Re: Throw Off Your Chains

1

My experience has been that disposable razors today are so vastly superior to those of my first shaving days as to justify the expense, but I suppose I just have sensitive skin and sensibilities.

(I tried a cutthroat razor once: it was a study in scarlet.)


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:23 PM
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I started with the kind of razors that advertising dollars are spent on, and shaving cream - being a little insecure, in recollection, about the whole shaving thing. At some point I realized shaving cream seemed to be no better than soap. Then soap no better than hot water. And a couple of years ago I took the last step and moved to buying disposable safety razors in twelve-packs. I still use them for a month each, which may be a little long, there's a bit of burn toward the end, but a month is a good mnemonic.

My skin is still pretty soft; maybe more tech helps later in life?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:31 PM
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I use a safety razor without any shaving cream, as I have since puberty.

Also I was one of the people that went shampoo and soap free that summer. My hair got kind of big and voluminous but was otherwise fine. Mostly I started to find showers too short and decided I liked the ritual.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:32 PM
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I still use soap every day, but I only shampoo weekly. And I use a cartridge razor but I re-hone (in on it) so that it lasts a couple months. I find shaving cream works a bit better than water and only costs about half of a cent a shave. I use it at home but don't bother when I travel.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:33 PM
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This is all insane, and Ogged's skin is either naturally oily and self-lubricating (possible) or he looks and smells like a homeless person (possible) or both. The problem with no soap is that you are not clean and smell. The problem with no cream/safety razor is that you're running a huge likelihood of nicks. The problem with no shampoo is that eventually you look homeless, though I'm willing to concede that a daily shampoo is unecessary for most. Don't listen to this, fools, everyone will be laughing at you.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:38 PM
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By "this" I mean Ogged. Everyone if you hippie-curious morons should listen to ME.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:39 PM
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Every! One! Of! You morans!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:40 PM
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I use a safety razor and it's fine (I do use shaving cream, but if I had a non-fogging mirror I probably wouldn't). I also shampoo like once every two months or so and it's fine. Short version: it's fine.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:41 PM
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I could have written OP. No soap, rare shampoo, cheap razor, water shave. And I think my skin is better for it.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:44 PM
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It's eminently possible that many of you look terrible and smell awful.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:47 PM
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Keep fucking supporting that chicken economy, Tiger.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:49 PM
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I had miserable failures with the no-shaving-cream approach with my safety razor. Mileage really does vary.

Shampoo is definitely a racket, though.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:49 PM
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6, 7, 8, 10: Fist bump.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 2:57 PM
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I smell delicious and am cute as a button.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 3:10 PM
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13: Don't kid yourself; you're in bro hug territory.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 3:15 PM
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Trust me. You'd want to cuddle but I'd politely scoot away.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 3:17 PM
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Soap is generally not great for skin, there are other ways to address filth, makeup removal and or smelliness. I'm a big fan of cold cream and a washcloth, so cheap especially if you buy generic, and excellent for removing makeup and in general for the skin.

For dandruff you might consider massaging in some AHA exfoliant lotion, leave it on for a half hour or so and rinse out. I use the inexpensive stuff in unglamorous packaging from the Kaiser pharmacy on the kid, works great. You don't need to shampoo afterwards unless you feel like it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 3:17 PM
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The problem with no cream/safety razor is that you're running a huge likelihood of nicks.

Not me. Maybe a few times a year.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 3:53 PM
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Since I discovered the joint deployment of Bumble and Bumble dry shampoo and wet wipes I started showering about twice a week. It's fine.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 3:55 PM
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If you like or find it necessary to use shaving cream this stuff is great and relatively reasonably priced: http://www.nancyboy.com/premium-shave-cream/

In general this is a good brand if you like decent skin stuff not stupidly packaged or priced. Although to be honest all anyone really needs is cold cream, petroleum jelly and a very strong sunscreen.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:00 PM
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I feel like people who nick themselves regularly just need to learn how to shave better. I can (quickly) grow a thick just-below-the-eyes-to-just-above-the-collar-bone beard and the only times I nick myself shaving are times when I get distracted and do something dumb like moving the razor parallel to the ground or forgetting that I have a chin.

Also the safety razors that take those double sided razor blades are great because of how wildly inexpensive the blades are compared to anything else. Also you can go two or three months on a single blade (at least!) if you're manly about it.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:05 PM
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Washing your face with oil and a wash cloth is pretty great. You can swipe toner over it in summer and nothing in winter. In the mornin just splash your face with water.

I must my face with flower water mixed with glycerine. Right now I'm using neroli water that J bought at the supermarket.


Posted by: Bostonian girl | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:21 PM
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Usually, if I nick myself, I figure its time to switch to a less rusty razor.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:33 PM
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That's what I do. Cuts or a pimple and I hone the blade. Happens again, I toss it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:34 PM
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I cannot imagine this, not least because at this time of year I am desperate to get the sunscreen off of me by the end of the day. Just thinking about trying to get it off with water alone gives me the willies.

Washing your hair every day, on the other hand -- even as a teenager I thought that was a marketing gimmick. Three times a week is fine for me.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:54 PM
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20.1: Those are $20. California has a different idea of "reasonable." Barbasol is like a buck a can.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:54 PM
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Yes, it's true. You can be 100% all-natural and 100% odor free at the same time.

Well, colour me sceptical. These two apparently equally laudable goals do seem a bit mutually exclusive to me.

To be 100% all-natural is to give off a body odour (is to smell, in other words, as we say in this our rarefied atmosphere of all-too-delicate flowers). To aspire to be 100% odor free is already to buy into the delicate-flower ideology, and anyway it's not possible without soaps and dyes and harsh chemicals.

Be real; or be non-offensive from an olfactory point of view.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:55 PM
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Also, 25.1 is right. I don't use sunscreen, but "water only" is nuts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:55 PM
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I came up with my theory of skin care around the same time I was starting to experiment with making my own sourdough starter. The way sourdough works, without getting spoiled, is that, over time, if you keep feeding it, you develop strong strains of bacteria and yeast that are very well adapted to their environment (a blob of wet flour), to the point where, if any other microorganism tries to grow there, it will be quickly driven out as it is out-competed by the thriving bacteria that has established itself as ruler of the roost.

So, you got to treat your skin like you would that wet blob of flour, and encourage the growth of beneficial, healthy bacteria, so they are strong enough to kick the asses of any other, less desirable microorganisms that want to try to colonize your skin. Which means you got to be good to your bacteria.

That means hitting your skin with soap or rubbing alcohol is right out, because that will do a bunch of damage to all your little beneficial bacteria allies, and to the skin oils on which they thrive. Just rinse down with a bunch with water on a frequent basis, scrub with a wet washcloth when you need to, and everything should be good to go.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:57 PM
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Do you use soap to wash your hands, Ogged? You know, in case I ever make it to one of these meet ups again.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 4:58 PM
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27 - Well, in fairness they didn't say "100% of the day" too.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:00 PM
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Safety razors are the way to go. I like the way my shaving cream smells (Musgo Real), and it makes shaving more comfortable and less dangerous, if only a little. Not too high a price to pay, in money and time, for a small but significant improvement. I have to believe the same is true about using soap in the shower.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:01 PM
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29 - Wait, wouldn't that just mean you had cultivated a bacterial colony that could stand soap or rubbing alcohol? I mean, it's not like anyone in the world is running around without bacteria all over/inside them.

Also things like sourdough/etc. mostly work by make the local climate inhospitable to anything else (like beer, or sourdough), or by specializing in inhospitable situations (pickles). It's less that they're good at fighting off other things, and more that they're good at living in things that cause other bacteria trouble. I mean, it seems like a process likely to lead to a kind of boozy, sour smelling face which, I think, is generally undesirable.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:07 PM
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Roberto is right. What the hell are you psychos doing?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:08 PM
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And why would soap-resistant bacteria smell worse?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:08 PM
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It's a Nietzschean thing.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:11 PM
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I've always assumed he smelled bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:12 PM
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German + Philosopher + Epic mustache. Combined, that's at least a 95% probability of bad BO.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:15 PM
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http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/05/25/magazine/my-no-soap-no-shampoo-bacteria-rich-hygiene-experiment.html?_r=0&referrer=

Read it and be intrigued/shudder!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:24 PM
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You people are all suckers; I stopped listening to Big Water years ago. A few good naked rolls in my sandbox, some minimal scrubbing and I am good to go.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:33 PM
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All you need.


Posted by: Opinionated Chinchilla | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 5:45 PM
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Do you use soap to wash your hands, Ogged

I do. Perhaps I'm weak.

Be real; or be non-offensive from an olfactory point of view.

Strictly speaking, probably right, but for practical purposes, water (and some natural deodorant) get you almost all the way there. Even on days that I don't use deodorant, I don't stink, but I do have a bit of an odor.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:10 PM
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Deodorant uses you, man.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:17 PM
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Even on days that I don't use deodorant, I don't stink

Ogged, people can't properly smell themselves. It's like how you can't taste your own spit. And the people who tell you that you're fine are either inured to your odor or are too polite to tell you how terrible, how very horrifying, you smell.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:21 PM
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Wait, whose spit can I taste?!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:26 PM
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Team ogged is present on the bus. Or maybe it's me after twelve hours, much of it in the heat.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:27 PM
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Both my wife and mother would love to tell me I stink, but both concede I don't.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:30 PM
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That covers "polite" but not "inured", unless you don't see them often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:35 PM
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Speaking of inured and bad smells, it's cigarette girl night. Going into bars to promote cigarettes is still a job, but they can only give you coupons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 6:39 PM
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My colleague tried that too, since showering is something he only does every few days. When we took him aside for the awkward talk it went like this:

"hey, dude, you may not realize this but you smell pretty bad and you might want to do something about it to make your colleagues happier"

"Nope. I'm good."

So I'm waiting for the double-blind study? Strangely, "I tried it and I totally don't smell bad" is less than compelling.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:04 PM
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This really depends on hair type. I have superfine hair that gets greasy near the scalp after a day and looks dull. I wash it every other day or every third day, and that's already because at heart I am a dirty hippy. I made my own shampoo in high school, with dish soap, vinegar, and mayonnaise. It worked really well and had a lovely lather but my hair smelled like a chemistry lab. My boyfriend has the world's coarsest hair (he's Italian/Armenian), and he gave up shampoo about 9 months ago (he wets it once a month). He also doesn't use deodorant, which I tolerate by telling myself he is European. I started shaving with using just water, and I find using conditioner or shaving cream does make a difference when the razor is dull. Honestly we probably over wash ourselves, but I'm not sure about never using soap. I suppose some people can get away with it, though I wouldn't peg "hairy middle eastern man" as the type that could.

OT: Biathletes seem to be pretty hot across both sexes, and they wear all spandex. Also skiing + shooting is sexy. I don't get why this sport is not more popular in the US. Would it be bigger if they used semiautomatic weapons?


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:05 PM
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I've had mayonnaise in my hair before, but never on purpose.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:08 PM
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Make it automatic weapons and rocket skis and I think you'd have something that would work.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:11 PM
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Also none of this "alternating" stuff. Just shoot as you go by.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:12 PM
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I bought a placenta hair mask once, just because. There are also products marketed as hair mayonnaise and my favorite deep conditioner, HAIR CHOLESTEROL. Since the older girls have locs, they don't use much conditioner because it can cause unraveling, but in general I believe curly hair is going to be thirsty for oils and conditioners and stripping it frequently with shampoo is counterproductive.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:12 PM
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51: the boyfriend seems like the ideal candidate for the biome-y spray discussed in the link at 39, and might reduce the smell. You are a tolerant soul, buttercup!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:15 PM
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How does "water only" work for feet. Asking for a friend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:19 PM
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All trolling/provocation aside, not using soap is an easy call. If you use hot water and use your hands to scrub your body, you'll come out of the shower as non-stinky as if you'd used soap. I promise. It did take my skin about a week of oiliness to adjust to not having soap, but since then it feels and looks better. Every post I've seen about giving up soap/shampoo has been unequivocal about the benefits of ditching soap. The success of giving up shampoo seems to depend a lot more on skin/hair type. Even so, you'd probably be better off with various old-fashioned hair cleanses than shampoo. And the shaving stuff, meh, do what you like. There's not really a "natural" shaving method, but I do enjoy not paying Gillette a million dollars.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:22 PM
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Somebody keeps playing The Smiths, which may be on topic.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:23 PM
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OT, I need some advice. My friend, who is also my co-worker, is set to give birth in a few weeks. She's already had a baby shower with her friends, which I attended, and most of the gifts from her registry have been purchased. The office is also throwing her a shower, and I'd like to get her something for her, rather than for the baby, just for a change. Any ideas? Nothing too personal, since this is going to be at work (and I have a creepy co-worker, so I try to avoid doing anything that might draw unwanted comment).


