I'm right there with you - I experienced the contradictions and strangeness of this Gathering in New Mexico. At times it was frustrating and I found myself wondering what I was doing there. I have been feeling that way on & off since my first Gathering 25 years ago. I've been to roughly 20 nationals since then, and I've gradually plugged in more & more to the point that I'm now helping to set up & run the Information center.
The 'hypocrisy' and conflicts you witnessed (sorry about the carmex on your window - that wasn't cool) are a result of the baggage that all humans carry with them. What are the chances that 10,000 rugged authority-haters will come together without conflict? Pretty slim. What saves it for me is the Intention - most people who attend a Gathering, whether for the first time or the twentieth, Intend to try to rise above the dysfunction of our larger society, even though it will always be imperfect. You don't always articulate it that way, or admit it to yourself, but just the hope that we can do better than the mess we're currently leaving for our children, is enough to make you pause & give this 'we love you' thing a chance...
As for the 'gutter punks', some of them will come back next year & set up their own crusty little kitchen, some of them will come back the next year & clean up their act, & some of them will come back the next year & find themselves leaders among kids who have few options & few places to get involved in something positive (although they won't be called 'leaders.' If someone at a Gathering calls himself a leader, that means he probably isn't). This has happened over & over at Gatherings, and is one of the positive things that keep me coming back. There truly are magical things happening in those woods, & you'll witness them if you give them a chance. Please come again, maybe next year - we'll be somewhere in the East. Bring earplugs. The drums become a lullaby.