Why am I anti-burning man?
That my friend is a GREAT question, that not even I am able to fully answer.
I've never been to it, so really does my opinion even count? I don't know, but have YOU been to a NASCAR race? Probably not, but if you're reading this, you most likely dislike NASCAR in a very big way.
I've heard soooo many stories from "burners" that extol the festival's greatness, hell I'm in love with one of them (a burner, not a story).
Maybe I feel like the festival is increasingly hypocritical. The party is run by a LLC (Limited Liability Company), that turns a profit (~$600,000 for 2006), to me that flies in the face of the bartering only culture within the festival. Oh, but they donate to non-profits, such as Black Rock Arts Foundation you say. Wouldn't you hate to know that between 2001 and 2005 BRAF raised nearly $300,000 but paid out a mere $82,000 to the artist they claim to support (also of note, BRAF got an "exceptionally poor" rating from non-profit watchdog group Charity Navigator), I don't know about you, but if I'm giving to a charity I'd want a better turn around than that!
I'm not even going to start in on the photography contracts that must be signed, if you actually read them, and weed out the double-speak used by the writers, you'll see it for what it is, corporate control.
Then we have the environmental impact on the playa, or even the environment in general. which is downplayed by Black Rock City LLC.
We are open to suggestions toward making the Burning Man experience environmentally sound and we will utilize new methods and technology as they become suitable to our needs. Help us make Black Rock City environmentally viable.
Board of Directors
Black Rock City LLC"
O'rly? do you honestly think your green efforts make any kind of dent in the environmental impact of ~40,000 people driving or flying to Nevada, buying ridiculous amounts of bottled water, beer, packaged foods (99% of which use plastic packaging, erm uh I mean oil packaging). Or the impact of those 40,000 people running around the desert. What about the improperly handled diesel fuel, the fireworks, the thousands of fires, the garbage that gets buried and never removed from the site, the wood and other resources used for building the "art" throughout the festival, and so on and so on, I'd go so far as to say Burning Man is now the worst polluting festival ever, EVER! (run on sentence FTW!)
I don't know, I could go on with many more arguments against the festival. I really do like the ideology behind it, but really it has gotten out of hand. I could be COMPLETELY wrong.
I do plan on going someday, when life permits. And I go with the hope that my mind will be changed.
and no I didn't proofread for grammar, meh...