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:25 PM
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I don't get why this sport is not more popular in the US

Because no one gets hurt. Also, the cross-country skiing leg motion is prissy, and spandex on guys is suspicious.

Happy to help.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:27 PM
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60: Figure how to put three hours of sleep in a box.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:31 PM
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Soap?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:31 PM
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Any ideas?

Offer to babysit for a date night, or pay for a one-time house cleaning.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:33 PM
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61

American men need to embrace the sexiness of spandex and short shorts. Ideally, spandex short shorts. Willingness to wear tight pants is 99.9% of why European men are sexier than American men. Cargo shorts and (shudder) board shorts on the beach are -10000000 sexy points. They are the male equivalent of a burqa, but less sexy.

56
Yeah. He does use soap and shower daily, but he's pungent by the evening. I do have to say it's not a terrible smell, and it's fine now that I'm used to it. The pheremones are probably sexy to me.

60
What about a traditional "pamper yourself" gift like bubble bath or some fancy moisturizer? Or one of those bath massage brushes? Or a nice bottle of liquor, if she drinks? I think you can drink a bit while breastfeeding.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:35 PM
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I guess I'm suggesting a Ken Burns tape, but don't do that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:36 PM
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Seriously, if I were world dictator male speedo wearing would be mandatory at the beach. This could also work with Halfordismo, since everyone would be fit on their paleo diet.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:37 PM
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63

My grandmother (the one I don't normally write about) said giving soap as a gift is taboo.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:38 PM
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I already think biathalon (and modern pentathalon) are pretty rad. But something with semiautomatics where they hunted down running caribou would be way better, or maybe paintball guns and teams of hunters/hunted. Just spitballing here.

60 -- gift certificate for restaurant/movie theater plus a promise to pay for 1 night babysitting from Westside Sitters.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:42 PM
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Oh, I like the idea of getting a gift certificate from a babysitting service. Maybe that and a bottle of Milagro. This has been helpful. Thanks, smellies!


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:47 PM
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60

Or, a massage gift certificate.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:48 PM
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if I were world dictator male speedo wearing would be mandatory at the beach.

What?! No. I cannot even begin to express my sense of horror;. or, more politely, my deep-seated sense of disapprobation. Let's leave a little bit to the imagination, shall we? And let's agree that some stuff is perhaps not even worthy of our best imaginative efforts. Jaysus.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:48 PM
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71 posted before I saw 70. That sounds like a good gift.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:49 PM
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Canada prefers to sublimate some things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:51 PM
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You people are barbarians. Smelly barbarians. I shower here twice a day, mit soap. I have to shower in the evening when I get home from work because it's just so hot and humid here I feel all sticky and uncomfortable and can't get to sleep. And soap because what's the point otherwise?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 7:58 PM
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So maybe I should ask who here uses a strigil?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:00 PM
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And what they use it for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:01 PM
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I came up with my theory of skin care around the same time I was starting to experiment with making my own sourdough starter.

This may be the hippiest sentence ever typed. Far out. Peace, man.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:04 PM
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I switched to Dorco cartridge razors, which are both significantly less expensive than Gillette and have six motherfucking blades.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:05 PM
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I also use a shaving brush made from some poor beaver and either a bar soap or an expensive nice-smelling thing in a tin, but that's just an affectation.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:07 PM
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a gift certificate from a babysitting service

Probably a minority/insane position, but I'd never use something like that (we don't know these people), which is why I suggested offering to babysit, since you're friends.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:07 PM
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65.1 is probably the most anti- and un-american comment ever posted here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:08 PM
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82

When the Revolution comes, you'll be the first to a re-education camp. There will be spandex leggings and 24 hour Eurovision streaming. If you show contrition, you might be allowed to mix it up with some biathalon competitions.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:12 PM
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I can't remember when I started routinely washing my hands after getting home but it seems to have corresponded to a big drop in getting colds or the flu.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:14 PM
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81. I think a gift certificate would be better, because she would be more likely to use it -- she might be unwilling to ultimately take me up on the offer to babysit, because she would feel like it was an imposition. Also, I don't want to babysit, ew.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:16 PM
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78 yeah, "barbarians" sounds too cool. You're all a bunch of dirty, smelly, greasy hippies. But this is a safe space, I won't judge.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:19 PM
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I was just at resort area in German/Switzerland/Austria, and literally about 30% of the men I saw were wearing cargo shorts. (This is actually true. M and I had several conversations about it, and counted off the people around us.) It was a big disappointment.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:20 PM
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Next up from Buttercup: Cristiano Ronaldo: the manliest of men.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:22 PM
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I'm with ogged on the gift and stranger babysitter I'd also never use.

A certain amount of smell from your own guy is great. But also boyfriend just seems perfect as he's already soapless. Get him to try it and report back!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:24 PM
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"literally about"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:24 PM
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I already think biathalon (and modern pentathalon) are pretty rad. But something with semiautomatics where they hunted down running caribou would be way better, or maybe paintball guns and teams of hunters/hunted.

C'mon, atlatls are the only way to go. Jeez, what's happened to the blog?

Hunting caribou with atlatls from ekranoplans, no there's a sport.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:31 PM
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91

If I can be in charge of uniform design, I'm down with that.

88

Cristiano Ronaldo does get the ladeez' loins tingly, even though he has resting smug face. This is an objective fact, I'm a (social) scientist!


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:41 PM
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The thing about American men is that our homophobia trumps our heterosexuality.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:45 PM
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I have long given up understanding Buttercup's inscrutable non-midwestern, Portlandian Scandinavian ways.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:51 PM
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I'm going to have to sign up for team Tigre here. Maybe the SAHD guys who swim for exercise can get away with that no soap insanity but some of us are putting on the Kevlar for 8-10 hours in the summer heat and the undershirt at the end of the night totally has that vinegar thing going on. I know your forehead threatens to glisten after some laps in the pool but out on the blacktop in the body armor the sweat rolls off you. It drenches your shirt and you feel it roll down your legs, with the small mercy of you knowing to wear absorbent socks that catch it before it gets into your boots. Soap isn't optional at the end of that nonsense. Ditto for anyone doing certain types of workouts. Any kind of boxing or jiujitsu often means getting ridiculously sweaty.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 8:58 PM
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Free your mind from dogma, copper. You assume you need the soap, but you don't.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:10 PM
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96: Dude, in addition to the sweat it's a never ending tale of manhandling IV drug users. Today the charming* young man with the neck tattoo in the stolen mid 90's Honda had both meth and heroin tucked into his waistband. No soap? That's not happening.

*He really was very decent. I could tell at the outset he was thinking about running. He changed his mind and stayed cool. I told him I noticed and we had a laugh. It's too hot for that shit. Dumbass needs to quit driving around cars he gets from his baby mama, who likes to trick roll guys for a car.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:21 PM
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Surprised the guys who get trick rolled for a car ask you guys to get the car back. Depends on the car I guess.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:23 PM
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98: They rarely say it up front, but sometimes you can get them to talk about it if you know what you're looking for.

That particular girl recently gave us all a good laugh by taking off with a car that belonged to a low level meth dealer. 2006 Chrysler 300, owner was dumb enough to let her spend the night and pay for some meth with her pussy. He'd spent way too much on rims and a custom paint job on that car and tried to tell use it was worth 50K. Get a grip you fucking asshole, you're smoking meth, not LSD.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:31 PM
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If I shower ("rinse") without soap, I can smell my own stink before I can even get clothes on. Literally. Ogged may or may not be delusional, but his experience certainly doesn't apply universally.

Meanwhile, I find that a really intense workout, especially in summer, seems to somehow purge my pits, and, pre-shower at least, I stink less than I did before the workout. But a really intense workout for me generally involves a sleeveless top and arms away from my sides, so that's clearly part of it--no enclosed space for stink propagation.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:40 PM
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87: why is that a disappointment? Were you under some misapprehension that Germanic men were fashionable? AB laughs and laughs.

Also, what's with all the cargo short hatred? I get that they're all 1999 or whatever, but this is literally the third cargophobic comment I've read this week, and I can't recall ever having read any before. Is Trump wearing them or something?


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:44 PM
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You can't just let the water flow over you. You have to scrub with your hands. And the water has to be hot.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:45 PM
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To further yall's education in this nonsense, there's two big non legit "auto thefts", we run into pretty regular. The everlasting "trick roll", where the hooker takes the keys and the car while the john is in the shower/bathroom, and the "rock rental", whose name might vary by regional/area drug of choice. Rock rentals are basically an addict lending his car to someone in exchange for drugs, who then feigns surprise when the car then doesn't promptly return. They then fake some kind of auto theft report.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:47 PM
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101 was me

79: intrigued. I've heard the two well-known online shaving companies make shitty, shitty cartridges, but I'm certainly up for recommendations.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:48 PM
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Cargo shorts are vile and I make sure even my one year old never wears them. He also bathes with soap, so he's now more attractive than most of you fools.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:48 PM
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105 doesn't explain the sudden hate. I mean, slim shorts have been in for, what, ten years?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:49 PM
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102: and can you explain to me how I can swallow food without choking?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:50 PM
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So is Ogged claiming that soap doesn't result in cleaner hands than just rubbing? Or are hand germs more tenacious the pit germs?

Less sarcastically, are you using washcloths? Because wet skin on wet skin isn't super frictiony.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 9:59 PM
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87

Germans are bad dressers. They're only slightly better than American midwesterners. It's a similar aesthetic, and it's just the Euro je ne sais quoi that keeps them delving into the exact same depths.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 10:03 PM
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Lee Perry tonight: "Piss is the healer -- Piss, Christine Keeler"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 10:07 PM
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There seems to be a wave of hatred toward cargo shorts on the content farms recently. This thing in particular. It's an example of how internet writers think they are making fun of things that a dad would do (itself a questionable priority), but in reality are making fun of what Americans who aren't rootless cosmopolitan urbanites do.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:02 PM
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111

If spandex leggings were mandatory for all American men, then we wouldn't have snotty buzzfeed articles making fun of people's short choices.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:08 PM
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In that world, Buzzfeed would try to post an article saying "Dear men, stop wearing spandex leggings", but it would be censored by the same authoritarian government that mandated spandex leggings in the first place.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:12 PM
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111 -- wrong. Cargo shorts are what disgusting, despicable morons do. Real Americans are fine wearing either jeans or non-gross shorts. Looks good with a bloatee, though.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:31 PM
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It's an example of how internet writers think they are making fun of things that a dad would do (itself a questionable priority), but in reality are making fun of what Americans who aren't rootless cosmopolitan urbanites do.

I'm not sure these are actually in that much tension. While rootless cosmopolitan urbanites can certainly be fathers, with a whole bunch of associated baggage about raising kids in gentrifying/gentrified urban neighborhoods, it's not clear that they're going to transition into being "dads" in the current cargo-short-wearing suburban sense.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:35 PM
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It's just such bullshit. If you go to eg the JC Penny website 90% of the men's shorts are non-cargo, so this isn't some real American v rootless cosmopolitan thing (despite claims of faux populist blog-commenting on rootless cosmopolitan website). It's a gross idiot v non-gross idiot thing.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:38 PM
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I dunno, man. Going to the JCPenney website to check the relative proportion of different types of shorts doesn't seem consistent with either "real American" or "rootless cosmopolitan" status.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:42 PM
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Most shorts you can get at Walmart, including the ones that cost $5, are non-cargo. Fuck the notion that this is some coastal hipster only thing.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:44 PM
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RAGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:46 PM
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Okay, but to the extent I understand Buttercup's point, it's not about cargo shorts per se so much as about the unpopularity of spandex shorts (and, potentially, other styles of shorts that reveal enough to indulge lecherous straight women and/or gay men).


