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The Assless Chapel Newsletter #24: Calm Before the Storm Edition

The Chaplain’s Weekly Screed

I had a great night at the Theme Camp Happy Hour at Burning Man Headquarters this past weekend. First off, it was amazing to see how so many of the folks there, especially BORG staff knew about us! We’ve got some decent buzz for such a little camp. I’d like to think that using my Playa name in all the Burning Man Zoom events has helped.

Overall, just a space full of great vibes, interesting people, interesting memorabilia and great art. It was a nice treat after doing the 5-hour Camp Symposium on Zoom which, though full of great information, did get boring after awhile (too much screen time for me.)

One really cool treat was that my friend Kierstie met up with me there. The last time I saw Kierstie was in 2005 – on my way to my first Burning Man. She introduced me to a man named John Lindstrom who invited us to camp with him. That’s the camp where I met Curtis. A nice closing of a circle.

A Really Cool Painting from BORGHQ with Model of Playa Art in Front>>>

It was also one of those interesting moments in time. Catching up with Kierstie was great and had that feel of having barely missed a beat. Still, last time I saw her I was with Danny and now of course, he’s gone. On the other hand, last time I saw her I was a degenerate who was just looking for the world’s greatest party and now I’m Dad with a career and a farm who goes to Burning Man to ground himself.

I also got to meet President, who is in charge of OSS (Outside Services) at Burning Man. She is a badass and adorable and plans to come see us on the Playa. She’s the perfect person for the job, since she is militant about decommodification. She told me a story about when she found a Plug-n-Play camp that had hired a bunch of Mexican folks to serve them and how happy these people were when she kicked out all the rich folks and left them to enjoy Burning Man. And she was just as ready to fuck shit up with Sacbe as we were. Turns out the person who ratted them out was the chef who was mean to Sia! Of course, Sacbe did actually get fucked up without us storming their camp, by getting banned from the Playa for 3 years. And now, with Sia’s help, Burning Man is hot on their trail, working to keep them from returning under a different guise. I’m happy to know there was someone so strident to help steer the BORG.

FYI, I’m calling this the Calm Before the Storm Edition, because the serious planning will start soon. I know everyone’s busy, but I’ll be sending the newsletters near-weekly now. Please do at least check out the meaty parts to keep up with important stuff.

BORGHQ Ticket Wall

Group News

The Group

The group list (below) is unchanged. At this point, I don’t plan to recruit anyone else, though we may want to add people with their own tickets at some point. Also, Sia has let me know that, due to her new job, she won’t make it to the Playa until midweek, but is committed to helping with break!

In for sure:




The Assless Chaplain Red Curtis Sia

Maybe coming: Squid Karine & Ziad

Still need to get me the signed agreements document:

Clayton, Curtis, Red, Sia, Karine, Ziad

Website News

I’m working on adding functionality to the website so it can store photos for all the folks we marry, serve as a forum and be a one-stop shop for any files, resources or links we might need. But that involves setting up password-protected areas, which takes some effort and knowledge and, since it’s not urgent, it’ll be a bit.

Black Rock City News

Some cool stuff to check out:

· The 2023 Honoraria Art Projects have been announced and they look incredible!

· Curtis (or anyone else) that wants to design the official stickers for this year’s Burn, visit here. Who knows, maybe they’d give you a ticket.

· Accuracy Third is a podcast that calls itself an oral history of Burning Man. Tell them your story!

I’ve previewed some of the Honoraria projects and really like Burden of the Beast, Temple of the Heart and the Moroccan Tea Party. But the one I really want to see is Chapel of Babble which, if I understand right, looks enormous and detailed. It’s been in the works for a couple years now.

This year’s Desert Arts Preview is June 4th. The Burnal Equinox is this weekend in San Francisco. I plan to go.

Placement / Ticket News

Placement News

So, I was pretty excited to see that Placement does know who we are!

I was bummed to find out, though, that we did have two red spots on the MOOP map. The Playa Restoration Team sent me pictures and I zoomed in on the MOOP map. One was a rebar stake. Based on the location, I think it may have actually been Dickstracted’s. The other looked to be a gray water crater. So, we’ve got some LNT to work on this year and I got some suggestions/requests from the Playa Restoration Team on how we can do better.

On the bright side, these were two small spots. The rest of the camp was left in good shape.

Ticket News

The number of camps requesting placement is 13% higher this year than last and the number of tickets requested rose by 17%. Seeing as we went from 3 tickets to 4, we should consider ourselves lucky. This puts an emphasis on how important it is that we all do our part to get tickets. Kudos to Sia who has put in all the work to apply for a Ticket Aid ticket. If anyone else may qualify for Ticket Aid, please start getting your application for Ticket Aid ready. When you’re approved, also buy the vehicle pass. You can see what you need here. Applications are already open.

