The 10 Princa-mandments

Orignal photo by Scott Haefner

Most of us who opted into the the Burning Man life and live it in our daily lives by observing and respecting the 10 Principles have had that occasion where someone asked about Burning Man and why: “why won’t you shut the fuck up about it?”

More than that there is those said principles that get a gray area like nothing else, but a body of the burner community can be robust in their application of the principles. One R.C. (Regional Contact) I know called it Churchification, but an aggressive point of view versus a more laid back application run the gambit in the community as a whole.

 Orignal photo by Scott Haefner

Quite simply the 10 Principles are not the 10 Commandments. While the 10 Commandments are great for a national basic series of laws to live by, the principles are ideal for a community or communities that are part of that nation.

Talking about Burning Man

“…going to Burning Man is on my bucket list…”

– same quote from about 500 Twitter users

There is a world of difference with newbies who have a natural inclination to the Burning Man lifestyle versus the Frat Boy going out to crunch beer cans. Talking about these principles and applying them will affect these people differently potentially. Talking about ‘why‘ Burning Man is more than a week long event insights some interesting reactions.

“She told me she was planning on going to Burning Man next year in our discussion over coffee. We were meeting in a local cafe called “Cafe Flore” that has a Burning Man    Man on the roof and is owned by Burners. We were meeting because she was going to provide me a service and was interviewing me for this service… but she kept going back to ‘why‘ is Burning Man in your life beyond some festival that happens 7 days a year?

“When I tried explaining that the 10 Principles include things like radical self reliance, radical self expression, community involvement, etc… I explained these were things that were are not the 10 Commandments.  But she countered:

‘Why wouldn’t a normal person just do the right thing? Why is Burning Man in your life beyond some festival that happens 7 days a year?’

“Not everyone just does the right things and we are looking this as guidelines for a community. It’s a culture. It’s an ideal.

“I kept the story as to why it was important to me, naturally unable to speak for others, but in her frustration she shut down our conversation obviously irritated. She terminated our business and walked away implying I had lost my mind.”

– Just Scott

How many Burners experienced this reaction? It is hard at this time to find something to compare this to.

Distilling this reaction to Fear or Anger of something that a person cannot clearly ‘wrap their head around’ over simplifies the severe response. Perhaps a psychologist can offer some insight?

General Recap

The principles are what they are. 10 great guidelines that have a wide gray line on both sides. How deep they follow you beyond the trash fence is just as individual as the participant at the event. So, if you have an adverse reaction to information about the event in the life of someone else – maybe this is not for you.

“In the course of our conversation and how she kept referring to it being just a 7 day event that begins and ends and then, as she said, ‘people return to their normal lives’ I gave her a suggestion. I said, in the nicest way possible, cushioning it and told her: Maybe Burning Man is really not for you.”

– Just Scott

So, what else can you say? Feel free to add your thoughts below.

Letter to Members

Hey everyone…

While at Burning Man and since I have had the pleasure… no “pleasure” does not even describe… bliss of meeting members of the site in all corners. Sometimes in some surprising places.

The site and our Facebook page is really busy and it goes far beyond the numbers of registered users at each location.

  • 390 People on Facebook
  • 273 Fully Registered on GB
  • 319 according to the backend which means about 40ish people have not finished their registration.

August is ‘shockingly’ a busy month for Burners. The facebook page in August had 100,000 freaking views!!!!! I was awestruck when I saw that information. The web site had 5,200 visitors 3,600 of which never saw the site before!

Of course in September the numbers dropped more dramatically on the Facebook to 23,500 for September, but that is nothing to sneeze at. Web site 3,160 views with 2,690 new visitors; at least according to Analytics and Insights.

Why is this important?
This is not a pat on the back for me. NO! Sounds like it maybe, but when I meet people who tell me they appreciate this site and the links/info on it I want you to see it’s relevance to us as a whole. Each one of you are a cell to a body and that body is part of a collective community and we all are so strong together irregardless of gender identity, race, orientation or social status. This site is a gift to you from each other.

On the site…
There are a few very relevant articles on the site right now I want people to take a look at when you get the chance. The last two major postings were themed with the 10 principles:

There is more. There seems to be a natural link between Queer Burners and the Radical Faeriecollective and the site will put it’s toe into that. Would love your feedback. A couple members are going to be talking about that more moving forward.

New Security
I am working on trying to find the best solution for protecting the site from Spam postings. Most of which you all never see because I have filters protecting the integrity of the site. If you have problems let me know. Too many bad attempts at logging in will lock you out. So, if 3 times you try and can’t get in use the reset feature.

Getting Traction!
I am looking for suggestions on what you want to see this site do. If you are a PHP guru and can help develop some ideas in the form of widgets for a WordPress site like this please let me know.

The guys that made the interactive maps that were unveiled this year like burnermap on Facebook and the one on BurningMan[dot]Com … I talked to both hopefully putting a bug in their ear for widgets or something for sites like ours that would benefit.

Thank you all so much for being a part of this. I will be posting this on the site as  an article for those not receiving email. About 1/3 of you are not getting email from the site. I would also like to thankComfort and Joy for their amazing support.

We also have a new domain pointing to the site and all new art! We have pointing to … after all we’re all queer.

Love&Light to you all…
Toaster aka Scott

RF + Burner = huh?

Increasingly since this site was put together he subject of Radical Faeries has been injected into some of the discussions and even hold a couple places here on in the Groups section [Radical Faeries in Groups]. There is some thought that these are two worlds that can fit together.

There is an influence in San Francisco among such legendary camps as Comfort & Joy that operate  under the RF flag. Many of the key leaders in that camp these days are also leaders in that community.

Kyle and Kitten will probably be the main people injecting some content here from the RF part of the community. They will talk a little more about the marriage of these two groups as time progresses. Certainly their web site has links and resources that could be very valuable.

What is a Radical Faerie?

There is a hesitation to define that here, but the description on the group now was borrowed. So borrowing once more:

“Generally, we tend to be gay men who look for a spiritual dimension to our sexuality;many of us are healers of one kind or another.

Our shared values include feminism, respect for the Earth, and individual responsiblity rather than hierarchy. Many of us are Pagan (nature-based religion).

Our defining events are Faerie Gatherings, where we’ll get together for an extended retreat, usually in the woods, separated from the outside world. A lot of that time is spent in “heart circles,” where we open up emotionally.

Of course, that’s just this circle’s attempt at a definition.” –

How does this tie to the Burners? Well – hello! It sounds like a trip to Burning Man in this quote alone. As time progresses more information will come, but the core of this site is BURNING MAN! QUEERS AT BURNING MAN or ….or…. living the life of a Burner by the 10 principles.


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