Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Burning Man and Modern Primitives

Similarly to the feelings of many in the class, I am slightly torn on my opinions of Burning Man and the culture that surrounds it. I understand its origins, specifically with the modern primitives movement, but I definitely feel like Burning Man no longer has the same meaning for everyone. Whereas, initially, this was a time for people to escape from society and material items, it has now become a highly commercialized and rather expensive event.
Yes, I feel that there are still individuals who go to Burning Man for the spiritual experience it presents. Although this is true, it is important to keep in mind the popularity and the prominence of "music festivals" in today's society. I, myself, attended a large scale music festival last summer, camping in tents and unnecessarily lacking showers for several days. My generation, specifically, seems to find this slight obsession in music festivals such as Ultra, Coachella, Governor's Ball, etc. Even Syracuse has its own form of music festival seen in Juice Jam in the Fall and Mayfest and Block Party in the Spring time. Although Burning Man's origin is not that of a music festival, it is now heavily advertised and commercialized, specifically for today's young adults. Burning Man brings in desirable musical acts, flooding in young adults who have very little understanding of the spiritual and freeing origins this event contains. Also, these events have an overflow of recreational drug and alcohol use. Not that this is very different than many who have attended Burning Man in the past, it is still important to recognize the differences that these few items make in the meaning of Burning Man overall. I guess I just have a hard time still believing that an event like this can be as commercialized as it is, yet still have the same great cultural origins and meanings.
Personally, I know that Burning Man entices me, but not for the reasons I know it should. 

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