html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en"> From the archives: *grinning*

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Chris (not Mr. Clarke, but my friend Chris) just sent our camp this email:
In service of our experience of our camp as our (temporary) home in the swirling, blinking, beautiful craziness of Black Rock City , I want to put forth a suggestion for how we each approach our collective space there. Because we are a diverse group, I’m going to translate it into a few different “languages”:

For Planners and other academics: As the population of our Twisted Quacker camp increases, so does intensity of our use of its space and facilities. We should thus each take extra care to reduce our negative impact on the camp, and simultaneously strive to increase our positive impact.

Santa Cruzians: Let’s all put a lot of positive energy into the camp so everyone can feel into their heart-space in our home-space. Manifest a clean and organized kitchen. Bring mindfulness to each item we share as if it were the baby Buddha her/himself.

Take hella good care of our kitchen and common space.

East Coasters: Don’t be an asshole, clean up after yourself.



Blogger Megan said...

I speak three of those languages. I understand the fourth, but it gives me a tic.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Marcus said...

This is totally the best site on the web for East Coast language:

9:07 PM  
Anonymous quirkybook said...

I'm surprised the East Coast translation is necessary -- I suspect that the number of people who do Burning Man who are versed in EC but not in the other three is very, very small.

And I must admit that I am too lame to ever go to Burning Man. I've got a good friend who's part of a huge BM group in SF, and he invites me along every year, but my tropical blood is askeered of the desert.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Ennis said...

#4 is also the only one specific about what should be done. No nebulous "reduce our negative impact" and "increase our positive impact."

The least useful is the passive: "Manifest a clean and organized kitchen." There's no subject and no object in there, it's actually perfectly bureaucratic in the bad sense of the word.

"Take hella good care of our kitchen and common space." is better, but I have had roomates who would understand that to mean put up pretty pictures to beautify the space, but who still wouldn't understand what they have to do without the final direct admonition to "clean up after yourself."

Megan might complain that people have manners and have been taught what it means to take hella good care", but if they truly had manners enough to know what was entailed in taking good care, would they need the reminder at all?

The first three are asking for trouble. The last one is the only useful bit of communication of the lot, something that gets lost because of the distraction generated by the epithet.

And actually, what you would normally see in an East Coast space is this "Be considerate, clean up after yourself." Hopefully that would not give Megan a tic.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous bryn said...

I once saw a postcard that said "In new york they say "f*ck you" and mean "have a nice day" and in LA they say "have a nice day" and mean "f*ck you" though really I think it applies more to the south, where as LA would be "have a nice day" => "you are inconsequential to me" if we are going with stereotypes

8:28 AM  

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