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buster


Buster Benson

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what will break you?
bird poops on plum branch
buster
This week at slow weights was particularly difficult. At one point, when trying to draw strength by focusing on a particularly difficult situation going on, the anger and determination turned around on me and I started to sob. It totally surprised me. Luckily it was right at the end and like a man I stopped it up and proceeded to get weighed and talk about other things like the dollar and the euro.

Last night, talking with Josh, Asa, and Kellianne at Samantha's birthday party, we talked about whether or not Burning Man would break us. Would social anxieties break our will and either turn us into fetal-positioned balls of whimpering, or would it make us want to build the next fire truck that eats itself while recording itself eating itself, until the camera itself is eaten, along with all its recordings? Asa, Andy and Ingo seem to have survived... but they're stronger than most people.

On that note...

Poll #1253939 On Being Broken

What kinds of things could break you, if they happened?

Losing your wallet
0(0.0%)
Being laid off
0(0.0%)
Having McCain elected
0(0.0%)
Loss of a friend or family member
1(4.2%)
Being arrested for something shameful you thought you'd get away with
0(0.0%)
Getting in horrible debt
0(0.0%)
Being dumped by someone you love
0(0.0%)
Losing an arm or leg
0(0.0%)
Losing your sight
2(8.3%)
Not knowing where your significant other is for an extended period
0(0.0%)
Getting cancer
0(0.0%)
Accidentally getting pregnant
0(0.0%)
Someone making you look like a fool
0(0.0%)
Naked pics of you posted to the internet
0(0.0%)
Being cheated on
0(0.0%)

Which things have actually happened to you but didn't break you?

Losing your wallet
1(3.6%)
Being laid off
0(0.0%)
Having McCain (or Bush) elected
0(0.0%)
Loss of a friend or family member
0(0.0%)
Being arrested for something shameful you thought you'd get away with
0(0.0%)
Getting in horrible debt
0(0.0%)
Being dumped by someone you love
0(0.0%)
Losing an arm or leg
0(0.0%)
Losing your sight
0(0.0%)
Not knowing where your significant other is for an extended period
0(0.0%)
Getting cancer
0(0.0%)
Accidentally getting pregnant
0(0.0%)
Someone making you look like a fool
0(0.0%)
Naked pics of you posted to the internet
0(0.0%)
Being cheated on
0(0.0%)

Which things have actually happened to you and DID break you?

Losing your wallet
0(0.0%)
Being laid off
1(5.0%)
Having McCain (or Bush) elected
0(0.0%)
Loss of a friend or family member
4(20.0%)
Being arrested for something shameful you thought you'd get away with
0(0.0%)
Getting in horrible debt
0(0.0%)
Being dumped by someone you love
1(5.0%)
Losing an arm or leg
0(0.0%)
Losing your sight
0(0.0%)
Not knowing where your significant other is for an extended period
0(0.0%)
Getting cancer
0(0.0%)
Accidentally getting pregnant
0(0.0%)
Someone making you look like a fool
1(5.0%)
Naked pics of you posted to the internet
0(0.0%)
Being cheated on
0(0.0%)

If you've been broken before, when you recovered how were you different?

Dead inside
0(0.0%)
The same
6(30.0%)
Stronger
10(50.0%)

If you could reverse the things that broke you, would you?

Yes, absolutely, I was a better person back then
1(4.5%)
No, I wouldn't, the experiences, though painful, made me who I am today
10(45.5%)
Other
11(50.0%)

If other, how would you answer the above question?


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hmmm I'm not really present for that poll...but I can say that you guys would work burning man like champs. it's easy and you would rule it. if you ever want to go, let me know and I'll hold your hands/introduce you to the people with the walkie-talkies and rocket cars.

Well, I've wanted to go for years just to find out. Are you going next year? Going with a veteran is a must, Seattle's pretty full of them, but it would be good to know more friends were there.

well...I am basically not planning to go again ever, since I've gone about 8 times. but I've been persuaded to go via friends from Ireland, friends turning 30, etc. Last year was a very good NY year as my neighbors were both working on or leading huge projects. This year even my friend Chicken, who is a diehard, skipped it. you just never know that far ahead.

did you read the book This is Burning Man? I think it gives a really good perspective.

also, I wouldn't worry about friends. the whole point is that everyone is sort of automatically your friend just by virtue of being there. sort of like being on ecstasy at a very low level dispersed among thousands. in a totally non-panicky way. It's almost best to go without any friends or not with friends so you meet new people. I've made a few lifelong friends there.

and if you go, definitely try to go up in a small plane!!

does the poll publish who said what?

Yeah, it is open and viewable by all. I don't think any of the answers were too secretive... but I think people can edit their answers if they want.

why do you think Burning Man would break you? The hardest part about it is planning for it -- once you get there it's quite relaxing. Just don't do too many drugs.

Off topic, anyone annoyed that livejournal polls are -1 based (so when the answer is 0 it looks like it's 1)

i was cumulatively broken, but because of my defense mechanisms, it took awhile for the breaking to happen.

timeline:
2000 - suicide of a father figure
2001 - cancer/chemo
2002 - dropped from insurance, saddled with bills
2003 - unemployable, brother in iraq as marine
2004 - friends die from drug overdose, suicide & pneumonia
2005 - years without cancer check-ups
2006 - deadend job plus increasing debt
2007 - grandmother diagnosed w/ alzheimer's, nervous breakdown

on top of long term lingering issues with control from constantly being stalked as a family while growing up.

things break me. it just takes awhile.
i'm still recovering.

& no, i would reverse nothing.
i needed some breaking in.

I think you have to let something break you to have it break you. Being "broken" is a response to stimulus and we each have freedom and power to choose our response to any situation.

Maybe I'm only saying that because I haven't had my "breakability" tested hard enough yet? I think I've been through some pretty hardcore shit in some aspects of my life, though most aspects have been smooth sailing (relative to most humans).

PS I'll go to Burning Man with you next year if you go. I went in 2000 and I've always wanted to go back. I often think about doing a theme camp like Wizard Camp!

i'd just like to say that if you feel dead inside after you've been broken, you haven't actually recovered.

I think surviving the death of one's child or children should be its own category of loss. I think that one is a real doozy.

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