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:50 PM
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Oh, that's true. No real American man wears spandex shorts. Actually wtf is she talking about, my gym is full of super attractive dudes but when they wear spandex shorts they look -- like they're working out, but not great. Just wear regular shorts if you're going to wear shorts at all in non-workout settings, motherfuckers.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:55 PM
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Oh, that's true. No real American man wears spandex shorts. Actually wtf is she talking about, my gym is full of super attractive dudes but when they wear spandex shorts they look -- like they're working out, but not great. Just wear regular shorts if you're going to wear shorts at all in non-workout settings, motherfuckers.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:55 PM
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Oh, that's true. No real American man wears spandex shorts. Actually wtf is she talking about, my gym is full of super attractive dudes but when they wear spandex shorts they look -- like they're working out, but not great. Just wear regular shorts if you're going to wear shorts at all in non-workout settings, motherfuckers.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:55 PM
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So nice I said it thrice, bitches!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:56 PM
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I dunno, man. Seems like overcompensating, in a way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09- 9-15 11:57 PM
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Fuck everyone! I'm driving this big rig to Mexico!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:00 AM
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I wear shorts shorts, but not short shorts, if you catch my drift.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:00 AM
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121 et al

You're wrong. Spandex is hott. You're not attracted to men, therefore are ignorant in these matters. FWIW spandex body suits are hotter than spandex shorts. Spandex briefs (i.e. speedos) are also hotter. Running shorts are hot too. Someday I'll release a hierarchy of bottoms. Suffice to say it goes something like: spandex leggings >> speedos >> spandex/running shorts >>> everything else >> cargo pants >> board shorts.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:39 AM
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Did anyone click through to Ogged's deodorant link? Jungleman? Really???


Posted by: Count Fosco | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:19 AM
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70: Baby gift thread: my friends wouldn't have left their new baby with anyone, including me and their parents, much less a service. My recommendation is gift certificates for food delivery. Not fancy, but practical and almost certain to be used.

128: Maybe I'm the wrong kind of scientist (or less attracted to men?!), but no. Really.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:22 AM
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There is a certain kind of hot humid stinky day where I don't feel like I ever get free of body odor with my regular, plain shea butter soap. I've been using liquid castille peppermint soap.

On those days, after I take a shower, I take a coolish bath with bubbles, epsom salt, lavender and Apple Cider Vinegar. You have to rinse off the vinegar smell, but the acid really kills the germs. You feel clean and mildly exfoliated.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:38 AM
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I played 70 minutes of hockey last night 4v4 with no subs so I will not take Ogged's advice as I'd like to keep my job.
I eagerly await his next post about how using toilet paper is so 20th century and if you free yourself you'll shit gold. Oh wait he already did a bidet post didn't he. (I knew a guy who bragged about never needing to use anything to clean because his intestinal health was so good everything came out with no residue.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:53 AM
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AIHMHB in said bidet thread, the term for this was "shooting an ace," although now I'm wondering if I'm misremembering and it was "serving an ace"- delivery with no contact.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:33 AM
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I'm much more sensitive than all you leather-faced cowboys I guess, as I use an electric with shaving cream and I still get nicks. I have safety razors as backup and the couple times I've used them, even though the blades are new, it's like a chainsaw massacre.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:34 AM
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I haven't used an electric in a looong time, so I'd guess the technology has improved, but they nicked me, too. You're probably just using the safety razor incorrectly.

As for the rest of you, thanks, I guess, for letting me know what it's like to be confronted by unthinking dogma. Enjoy your servitude to Big Soap.*

* By way of reasonable concession, I'll note that as a holdover from swimming (which, swifty, I'm not doing at the moment--reading skills! I know cops can passed over for high IQ, but I thought SLC was better than that) I keep my body hair short, so it's possible that you're all bushy-pitted scent trappers.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:55 AM
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Trimming body hair seems like too much work. I do pluck my back hairs. I need something do to while on conference calls.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:32 AM
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Speaking of body odor, I don't get the whole idea of Burning Man. It just seems unpleasant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:38 AM
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Also, what are "regular shorts"? Just any shorts without pockets lower down on the leg than pockets on regular pants?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:47 AM
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136: You've mentioned that before, and I can't figure out if you're a contortionist or an orangutan. I suppose if the latter, there's plenty of back hair to work with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:48 AM
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I can't get all the way down my back, but most of the hair is up near the shoulders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:51 AM
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Are you sure? Possibly you're just creating a weird pattern of hairiness left on the part of your back defined by what you can't reach.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:56 AM
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I shave that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:57 AM
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The problem with spandex is it's not very forgiving. If you're either already gorgeous or are fine with muffin tops, by all means wear spandex shorts. Painted on latex is more forgiving. Personally I'm more in favor of the male burqa style of dress. The murqa. Or the himjab for the racier among us.

For about the past two years I've been skipping soap for everything but my butt and junk. I simply don't buy that you can simply rinse off the accumulation of stale farts and buttcrack sweat. Soap that up. And scrupulously clean junk is a must if you'd like anyone to put their mouth on it. Failure to keep one's junk in pukka condition should be grounds for divorce.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:05 AM
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136: I've caught myself absent-mindedly plucking ear hair during meetings. Not a good thing, I think. OTOH, ear hair, ewww.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:07 AM
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Painted on latex is more forgiving.

But makes it harder to go to the bathroom.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:15 AM
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Unless you are actually working on a farm or something where you need to protect your legs, I think jeans are the most stupid clothing ever. In the summer, they're too heavy and not breathable enough. In the winter, they're better, but still way too heavy for how warm they are. And if you get them wet, they take six years to dry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:18 AM
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You really don't want to see my butt covered in spandex. The cargo shorts are doing everyone a favor.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:22 AM
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The point isn't that most people don't want to see you bespandexed butt. That's almost certainly true. But it's also almost certainly true that somebody (probably Buttercup) does want to see you butt in spandex and that they shouldn't be deprived of the view just because they are a small minority.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:29 AM
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137: that seems to indicate that you shouldn't go. But on the subject of body odor/dirtiness, people there do shower (or, failing that, do comprehensive wipedowns with baby wipes) reasonably often during the week, and it's also incredibly dry. I have never noticed people being particularly smelly. It is very dusty, and the dust is extremely sticky. So if you and all of your stuff being more-or-less-entirely dusty sounds unmanageably unpleasant then, yeah, it wouldn't be for you. For me, eh, it's just dust.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:29 AM
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I don't like dust or heat on strangers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:31 AM
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on s/b or.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:34 AM
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Roberto - don't think of it as a hippy thing. Think of it as like paleo, but for grooming.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:39 AM
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Burning Man is the magical combination of the worst parts of camping and living in a shitty city. Some people love that. I don't judge.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:41 AM
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||
I'm amazed that this has been out a full day and it hasn't come up here yet: We have been called "freaks," "bizarre," and an endless slew of far worse insults. We've received hate mail telling us to get out of town and repeating the word "kill ... kill ... kill.
|>


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:44 AM
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Since a backlash that convinces people who might otherwise be tempted to go that they don't want to go is probably exactly what Burning Man needs right now, sure, comity with 153.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:57 AM
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I like setting giant things on fire.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:14 AM
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That's probably a universal human trait.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:18 AM
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154: This one is so much worse.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:19 AM
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As someone who switched to shaving with a brush and safety razor fairly recently (6 months-ish?) I am intrigued by you people who claim to use a safety razor with just water on your face. Like, how can this possibly work?

I have generally liked the switch, but one small annoyance is how often I have to re-lather, precisely because if there is not fresh lather between my face and the razor, I can't move it across my skin. At all. It just skips and bounces all over the place and doesn't cut any hair. Yes, I have varied the angle and yes I pull my skin tight and so forth and while I understand there's a bit of technique required for a good DE shave, can it possibly be so complicated (or I so inept) that after six months I can't make this work?

The other minor annoyance is that there seem to be these few patches that never get a good shave no matter how often I go over them from how many directions and if I really care about getting these bits smooth, I have to resort to the hated Gillette ultramegafusionpowerblastextremepro stupid thing. The mystery spots on my neck I can live with but the tiny little hitler/paedo moustache that starts to show up under my nose after a couple of days, I can't abide. So I haven't been able to completely evict the Gillette from my bathroom.

And some of you are trying to tell me you manage this with just water? Can I come to your house and watch you shave? I won't be creepy about it, honest...


Posted by: Swope FM | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:23 AM
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154: You know things come out because people send them to me, right?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:26 AM
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158: Wow. Yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:27 AM
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159- it's so weird! It's almost like different people have different physical characteristics that make different equipment and techniques work better for them!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:28 AM
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Given how quickly hair burns compared to skin, I've always wondered why nobody has invented a way to just melt off your beard. Some kind of mask.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:32 AM
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Insert face, close mouth, fill with butane, spark, and done.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:33 AM
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Moby, you should Nair your face and report back to us.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:34 AM
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I'm more of an idea man. Somebody else should test these things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:35 AM
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163: There's a traditional African hair styling technique that involves tapping the hair with a burning taper, singing off the excess. It only works on hella curly hair, though. It's kind of cool to watch but smells horrible.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:37 AM
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Burning hair does smell horrible. But I hear that water and rubbing can get out any smell.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:38 AM
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160: So why didn't they? It's a mystery.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:48 AM
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Be the change.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:48 AM
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Huh, there's now a Nair for men. You know it's for men because it comes in a blue bottle.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:55 AM
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There's a traditional African hair styling technique that involves tapping the hair with a burning taper, singing off the excess.

I think some of those guys were on the Graceland album.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:02 AM
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154, 158 remind me of that bit in Bojack Horseman:

Bojack (to Wanda, who just woke up from a 30 year coma): I wanted to make you feel at home, and nothing was bigger in the '80s than '50s nostalgia.
Wanda: It really feels like I'm back in the '80s, feeling like I'm back in the '50s!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:04 AM
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We should probably have a new thread for those guys, who seem to be living their lives specifically to inspire internet analyses of precisely why, exactly, they are so insanely annoying.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:09 AM
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143 and especially 143.2 had me guffawing out loud like an idiot in my local felafel shop.

It's also an implicit endorsement of Ogged's bidet post alluded to above in 132 and on which topic I've always loved this story.

Ogged: so wrong on the body. So right on the butt.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:10 AM
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154. Real Victorians who lived in houses that size had at least a cook/housekeeper and probably a housemaid as well. It would make for a very different experience.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:40 AM
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Speaking of physique, thanks to The Toast, I realized yesterday that the new thing on my body that's been puzzling me has a name - iliac furrow.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:42 AM
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You have lost a lot of weight, haven't you? That's awesome.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:43 AM
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I wonder how much people's hygiene choices depend on the climate they live in. I hate deodorant, because it's almost impossible to find unscented stuff, and if there's one thing that smells worse than unwashed human bodies, it's commercially scented deodorants. I live in northern England and shower daily, with soap, most of the year, and that is enough. A few days in the summer I shower twice. If I lived in Texas, I'm sure I'd shower two or three times and probably make my peace with the deodorant manufacturers too. But I don't (thank dog).

I am old, and my skin is like a turtle, but I find that a safety razor or a single blade disposable (functionally identical) works fine, with soap - I tend to combine shaving and washing my face. Having an INR of 3.5, I take avoiding nicks very seriously, but it's easy enough provided I take a new blade every week at least. Electrics are a confidence trick, and their salesmen should be in prison.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:53 AM
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It's not bemuscled or anything, but it is there.

I should put up another photo!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:55 AM
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179.1: I really don't use deodorant in the winter, which is sort of them sort of the same climate.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:55 AM
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Hey you guys! I'm wearing cargo shorts! Phthththw!

I only wear them around the house though. I wouldn't be caught dead wearing shorts outside the house except at the beach/pool or at the gym.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:30 AM
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Congrats Minivet! Almost 5 lbs lost in ten days, I'm on my way!


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:31 AM
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I've started shaving regularly to look less old for work after many years with some sort of beard . My son and I both use safety razors, I the one issued to my dad by the WWII Canadian Navy, he the one I picked up in a thrift store in the 70s. We use a brush and shaving soap. The blades are cheap enough in stores and cheaper yet on line.

I wear spandex while cycling on my road bike, either a workout ride or a club ride. My everyday MTB I ride in my work clothes. But I often wear a pair of ordinary shorts over the spandex, which is a base layer, so as to have pockets for my keys, wallet and phone. Also because wearing something so skin tight through the groin is socially unpleasant to me and not something I want to do.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:40 AM
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176: possibly not on the penultimate West Coast with its better work opportunities, though day help plus labor-saving tech would still be likely.

