Corporate Ad Mocking Burning Man's Corporate Influence Is So Accurate That Burning Man Might Sue

Ok, so first of all, this ad is pretty funny:

But THEN they unleash the true comedy gold:

A new ad that mocks Burning Man's corporate influences and was itself produced by sandwich company Quizno's (as a faux-installment of The Maze Runner movie franchise) is so meta and self-aware as to be nearly sentient. At once brilliant and sordid, this is the kind of meta-TV that David Foster Wallace warned us about, may he rest in peace. Oh, and perfectly completing the meta-mind-fuck of this whole episode, Burning Man officials are considering a lawsuit against Quizno's -- for commodifying its culture.

[Burning Man] Spokesperson Jim Graham says legal action is being considered because the video is theft of the event's intellectual property. "We are pretty proactive about protecting our 10 principles, one of which is decommodification," Graham said. "We get a quite a number of requests each year from companies wanting to gift participants with their product or to capture imagery or video of their products at the event, and we turn them all down."

"We'll be coordinating with our legal team to see what action we can take," Graham said.

Sometimes I wonder if the Burning Man organization is actually a satirical performance art project about willful misunderstanding and abuse of copyright and trademark law. But if that was what was going on, they'd probably be funnier.

Previously, previously, previously.

Tags: , , , , ,

19 Responses:

  1. Alan Moore says:

    Accurate? Not really, not enough playa dust and porta-potties...

  2. Phil says:

    Even in the event that there is a misappropriation of copyright, it seems they have a stunningly good case for parody.

    • Michael Miller says:

      Does it? I wonder, because at the end if the day they're trying to sell sandwiches, not making a satirical statement.

  3. Jef Poskanzer says:

    Maybe the BM ORG (snrrk) just wants to increase publicity for both sides, and won't actually file a lawsuit. A confluence of interests. Although if that's what's going on, it seems like they could have found some other way that didn't make them look quite so douchey.

    • jwz says:

      if that's what's going on, it seems like they could have found some other way that didn't make them look quite so douchey.

      You can say that about literally every activity that BMorg have ever undertaken.

  4. Nate says:

    Still don't know if I can cheer for a crappy sub sandwich chain over the wildly profitable counterculture festival.

    The reason net neutrality got struck down was because it threatened the profits of big interests like Google. It wasn't because of your FCC protests. When big companies joust to decide who controls you, there's no right side to cheer for.

    • jwz says:

      The players in this drama are: whoever wrote and directed that video; and whoever decided to sue over it.

      I know who I'd cheer for.

      • Jef Poskanzer says:

        They didn't decide. They said they were thinking about it. They almost certainly will decide to not sue. And we won't hear the followup story because it's not interesting.

        If it wasn't just for publicity on both sides as I suggested above, then I suspect what the BM Org was actually on about was unauthorized filming at burningman. But the ad was almost certainly not actually filmed at burningman. So they'll take a closer look at the ad and then drop it.

        I can't believe I'm even half-heartedly defending these douchetards.

        • dzm says:

          My money is on BMorg's undies getting all wadded up about the use of the Burning Man imagery in the background (the actual statue and the simulation of the burn). They tend to be really aggressive in defending the design of The Man.

          • erik says:

            this is exactly it.
            I am part of charlie the unicorn (which was not "charlie" in the video because that is a trademark we don't own and we know better) and we've been talking to the borgs lawyers. they ultimately only care about the image of the man. they also don't give two shits about us being in it.

    • mrserious says:

      "wildly profitable" counterculture festival? Nate, I'm afraid you are mistaken. perhaps you were unaware of the donations to local schools or the creation of massive solar panel arrays to nearby townships, or of the relief efforts of disaster-stricken areas by the festival being casually co-opted and derided in this commercial?

  5. Cat Mara says:

    Sometimes I wonder if the Burning Man organization is actually a satirical performance art project about willful misunderstanding and abuse of copyright and trademark law.

    Huh. I always thought it was an experiment in extreme biology, to determine how far a human being could disappear up their own colon and live.

  • Previously