Playa Clean; adjective.
Not really clean, but clean enough. If there’s ever been a time you’ve looked a mug, or a spoon, and intentionally not noticed that bit of crud that’s not really going to make a difference, you are half way to playa clean.
On the playa, the bit of crud that’s not rally going to make a difference becomes epic sized in comparison. Your mind makes excuse for it, and you decide that the two things will taste great together! and the heat and playa dust will have killed anything living on it anyway.
Playa clean also applies to personal hygiene. You don’t want to look Too Clean someone might mistake you for a tourist, and showering too often is a waste of water!
The state or fact of being naked.
At that thing in the desert, or at those things out in the world, you will encounter people who are naked. Try not to be surprised, it happens to all of us occasionally.
For some it’s a natural state, for some it’s an act of radical self expression, some want to be looked at and enjoyed, some would like the freedom to be naked without having to experience your reaction to it. You’ll have to use your judgement and play it by ear.
There is some etiquette around nudity at events for participants on both sides of the clothing fence.
Ask first. This applies to most anything, touching, taking pictures, spanking, anything.
Bring a towel. Don’t sit your sweaty nether parts on my chair, couch, bike seat, or kitchen table.
Get over it. Humans look like that, it’s no big deal. It’s interesting because it’s unusual, but at burner events it’s not that unusual. It’s also not that exciting, or a political act. You want it to mean something sunbathe wall street.
Don’t push it. Telling people they ought/must to be naked is harassment. Telling people they ought not is equally annoying.
Use your judgement, actively look for and respect people’s boundaries, don’t expect to get served at a naked bar unless you are naked, and keep it out of family oriented camps, unless they are explicitly pro-nude.
Porta-potty. noun: Those lines of little blue boxes do not mean there is a Doctor Who theme camp on the corner. (The Doctor always goes to last year, it was better) Those are the potties, your high maintenance special friend for the week.
Porta-potties are one of the rare bits of infrastructure supplied by the organisers. You simply can’t have 50000 participants in the desert and not give them some place to go potty.
They are high maintenance as hell, requiring daily emptying and cleaning to keep ahead of the mess. Gift your porta-potty cleaners. Those guys are the most undergifted people on playa.
Potty etiquette is as follows: If it didn’t come out of your body, don’t put it in the Potty. No beer cans, no candy wrappers, no grey water, nothing but body waste and single ply TP. If the auger gets clogged, somebody has to put their hand in to clear it.
Close the lid. It keeps the smell down.
Don’t hover. There’s always some prissy ass who doesn’t want to sit. 1 minute later, nobody can sit. If everybody sat, it wouldn’t be an issue.
Don’t steal or waste the TP. I friggin hate going down the line of potties looking for the one with tp left. If you want some to carry around with you, buy your own.
Single ply only, available at Wallymart and RV supply stores, breaks down easier and doesn’t clog the auger.
Wear shoes. for your own saftey really.
It bears repeating. Gift the cleaner guys. The potties near my camp seemed cleanest.. Just saying.
Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
In default world, we keep a lot of barriers between ourselves and the world. Many of them are reflexive behaviours, such as judgement and cynicism; needs to be perceived in a certain way; the need to perceive others in a certain way.
The principle of Immediacy asks us to set aside those barriers, and let go of those limitations. Be here, now. Put down the phone, stop worrying about tomorrow, forget about yesterday, and be here. Otherwise you’ll miss it. You really don’t want to miss it.
Playa bike: noun
Black Rock City is bigger than you imagine, and getting from where you were to where you think you are going can take forever. Unless you have an art car at your disposal, a playa bike is your best bet for getting around.
Google will provide you with a dozen guides for the best playa bike, but the essentials are all the same;
*Fat Tires good – narrow tires bad.
*Light & decorate so others can see it and you can identify it.
*Lock it up.
*Arrive with it in good repair, and bring your own repair parts.
*Don’t bring the bike you can’t afford to lose, or have the playa eat.
The Uniform: Noun
For a people who are devoted to freedom and acts of radical self expression, we sure dress alike. Fun-Fur, animal ears, tutus and onesies are on the dress code, baseball caps and logo tee-shirts will get you judged on the esplanade.
The entire concept of The Uniform runs contrary to our stated principles, yet it seems impossible to shake. Many feel that people who don’t dress up are only tourists or lookie-loos, only there for spectacle and not true participants. Too many spectators can make the people who do dress up more self-conscious and ruin the atmosphere of self expression.