I have walked through Port Townsend in 19th c rig (nothing like as fancy as hers) with no adverse comment. It is, in fact, one of the places one goes to do that. I have many thoughts about Port Townsend. One of them is that it's a very stupid place to claim that Victorian tech and mores are ecologically sustainable, as the extraction economy there was so pure, fast, and thorough.

I've also read her book about taking up the corseted life - read it 1.5 times, as after finishing I started over looking for the first mention of anyone other than her husband who wasn't a stupid treacherous whiner. Page 145 is what I recall. She claimed to be afraid of her friends and she hated other reenactors. Also annoyingly coy about tightlacing in a way that every third corset enthusiast is.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:47 AM
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Are the other two like crossfitters talking about burpees? I don't know that I've ever meet a corset enthusiast.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:51 AM
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For some of us, pockets are the only incentive to wear shorts outside at all. Well, pockets and citations.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:53 AM
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186: some people are interested in historical underpinnings for material history, or theatrical costuming, or dancing (me); and there are some body types that are more comfortable in corsets than in equally supportive bras. All of these tend to aim for "as comfortable as possible". And then there are people who get into tight-lacing or waist training which seems to be a Red Queen attraction, never enough. Actually, kinksters who are aware that it's a kink aren't particularly annoying. Cited person does the twit twostep of defending corsets on the grounds that tight lacing was historically rare, and then two chapters later she's boasting about her waist-training advances and how sexy-modest it is. (She also says she couldn't stand up straight or regulate her eating without it, and - sole moment of insight - that she might have gotten the same advantages from tai chi had that hobby taken first.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:06 AM
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If that works both ways, we could see groups of older Asian people in the park with corsets.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:14 AM
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I completely endorse your taxonomy of corset wearers, clew. Kinksters not annoying at all, dancers also not annoying, self deluded but not actually very boundary pushing uptight-is, really annoying. This applies pretty generally across all types of non-standard body manipulation, I think.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:15 AM
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Part of the thing that annoys me about them, honestly, and probably the biggest thing to boot is the amount of socially-lefty piety involved in the lifestyle. The bit where she talks about how you really understand how much you're consuming with lanterns/etc. as opposed to just when you turn on the light is super obnoxious because clearly she does not. Yes the kerosene levels go down in a way they don't with electric lights, but also electric lights, for all the electricity/dirty energy problems involved consume a lot less in resources. So it's posing as being more conscious of their consumption while simultaneously consuming loads more and not realizing it in the slightest. (I also vaguely knew-people-who-knew a couple who went to the same college I did who decided to move out into the country, off the grid and not contribute to the ecological waste/problems of modern society. But of course by doing that they immediately, massively increased the extent to which they were contributing to them because big wood fires are not better than gas heating and electric lights at all. They are massively worse.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:24 AM
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I smelled by the end of Burning Man if you got up near me, but that was because, though I was religious about cleaning my lady bits, not so much about my armpits. I could have easily avoided smelling at all. Anyway, someone else who got up close and smelled me told me I smelled good.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:40 AM
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Yes this is basically the same as the many many people who think cities equal dystopian ecological disaster when actually city dwellers in most of the developed world impose a far smaller burden on the planet than non-urban dwellers. And I suspect around the globe non urban dwellers with very light ecological footprints are very very poor.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:43 AM
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I almost posted some piece on Burning Man, from the perspective of some wealthy Bay Area tech woman who goes and has a lot of uninhibited good times. It seemed spot on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:44 AM
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>I was religious about cleaning my lady bits,

Incense makes a surprisingly effective deodorant.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:45 AM
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Was that the LRB essay? I thought she sounded pretty blue about the whole thing, in the end.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 10:48 AM
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Next time I'm somewhere hot I'll try a cone of perfumed fat on my head. Though I don't wear wigs, so it may backfire.

In defense of cargo shorts: I don't think it's the shorts themselves that look so dumb, it's the terrible pelvic posture they're found with. (Burdening the pockets, no belt, tight hip flexors from too much sitting, balancing shorts on the rump? Dunno, but it's regrettable.) Field geologists and ecologists look smashing in them well into old age, and geologists tend to a beer-cask portliness, it's not just because they're slim.

Tropical ecologists tend to be thin because of repeated illness or parasites, which takes the glamour off.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:01 AM
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I'm not sure I even know what cargo shorts are, or how they differ from other shorts. My taxonomy of shorts: long shorts, short shorts, sport shorts. I'm wearing these right now. Cargo shorts?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:12 AM
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198: can't see the whole short. Inset thigh pocket is halfway there. Definite cargo shorts have bellows pockets opening at fingertip height.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:15 AM
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This is going to be a long comment, but if you want to hear about what I thought of Burning Man, here is an edited conversation I had with my friend, with his memories from past burns removed for his privacy:

Him: So, hey, how was your week in Nevada?

Me: I could say so much about it, but I guess the summary is: really intense, not univalently positive at all (in fact, I made plans to leave early that I didn't go through with), but even the negative stuff was valuable. I didn't do drugs or party much, but instead wound up doing a lot of work on: feelings of shyness, exclusion, rejection, and alienation; communicating my boundaries; trying to see my environment as abundant in resources rather than scarce; expressing anger; and processing childhood trauma. It was all really visceral and experiential like a breakthrough therapy session. Only time can tell what I'll really take with me. I'd like to go back, though. I've already promoted it to two people in my life as potentially really valuable for interrupting destructive loops.

Him: from that summary I believe you actually went.

Me: what would be "not actually going"?

Him: I mean, from the outside ppl think it's just a big week long party. When you're actually there you realize what an intense immersion experience it is

Me: yeah. I don't think I had much idea what to expect.

Him: Or put another way, I can totally relate to "I almost left bc I couldn't take it but I'd like to go back" and I think most ppl I know who go. On a zen retreat a teacher once told us "I can't say exactly what you'll experience but I can assure you this week won't pass unnoticed"

Me: yeah that's what I was trying to tell my friend -- I don't know what crazy shit will come up for you, but something will. (My other friend I am sure would have a powerful confrontation with his body shame. I would LOVE to get him there. He also seems more open to it than friend 1.)

Him: Highlights for you?

Me: A major highlight was that I told some people I was very angry at them, succeeded in both showing how angry I was but still maintaining a soft, non-violent energy, and got prompt, caring, full-throated apologies.

I went to a healing at Spirit Dreams and I am still wearing the necklace they gave me -- it says "embrace imperfection". My healers were an older man and woman and they really bathed me in loving parental energy.

At one point, dancing, I failed to really directly communicate my boundaries to this guy (instead just squirming out of the situation), but later I rehearsed what I would have liked to have said, and then,
I took a ride with this guy out of Burning Man who was making me increasingly uncomfortable, and at a crucial moment in Gerlach, I took a stand with him and eventually got out of the car and took another ride. Exiting the fucking situation has not historically been a strong suit of mine, so I was proud of that.

I still could have done a lot better with asking to be included/asking to spend time with people.
Oh, and I told some people I was depressed in a way that showed it -- I think that helped interrupt a shame spiral too.

Him: That all sounds great.. A lot of realness

Me: and I took a singing lesson, and got seemingly sincere compliments on my singing :) I hung out at the sex camps some, but didn't encounter anyone else's fluids, though one person encountered mine. I guess I also did work on taking a compliment, since the guy who encountered my fluids told me I had the most powerful kegel muscles he'd ever felt, and he'd felt a lot, and I was like, really? are you just saying that? and he said, I wouldn't mess around about something like that. So I decided to believe him, since it's not inconsistent with other feedback I'd heard. And that made me feel good about my body. Also it was really interesting and nice to be around men devoted to serving women in that way.

Him: Did you stay for the temple burn? That was also a moving moment for me

Me: I did stay for the temple burn. My experience going through the temple was to first cry and then be so glutted by emotion that I didn't feel anything anymore. I did think the temple burn was moving but not intensely so.

I did very little dancing under stars, sadly -- it was a combination of sometimes not feeling like I had peeps to do it with, maintaining a normal sleep schedule and not having any chemical stimulants, and it being really unseasonably cold. Water froze overnight on Sunday night. I did not have clothes for that. On Saturday night I missed my pee bottle, accidentally peed into my sleeping bag, and then had to sleep in a wet sleeping bag while the temperature dipped into the thirties and everyone else was partying, though that was actually not as terrible as it sounds because I'd wake up, shiver for a while, and then fall back asleep. Anyway, next year for dancing under the stars! It was better next year!

I really liked being by myself, actually. what was harder was the visible presence of established cliques in my camp. I mean, the cliques were very nice versions of cliques, and when I said I was mad at [mutual acquaintance] he actually gave me a hug and asked me to ask for help in making my burn as good as possible, so it wasn't like they were being really actively exclusive (but at that point I was at the time in the week when I had the no stimulants/morning person/cold problem)

Him: Yep there's always at least one point where everything is shitty and it seems like everyone else is having all the fun all around you

Me: My friend broke up with the guy she was seeing while she was there. That was part of what was unexpected about the whole thing -- she was basically totally absent from camp, so all these years I was like, I can't go to BM by myself, I can't go to BM by myself, and then -- I functionally went to BM by myself. And as I noted to myself: going to a party where I don't know anyone and have no ally is something I'd mayyyyyybe do once a year for a couple of hours when nothing else stressful was going on and congratulate myself for my fortitude. It was incredible to me that I was in a situation where I was basically at that party for a week, 24 hours a day. I think if I'd accurately forecasted that to myself I wouldn't have gone, so I'm glad I didn't.

Him: Aha.. Yeah the other lesson I learned is you will suffer until you let go of predictability and control out there and just go with whatever's happening. That also felt like a deep lesson of the playa for me. You didn't die!

Me: No, in fact, I'm feeling much more relaxed then when I left. I appeared at work today blonder, tanner, letting my bra show through my shirt and wearing a bunch of playa jewelry. My friend said I looked like I'd had a spiritual experience. Anyway I am going to turn my attention to MRI for a bit, but thanks so much for asking about my experience.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:21 AM
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The only parts of that I can relate to are the troubles of peeing in the wrong place and the need to pay attention to MRIs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:41 AM
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Descriptions of BM are fascinating in that it's like someone looked into my soul and then constructed a breathtakingly creative version of hell. Have at it all you people who are into that stuff, but wow.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:48 AM
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For what it's worth Tia's description of Burning Man is almost totally unfamiliar to me. It is an intense and sometimes difficult experience but... yeah. More with the drugs and party and building crazy art structures/vehicles and DJing electro to giraffes and yelling bad pirate jokes at strangers from the top of rickety towers, from my end.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:51 AM
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I can't even form audible words with my end, let alone yell.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:53 AM
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This is the picture I've seen from this year that made me the most "yes, yes that is Burning Man."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:54 AM
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Eeew. I can't get around the eeew enough to even find that slightly funny. I can kind of see how someone would, but me, no.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:01 PM
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206: Right? I've been on murder scenes that scarred me less than that pic.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:02 PM
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I mean, I... certainly hope nobody actually used it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:03 PM
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I thought it was funny, but not funny enough to travel into the desert over. You could do that anywhere.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:03 PM
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205 try that thing out and you're likely to discover the true meaning of Burning Man alright.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:03 PM
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I also just did some silly shit, like earning a pickle by taking a spanking with a pickle-shaped paddle while moaning like my spirit animal (which I was ridiculously good at). But if someone asks me about highlights/what was important about the experience, I'm going to focus on the elements that felt plausibly transformative. I think there are a lot of different kinds of experiences to have there, and I was drawn to experiences and people that were healing/ecstatic/expressive/sincere. But I definitely don't think my way of doing it was unusual, at least at this point. Before I went, I got told by a regional rep, "prepare for your life to change," and had no idea what that could possibly mean and was a little annoyed, but now that I've been, I'm all, "oh."


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:06 PM
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Now I think there should be some kind of fundraising effort here to send gswift to burning man.

Think about it gswift! You could set up your own "Get Arrested" tent (though you'd eventually have to let people go, I suppose).


