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The Assless Chapel Newsletter #33: Immediacy

The Chaplain’s Screed

Immediacy is, for me, the hardest of the Ten Principles to incorporate into my life. I’m working on it, but to be honest, I feel it’s difficult for me to live Immediacy, even on-Playa. My focus nowadays is to stay off the phone. I have erased all communication apps from my life: Slack, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.

But I associate Immediacy on the Playa with spontaneity. This past burn I saw so many people zipping around, mission-driven to make it to the next cool thing and scratch something off their bucket list. And I always make grand plans to do all sorts of things during Burn week. This year, though, I want to commit to taking some more strolls on the Playa, instead of just cycling around – to take my time. I also need to wander around lost – or at least aimlessly.

Burning Man Project shared some Instagram post somewhere on their website a few years ago. I thought it was inspirational and saved it to my computer. I’m dusting it off for you all to put an exclamation point on this intentionally brief screed:

“Along each block of Black Rock City, there lie untold possibilities of weird, wonderful, and unique experiences. People from all over the world come to share their gifts, big and small. You already know where to find the big, so take a walk (or bike ride) with your friends off the beaten path. There’s no telling what you’ll find and what magical stories you’ll return with!”

Group News

I’ve received a few requests to join our camp, but only one actual application. I’d like to see people put the bit of time into actually applying. I think it’s a good sign. I figure we’ll get a few more over the weekend. I am actively recruiting and reaching out to quality candidates. We still have time for anyone you’d like to recommend. I’ve attached the one application we’ve received to this email. She’s a virgin, but I get a great feeling. Please send me your thoughts and feedback! It’s your camp and I want your input on any new additions.

Current list of campers:

1. Katie

2. Seamus

3. The Assless Chaplain

4. Red

5. Curtis

6. Becky

7. Squid

8. Sia

9. Clayton

10. Ivy

Still need to get me the signed agreements document:


Wedding Planning

As of now, I have two legal weddings planned. Neither will occur at camp. All are invited, but no one is required to come, except Red. I am not trying to add any other weddings. Our schedule is quite full and I already feel like I’m overbooked!

Black Rock City News

· All of our events are now listed on the website.

· BORG is asking TCOs to attend a 1h10m online meeting. It’s got useful information about making Exodus easier, improving our MOOPing, eBikes, Center Camp and some other stuff. I will be drunk, with my kids but not my wife and in Israel and cannot attend but would really like someone from our camp to attend. It’s at 10a PST on Saturday July 22nd. Please someone volunteer for this and, when you sign in, include our camp name in your Zoom name. All the info follows:


Woohooo! It’s that time of year again - time to reconnect with one another and stoke the fires of the engines already in motion building Black Rock City!

You are receiving this invitation because you are a Staff Member, a Theme Camp lead, a Mutant Vehicle owner, or an Artist. Whatever shoes you wear, you are a leader in Black Rock City, and we would love you to join us for the 2023 edition of the Core Collaborators Meeting; Saturday, July 22nd.

· 10:00 - 11:10 AM PDT

· 1:00 - 2:10 PM EDT

· 7:00-8:10 PM CEST

This meeting will be held online in Zoom at this link


Exodus - being faster - by Shimmer (Exodus) Every few years, Exodus sucks. Let's review all the knowledge and learnings of the past, talk about what’s new, and let's make it not suck in 2023!

eBikes - being slower - by Retro (Community Services) The speed limit in BRC is 5mph! We’ll talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of Ebikes!

Center Camp - being different - Cory (Center Camp) There’s a revolution happening in the center of Black Rock City - how can you be part of it? Cory and her team will bring the excitement!

MOOP - being cleaner - by DA (Playa Restoration) In 2022 our MOOP score was the lowest on record; we came very close to failing. We need to get back on track!

Other topics that will likely be covered: New/revised Sound Policies Community Accountability processes Government Affairs (BLM, Ormat, etc) Alternative Power progress Progress with R.I.D.E. Pledge

This is an open meeting, please bring your best Zoom manners, best listening ears, and participation skills. We’ll remind everyone at the start of the meeting how to best participate.

We look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Charlie Dolman (Event Director), and Heather White (COO) Burning Man Project

Placement News

This section is repeated from last week for reference.

For the curious, here’s the Placement calendar:

July: Placement team announces neighbors

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

Ticket status:

· Mona’s two tickets will go to Curtis and Linda, along with the vehicle pass. It does include a vehicle pass, right Curtis?

· My BORG-issued ticket and vehicle pass has been issued to Katie.

· Seamus has two tickets but no vehicle pass. One ticket is up for grabs.

· Yosi has two tickets and a vehicle pass. One ticket is up for grabs, along with the vehicle pass.

· I have two tickets and a vehicle pass. One ticket is up for grabs, not the vehicle pass.

· Gianna has two tickets and a vehicle pass. One ticket will go to Sia, the other is up for grabs.

· Becky has a ticket from Main Sale. She does not need a vehicle pass. Becky, I know you were holding on to your vehicle pass for ‘just in case’, but it looks like we have what we need.

Again, let’s all marinate on this for the next week and then make some decisions and start distributing tickets.

Ticket Status: xxxxxxxxxxxx 150% of targeted tickets secured. 4 tickets need homes.

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, please send me your signed agreements document.

· Someone please volunteer for the Black Rock City Collaborators meeting.

· Curtis, please confirm that you’re getting a vehicle pass from Mona.

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

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

Closing Thoughts

I fucking hate that there are smart phones all over the Playa now. Now, I don’t carry around a phone because I want to experience my Immediacy. If someone else wants a smartphone, that’s his burn – doesn’t bother me. But I do have 3 issues with this trend.

First, each person on her phone is one less person creating and participating. Second, each person on his phone is one more person who might take a picture of me without my consent that could end up in the public domain. And I do not want that at Burning Man! Third, and most importantly to me, it shifts expectations.

My parents were not expected to pick up the phone for their employers, except in true emergencies. Now I have to fire clients in order to preserve some window of my life in which I can experience Immediacy with my family, instead of self-commodification. Why? Because smartphones made constant connectivity possible.

Where will things go as they become more widespread on the Playa? Will my wife expect that I check in every night? I love my wife and kids and miss them while on-Playa, but don’t want to check in. Will I have to schedule work meetings with clients? Fuck!

This is already happening. I see people in online groups and on-Playa talking about how they “have” to do work or be connected, etc. Really? You have to? What about the hundreds of thousands of people who attended before there was any way to be connected other than sat-phones? While I am sure there are many, many people who are absolutely right about needing to be connected, I am also sure that the need to disconnect completely for a week was a great filter for curating Burning Man’s attendees. Again, it really doesn’t bother me much at all that any individual is doing this, but I fear the dying of the disconnection from the default world and will not go gentle without a fight. For those of you who get the very loose paraphrase and/or think I sound like a cranky old man, I’ll finish with a bit of Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gentler into That Good Night:

“Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, Rage against the dying of the light.”

The Man burns in 59 days!

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