NOTE: Email and home addresses have been removed from this newsletter - if you need to paypal/send anything please refer to the original copy (should have been mailed to all members)
Well, 2016 was quite a ride if I do say so myself.  But that year is squarely behind us and now I can say:  Welcome to 2017 everybody!  It’s another New Year and we would like to welcome back all of our fellow Barbiebarians, wannabees, hanger-oners, friends, acquaintances, playamates, and of course my personal favorite, “Burners With Benefits”.   This is of course the first official Barbie Death Village newsletter for TTITD 2017.  These will be coming out at least monthly from now through August so you will be thoroughly prepared for your trek to the hot, dusty, and let’s face it, Godforsaken playa with your fellow Villagemates.  Certainly this will be another memorable year, but hay, aren’t they all?  In 2016 our Village had 263 people, which is a little larger than planned but workable.  I guess a certain tribe of “fish people” sort of kicked us over the top.  But since Barbie Death Village brings in people from no fewer than five continents, organization is a must.  That is why Felony and I inflict these dreary newsletters on you so you can stay well informed as we march inexorably towards August.  As usual, I like to start these things off with something Barbie Death Camp related—and candidly, finding new and not X-rated fare is becoming more and more difficult as the years pass by—and this month is no different.  Here is a photo spread of Burning Man; scroll down and you’ll see some nice shots taken a few years back of our little slice of paradise on the playa.  Enjoy!
Now that that’s behind us, let’s get down to business.  The very first question we ask every year around this time is this:  Who’s coming back for 2017?  If you are receiving this newsletter, unless Felony gets a bug up where the sun don’t shine, you are welcome back!   We did expel several campmates and a handful of old email addresses that I didn’t recognize have been deleted.  If you want off this mailing list as well, please let me know and I will eliminate you with extreme prejudice.  We are accepting newbies again this year, and actually are encouraging their active participation.  We do respectfully request that all burgins be sponsored, or using Trumpian verbiage “aggressively vetted”, buy a current Barbiebarian.  You are ultimately responsible for their behavior so choose wisely.
Every year we seem to add and subtract people.  Some people stupidly change camps/villages, other’s take a year (or two or three) hiatus, some simply “outgrow” TTITD, and others just grow sick of the whole thing and hang it up for good.  But in order to make a budget, plan logistics, request space and those all-important early arrival passes, we would like to have a handle on how many people will be gracing our fair Village in 2017.  If you know you’re going to be there please let us know ASAP.  We understand that the number of people who actually go to Burning Man with our village is always greater than we initially plan for because so many people are added during the summer.  But at least this gives us a baseline to start with.  So if you’re sure you will be making it, and more importantly if you need special assistance in the form of early arrival passes, we need to know that well ahead of time.
Next on the agenda are dues.  As was mentioned in the State of the Village newsletter in October, there will not be a dues increase for most of you this year.  All veterans coming in from North America will be assessed $100 and all newbies will pay $150 until June 1.  The exceptions to this rule are those people coming in from overseas.  Our experience has been that because of the logistics involved due to distance, foreigners contribute little or nothing to the building and teardown ofBarbie Death Village.  This places an unreasonable burden on the rest of us.  So for those foreigners coming in from overseas, they will be assessed an additional $50 on their dues.  We have learned that they tend to use more of our communal resources—as opposed to say somebody coming in from the East Coast—while returning comparatively less than others.   You can begin paying your dues now using our preferred method PayPal with my email as the go-to addy (make sure you’re “sending to a friend”) or via snail mail to Jim Jacoby.
