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The Assless Chapel Newsletter #30: Communal Effort Edition

Updated: Jun 22, 2023

The Chaplain’s Weekly Screed

As we get deeper into our Burning Man preparations, let’s reflect on communal effort. Communal effort is, of course, necessary for creating Black Rock City, playa art and very close to everything that makes up Burning Man. But it’s also what makes our camp tick. And, more than the hugs and the booze and the laughs, it’s what makes us into a unit.

Larry Harvey once wrote that “When you work and labor together, you drop your emotional armor, so everyone shares the same blood somehow.” Perhaps he was slightly hyperbolic, but after build and break we know that undergirding all the professions of love we’ve made to each other, all the fun times and all the partying, we supported each other to create something together; we picked up the hammer when one of us started looking too spent working in the sun; we took care of each other, sacrificed for each other and solved problems together.

I look forward to that. But first I want to set some intentions. And so, in this week’s screed, I’d like to touch on our responsibilities to each other as campmates. I won’t go too deep into LNT, since that should and will be its own screed.

First, let me reiterate concisely what we all agreed to in The Assless Chapel Agreements:

· Everyone with a WAP builds and together until the work is done, which means not getting fucked up, even after work is done; not doing something stupid that gets yourself or someone else hurt; and not being lazy.

· Same thing applies to break, but for everyone.

· Pull your own weight.

· Be a go-getter and solve problems on your own if you can, as soon as you see them on the horizon.

· Ask questions but try to learn how to do things yourself and teach others how to do them.

Next, I want to outline – and you can find this in the spreadsheet – the things we need to do to take care of our camp for each other, our neighbors and BRC.

· Ice runs: Someone should take a trike to get ice each day.

· Infrastructure inspection and morning MOOP patrol: We didn’t really do this last year, but it would be great to make a habit of having 2 people just walk the whole camp each day to look out for things that are breaking or creating safety hazards. They should also look out for and deal with MOOP or things that may become MOOP. Morning is a good time for this, since nighttime is the longest period our infrastructure goes unobserved. If necessary, they should have someone do a recycling run.

· Evening MOOP patrol: After dinner, 2 people should do a MOOP patrol. If there’s a bunch of recycling, they should make sure to point that out the next day.

· Update chalkboard: One of us should update the chalkboard that we post events to each day.

Finally, let’s talk about wedding roles. All this info was in a different section earlier, and in the spreadsheet, but I’ve made it more concise because, as usual, I was going over the top previously.

And this will be the last time you see this in the newsletter.

· Head bartender

· Costume concierge

· Chaplain

· Assistant chaplain

· Photographer

· DJ who can also help the head bartender

It would be nice if we also have:

· A greeter

· An usher / ringbearer / flower girl

These latter two roles would just become bar help and relief after the actual ceremonies are done.

Finally, while we all want to work hard for each other, don’t be reckless. Injuries are real bummers at Burning Man. So be careful. We have enough people for build that there is no need for someone to stretch his or her limits. We have plenty of light-duty things that must get done. In fact, I would love if this year we made sure to have someone checking in on everyone in the heat: making sure people are ok, calling breaks, making people drink water, spraying people down, keeping an eye on the actual temperature, etc.

Group News

No big group news today.

The rest of this section contains information repeated from last newsletter.

In for sure:



The Assless Chaplain Red Curtis Sia

Becky Squid

Maybe coming: Dreammaker, Stargazer & Truthseeker

Still need to get me the signed agreements document:

Curtis, Dreammaker, Stargazer, Truthseeker

Wedding Planning

Just sent the paperwork in to be approved to officiate weddings in Nevada.

Black Rock City News

· There’s an online Campfire Talk called “Let’s Have Fun! Fun, Play, Shenanigans, & Spontaneity on the Playa” June 20 at 5p. I’d love to attend, but can’t. If you’re up for it, that would be great!

· And here’s an inspiring story about a 76-year old artist bringing a Mutant Vehicle to the Playa for the first time.

Placement / Ticket News

Placement News

Almost all this section is repeated from last week for reference, with the WhatWhereWhen dates added in.

We have officially been placed, same spot as last year! Now word yet on neighbors. All placed theme camps are listed here.

