader obscure zines.  That's not the case anymore!  Any semi-savvy online-media enthusiast knows all about the festival just by following their favorite celebs on Instagram.  This is a very camera-friendly event (and why not, since everyone looks so fab), and it has really opened the event up to a whole new world of attendees, and I think it's great.

Secondly, BMorg has done a great job of making tickets available for everyone.  Not only have they steadily increased festival capacity (38,989 in 2006 vs. 70,000 in 2016), they've created special ticket tiers so that the people who really want to go to the festival actually can!  This year (2017), aside from the free-for-all ticket lottery that sells tickets for $425 a pop, there was a pre-sale of tickets priced at either $990 or $1,200.  Isn't that great?  Now the people who aren't just passive attendees, people who really care and need to be at Burning Man, have a chance to buy a ticket with a price as great as their love for the festival.  Here's a link to ticketing information if you want to learn more!

Third, the desert has been conquered!  Listen, only a sucker doesn't take an RV to Burning Man.  Don't be a sucker!  After you get your ticket, the next two things you need to do are: 1) get your $80 parking permit, and 2) get your hands on a sweet RV.  Once you have an RV, life is magical.  No more roasting in the sun, no more lack of air conditioning, no more dust storms, no more public toilets, no more mandatory interaction with neighbors, no more conditions unbefitting of a vacation!  Great!

Image taken from Van Fleet News Blog

Fourth, and kind of a big one, there are public showers!  Two years ago, there is usually a dance party shower camp, and two years ago there was even a Dr. Bronner's foam party shower camp!  Sure, they're a little creepy because people get to see you naked, but still, you get clean and you don't have to worry about disposing of gray water.  Great Win-Win-Slight Lose.

Finally, and maybe news to some, the hippies have taken over with their friendly-first attitudes!  Most people think Burning Man has always been a hippie festival, but it didn't used to be.  People used to aggressively protect assholery by calling it their "freedom of expression", but now there's a passive calm permeating the desert.  I'd like to think this has something to do with ticket price related gentrification, but it could also have to do with increased accessibility in general as most people are good people, so the more people at an event, the more good people there will be to spread good.  Right?  There's no more need to worry about someone calling you out just because you didn't have time to make a costume so either you didn't bring one at all or you just bought one on the way.  Just do what makes you happy, even if those things are visors and polo shirts!  The event really couldn't be more greatly welcoming and accepting.

Some would say that a trailer park is always a trailer park, and that no matter how much you polish that turd, it's still a trailer park.  I believe that Burning Man has proven those people wrong.  👍👍

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