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:19 PM
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If anybody wants, they can send me to Tahoe. It's in the same general area, I think.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:20 PM
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I'm optimistic that if we all just ignore Burning Man it will come to an end, or just become a refuge for some hardcore loser crew and not an event anyone else has to care about. I was less optimistic about this kind of thing a few years ago, but I feel like the moment has turned. If that doesn't happen, sorry Tia, but I favor murdering everyone involved.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:25 PM
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212: I actually do most of the drive semi regularly when I go out to the family cabin up in Nor Cal. An "Experience Pepper Spray" tent might be entertaining.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:30 PM
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I don't know if I like all of you guys responding to Tia's interesting travelogue by saying she's a loser and/or should be killed. I for one was glad to hear about how Burning Man is still like that, having read a lot recently about how it's becoming a bunch of millionaire techno-futurists ruling rival air-conditioned fiefdoms.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:39 PM
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Has anyone here been to Burning Man, besides me, Sifu, and now Tia? (Not to sound like an expert -- I only went once.) It seems like 202 is the dominant response here.

203: I can believe that basically going to Burning Man by yourself would be a very different experience than if you're already part of a community.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:45 PM
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ned, I appreciate the defense and think it's appropriate, but I'm also really not hurt by the comments. I thought of making some joke about how the burners would defeat our enemies, made weak from abjuring grain, with our mutant vehicle army, but then just didn't even feel like making the effort.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:47 PM
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I'm just mostly baffled. I don't usually feel the need to insult people who do things that baffle me that aren't crossfit.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:49 PM
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In fairness, I favor murdering lots of people, not just burning man attendees.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:51 PM
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214 demonstrates that Tigre is a fraud and everything he claims to stand for is a lie. Burning Man has Thunderdome, which makes it the only really essential event in America each year.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:53 PM
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Many participants in the Thunderdome also favored murdering everyone involved, Walt.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:55 PM
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I'd probably have a good time there, if I could pop in for one day and maybe not go with anybody I know.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:58 PM
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burners would defeat our enemies, made weak from abjuring grain, with our mutant vehicle army

See, now that just sounds like the Road Warrior which is teh awesome.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 12:59 PM
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Tia's experience makes it sound like something people in my high school's backpacking club would be into, which I guess makes sense.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:02 PM
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pwned, I guess.


You'll know it's time to give up Burning Man when it has quidditch.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:02 PM
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I'm sure it's had some kind of quidditch for years now, wouldn't you think?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:08 PM
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The point of going hiking/trekking/camping/climbing/ etc. in the desert/mountains/forests/hills/downs/tundra/etc. is to be alone -- with Nature and/or Nature's God, as one may be inclined, but not with thousands of boingboing commenters.*

* People who comment on the Internet are depraved freaks. Everyone knows that.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:12 PM
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Even in the early days of BM the middle-aged e.g. architect working in the fields of the new wine country money who went for the first time, had his mind BLOWN, ambiguously left-not-left wife and middle school aged children over the next 8 months and started bringing hilariously inappropriately aged partners to client events was a recognized type, so the most recent AC'd and moated fortresses of luxe are just a natural progression.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:12 PM
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I thought the point of hiking was to let your ankle know it can go fuck itself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:13 PM
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Also, I can't see 'BM' as anything but "bowel movement."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:14 PM
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Me neither.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:16 PM
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what Burning Man really needs is Nordic larp (i.e., avant garde art larp), which is an extremely niche thing I'm peripherally into. Obviously, I could be the person who brings it there, but I'm not that interested in running larps and have larp opportunities here at home. I just think Nordic larp and Burning Man are a natural fit. If someone did it it would be a mitzvah.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:16 PM
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My better half has fond memories of the mountaineering club in the highlands he belonged to as a pre and early teen, although rather than contemplate nature much of their time and energy seems to have been devoted to rescuing freaked out and very smelly sheep from craggy ledges.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:17 PM
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Now that would be a biome to reckon with - capable of destinking sheep.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:20 PM
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216: since we're all having fun and kidding around we could also murder all the IP lawyers. Would help society more than killing a bunch of people with disposable income and unusual ideas about fun, lord knows. Sorry, LizSpigot!

217.2: fair point. I mostly just meant that it's a different experience for everyone so not to extrapolate too much from Tia's story.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:22 PM
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Have we ever had a thread where everybody listed the commenters they wanted to murder?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:29 PM
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Speaking of hiking, I can almost get everything I need for an overnight hike into my briefcase. If I did that, I think it might be stream punk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:30 PM
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233. Be the change. Remember the interactive robot-voiced video movies that people here put together, lion poetry and whatnot ?
I submit without knowing anything at all about your peripheral hobby that the distance betyween the two modes of activity, one already organically occurring here, and the second occupying taciturn gloomsters fleeing from SAD (is there a seasonal peak for this activity, more in midwinter ?), that the distance may not be so big.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:31 PM
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This is a respectable thread. Please stop saying "larp."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:39 PM
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Flips, these little comment boxes are a textual approximation of larp.

You are welcome.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:43 PM
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I know the conversation has moved on, but this is one of those things where it SO depends on what type of hair/skin/scalp you have. I HAVE to wash my hair every day or, as Roberto Tigre has insinuated, I look homeless and also feel like invisible bugs are crawling on my head. I did use to think it didn't matter which shampoo I used, but boy has my hair changed for the better since I started using slightly more expensive shampoo under my hair stylist's recommendations. Soap I don't use much of because of the eczema but rely on it for the smelly bits. And I have to use gel for shaving or I get horrible bumps, but I don't really like shaving foam. There, these are my preferences.

(Also I hate those pseudo-Victorians with a fucking passion.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:43 PM
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217: I've gone twice. An extraordinary amount of thought, design and money go into it, so there is a hell of a lot to see and do.

I remember some very touching moments and some very funny exchanges, which I liked because they weren't civil or polite at all. I wouldn't go for myself again, but there are a few people I would love to bring to Burning Man.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:45 PM
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I am just going to fucking revel in being into Burning Man, larp, and D/s, and activating everyone's nerdphobia until they start squirming desperately in their seat, slapping at the invisible coating of nerd they feel crawling all over their body, threatening to suffocate them, until they finally tear off their clothes, burst out of their office door, running naked through the city, begging everyone they see to wash it off --

it never came from me, I'm innocent, you have to believe me, please help me

don't turn away

don't look away

please


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 1:47 PM
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I think my unitarian no cal upbringing did more to foster jaded skepticism re burning man than anything to do with nerds. But perhaps I'm self deluded on that!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:26 PM
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The disdain bordering on terror here won't take the form of turning away and looking away, but no-one will respond directly and instead redirect to a conversation sink topic:

How was the food at burning man? I've heard really good things about the slow barbecue, though maybe handrubbing all those spices on the insiode and outside of a whole pig was overkill. I do it myself on a smaller scale, though.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:33 PM
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I used to want to go to Burning Man. It now seems too big and annoying, and I feel like I'm maybe just a bit too old. But it's great to hear stories like Tia's. I mostly wish there were some kind of smaller version of the event, also with less dust.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:40 PM
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dq: 'twas basically directed at Tigre and Flip.

re, food: I ate pretty well. Food tasted really good there, but that had a lot to do with getting plenty of exercise, being really hungry, and needing a lot of salt. Our camp had an elaborate kitchen. However, though there were a lot of aspects of the dirtiness of Burning Man that felt liberating, because I didn't have to pretend to care about things I didn't really care about, the dishes situation was gross and did activate a disgust response. And it can't be good for you long-term to be rinsing your dishes in bleach. We all were responsible for one night of camp dinner; I cooked a watermelon curry that was easy and came out really well. Another insight from my camp dinner: bourbon and chai taste great together, hot or cold.

Bave: there are smaller versions of the event with less dust! Regional burns!


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:45 PM
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On topic and from the Burners at boingboing.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:46 PM
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I mostly wish there were some kind of smaller version of the event, also with less dust.

I'm pretty sure there is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:49 PM
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Does that mean now I have to go to it?


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:55 PM
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Rainbow Gathering?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:56 PM
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I almost posted some piece on Burning Man, from the perspective of some wealthy Bay Area tech woman who goes and has a lot of uninhibited good times. It seemed spot on.

I liked the Jacobin essay about it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 2:59 PM
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I thought about linking the piece referred to in 253, which gets it totally right, but it seemed too serious, and I prefer the ignore/murder strategy.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:10 PM
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Of course, that critique is totally compatible with its being basically a harmless good time for many people.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:13 PM
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I liked that Jacobin article alright, but I never thought of it as offering an alternative political vision, so complaining that it didn't just seemed slightly askew.

But, it's perhaps worth noting that:
>The top-down, do what you want, radically express yourself and fuck everyone else worldview is precisely why Burning Man is so appealing to the Silicon Valley technocratic scions.

are not the values of the event *at all.* There are social rules there that are enforced, they are just different social rules. For instance, at an ecstactic dance/kirtan event I was at, there were a few people recording. They really should not have been without the consent of participants according to the "consent" principle of the event. I spoke to the people recording, because I didn't want to be on camera, and all but one of them put away their camera. I eventually spoke to one of the camp organizers about the woman who wouldn't stop recording. She said she would speak to the woman, and asked me if I was alright, or if I felt violated. I said, not violated, just irritated. This isn't the mark of an event at which no one enforcing social norms. There were multiple other ways that cultural values were maintained and enforced, and there'd pretty much have to be, because it's incredibly striking the degree to which you've stepped into another cultural world when you're there, and that can't happen without people taking the different set of norms seriously.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:30 PM
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Having top down, do what you want, radically express yourself and fuck everyone else while simultaneously demanding compliance with a set of strict social norms (which, of course, you're OK with) is PRECISELY what is appealing to Silicon Valley technocratic scions. They don't actually want an absence of enforcement of social norms, just private ordering that they can control and radical individualism that benefits them.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:38 PM
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Eh, that was too serious. Fuck it, fantasy murder everyone.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:39 PM
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far be it from me to distract from your murder fantasies, but it is actually contradictory to say "fuck everyone else," and "everyone has to comply with social norms." AFAICT, rich Silicon Valley tech scions did not create the social norms, and since one is a prohibition against advertising, I presume the wouldn't have chosen the ones they found. Of course it's not going to dismantle global capitalism to have a little holiday from commerce and advertising, but just because the tech scions can enjoy a playground that a lot of other people like too doesn't mean it actually caters to them.

Also, I hereby take it back about not being bothered. I wasn't bothered at first, but it crept up on me. You are fantasizing about murdering me in a thread in which I alluded to extensive experience with male sexual violence. I just deleted some profanity, because I'll do my best to keep my own communication non-violent, but it's really not good behavior.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 3:49 PM
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Tech "scions"? Mark Zuckerberg, of the Facebook Zuckerbergs.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:08 PM
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I don't think enforcement of (some) norms and total nonchalance about everyone else is remotely self-contradictory. The decision to enter, or more SVishly create, a space with norms you individually accept, while simultaneously either disregarding the experiences of others or forcing your norms on them, is self-consistent. The particular norms of BM may not be those that an arch-capitalist would endorse but that isn't necessary.

IME, too, the self-expressive element at things like this easily comes to dominate what other-directed norms there are---not always, obviously, but they are in tension, I think, and the larger tendency seems to be self-oriented in a way congenial to the blecchier elements in attendance.

(But I have no animus toward the event or anything.)


Posted by: Nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:13 PM
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It seems to me that the silicon dickbag love of burning man is basically just another version of the "anarcho"-capitalism that they love to espouse, whereas a lot of the bits of burning man are more like the actual anarchist stuff*, and the conflict between the two is where the problem comes in.

I mean, why the basically neo-feudalists decided that it would be great to pretend to be possibly the most unfairly maligned** political philosophy out there is beyond me, but they seem to have looked at the worst, straw man claims about it and thought "oh man that sounds sweet!" So now they're trying to colonize it in air conditioned camps and set themselves up as Dukes of Burning Man, and since they've been using similar sounding terminology to describe their very different view for decades now it almost seems like it might just be that. But nothing I've seen of the actual burning man stuff resembles that kind of libertarian douchebaggery, so it's a little unfair to take their word for it on this (or, well, anything because they're idiots).