Main sale registration opens up April 5 at noon PST and ends April 7 at noon. Sia, Yosi and I are excluded from the sale, but will register on behalf of our significant others to try to get tickets. Everyone else can just register under their own names. If you can get someone else to help, even better. The sale takes place April 12, noon PST.

For everyone: make sure you are clearing your schedule in advance to participate in the Main Sale, STEP and OMG sales. If you plan to be a part of the ticket pool, please send me your signed Agreements.

Ticket Status: xxxxoooooo

See below for our running list of the remaining ticket purchase options:

1) FOMO Sale: You’re welcome to spend the $1,500 or $2,750 tickets, if that appeals to you, but I am not including this in our plan. Ongoing as of February 8th.

2) Ticket Aid Program: If you can, please apply to the Ticket Aid Program. This is for people on limited income. It’s a lot of paperwork, but the success rate for low-income applicants is, as far as I can tell, 100%, so long as you apply early. It’s important that you apply right away – if we get you a ticket through another pathway, they’ll cancel your application or award. If you do get the award, get the car pass, too, as it’s half-price! If you do apply for this, then talk to me about helping with other tickets, as making the wrong step could get your ticket cancelled. Opens March 15th.

3) Main Sale: So, by my calcs on anecdotal info, any one person without a bot has a 3% chance of scoring tickets in the Main Sale. You must register first and then you have to get in a cyber-line on April 12 for a sale at noon PST. Your IP address has to be recorded as trying to buy the tickets at the exact millisecond the sale opens. If you haven’t done this before, please talk to me so I can prepare you for it. EVERYONE should make sure to take time off work in advance to do this. Even if you got a ticket some other way, be prepared to do this. If you got tickets through FOMO or Stewards, you’ll have to register in someone else’s name to do this. If you haven’t officially gotten a ticket yet, then you can try AND have another person try for you! Registration Apr 5 noon PST to Apr 7 noon PST. Sale Apr 12, noon PST (but login an hour early).

4) STEP: After most or all of us fail to get Main Sale tickets, we each have the option to register for STEP tickets, which are those resold through BORG. This works much like Main Sale, except after you register you can get the tickets at any time, if someone sells them back to BORG. I’ve never known anyone to get tickets this way, but we’ll all give it a try, even if it gets us only 1 ticket. Timing TBD.

5) OMG Sale: This is another chance to get tickets that works much like Main Sale, except you’re also excluded if you got Main Sale or STEP tickets. Registration Jul 26 noon PST to Jul 28 noon PST. Sale Aug 2, noon PST, (but login an hour early.)

Upcoming Tasks

· Block off the ticket sales lottery dates on your calendar. If you think you would qualify, apply for Ticket Aid.

· Read, initial, sign and date the Agreements document and send back to me. Let me know if you plan to come, but don’t want to commit to the ticket pool.

Closing Thoughts

As you all know, I believe that we each are responsible for our own burn. Sure, there are instances where people are clearly ‘doing it wrong’ and need to be excluded from Burning Man as we heard with Sacbe, for instance. For the most part, though, I’m not bothered when I think about the various ways in which Burning Man has changed in ways I don’t like.

I saw a lot of phones out there last year, but that’s someone else’s concern. I’ll live my immediacy and leave my own phone behind. I’ve had a few interactions with people interested in joining our camp who then ghost me or politely decline when they realize they’d really have to be self-reliant. There’s a reason most Burners pay camp dues nowadays – it makes things easier. But for me, I’ll sacrifice the convenience for a bit more of a sense of fulfillment and, to be honest, less of the friction that comes with interdependence. Yes, people now post pics from the Playa to their social media, but that doesn’t affect me at all and I have no reason to hold against them how they want to burn (unless they are promoting a brand.)

Why am I bringing this up? Well, it’s to restrain something in me. See, I really did not like Sacbe. It really irked me to see a Plug-n-Play camp on the Playa; especially one so clearly unwelcoming; and on top they were dicks to Sia. Plus, no one is from Tulum. Well… I was one of the folks who snitched on Sacbe. Burning Man listens about these things: you can actually email While President was really thankful that I ratted on them and I was truly happy to see that Burning Man banned them… I was uncomfortable with the fact that I was happy about this. So, while I’m committed to doing my part in the Burning Man culture, I just want to remind myself that my Burn is my Burn. Even if we were camped next to Sacbe, we should still have an incredible Burn.

The Man burns in 163 days!

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