sparr: (Default)
After waking up to some general announcement emails today, I decided that it's time to unsubscribe and unfollow various sources of information about Firefly. I won't be attending again in the near future, possibly ever, and being reminded of that loss has become more depressing than useful.

I never thought that Firefly was a popularity contest, but it seems that I was wrong. It was made clear to me last year that if more than one person is upset about where I'm camping or even just sitting, and they complain loudly enough, the board will force me to move, under threat of ejection from the event. I've been told that simply talking, in any place where someone who doesn't like what I'm saying might overhear me, is unacceptable behavior. I don't think there is anywhere I can exist at the event that there won't be at least intermittently two people upset with my presence, so any time / effort / money I spend on attending is now under the specter of risk of losing out on most of the best parts of the experience I would hope to have. I'm not going to spend a thousand dollars and take a week off work just to camp alone and watch my friends revel from afar.

I am disappointed in the people who lied to our camp, and me directly, about how such situations would be handled between us, about their support for plans and policies that they did not actually support, and in describing my own actions and behavior. If they had simply honestly told me they wanted me gone, rather than subjecting us to a year of discussion and meetings and policymaking just to discard it all, it would have been a much cleaner break. I am disappointed in the Firefly board for succumbing to the battle of who can cope least. It is poor leadership to choose the path of least resistance to mollify whoever complains loudest. I am disappointed in my friends who decided that keeping silent and avoiding the drama was worth more to them than my continued presence. Fortunately this has helped me reprioritize and filter people I thought were my friends.

This is more painful to write than the end of any other relationship has been for me.
sparr: (cellular automata)
My second year at Burning Man was better and worse than my first. Most of the notable details of the experience were different, although the large scale view of camping in the desert for a week or two with 70k people partying remains the same. Overall, my view of Burning Man remains similar to before I went, and after my first year. It's a lot of fun, and worth the effort and cost if both are lower than average. I'll probably keep going as long as I'm on the west coast. From the east coast, I'd probably go back to spending the same money and effort and work vacation days on 3-5 regional burns instead.

Read more... )
sparr: (cellular automata)
Previous post: http://sparr0.livejournal.com/77436.html

Last month I heard the following rumor about myself from a bay area acquaintance:

"[a friend who runs a camp at a large event] let me know that someone had complained to him that you were insufficiently respectful of sexual consent boundaries [and that's why you aren't welcome to join his camp]"

Read more... )

I still don't have enough information to confidently say what I think has happened. I continue to seek information on all of these fronts. This line of inquiry has spawned numerous side quests, all of which I hope to follow to completion in order to make amends, better myself, help others better themselves, or help others make informed decisions about me. Posting this, and following those leads, means I can never again know if an accusation is new or based on the same thing as this round of rumors or even just based on someone having read this post. I can live with that, if it means doing something good with this information.

(cross posted to Facebook, Livejournal, Google+, Fetlife)
sparr: (cellular automata)
Summary

This was my first net-negative experience at a burn or con. The things I learned will have positive value in the future, so eventually I can look back and say this weekend was worth it, but I don't know how long that will take. I've finished burning a lot of bridges and made some new friends. Firefly is still the best regional burn I've been to, despite its flaws, and I'll probably return if they let me.

The Good

I got to spend some part of a couple of days camping with some of the people whose company I enjoy most. This is a welcome reprieve from what has been mostly solitude on the west coast. There were friendly conversations as well as good hugs and cuddles. Due to some things mentioned in sections below, there's a good chance I'll get to spend more time with those people fwen I return to Firefly.

Read more... )
sparr: (cellular automata)
My first trip to Burning Man was a matter of convenient timing. I've wanted to go and see what all the fuss is about for a while, but the circumstances have never been quite right to make it affordable and feasible. This year, I had given 3 months' notice to leave my job in Chicago and made plans to take a counterclockwise tour of the US through the fall and winter while seeing the country and visiting old friends. By happy coincidence, this meant I would be driving near or through Nevada in late August, just in time to visit Black Rock City.

Read more... )

This was an enjoyable burn experience for me. Overall, much more so than any single regional burn. I am not sure if I'll be back, because I could spend the same money going to half a dozen regionals, and that might appeal to me more. Time will tell, and future travel coincidences could have a significant impact on that decision.
sparr: (cellular automata)
I recently experienced jealousy for the first time, in a situation with no especially novel components. I would like to figure out why.

Read more... )
sparr: (cellular automata)
Last weekend I traveled from Chicago to Lucky Lake Campground in Rothbury, MI for the Great Lakes Regional Burn, Lakes of Fire, which is a spinoff event from Burning Man, similar to Alchemy, Firefly, Transformus, Burning Flipside, etc. This writing will be about my experience and observations.

Read more... )

Overall, I'd say that LoF is one of the most enjoyable and well-organized burns that I've been to. I will definitely be attending again if I'm in the region, and I'd consider traveling for it.
sparr: (cellular automata)
Firefly 2014

The good:

lots )

The bad:

some )

The ugly:

little )

The whiny:

little )
sparr: (cellular automata)
Euphoria, the smaller of the two Georgia burns[1], was this past weekend. In short, I had a great time overall, but because the bar has been set so high by other events this was the least enjoyable burn I've been to.
Read more... )
sparr: (Default)
I made it home from Euphoria in one piece and want to put everything I can remember down in writing before I forget too much. Sadly I've already lost track of a lot of personal interactions that happened, and failed to swap contact information with a few new folks that I met. Hopefully I'll see them online via other friends' journals and posts and such.

Read more... )
A retrospective budget that I put together for a post yesterday is as follows:

reusable items:
$200 trampoline
$100 balloon frame components
$ 85 camping accessories
$ 20 clothes
----
$405

expended items:
$ 90 event tickes
$ 16 four dozen dozen pecan spins, mostly gifted
$ 33 camping necessities
$ 12 batteries
$ 35 balloon frame components
$ 25 camping chairs, gifted
$ 20 Ikea end tables, 2 gifted, 2 to be burnt
$ 20 toys, used and gifted
$ 40 gas
----
$291

The end.

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