Others correctly point out that builders, artists and organizers often work stupidly long hours contributing to the event, and often simply feel more like being comfortable than putting on a tutu and a silly hat, and shouldn’t have to.
There are good arguments on both sides, and the Uniform continues to be one of those discussions that won’t go away.
There is always that burner who’s done it all, today, before breakfast, like they do every day. They have dust for blood, knows everyone, has been burning twice as long as you, and are quite willing to tell you that it’s been done before, it was done wrong then and you are doing it wrong now.
Part curmudgeon, part internet troll, the Burnier-Than-Thou is an asset to any camp. Use them as a reference, ask them to show you how it’s done, get them to call in favours for you. They will either step up, or have a mission from which they don’t return.
Playadipity is serendipity on the playa, the widely experienced phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
The ticket that comes your way at the last minute, the 3 am Karmic pizza, delivered to the deep desert, running into the childhood friend you had no idea was a burner, or the soulmate who turns out to live a block away in RL and becomes your life partner, are fine examples of playadipity.
Playadipity is not the finding of things that you are actively looking for, and it’s especially not the tendencies of some of the filthy fellowship to not provide for themselves and rely on everyone else to feed and shelter them.
Playadipity is often expressed as “The Playa provides.” but the desert is a harsh mistress, and will often provide what you need, not what you want or expect.
Doing it wrong. adjective.
2013 update: https://www.facebook.com/burnerwordotheday/posts/535265089869073
As long as you stay generally within the principles, participate, have fun, and survive, there’s no wrong way to burn. After all, creative self expression is high on the list of values.
However, plenty of people will tell you otherwise, mainly ironically, (see fuckery) The appropriate response is the equally ironic, eff your burn.
Occasionally, some burnier-than-thou old timer will forget that creatively making it up as you go along trumps doing it their way, and yell (usually while doing nothing at all ) “You’re doing it wrong”
The appropriate response is almost always “eff you, hippie.” Unless it’s important for a reason that matters to you, or they are going to get off their ass and show you an actual better way, do it your way.
Regional Contact addition:
Locally, some of our members took this in a different tangent by reminding people of the following phrase often heard around our events. Generally, if you’re doing it right, observing the principles, participating, respecting boundaries, etc, and therefore not messing with other people’s experience in a destructive way, no one’s going to have to tell you what to do, ie to manage you. It’s a do-ocracy, take care of your shit.
This was loosely touted as the 11th Principle until Gratitude came along the following year at the Regional Summit.
Exactly what it says. Urine, when you are are properly hydrated, is clear and abundant. If your urine isn’t clear, you are not drinking enough. On the black rock desert, drink water all the time whether you think you need it or not. One gallon of water per person per day is the rule of thumb.
What happens when you don’t get enough water?
You can get headaches, stomach cramps, abdominal pains, constipation, or flu-like symptoms. It exacerbates heat exhaustion and hypothermia, and makes it difficult for the body to mend itself.
Drinking alcohol, partaking in certain drugs, dancing all night and other forms of vigorous exercise can help dehydrate you, so drink extra water while doing them.
some facebook comments to share…
- Or drink enough Rock Star on an 18hr marathon drive through Washington, and Oregon, and Piss Neo-Green by Klamath Falls.
- I once drank so much fireball I pissed cinnamon. Usually I only piss coffee.
- My head hurts just thinking about that…
- evidently cinnamon burns
- Just to be “clear” LOL!
- The term poss clear doesn’t refer to a clear colour, but actually a cloudy condition. A person can piss yellow, and still be OK in the piss clear directive. I know it’s kind I hard to examine your urine on the playa, but if your using a pee funnel, it’s extremely easy.
A person that isn’t pissing clear will have a cloudy appearance to there urine. If you ever get a chance to chat with Erik from piss clear magazine, he’s got lots of info on this regard.
- Water in a plastic bladder tastes nasty…add some powdered gatorade keep those electrolytes in check.
- plastic bladders only taste bad if a) they are not properly cleaned before the event starts or b) the water has been sitting there so long it has gone totally stale or c) the plastic is beginning to deteriorate.
- or d) a fussy biotch and don’t like the taste of water out of plastic.
- you are correct, as long as it’s not too dark. Dark is bad, even if it is clear. And sitting in the Med tent with a rehydration IV in your arm is a lousy way to spend burning man. So newbies, aim for clear and colourless!