@pparatus – How being a Ranger made me a better _____ and how being a _____ made me a better Ranger


When I did my first ROM [1] with Dirtwitch back before there were art cars on the playa and we only had painted cows and the Man was only 5 ft tall and Larry hadn’t started smoking yet and all of our costiforms were still starched and nice and white and Ranger HQ was actually just an empty refrigerator box with “Ragners” written on it with sharpie and Spandau Ballet would spin bedtime sets (a respectable 9pm) and serve cookies and warm milk at the Shallow End and the city streets only went out to D, I was first introduced to FLAME and I thought it was pretty dorky, but I was also relieved to discover that most of you weren’t actually the badge-heavy dicks that I thought you were at first. Anyway, yeah, I learned FLAME and internalized it.

I’m an attorney in an area of law that frequently has me dealing with people in various form of crises. After my first year Rangering I found myself FLAMEing a client. I found myself doing it quite naturally and have really used the F and the L pretty much every day, with every client I have had and even with the opposing attorneys ever since. It’s truly amazing how much you can get done when people can see and feel that they are actually being heard. I really do think that dynamic is universal. I have found it is especially true when we are being listened to, really listened to, by someone important. Out there in Black Rock City, y’all motherfuckers ARE someone important; to participants, to other staff, and to cooperating entities. That F and L are so critical in creating a rapport on which things can get resolved. I think that F’ing and L’ing all 52 weeks makes me better at it, more natural at it when I hit the dirt and do that thang we do out there. So, yeah, being a Ranger has made me a better lawyer.

[1] We used to call trainings “ROMs” or Ranger Orientation Meetings. I don’t hear that term much these days.