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burner friends

There's this group of people in our lives who I sometimes want to refer to as "burner friends" but I'd have to explain what that means, so I figure I'll write this one entry to get it out of the way so everyone understands.

Burner friends are people who meet each other through Burning Man related festivities. Burning Man is this big party in the desert where tens of thousands of people get together for a week to create a mini utopia sort of society where everyone shares things and makes art. There are offshoot events throughout the year, called "local burns", with a few hundred people doing the same kind of thing but staying closer to home. It's called "burning man" because there will be a big thing built that represents "the man" and corporate materialism and all that stuff, and at the end of the event it gets burned and this makes for lots of fun.

and after you go to one of these events, especially if you're terribly involved with the planning, you end up with... burner friends.

burner friends may camp out on your couch or sleep in your basement for a few days and it's no big deal. If you have a nice guestroom, they'll likely ignore that and sleep on your couch anyway.

burner friends will drink your alcohol, but they'll bring their own cup with them because disposable ones are not earth friendly.

burner friends are frequently vegan, or at least really like humus.

burner friends like to hug a lot. a LOT. they'll hug people they just met. they'll hug to say thank you.

if a burner friend leaves your house it will probably take an hour or so of making sure everyone is hugged all around before they're actually out the door.

burner friends have all different hair colors, lots of tattoos and piercings, or they might just let you color on them.

some burner friends wear lots of clothes: big flowey skirts, lots of accessories, layers of fabric, homemade scarves.

some burner friends don't wear anything.

burner friends attend events on "burner time", which means the early ones show up at least 3 hours late.

most burner friends do indeed like to burn things. not in a bad way, they won't *try* to burn down your house, but they love fire spinning, fire eating, blowing flames, fire hula hoops, you name it. it's a good idea to point out to them where the garden hoses and older towels are, so they can put out fires that aren't in the right place. burners do want to be safe; our burner friends' motto is "Safety Third!"

burner friends like mottos.

burner friends are crafty. they make art, food, wine, beer. it's all been tasty and safe so far.

I ran into some guys once who'd been up smoking weed all night and I offered them toast and coffee because it was morning time, and they said "just coffee. I don't eat gluten, that shit will kill you." burner friends.

burner friends are like louder, tech-friendlier hippies.

good to have around.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2015 01:24 am (UTC)
I have one burner on my friends list, so I've heard a bit about it. It sounds (and looks, from what I've seen on the net) to be one of those really super cool things that I'd love, except I hate being in the hot dry desert and would want to come home after a hour. But I do love meeting the people in other settings! (and thank you for the explanation of the name- I'd never figured that one out)
Mar. 5th, 2015 02:19 am (UTC)
I love this! I need some burner friends in my life. :)
Mar. 5th, 2015 02:29 am (UTC)
Wow what city are you in again? Because these people so don't seem to exist in southeastern Pennsylvania...
Mar. 5th, 2015 02:50 am (UTC)
Oh, I thought burner friends were acquaintances you used to meet others and then discarded in order to remove any traces of the connections.
Mar. 5th, 2015 03:13 am (UTC)
Ha, i know Burner friends although i do not travel in those circles. I respect the general vibe of Burning Man, but if i'm going out in the middle of the desert i want to do it alone.

I do worry that the black hats are going to figure out that all the tech staff is far away from a high bandwidth net connection and will attack on all fronts during some Burning Man.
Mar. 5th, 2015 04:46 am (UTC)
I have... a metric ton of burner friends.
They also like to make pot hummus, light fires in your back yard, and participate in bicycle-oriented performance art.
The best burner friends are ones that live just far enough away that they only show up every once in a while.
Mar. 5th, 2015 11:01 am (UTC)
They do seem to travel in herds, don't they!
Mar. 6th, 2015 02:40 am (UTC)
It's a somewhat coherent subculture. The local burner crowd have been hanging out together for twelve years. When you meet a bunch of people in your twenties and start hanging out, by the time you get to your late thirties and you're already committed to hanging out with them, inertia is terribly powerful.
Mar. 5th, 2015 05:44 am (UTC)
I live in the bay area and have been to burning man - over a decade ago. Even my non-burner friends are... well, like your burner friends. Of course, I have blue hair and hug anyone who wants a hug, generally. :)

Trick: When I throw a party, I announce the start time as 2-3 hours before I really want it to start. The tiny number of friends who show up on time are usually happy to help set up or hang out while I do. :)
Mar. 5th, 2015 05:56 am (UTC)
Omg I love this post, it's adorable.

(I've never been to burning man, but I have friends who have, and some of these are spot on for them.)
Apr. 6th, 2015 03:32 am (UTC)
God yes
Mar. 5th, 2015 08:00 am (UTC)
That made me laugh.
Mar. 5th, 2015 09:09 am (UTC)
I remember I saw an episode of "Malcolm in the middle" about Burning Man. It seems fun, quirky and hippy :D
Mar. 5th, 2015 01:52 pm (UTC)
Hahah. Definitely hippies, just not hippies that burned out in the 60's and forgot that time marched on.

I have friends like that, and they definitely fill a certain niche. They're the friends who always make sure you know how awesome you are.
Mar. 5th, 2015 03:22 pm (UTC)
As I was reading this, my thought was, yes, hippies. Then you wrote that second to last line.

I'm not a burner, but I'm kind of a hippy/jock.
Mar. 5th, 2015 07:30 pm (UTC)
The first friend I ever made out here has since moved to Chicago and has gotten very involved with burning man, so I get to hear about burners vicariously and see a lot of the interactions on her fb feed. Good people.
Mar. 5th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
"Welcome Home"
I do know burners and almost went to my first BM last year, but I went to our state Boogie instead.

Reading BM has lost the whole Burn Principles has taken a back seat to the BOD turning it into a cash cow for well connected millennials and jocks.

Theme camps are now 'glamping' areas, where you come in and everything is provided "for a fee".

There is some talk about an east coast series of burns, with a new OBD formed from a few of the original members of the BM BOD. I'll post more when I know more.

Owning a music and event venue where we mostly do 'rave' stuff, a lot of burners either came from hippy, muggle or rave cultures, with the ravers adding all the color to the burns and art.

We have hosted Alex and Allison Gray at our venue many times, and the burn crowd, hippy crowd and ravers all congregate and refresh each other with new members.

Its all very organic, the way the spirit moves, as the commercial aspects take over scenes temporarily...

I do love them all quite dearly.
Apr. 6th, 2015 03:35 am (UTC)
Oh hi rick!
One thing I learned recently is that a lot of the money that goes in goes back out as art grants for the big structure people design and construct for the event. I thought that was very neat.
Apr. 6th, 2015 12:41 pm (UTC)

hey where u been??
Apr. 6th, 2015 04:55 pm (UTC)
Where've I been? I still post! But I don't know if you still read our mutual friends.

I don't have time to look further but
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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