*Which has plenty of strong social norms and general patterns of living built into it, and has nothing to do with "do whatever the hell you want no rules woooo!" stuff.
**The word "unfairly" is essential here, in that the maligning is mostly a matter of wildly and often intentionally misconstruing what the actual political philosophy is.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:18 PM
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I mean, nothing I've heard about it is even remotely for me. But I know and respect plenty of people for whom it is, and they're not even close to what Roberto is describing there.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:22 PM
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The Tyranny of Structurelessness


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:27 PM
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The conflict between situationist-ish TAZ-style anarchy and the rules necessary to maintain a ten or twenty or now nearly seventy-thousand person event in the actual world have been topics of vigorous discussion among people actually involved in burning man for decades at this point. Since, I would say, the first event in the desert. The author of the Jacobin piece is a long-time (but now disillusioned) attendee (there are a lot of those. I don't quite count? But almost.) People who attend have known about the strangeness of the richies descending (I would say en masse but... it's not en masse! There aren't really that many people who are that rich! Even in SF!) for years and years (known about, but not really experienced; they're a tiny minority and they keep to themselves). But sure, yes, let us assume that the people who have been creating this thing for decades have absolutely no self-awareness or interest in self-criticism. Let us assume from afar that they -- the people who make all this shit that shows up in the desert (n.b. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk aren't actually building art) -- are oblivious hedonists just showing up with no idea of -- or concern for -- the contradictions involved in such a project. That seems like solid thinking. Then: murder them! It'd be hip!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:36 PM
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259 -- I thought I was obviously joking in a deliberately hyperbolic, self-mockingly ridiculous and overstated way, and had no intention of actually bothering you. But I did, so I apologize.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:39 PM
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>while simultaneously either disregarding the experiences of others or forcing your norms on them, is self-consistent.

I actually can't parse your whole meaning, nosflow, but in any case, I submit that this is one of those situations in which you (general you) would be able to speak more intelligently about something if you had any direct experience of it. In my direct experience, there was far more concern for the experience and needs of others there than there is in the rest of the world. My entire point was that you actually can't force your norms on other people there or disregard the experiences of others -- or you can try, but you will be considered an asshole, as in other places. There are whole elements of the culture that expend a lot of effort debating community norms. When you get on the listserves you hear these conversations. There was a big argument about feathered headdresses on the New York listserve a month before the event. It was a bunch of people hashing out their values. It isn't a substitute for laws and governance, but the governance of the event is supplied by the actual government, since it isn't magical fairyland. Finally, from people who attended the event a long time ago, it is clear that the event is evolving in the direction of more concern for others, not less, expressed in the tone of smaller scale communication between individuals and in institutions that care for others. It used to be, in reports I heard, more of an aggression-fest, and now really discourages that behavior in favor of caring community participation. People on the street responded when they saw my distress, and I responded when I saw other peoples'. Further, when I was very distressed and felt like I needed support, I could access that immediately, not only from my camp or random passersby but from civic institutions in the city. Turnkey camps are supposed to be against the rules because of a lot of pressure on the BMorg by burners. (And I might add that the rich at Burning Man were totally invisible to me, except to the extent that I, having spent $2500 on a vacation, am rich.) It is. just. false. that the vibe is fuck everyone, and once again I offer a perhaps futile plea to one and all that they consider knowing what they're talking about. It is true that the event does not offer an ultimate solution for how to structure society (though it does offer some inspiration about what really engaged community might look like).


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:40 PM
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One of the reasons, I think, that people who have devoted a ton and time and energy to what is, frankly, working for free for the benefit of other people (for years! For actually decades!) keep coming back is that it still has the ability to be an intensely powerful experience for people like Tia who are, sure, as loathsome as the rest of us, but who are not (guessing on the consensus, here) actually worthy of being killed and who might really get something out of the experience that they bring back to regular life. Sure, it is in one sense a tremendous waste of money and resources that could be spent other ways. But so are a fucking hell of a lot of things that Americans spend their time and money on. So, I dunno, questioning it and writing pieces about how the silicon valley richies who show up are maybe not aware they're terrible people: good! Mostly perpetrated by burners, actually! Talking about "omg those people should be murdered"? Just kinda petty and douchey, really. Vacations are good for people. Getting away is good for people. It's that. Fuck off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:41 PM
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266: I accept your apology.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:42 PM
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To be mostly serious for a second, I think that to the extent the argument is "it's just a big fun party for some people who like that kind of thing" my response is, fine, not at all my scene, but no big deal and not any worse than anything else whose style I'm not on board with (except for the parts about Google barons showing up in private tents or whatever, which are just gross per se). But then the more grandiose claims of it all having a bigger meaning or being an important part of some broader social movement or something are annoying, at least to the extent that people take them seriously (doesn't mean that one couldn't have a meaningful experience there, or that Tia didn't have one, but that can be true of just about any vacation).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 4:57 PM
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217: I went! I dug it some.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:07 PM
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Tia's description of Burning Man up at 200 sounds more to me like what Rainbow Gatherings can be like.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:20 PM
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I mean the spiritual stuff, not the pickle thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:22 PM
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Even being poor I would absolutely contribute money towards having Roberto liveblog a Rainbow Gathering.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:22 PM
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That Jacobin article seems to be missing the point, but it's Jacobin so the same critique needs to be applied to everything. It's not wrong to say rich people can/will exert their power in a setting without much in the way of regulation, but it's not always the most interesting thing you can say about a given topic.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:24 PM
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267: I was typing on my phone, sorry. I was thinking primarily of the internal norm-enforcement of startupland (w/ all the disruption crap) which seeks also to make other groups/organizations/communities/etceteras conform to its norms, or the attentiveness to the fee-fees of white male engineers and disregard for women and minorities, as against "but it is actually contradictory to say "fuck everyone else," and "everyone has to comply with social norms."" It isn't, if the matter regarding which you desire to fuck everyone else is the norms in effect. (And if the norm is "radical self-expression", then you can all agree on the norm and on the fucking of everyone else, even better. This is not to say that the norms of BM are radical self-expression; I wouldn't know. But as mentioned I have been at things where there was a strong emphasis on courtesy and respect for others, and also self-expression/finding oneself (or acting in accord with what was already found), and there are unfortunately many people for whom the latter rather overshadows the former.)

And I think the Jacobin person's argument about what about BM is appealing to the SV libtards can be accurate without its being the case that, when the said libtards attend, they find their expectations wholly borne out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:24 PM
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But basically I have no desire to denigrate BM or its attendees in general. I am glad that Tia had a good time!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 5:36 PM
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274: He wouldn't need any money, except to get there. (You don't need to buy a ticket.) Also there's not necessarily likely to be internet access there. Rainbow Gatherings are really pretty different from BM: they're extremely low-tech. It's been 20 years since I've been to one, but the most striking thing -- after the fact that people were really helpful, asking, for example, if we needed help to carry our gear up the mountain (that guy promptly picked up one of our backpacks and a tent and turned around and started back up the mountain he'd just been going down) -- was that there was a distinct absence of the word "I", and of first names in general. Roberto will gag now, but it was all "sister" and "brother". Heavy emphasis on cooperation: wild greens needed to be gathered for dinner tonight, a trail needed to be cleared, and so on: one was expected to contribute.

Anyway, maybe it's changed, but back then: no cars allowed near the main site. No RV's, only tents. No alcohol, only other substances. No electrification (or generators), as at Burning Man. A pretty different vibe.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:03 PM
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I assumed that substantial bribes would have to be involved. If he could be induced just to do it for free without any blackmail or anything involved then that would be fine too.

Also with cell phones these days who knows.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:06 PM
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278 -- I didn't go the the RG when it was nearby a couple years ago, but did pick up some kids hitchhiking to the coast after the thing. They all told me that there was a epidemic theft problem.

Animal control in the county where it was had a flood of abandoned dogs after the thing.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:10 PM
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In my imagination the whole thing looked like:

Day One:
9 AM: "I hate you all"
12:00 AM: "Why I am doing this? This is horrible."
2:30 PM: "I'm going to kill all of you, and everyone you love"
6:00 PM "This drum circle is actually kind of fun."
6:05 PM "WHAT HAVE I BECOME!! AAURRGHHH AURRGGHHHH"
8:00 PM: "LJGHlknsegkjdsgl:SLDJLGNJdtnwrhlse"
Day Two:

Day Three:

Day Four:
2:00 PM: "I am sorry to have to inform you all of the death of Mr Tigre three days ago. Sadly Mr Tigre suffered fourteen simultaneous aneurisms while engaged in a spiritual healing ceremony under the light of the full moon. As the executor of his estate I have the sad duty of inviting you to his funeral, and also I must inform you that he has bequeathed to the participants of unfogged.com a jar containing both of his middle fingers, suspended in a preservative."


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:17 PM
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280: Yeah, I heard that there have been a bunch of problems, not dissimilar to those experienced at BM: seeming outsiders descending on the Gathering, not understanding the ethos.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:18 PM
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281 is not bad! Especially "This drum circle is actually kind of fun." Also the wild greens salad is really good, and they're just walking around filling my bowl for, like, free! Huh, and this grilled marinated tofu is freaking awesome, my tummy feels good, wonder what those dancing people over there at the drum circle around the fire are doing? I'm sleepy and happy, maybe I'll talk to that brother other there about the wild greens, before I, uh, uh, oh look, that sister is giving free massages.

"LJGHlknsegkjdsgl:SLDJLGNJdtnwrhlse"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:26 PM
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"Have you ... have you ever, like, looked at your war owl? I mean, really looked at it?"


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:48 PM
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Gswift's 202 expresses my attitude toward BM perfectly, and entirely. But no judgment, and no murderous impulses.

For fellow Bryan Cranston fans (yes, I love him: no apologies), Malcolm in the Middle had a hilarious Burning Man episode in Season 7.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 6:49 PM
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Adults don't say "tummy".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:01 PM
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There was a Rainbow Gathering near Chaco at one point while I was working there and several of the attendees visited the park. They seemed nice enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:06 PM
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Endorsing nosflow's contributions.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:07 PM
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Except that parents do say tummy when talking with their very young children.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:14 PM
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Sure, there are exceptions.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:14 PM
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Prescriptivist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:17 PM
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Delicious, delicious, delicious I have love in my stomach.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:25 PM
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the dishes situation was gross and did activate a disgust response

As I may have mentioned here before, my experience of the 2000 continental anarchist convention in LA was indelibly etched on my memory due to the practice of the local Food Not Bombs group of using old tofu containers as serving bowls. Of course 90% of them still had a bunch of little bits of the plastic covering stuck to the sides. And people were about as enthusiastic about washing them as you might imagine. So much projectile vomiting ensued -- although, it has to be said, in some cases, too many boilermakers was the culprit.

Anyhow, let a thousand flowers bloom is what I say -- maybe 99% of it is shit, just like everything else, but who knows -- it's the kind of environment where you could see someone brilliant coming up with something that could radically alter the culture. No more unpleasant than any other exercise in collective organizing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:25 PM
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That's not going to go a long way to get me to try tofu again.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:38 PM
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using old tofu containers as serving bowls. Of course 90% of them still had a bunch of little bits of the plastic covering stuck to the sides.

So, so wrong, and misguided, and wrong-headed. Just as human bodies should be regularly (probably daily) washed with soap and water, so too should food containers be washed with dish detergent, and then rinsed thoroughly with hot water.

Sound too fussy? Well, sure, it's all fun and games until the latest salmonella outbreak.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:46 PM
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295: concur


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 7:52 PM
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JPJ, you're so wrong about soap, but let's be honest: you've reached the age where you can state your opinion, give a quick nod, and carry on without rancor.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:14 PM
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Yes, Ogged, I am ancient, if not revered and well-respected. Now come on over here, and let me hit you with my cane.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:24 PM
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One of the things that bugs me most about Burning Man is that it seems to have collected and redirected a lot of art/cooperation that used to happen in Seattle and Portland (wouldn't know about anywhere else). Not exactly privatization, but kind of enclosure, and easier than defending space for public interaction in an increasingly expensive private city. There are plenty of confounding factors, and people say they're inspired there to work here, but there's stuff that used to happen here with... people who live for Burning Man now.

I think basically the same is true of European vacations, actually; that even fifty years ago the retired rich would go to Venice once but most years would have to build or support something beautiful at home. And now Venice every year is doable, until it sinks.

In conclusion, I am no fun. But I'm glad you had fun, Tia.

(And this reminds me that now is the time to start volunteering for the next Folklife. )


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:27 PM
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Romney!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:36 PM
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On second thought, I have no idea about Portland, because my friends there have had life histories too surprising to generalize from. Also most of us were gownies.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:38 PM
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297: Also, coconut oil instead of shampoo? It's like you want your hair to be a grease pit, perhaps because you intend to enter your scalp in the Indy 500. It is to shudder.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:38 PM
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300, explained.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:38 PM
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Merino!