For the curious, here’s the Placement calendar:

June 22nd: WhatWhereWhen registration opens.

July: Placement team announces neighbors

July 17: Last day to make changes to Work Access Pass requests (for theme camps/villages only)

Early August: Work Access Passes emailed to placed theme camps/villages

August 21: Placement begins on playa; camps arrive according to their WAP arrival date

August 27: Gate Opens @ 12:00 am (midnight) — BRC begins!

September 2: The Man burns

September 5: Camps must depart BRC and leave no trace!

October 25: Post-playa Report due

November: Statement of Intent opens for 2024 returning theme camps and villages

January 2024: 2023 Camp Standing announced to placed theme camps/villages

Ticket News

No news on the tickets front. Below is just a recap from last newsletter, with minor updates.

Burner Express Bus tickets went on sale May 10. More importantly, there will once again be a Burner Express Plus program, where you can get a Burning Man ticket by traveling to Burning Man on Burner Express. This means that it is highly probable that everyone in this group can make it to this year’s Burn, as long as you’re willing to take Burner Express as a backup!!! Details are to be announced in June.

So, to recap where we stand with tickets:

· We need 11 tickets;

· Curtis got 2 tickets from Mona;

· We have 2 tickets in Gianna’s name and Gianna cannot come;

· The camp was assigned 4 tickets by Placement, in my and Red’s names;

· Becky has her own ticket.

· That’s 9 tickets.

· Sia has applied for Ticket Aid and, hopefully, everyone is signed up for STEP. Plus we have OMG and BxB Plus tickets coming up. We should be set, as long as we keep trying.

Gianna and I and Red each have a Vehicle Pass. Curtis, do you have a vehicle pass, too?

At some point soon-ish, we need to figure out how to distribute the tickets and confirm whether we need more vehicle passes and how to distribute those.

Ticket Status: xxxxxxxxxoo 82% of targeted tickets secured.

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

1) FOMO Sale: You’re welcome to spend on 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: Ticket Aid is closed. Hopefully, we’ll get word soon that Sia has won a ticket.

3) STEP: I believe that all of us are registered for STEP.

4) BxB Plus Tickets: We’ll find out more in June.

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.) This is also the time by which we should be sure we’ve distributed tickets

Current Pre-Build, Build Week, Burn Week and Exodus Schedule

This section contains the same, weekly updated schedule as the spreadsheet.

Over time, I’d like to add everyone else’s dates for when they plan to pack, head out and arrive on the Playa and, of course, when they plan to Exodus. I’ll also add in any pre-planned weddings. So, please let me know as you make your Burning Man plans.

Upcoming Tasks

· Curtis, Dreammaker, Stargazer and Truthseeker: please send me your signed agreements document.

· Anyone who objects to or wants to give feedback on the plans for the sunrise weddings and the animal weddings, please do so.

· Curtis, let me know if you’re getting a vehicle pass from Mona.

· Please update me on your travel and prep plans as you make them.

· Some of you I have already texted about the meeting times below. If I haven’t please take a look at your calendar and let me know if these times work.

Thursday, June 15th 8p: Linda Thursday, June 22nd 8p: Katie Thursday, June 29th 8p: Sia Thursday, July 6th 8p: Seamus Thursday, July 13th 8p: Ziad and Karine Thursday, July 20th 8p: Antony

As always, I have attached the most recent organizer file.

Closing Thoughts

In this week’s screed, I really addressed the more mundane, boring parts of communal effort. I was remiss to neglect to speak about the creative parts of communal effort. Last year, we ended up with a nice bar. Partially because Sia and I threw together some scrap wood in a couple of hours and brought a rickety, but large bar to the Playa, along with some EL-Wire. But more importantl, because Curtis brought a beautiful façade for the bar. He just signed up to do that and made something beautiful.

Each of us has that chance to contribute in whatever way we want. Yes, I send lists and spreadsheets and newsletters – but those are just the table stakes. I encourage everyone to contribute how s/he feels best contributing (in addition to the basics, of course.) I want this camp to reflect all of us and I can’t wait to see it when it is!

“The first requisite of a good citizen in this Republic of ours is that he shall be able and willing to pull his weight.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

The Man burns in 86 days!

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