oo-to (oo-tu) adj. noun.  
meaning out of the office.  
1 State of focused mindset.  
2 Soulful, transcendental attitude.  
3 Mode of efficiency.  
4 Go [out].  

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Burning Man

Paul Buelow Ooto.com August 27- September 3rd

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Black Rock City 12:09am: squeezing my hand held radio talk button, I'm on channel 9 sub 3. "Billwire, Billwire, Billwire this is Hammerhead, Hammerhead, Hammerhead, C'mon? How's the surface? Is it packed? What's our 10-20, over?"

"Hammerhead, Hammerhead, Hammerhead, I do not copy. Meet at 8 o'clock or 8:15 or like 8:30-9 o'clock or 9:15 on the edge Over," the hand held radio crackles back.

Cut back in time to first scene

We fast forwarded our departure, to go home to the burn in order to arrive at the grand opening 12:01am Monday, August 27th. The arrival was a blessed experience bringing together prompt partiers from around the world. Monitoring channel 9 sub channel 3 inside, we heard from our compatriots--The Commodores-"Commodore, Commodore, Commodore come in?" At the entrance to the Burn, there were qualified burners, virgins, professionals, hippies, retirees, ultra-organized freaks and plain old yuppies! They had a plan. I didn't have a plan. Apparently I forgot my clothing bag, nor did have a flash light or sunglasses. I stepped out to ring the Black Rock Virgin's Bell and put my feet and hands in the sand at the bequest of a hug giving loving hostess named Abundance.

The Theme Camps are rarely serious, so many unrealized, most overly ambitious, many a chaotic dismal failure with broken tents, brackets and cracked bamboo. The camps define you, your group and demonstrate your burning savvy. For those who succeed there is the reward of achieving beauty and truth in art. Sarcastic, sad, salacious, super duper, you bet they run together in a blur of dust and blowing wind, obliterating one's ability to see clearly or know what is real and what isn't. Is the Man here, is he built? Is he lit? A pharoh is making bacon for a crowd of fairies, a gladiator helps a lost mime, naked dancing women ask you to join them, a man asks to be whipped, while everywhere serendipitous moments and meetings begin.

The Green Man, yeah he's a sellout to corporate management, the BRC LLC. This Burn was different it had manufacturing sponsors. Ewwww. But the Burn can fix itself, the Man can heal. For god's sake it's only Man. Apparently this year the Man fell from Grace and rebirthed into the Corporate sloth. This year the Man took a few days off from the Burn to recooperate. Tuesday during the lunar eclispe at about 2:50 am the Green Man was supposedly attacked by an alleged arsonist. But was he? Paul Addis, a friend of the founders, an actor and somewhat pathetic apologist of gonzo journalism was arrested within moments of the fire starting and stands accused though it's uncertain if he has been formally charged. He took the fall for a less than pure Man. Perhaps like Lucifer, Addis' rise and fall was intended to teach a lesson. Either way, the Man wasn't burned in a day, the Man burned early, theatrically. BRC spokesmen Andie communicated, "The Man will be rebuilt, we have the resources and he will rise to be (Burped)... I mean Burned again..." Certainly this was significant to the outsiders in the default world but completely insignificant to burners in a world of burning, in a world of misunderstanding, love, beauty and fire, where burning everything in sight is the norm, but somehow the premature burn seemed compelled to evoke sympathy for a Sold Out Man. Sympathy he got.

What remains are questions about the real intent, the plan, it was seemingly all setup perfectly for an early burn and rebuild, a huge protective tent blocked anyone from being hurt, an area was coordined off immediately by BRC Rangers who began to diseminate propaganda. The spin began with little public commentary yet brief statements were made. "Really who cares?" Well, apparently thwS world cares because they picked up the story. Who will reveal the all too obvious truth? Larry Harvey setup an early Burn to turn his critics into sympathizers. He did and the result is we get to burn the Man twice, as some say, doubling the profits.

A statue of liberty as well as all the artist's tools were set on fire also as was an actor's "real world cartoon theatre". In every community there are good people and people who are antisocial. Not sure about this one - - Art reflects life, art demonstrates the future, art mimics and repeats and art creates avenues. The Burn--well, overwhelmingly, to me it seems, humans are highly compelled to create obstacles to overcome, sort of busy-ness business---that's it, that's Burning Man along with a lot of personal interaction, love, beauty and sharing.

Burning Man -- It's a virtual city, the third largest in Nevada (for the week). We're camping at 8:50 street and Landfill street on the playa. The city is setup in a circle with a community based in half, a semi circle community barrio and the other half reserved for spase installations. The entire space covers, I'm guessing about 7 x 7 miles. Our camp is the Black Rock Yacht Club at the outer edge of the Burn. Some say its the farthest from the Center but for the Yacht Club Commodores which includes anyone who visits the BRYC, we're on the beach.

We, the BRYC, gather to sail, dance and feel the burn. We're not super organized like some burners who plan and work year round for the finale. In those camps, you might pay a fee to be there, you have charts and schedules, chores, and basically a list of things that are planned. Our camp lacks apparent organization but we are organic, experimental and effective in setting up an open camp for the purpose of sailing the Black Rock Desert on land sailors and we hope to share this experience.

Deep in the Burn

Tuesday, the lunar eclipse was exceptional. The Moon so full, quickly diminished to half it's size.

Wednesday, in full swing the Burn began, worker burners arrived late in the week full of TGIF enthusiasm.

Things seen and heard in the desert:

"Do you know who you are? Do you know where you're going?" a priest asked.

From the board room, "Burn the Man twice double the profits."

Burner #103986 "If you burn hard, bring ice and water, you need to hydrate out in the desert."

Virgin, "I was so deep VIP I couldn't even find my way out of the velvet ropes."

From an experienced burned, "When the man says its time to burn its okay to be late."

Indian girl, "Sure they're hipppies but they're super organized hippies."

A car decorated like a large mosquito passes, its passengers grinding to a deep bass throb, while a naked women dances on a brass pole, spinning, legs grasping hold like tentacles, the beautiful people are here as are the less so, obese, naked, hippies, seniors, kids and of course the burners, inventors, artists, planners, they all come to create a life beyond the one known to the default world. "Here gifting is the economy, if you need something, ask and if you have something to give, offer."

Camper girl, "You have a lot to give, the more you give love, the more you feel fulfilled."

Our camp theme is land sailing. The camp method is ExaD. Experimental and Disorganized. It works. Low Budget. Functional and flexible. Over the week we graduated about 500 student sailors, hosted 100 massage spray cooling mist relaxing spa magic carpet rides, and had a big hot dog party and finally an ice cream social.

When asked what I thought was the most amazing thing, I pondered for a moment and shouted, "it's the people, their shining light, the love which stands above all man made objects at BM. The people are stars shining so bright and pure with intent and clarity, 'the thing' totally unrelated to silly Larry Harvey, Paul Addis, theme camps, blowing propane gas, Burning The Man, and The Temple."

If you need it you'll find it, If you have it you'll find someone who needs you. No, not drugs, things, stuff, water, an ice cream, an umbrella, love, whatever it is you need you will most likely find it when you need it at burning man. A place with so much to give, that giving is the economy. Different than the default world of capitalism which is based in maximizing profit for less, the Burn gift economy maximizes giving more with lower cost. Its' quite the opposite from capitalism, Burning man can be radically consumption oriented but it's drastically more efficient and cost effective to have a party for 50 people with something planned for everyone like a keg of beer, fresh grapefruit margaritas and a ton of fresh grilled tuna and sushi than $6/beer $18/ grilled tuna to one person. At least that's the part of the economy I remember.

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