I liked it better without explanation.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:39 PM
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Merino!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:41 PM
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It must be nice to be so certain, in the absence of any justification for the certainty, what another's hair is like.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:43 PM
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The Toast wins again.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 8:56 PM
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We do our best to ignore our son, born in 2013, but the law requires us to feed and clothe him. Society's cruel discrimination against us means that our six-year-old daughter was moved up from preschool against our wishes.

So excellent.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:04 PM
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(Streaming was available in 2012, but it's really hard to keep track of what was available to stream back then.)

Probably a lot more than Netflix has now, except for post-2012 stuff.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:11 PM
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I use shampoo about once a week, and tactically employ soap once a day (staph infections do scare me, unlike the mythical salmonella), but I can't imagine using only water for shaving. Likely because I shave once or twice a week and don't wash my face with soap in between, shaving without a surfactant would be ... ineffective. Like shaving with a slice of bacon.
Christ I'm disgusting. At least my cats and dog endeavor to keep my skin flora in a healthy balance.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 9:36 PM
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Only cats can judge me.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 09-10-15 11:03 PM
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What's the Burning Man piece referred to in 194?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 12:31 AM
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Okay, I am probably wrong about the necessity of soap, but I doubt I can let go of my antiquated notions of hygiene. If I were at a restaurant, for example, where I knew the kitchen staff didn't wash their hands with soap and water, I would be a little bit concerned about the food.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 5:25 AM
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Has anybody tried the Roman sweat-oil-stick method and had independent observers report back on the stink?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 5:31 AM
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314 meet 76.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:30 AM
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That was two days ago. Get over the past man.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:32 AM
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You need a well-trained bath slave for that, don't you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:35 AM
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I don't think enslavement is required.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:37 AM
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You can, I'm told, pay somebody money and they will smear wax on your and then rip it off. This can't be that different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:40 AM
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Come to think, while there are still Russian/Turkish bathhouses around with the various saunas/different temperature pools/so on, how come I've never heard of a historically accurate (or attempting) literal Roman bath, down to the rooms where you play triangle-catch with balls stuffed with feathers and so on. People to oil and scrape you, the whole thing ab ovo usque ad mala. I'm sure there's a market for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:49 AM
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Mosaic floors, heated from underneath. Skylights.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:52 AM
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Mosaic floors, heated from underneath. Skylights.

Some people have bathrooms with those three things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:53 AM
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Yeah, but are they playing catch in them? I submit that they are not.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:54 AM
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I would attend an establishment along the lines of 320.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:57 AM
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I would put a skylight in my bathroom if I didn't have to pay much for it. The second floor bathroom, not the first floor one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:00 AM
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Per wikipedia many used a strigil on themselves, no slave necessary.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:01 AM
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Only £15.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:04 AM
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316 You're asking about Roman bathing practices and you want me to get over the past?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:06 AM
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The amount of caring you should do about the past is bimodal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:07 AM
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In another example of how everybody's Burning Man experience is different, another person I know who went this year got the shit kicked out of him the night of the burn. That's not a variation I've heard of before.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:45 AM
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Maybe there was a debate about community norms he missed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:51 AM
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I'd totally do Burning Man if it wasn't for the heat and dust. I've done insanely hot and dusty things before and they sucked balls, and not in a good "welcome to the ball sucking tent" way.

I could see going to a Rainbow Gathering, though I'm pretty far from a hippie. I'm compatible with hippies for the most part, though. As long as things don't get too spiritual we can get along just fine.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:05 AM
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76, 314: I have tried strigiling. (When you spend a good part of your 20s excavating in Greece, it's only a matter of time before some asshole decides it'd be fun to make a strigil.) Don't recall its impact on body odor, but it left me feeling greasy and very unpleasant; though that was also a project where we had no hot water, so maybe not a completely fair evaluation.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:07 AM
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tog you could go to Firefly in Vermont. No dust there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:08 AM
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List of Regional Burns.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:17 AM
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From that I learned we have local LARPing (i.e. the Pennsic War).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:22 AM
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Googling a bit tells me that Firefly might hit exactly the sweet spot for me. I'll talk to the GF about attending next year. It looks like it could be a blast. There's another burn called Ignite! in Virginia in May that might be worth a look. I can't be sure because they require registration to access pictures of the previous event and I'm allergic to registering for things unless I absolutely have to.

I've been thinking about buying a laser and the rest of the gear to do holography. Maybe this will get me off my ass. I have ideas for holograms I want to shoot that have been percolating for 20+ years now. Just need to find studio space.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:25 AM
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336: There's a local Roman legion LARP group that looks like a blast. Expensive kit, though.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:26 AM
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general musings:

But then the more grandiose claims of it all having a bigger meaning or being an important part of some broader social movement or something are annoying, at least to the extent that people take them seriously

It furthers constructive conversations if you link to, or at least specifically quote, something you object to rather than just lashing out at some monstrous hippie-libertarian crossbreed in your mind. This also goes for that Jacobin article too, really. It would have made more sense if it had found some people claiming that Burning Man was going to kindle the fires of revolution to argue with.

Recreational hostility to alien cultural groups actually causes harm. People who are friends with me at the other place might remember the guy who told me on a date that he had intentionally hit three cyclists with his car. Part of his justification for that was that they were hipsters. Sometimes I think the expression of aggression and hostility by non-normative and marginalized people can be interesting and valuable, but white, male IP lawyers are not in that category.

Actually, I think Burning Man does have a larger meaning, although not of a sort that's functionally in opposition to capitalism. The event has many features of a religion. The culture doesn't have a daily or weekly practice, really, and I think that's necessary to be a full-fledged religion, but who knows, it might eventually evolve into having one.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:05 AM
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This, from what appears to be the official site for the event, is an example of what I had in mind annoying (that is, as I said, if the defense is "it's a big fun party".)


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:14 AM
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*as* annoying.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:15 AM
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The event has many features of a religion.

I was going to say something along these lines earlier but withheld comment. In Morocco, and elsewhere, I attended, and participated in, mind blowing communal rituals that
looked a lot like this. And much of Tia's description reminded me of those experiences. Never did find the sex camps though.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:21 AM
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339, 342: David Best, who builds the temple every year, talks explicitly about how what he's building is sacred ceremony divorced from religion.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:32 AM
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I mean, and lots of other people have as well. One of the sort of early fascinations of the cacaphony society people was ritual without religion.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:34 AM
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343: it certainly seems to fit an Elementary Forms–style understanding of religion, whatever Best means by the term.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:36 AM
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302: Small amounts of coconut oil work really well for me, as I have curly hair that becomes dry and brittle. The trick is not to use too much, and to scrub the scalp. Regular conditioner works well, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:38 AM
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Note the use of an en dash in 345. That's what makes it really convincing.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:39 AM
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Great, so it's affirmatively idolatrous and I have yet another reason to dislike it (also, this is in tension with the "it's just a big party" defense). Ritual without religion is affirmatively harmful, it's a classic mode of expressing dominance, it gives you eg a fake spiritual ecstasy without corresponding duties, such as looking after the poor or devoting your life to a common good, and it's also necessarily inegalitarian.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:41 AM
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I didn't expect "idolatrous" to be a term of abuse in Halfordismo. Aren't we all going to worship a mighty bison selected each year from the strategic reserve or something?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:42 AM
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It's real hard to see how that's distinct from ritual with religion, except inasmuch as ritual without religion tends to lack the sort of emphatic claim to moral authority that gives the people involved license to be awful to other people.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:46 AM
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Anything that gives people regular communal access to that oceanic-ecstatic feeling in a non-harmful (which these days usually means non-religious) way I see as a positive good. It was when I saw that in Tia's writing that I got over my own knee-jerk "techno-lib-silicon-valley-billionaire-blah-blah-blah" response.

I also felt more than a bit of that at all the 1980s Butthole Surfers shows I went to, but that may have also been the acid kicking in.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:47 AM
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348 I don't see that at all. I think a lot of religious devotion to helping the poor and the like used to spring from that experience. Where the hell in religious life today, in modern Christianity say, can you find that experience?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 9:50 AM
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So does this mean that unfogged meetups aren't the mini Burning Man festivals that I've been imagining?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:00 AM
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I assume that the "religion" outwith this ritual supposedly is is some kind of institutional structure or at least shared body of doctrine that would channel the oceanic feeling in particular directions and give expression to ideals and duties, and Roberto's belief that the ritual doesn't generate in its participants a sense of duty derives from a belief that in the absence of such a structure or common doctrine it's unlikely to spontaneously arise, or if it does, it will arise piecemeal and haphazardly, and die off easily.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:01 AM
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353: the ones in DC were.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:02 AM
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Butthole Surfers!!! Such good memories.

I'm agreeing once again with Roberto El Tigro, and also nosflow's further elaboration of the mechanism. Have thoughts re different recurring settings for intentional non conforming communities in the US and how those settings' primary purposed (recreational, religious, economic, political, artistic, etc.) tend to flavor how the wheel gets reinvented again and again, also consistently skews conversations amongst those who've come to these experiences through different routes, but work beckons so you're all spared skipping my blather!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:13 AM
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Yeah, something like 354. Untethered exstatic experiences are basically just an extended form of vanity and narcissism. Doesn't mean that they're bad necessarily, but that's what they are, and when they get channeled into something more formally structured as ritual without religion you are basically ritualizing the worship of the self, which is at best lame and at worst actively harmful. Doesn't mean religion is always great either, of course, but at least it generally works at avoiding that problem.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:14 AM
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It occurs to me that a swarm of Road Warrior style nomads descending on a Burning Man type festival and the resulting battle between festival goers and road warriors could be the plot of an awesome horror/action movie.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:18 AM
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357 suggests an unawareness of the megachurch, in which case lucky Tigre!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:21 AM
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I'm willing to believe something along the lines of 354 but differ from Roberto in that I rather doubt that just having an institution at all does much of value, as suggested by e.g. 359. I mean, ideally, sure.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:24 AM
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I guess BM is certainly better on the idolatry front than, say Creflo Dollar, Jr.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:25 AM
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Untethered exstatic experiences are basically just an extended form of vanity and narcissism.

Unlike those ecstatic experiences where we believe that the architect of the entire universe has a special place in his heart for us, not narcissistic at all.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:29 AM
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(And this reminds me that now is the time to start volunteering for the next Folklife. )

I don't know enough about burning man to have a strong opinion about it (except that I have no interest in going), but I do appreciate tia sharing, I have friends who go, and I think most of them have some concerns about the ways in which SV money affect burning man but still enjoy it.

I did want to follow up on clew's comment. I've mentioned before that I know a number of people involved with a long-running (around 40 years) adult summer music camp*. It has almost nothing in common with Burning Man in terms of size, personality, location, etc . . . But there is a similarity in the way in which many of the people who participate talk about it as a potentially life-altering experience; as something which successfully breaks people out of the rhythms and habits of daily life and creates a very social, intense, supportive environment to play music and (for many people) to feel like the parts of their personality that connect to music are nourished in a way which is hard to do outside of that setting (even, or perhaps particularly for people who are casual or amateur musicians).

I say this partially because it's important to note that those sorts of things happen. They're uncommon, by definition, but there are various small-scale but successful groups which can sustain a distinctive ethos*. But it's also relevant because I was talking to one of the people recently and they mentioned that there have been various alumni of the camp who have tried to start other camps with a similar goal, and one of the things which can cause problems is having too many rich people*** who want to go because they like the idea, but don't have the experience of how to participate in that sort of communal experience. That, for it to function properly it's important that it can be inviting to both people with money and people without (and there are plenty of broke musicians out there) and that either can feel equally willing and able to feel ownership.

So I am not surprised to know that similar issues come up around burning man (and I'm also not surprised to hear that it's something that the organizers are aware of and try to be conscious of).

* I've never actually attended, except getting dragged along a couple of times as small child when my parents went, because I don't actually play music. I'm just an audience.

** And, similar to what ST mentioned about burning man, they survive in part because many people who are highly regarded in their field are willing to participate for much less than they would normally charge because they like the event.

*** for lack of a better term


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:30 AM
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362: Just following orders.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:35 AM
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359 is right. Untethered exstatic experiences are basically just an extended form of vanity and narcissism. ... you are basically ritualizing the worship of the self is as good a description of organized/standard/etc. religion as anything else. If anyone thinks differently I advise them to spend some time listening to how most Christians describe being Christian...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:36 AM
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when they get channeled into something more formally structured as ritual without religion you are basically ritualizing the worship of the self, which is at best lame and at worst actively harmful.

