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A Burner Lexicon: Re-Entry

Posted in A Burner Lexicon, and Burning Man

The homogenized, boxed-in, artificial environment of the default world. Photo by Josh Bancroft.

Re-Entry, –noun, After the Burn event comes re-entry. Re-Entry implies not just the act of returning to reality camp, but the process of adjusting to being there instead of on the playa. Just as the concept of decompresson implies surfacing from deep underwater, re-entry reminds one of objects catching afire as they enter a planet’s atmosphere.

Probably the first thing most Burners want when they return to the default world is a hot meal that they don’t have to cook. However, the effects of their experiences during the event can linger much longer than it takes to fill an empty stomach. Many Burners, especially newly deflowered virgins, return dissatisfied with what has up to now been their everyday life. During re-entry, they have been known to end relationships, quit jobs, or start life-changing new projects or businesses.

Participants are also often inspired to bring the gospel to their friends and family, regaling (or boring them) with long playa stories in the hopes of encouraging them to attend. This may also lead to the formation of new regional events.

See also: Camp Envy

When I returned from my first Burn, I found myself excitedly attempting to explain the gift economy to the woman who was at that time my girlfriend. After a long story she obviously didn’t grasp, she exclaimed, “So people come to your camp and you have to share everything with them? That sounds awful!”

We broke up soon after.

Thanks to Gyesika Safety for suggesting this entry.

Other entries in A Burner Lexicon can be found at

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