Don’t ask me for money for your Burning Man camp that you think will change the world.
Like many of us, at one time, I was fascinated with the idea of Burning Man. It seemed like a pretty cool concept: a town that is constructed every year and focuses on community, art, self-reliance, no waste and self-expression.
What’s not to like?
Then I moved to San Francisco and I immediately started getting invitations to parties that would sound something like this:
“Come to dance like Shiva at our Burning Man camp fundraiser. The DJ’s beats will pound into your psyche and open your mind to a greater social consciousness and together we will bring harmony to this crazy thing that we call life.”
Or something similar like:
“Create space and awareness in your soul. Dance to world class music in our sacred space and as a community we can steer this nation in a better direction.”
You get the drift?
Now, maybe at that point I would have just realized Burning Man was not for me since I have never been a raver and always considered myself more of a “barstool b*tch” (a lady that likes to go drink at dive bars and have deep meaningful discussions over a few scotches). However, the next part of the invitations always pushed me over the edge.
“Tickets are $100 and will help us pay for our new chill lounge and sushi dinner at our camp this year at Burning Man.”
Or, take this:
“Tickets are $50 and your contribution will help us build our art car! Our camp members will be riding around the playa on a glow-in-the-dark dragon.”
Now you have gone too far, Burning Man. You have gone too far.
Do you actually believe that raving in the desert will help a starving child in Africa? Will my $50 towards your sushi dinner in the desert help keep the Nepali girl away from sex traffickers?
Okay, let’s bring it closer to home. Will riding around in your art car for two weeks really inspire you to be a better person when you return home? Will you compost? Will you be kind and look homeless people in the eyes when you encounter them? Will you adopt a rescue cat? Will you communicate better with your partner?
I really don’t think so.
And on another note, if you can ask me to fund your vacation, then I guess it is ok for me to have a GoFundMe page for my wine tasting tour to the South of France. I believe two weeks of drinking wine and eating cheese with baguettes with my new friends will benefit the world in a positive way. Not.
As an outsider, I am sure I will be accused of “not getting it.” However, I would be more likely to donate to your art project if some of the funds went to Creativity Explored, an organization that provides people with disabilities the means to create and even sell their art.
I would possibly donate to your sushi dinner if a portion of the proceeds went to Seafood Watch, a group that helps you choose seafood that’s fished or farmed in ways that have less impact on the environment.
Anyway, I think you get the idea…
So please, go to Burning Man and enjoy yourself. Have a blast zipping around on your art car, dancing, eating sushi, sharing and caring for one another with your faux fur vests and your goggles on while admiring art installations. But please, do not ask me for money unless it will be directly helping the child with malnutrition.
Author: Deb Jarrett
Apprentice Editor: Czarina Morgan, Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Image: John Lester/Flickr