I see that RT has taken things in an interesting direction while I was working on 363.

I'd be curious to know what you, Tigre, would say about something like the music camp that I'm describing, because the criticisms that you're making do not match my experience/impression but I'm also not sure on what basis I would draw the line to separate a music camp from burning man in that regard.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:40 AM
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Also the whole ritualizing the worship of the self bit is basically another version of the standard Christian anti-atheist bit about how atheists are just massive egoist/narcissists who worship themselves as gods unlike good humble Christians, right? Fuck that bullshit.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 10:53 AM
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354 Maybe this is half a dozen of the one....but-- I don't think it's the ritual that gives rise to the sense of duty to one's fellow human being, it's the ecstatic/oceanic experience that does that, the ritual is the matrix in which that experience can most likely occur.

I used to be largely on board with the view articulated in 354 and by RT but I just don't see these kind of religious experiences which I think are among the most sublime human experiences possible (like better than infinity gajillion mouse orgasms) are valued or supported in just about any mainstream religious community. And that's setting aside completely the myriad problems with contemporary organized religious communities (thinking of the 3 Abrahamic religions, could probably also extend it to much of modern Hinduism too).

-Sorry for my inept use of whatever dash that was, nosflow


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:08 AM
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Yeah, I can see the validity of a solo transcendental experience. What someone does with it is another thing: burning people at the stake, launching crusades, and other stuff that's come from group experiences doesn't demonstrate to me that there's only one correct way.

On the other subject, I guess I've never really minded the over-the-top ridiculous Halford/Ripper/Tigre thing, but once it's called out by someone genuinely bothered by it, I'm willing to say it's time to move on.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:09 AM
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-Sorry for my inept use of whatever dash that was, nosflow

Ego te absolvo. Go thou and—sin no more.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:12 AM
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366 -- I feel like music camp is in a different category than something that makes deliberate and explicit claims to being a ritualized/ecstatic spiritual experience, which is how some people want to describe Burning Man. People can enjoy all kinds of things very deeply without putting them into that category, I think.

368 -- I wasn't particularly trying to defend organized religion or any one particular organized religion, but rather to point out what I see as a problem with a particular kind of untethered spirituality. I mean we could get into a broader discussion, but that wasn't what I was trying to do.

369.2 -- I thought I did move on, so I don't actually know what you're trying to say. Everything I've written since comment 266 has been more or less sincere.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:28 AM
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I meant generally.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:30 AM
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368 noted. And I think I agree with you (or used to). But I think the BM experience has value in just this way and is worth defending. Not that I'd personally ever go there looking for it (see my 342).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:32 AM
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OK, so go fuck yourself then. I don't know what your problem is, but I didn't actually mean to bother anyone, and when I did, I apologized.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:33 AM
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373 to 371.2 not 368. Duh.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:33 AM
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374 to 372.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 11:33 AM
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Burning man looks fun.

I think collective joy is good and somewhat squeezed out of modern society.

I like this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Dancing-Streets-History-Collective-Joy/dp/0805057242


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 1:52 PM
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It is odd how certain clothes become fashion villains. I don't wear cargo shorts because they are out of fashion, but at least I recognize that that is arbitrary.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 2:01 PM
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It helps if you accept extremely transparent rationalizations as objective reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 2:11 PM
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So, Burning Man caters to SV types because it's whole ethos is fuck everyone. But the document that establishes principles of the culture is pretentious and meaningless! Even though I can report as a recent attendee that those principles really do create an alternative culture!* And meanwhile, even though a document that establishes the principles of the culture is pretentious and meaningless, there's no sense of duty in the culture! Never mind that I stopped for a person in distress on the street and spent about 45 minutes helping her in part because I was holding in mind an ethic of care for others that had been established by the event. Sometimes I do things like this in other contexts, but sometimes I don't as a defense against living in a big city that doesn't do a good job caring for very vulnerable people. At the time I heard some distressed vocalization, had an impulse to go past, and deliberately short-circuited that because I was thinking about what it meant to be radically inclusive.

*Note: this does not mean everyone behaves well. In case you are confused as to whether I understand this, please see my original comment in which I identified a burner as a rape threat. I also complained about several other peoples' behavior.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 2:11 PM
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me, obvi.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 2:13 PM
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And one last point that's been floating about in my head that I've neglected to make: Burning Man is really queer. It's queer in that queer people are a disproportionate percentage of the people who attend and are very visibly represented, and it's queer in that it drastically relaxes gendered expectations and allows gender-and-orientation play for people who are not queer in the rest of their lives. A trans member of our camp said that they enjoyed Burning Man in part because gender existed less there, so their nonconformity was less visible. So, if you feel the need to be judgmental and supercilious about it in an ill-informed way, please keep in mind that you are shitting on a queer space.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 2:48 PM
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Oh come fucking on.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:01 PM
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I mean, I'm glad you had an interesting time at a big, pretentious party, but just because you liked it doesn't mean that those who don't -- or who dare criticize -- are "shitting on a queer space." That's like the laziest, most obvious self-defense ever.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:03 PM
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You can criticize what's worth criticizing, although I again remind you you're not doing so from a place of actual experience or information, but it really is worth understanding and taking in the information that the event provides a feeling of refuge for people who have experienced actual violence and marginalization. Even if that's so annnnoyyyying.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:07 PM
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I don't doubt that there are some queer or trans people who like it and feel safe there, but there are also large numbers of queer and trans people who dislike the whole idea and scene (indeed, some of them even known to me), so let's move off a bit from the notion that this gigantic, mostly-straight party finds its dignity in being some kind of unique safe space for queer culture.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:12 PM
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Things that are not incompatible:

Some queer people don't like it
Some queer people find it really valuable

In fact, this bi person spent some time hanging out at the Beaverdome in order to have the experience of getting to socialize in a lesbian space. Part of what allowed me to get the chutzpah to do that was the the ethic of radical inclusion -- I felt like I'd be welcomed there, even as a stranger, and I wouldn't have to prove I belonged in any way.

The event provides a lot of resources and relative safety to queer people. If you don't see that as a source of dignity, that's your limitation.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:21 PM
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382: and do you find it makes the rest of the year safer for being queer in, instead of canalizing it?

Now I'm wondering if some of the flattening I think I've seen is that being artsy and noncommercial is getting *even more* marked as being sexually queer and therefore "belongs" in different places.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:23 PM
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388: I don't know; I pass.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:25 PM
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Again, as I said, I'm sure that there are some queer people who like it. That's well and fine, and a good thing about the event. You're making the claim that the event has some kind of unique value due to its particular, unique queerness, such that to criticize it is to be "shitting on a queer space," which I'm disagreeing with, and which apparently you can't handle.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:26 PM
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...parsing...


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:32 PM
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It is not the only queer space in the world; it's one of them. It does have particular value in what it provides to queer people; it's not just a thing queer people happen to like. The accessibility and relative safety of a dizzying array of opportunities for queer socializing, gender experimentation, and sex play are actually possibly unparalleled anywhere else in the world, though I can't be sure about that.

I don't know what it is you think I can't handle.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:33 PM
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Though maybe I should note! not very accessible to people with disabilities. Burning Man could do way better with that kind of accessibility! It's not like there's nothing to criticize, it's just more fruitful to do so from a position of some knowledge.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:39 PM
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(anyway, 391, if you were trying to figure out what I meant in 389, it was this: I am competent to observe that Burning Man is a safer space for queer people, but not to observe finely graded temporal changes in the safety of the outside world, because of my passing privilege. So you may be right about your critiques that creating one big pool of artistic expression and sexual 'n' gender fluidity has a side effect that we view that behavior as segregated and work less for freedom of expression in every day life. It's hard for me to analyze that from my position.)


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 3:57 PM
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I don't like the notion that big ecstatic experiences ever have much to do with being a better, more ethical person. I'd accept that they make someone more cemented and intense in whatever direction they were predisposed.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 5:00 PM
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I couild see bnig extatic experiences giving an otherwise narcissistic person a sense of the humanity and dignity of others. I could also see it taking a relatively decent person and making them into a self-absrobed pric.

Not fixing the typos because btocked and loving it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 5:33 PM
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(394, yeah, I figured the play on words, couldn't get across an accent in which "parsing" sounded the same. And about the real subject, you haven't even been back all that long! Though if you have positive news about year-round change, or from friends, I would be glad to hear it because it's tiring being such an Eeyore.)

Heebie, "don't like"? You think they don't or they oughtn't? No metaphor about bouncing into a different basin of attraction?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 5:45 PM
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btocked and loving it

Solidarity, brother!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 5:58 PM
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||

The most maddening thing about reading repeated drafts of a report where someone else is inputting your edits is realizing that you have to re-read the whole thing every time because their fixes keep introducing new errors.

I absolutely cannot understand this. I have been editing documents for 30+ years and I've certainly introduced errors in my time, but mostly I caught them. And I know this because when I gave the document to another experienced writer, they gave it back to me with minor edits.

I'm just glad I'm getting paid well to deal with this. But seriously, wth? Can they not be bothered reread a damn paragraph?

||>


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:30 PM
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From past experience, the most important thing is to search for "pubic" before sending.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:37 PM
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Just checked. Phew.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 6:59 PM
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AIPMOB, I once stopped 500 copies of a letter containing the phrase "pubic schools" from being sent out. I just happened to notice while walking by.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 7:12 PM
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And I once inserted the word into my roommate's final draft of a paper in college when he left it open on his computer.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:25 PM
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Relevant.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 09-11-15 8:34 PM
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332: Togolosh, if the heat and dust at Black Rock City are a barrier for you, but you'd otherwise be interested in Burning Man, there's a Baltimore-Washington regional burn known as Playa del Fuego. The fall burn happens in October, as I recall. October 8-12, it seems.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-12-15 10:41 AM
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Now that this thread has quieted down it's probably time for a Quiznos ad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-12-15 11:41 AM
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Funny. But ya: that's why I'm glad the Rainbow Family has stayed a bit more under the radar. For cripe's sake.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09-12-15 12:05 PM
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I was just going to post that ad.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 09-12-15 5:28 PM
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I thought the ad was funny. I have a relative who goes to Burning Man regularly who was very disturbed by it. Though he's a social worker, which completely invalidates all points made by Tigre.

Plus Burning Man has flame throwers. If that's narcissism, I don't want to care about others.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 09-12-15 11:46 PM
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I thought that ad was funny, especially the eye gazing workshop part, but the BMorg does probably need to sue them to prevent the floodgates from opening on advertising using their name.

I did the census (or the convenience sample version of it; they also have some kind of methodologically stricter random sample), and it seems like, based on the questions tacked on at the end, the psychologists who run it are trying to do some research on the relationships among subjective experiences of transcendence, feelings about the relationship between the self and other, and moral behavior.

I also looked up the last census. The median personal income of an attendee was $54k. The median age was 34. 69.4% of attendees were straight, the rest some kind of QUILTBAG. 14.4% voted Republican or Libertarian in the previous election (this is ambiguous because because of how the survey breaks out voters with party affiliations and voters without), 74.3% voted Democratic in the last election, the rest other parties. 87% were white, with Asians and Hispanics making up most of the non-white participants.

And some people might also be interested to know that in my camp's post event survey, they asked for comment on how well our camp lived up to the 10 principles, and how it could do better in the future.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-13-15 2:16 PM
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410.2: oh hah, you did that. That research is being funded by the institute created by the author of a book recently clubbed on this very blog. Did the experience feel transformative to you?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09-13-15 3:55 PM
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I answered most of the questions no -- there were a bunch of questions about whether I'd recently felt like I saw deeper into the ultimate nature of reality, stuff like that, that I answered no to, although I answered yes to having recently experienced awe/wonder. I also picked a pretty separate self/other venn diagram and wasn't crazily enthused about punishing malefactors at cost to myself so maybe I will wind up in the less moral/less transcendent bins. So maybe not so transformative I become a Buddhist nun! Slightly less transformative than that.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-13-15 4:23 PM
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Burning Man missed connections.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 09-14-15 9:12 AM
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Thread is long dead, but in case anyone happens across it, this is correct in every single particular.

The interesting story about this event is the extent to which it is successful in maintaining a culture so distinct from any other I've ever experienced, in spite of the presence of people with money, media attention, and many new attendees.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 09-17-15 1:00 PM
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