Tag Archive | quink

Rainbow versus Burning Man

The idea was compelling, study the really exciting festivals and celebrations, take the best pieces of these cultures and combine them into a beautiful Frankensteinian creation.  The tricky part is establishing which are the finest parts and figuring out if (and how) they fit together.

Central rituals are a major difference between Burning Man and the Rainbow Gathering.   At Rainbow thousands of participants hold hands in silence in a giant ring on the 4th of July.  When the moment feels complete the children run into the center, break the trance, and thus commences wild dancing.  At Burning Man there are two central rituals, the effigy burn and the temple burn, both of which revolve around fire but have very different flavors.  The former is a pyrotechnic exhibition of tremendous scale, with fire dancers and a giant man which blazes for hours leading into a bacchanalian celebration of wild dancing in the desert.

Burning Man Fire Eaters

Photo Credit: rosehalady0 from Pixabay

The temple burn is a more somber and self reflective ritual which is powerful like a brilliant funeral can be.  It is all about letting go of things, your sadness at a deceased friend or relative, your addiction to online games or a dysfunctional relationship, or realize it really is finally time to quit the job which is not working for you.

We decided to embrace the Burning Man central rituals.  There were several reasons for this, the first is an effort to bring people who are familiar with or excited by Burning Man culture to the event.  It feels like especially the temple burn is potentially quink inducing, and a bacchanalian celebration is practically guaranteed to be a good time.  While the rainbow ritual is elegant, accessible and unifying, it did not feel powerful enough for us to embrace for Quink Fair. One of the key ideas of Quink Fair! Is to introduce creative people from mainstream cultures to the intentional communities (and especially income sharing) movement.

Free is nice, but quite limiting

Tickets are another important cultural aspect, and major cultural difference.  Part of the brilliance of the regional and national Rainbow Gatherings is that they are free to attend and no one is “controlling” a gate that keeps some people out.  Despite it’s inclusion principle, Burning Man is a privileged event. The low income tickets are $240 and literally thousands of people pay over $1,000 to be assured to get in. This is before you pay for a camp and gear, and transportation to this remote site- it’s quite normal to spend $1,000 or more on these expenses, especially if you’re traveling from far away.  The advantage of the paid ticket model is organizers can pay for porta potties and event insurance and art grants, and what ever else is important.

Burning Man preaches “radical self-reliance” which means a number of things, but near the top of the list is “bring everything you will need” and packing for attending this harsh desert event is a complex and expensive affair.  Rainbow Gather’s unofficial motto is “Welcome Home” and true to this tagline is the idea that when you go home you need to bring the fewest things of any journey, since your stuff or your support network is already there. From a festival organizers perspective, when you have well stocked and equipped participants you reduce costs and you share the provisioning burden for the event.  But if you can welcome almost anyone, including people who have little gear or money, then you are a more diverse and inclusive crowd and you provide a more full service experience.

This is where the Fair part of the name comes from

The Quink Fair! “disorganizers” made the choice to have ticket prices, but make them fairly low ($90 for three days) and include work exchange options.  And of course we hope we have the money we need for porta potties, insurance and art grants and more.

Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay

Kitchens and food are another major cultural difference.  At the Rainbow Gatherings perhaps 1/3 of the camps are free kitchens serving to anyone who comes to them.  At Burning Man people are responsible for bringing their own food to this difficult environment and preparing it.  There is some food being given away at BM (clever DC friends are doing a pizza delivery service this year), but it would be an odd diet and an organizing struggle to attend this event without food or a camp which provides it for you.  

For Quink Fair we’ve gone with a hybrid model around food. Haven House theme camp (run by one of the disorganizers who threw a temper tantrum upon hearing food wouldn’t be provided) will provide 3 meals a day, plus drinks and snacks between meals.  This is free and available to all who want or need food, or who just enjoy sharing meals with a group. But some (perhaps most) attendees will still bring some of their own food and/or cooking equipment, either for their own use or to share. It’s a combination of Burning Man’s freedom with Rainbow’s safety net, which we hope will bring the best of both systems;

And Rainbow was a huge influence.  We want to make food accessible, we want to decentralize organizing as much as we can, we want anyone who really wants to attend to be able to come.