Every year it seems we are asked, usually by some newbie, “Where does all the money go?” which is a perfectly reasonable question.  The biggest ongoing bills we have are the rental of the box truck at around $2000 for the 10 days andBarbie storage at nearly $1300/year.  This includes the storage of the decorations for the camp, water barrels, an occasional sofa, the piano, 1400 incredibly dusty Barbies, gallows, gas containers, shade structures, and anything else we can cram in.  Keep in mind most camps/villages have a dues structure that begins at well over $200 and some go as high as $600 and up.  (I’m looking at you Gender Blender at $275, Spanky’s Wine Bar at $350, and Cyberia at $500.  Plug-N-Plays will run many times that.)  Frankly, that is a shameful rip-off.   Here is a partial list of many of the things your dues provide:
1)      Storage for 1400+ Barbies and camp-related items
2)      Access to our various generators and microwave ovens
3)      No less than 1200 square feet of shade
4)      Canvas to cover the main camp to keep the dust down
5)      Eight large sofas to lounge around on in comfort
6)      Access to chairs and tables, including a picnic table, to comfortably eat and rest
7)      Body paint for Black Rock City Body & Paint (body painting on Friday)
8)      A shower that runs electrically so you can actually get clean along with 600+ gallons of water
9)      Art vehicle insurance, registration, maintenance, and decoration
10)   Access to early arrival passes (whose value cannot be overstated)
11)   Lumpia most nights at midnight
12)   Piano repair and maintenance
13)   Use of all burn barrels and trash receptacles
14)   Hauling away of your personal and Village-created trash
15)   Access to no fewer than two art vehicles so you can tool around the playa in comfort
16)   Gasoline to power the art cars and generators to light up the camp
17)   Glowstix every night so darkwads don’t get run over
18)   Pizza for the pre-event feed for those who help set up the camp
19)   Wine
20)   Guaranteed location on a corner so you can find your way home after partying all night on the playa
21)   Specified space, as much as you reasonably need, for your personal campsite
22)   Automatic invite and participation in the Naked Bike Ride & Pub Crawl
23)   Ringside seat for the ePlaya Meet & Greet
24)   Libations on the art vehicles
25)   Participation in the Chili Cook-off, Pancake Pork-out, and After Burn Weenie Roast
26)   Propane to use on the fire cannons and flame effects on the art vehicles
27)   Constant (at least monthly) updates throughout the year up until TTITD
28)   Membership in one of the most revered and well-established camps/villages on the playa
So as you can see, your dues go to some very worthy causes.  Happily this year we have no (that we’re aware of) major expenses like the redesign of the art vehicles.  Things always pop up of course and everything costs more than you budget for, though we really do think this year we have it covered.
Next up are tickets.  Though this may well be putting the cart ahead of the proverbial horse, we have to start somewhere.  We are under the assumption that the BMOrg will be granting us Directed Group Sale (DGS) tickets ahead of the unwashed masses.  If they don’t none of what I’m about to say will matter.   Last year they gave us 70 pair of tickets.  (We lost 10 of them to another camp which absolutely will not be happening ever again.)  Note to you people always sniveling about not being able to get tickets:  Pay your dues and get your DGS tix and you can stop worrying about it, and we don’t want to hear that you’re waiting on “low income tickets” because frankly that’s not our problem.  There is a new caveat this year:  Those who receive DGS tix will be required to pony up beforehand an additional $100 which will be refundable after TTITD only if you either actually helped set up or, more importantly, helped clean up and tear down Barbie Death Village.  Pleasedo not assume you’ll get a DGS ticket and pay the extra money until we have a handle on tickets.  We have enough to worry about as it is.  Presuming we get DGS tix, you will need to let both me and Felony know that you want one, fill out a Burner Profile on the Burning Man website, and make sure we have a good email address from where you intend to purchase your tickets.  You must buy your tickets as a pair.  If you only need one ticket, you can offer the other up on our in-house Barbie Death Village ticket exchange program.  We expect them to go on sale the first week in February or thereabouts.  Priority will go to veterans of the camp first, particularly those not coming in from overseas, and nobody will receive a link for DGS tix who haven’t paid their dues.  You have been forewarned.
For those of you in the general Sacramento/Placer County region we do have room for four more people on the Amtrak Party Train January 28-29 leaving out of Roseville.  Email me if you would like the details!
I would like to introduce some newbies to our modest Village.  From Sacramento welcome Rachel; from Las Vegas we have veteran burner Skip; from Texas say howdy to John; and joining Wildman from Oregon welcome veteran burner Cheryl.
If you want to keep up with us on the internet, make sure to check out our website or like us on Facebook  
The Man burns in 244 days )’(
Respectfully submitted,
Doc Pyro & Felony Arson