Image found at https://www.pinterest.com/pin/481181541408416340/

Rainbow, Burning Man and the Communities Conference (which we draw inspiration from) all have workshops offered by participants.  The communities conference curates them by selecting headliners and scheduling open space separately. We did not want to go this way.  There is a large collection of workshops, some given by event disorganizers, most by participants and there is no distinction between which are organized by who.

There is a lot of experience in the group of disorganizers who are trying to pull this event together, but we can’t be certain that we have made the right choices.  We’ve likely made wrong choices but that’s part of the adventure of a new event. We have been talking a lot about our own quink experiences and how they can be replicated at this event.  Almost everyone we talk with is enthusiastic about the idea.

Lots more information to be found at www.quink.org where you can also buy tickets.  If you are excited or intrigues you, go to the facebook Quink Fair! 2019 event and click “interested” or “going” and we will send you more information.   If you have questions, suggestions, or want to lend a hand, drop us a line at quinkfair@gmail.com.   

Other blog posts about Quink Fair!

The Mango and the Quink

There were only two options.  Either Tobias (formerly Frodo) had left his bag in Ta Chai, next to the hammock he wanted me to bring up to NYC, and he failed to mention the bag to me and if i did not bring it up with me it was going to be a problem of some significance for him and thus me.  Or i would be pro-active bring up the bag to Brooklyn and it would turn out it was not his bag at all and i had carried it for no reason.  So i brought the bag – pointlessly.

Tobias is a funological anomaly.  If you have been in this quasi science as long as i have you know a few  things.  You know how many people are going to start new romantic connections at parties of certain sizes, themes and compositions.  You know the range of daring, fun, edgy things that festival goers will do given a setting and occasion.  Add Tobias to the mix and what before was unlikely become probable, what was impossible becomes accessible.

Charming low key birthday in Manhattan - note Mango

He is briefly in the untied snakes looking for allies in the construction of the better party (loosely connected the Mayan calendar’s 2012 climax) which will be in the fall in Germany.  These are allies of many stripes so if you want to help in anyway, drop me a blog comment and i will link you up.

The mango is one of the symbols Tobias has brought to our loosely connected tribe.  It is exotic and somewhat strange and at the same time accessible and tasty, iconically it fits.  I got the mango which is depicted about (despite it being claimed as Feonix and Tobias’s baby at one point).  i am not much into birthdays, but this is a gift i can gracefully receive.

Tobias is organizing quink story telling rounds.  Quinks being the opposite of trama, where some significant event permanently changes your life in a positive way.  It is one of the words and concepts we need to get into broader circulation.  And there was an interesting twist to this thrown together non b-day celebration of mine, in the Beatrice finally got to tell Tobias how his approach at Burning Man a decade ago, created a quink experience in her life.  More quink stories to increase the visibility of the concept sound like a grand plan.

Missing Words

Tobias developed “Quink” as the opposite of trauma, when an important event changes your life forever, but in a positive way, instead of a damaging one. Rob Brezney popularized the term pronoia, the notion that the world is secretly out to help you have a wonderful time and support you. But there are numerous more terms needed.

Abigail text me the other day that she was meeting with her sexual wellness student group and they were looking for the term for a woman who enjoys sex, has a healthy relationship with it and has it often. This word does not exist (please comment if you know otherwise), but the derogatory terms for sexually active women go on and on.

Websters dictionary claims that “sexism” did not enter our vocabulary until 1969.  This has always amazed me.  What was the conversation about gender equality like, before these basic ideas we labeled?  i am confident that they happened, and i am convinced they were weaker and hampered.

My utopia consists of super cooperators and super appreciators.  And especially in the later, English is failing us.  We have a constrained vocabulary around appreciation.  No terms for smaller appreciations, or life saving/changing ones.  There is no term for an appreciation which brings with it an obligation to repay somehow.  No term to mark continued persistent efforts, or to commemorate spontaneous acts of good will.

Having new words is the first small but critical step towards changing the culture.  We have had the term compersion, for quite some years now, but most polyamorous folx are still taking baby steps when it comes to appreciating their lovers other lovers, much less being excited about them or feeling really good about them.

What new word are you making up today?  And how can we use it to craft a conversation which takes us to where we want to be?