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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:This thread :-



http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show...part=1&vc=1
br>


covers the dangers of fire breathing very well, and has links to other useful stuff like Peles 'A season in Hell'



One of the latest replies details an incident where fire breathing was taught to complete beginners, some of whom where drunk.



I've also heard of this happening where I am, and I'm sure it will continue to increase.



There have now been many nasty accidents involving fire breathing, some causing death and some involving children.



Fortunately, the facts about the dangers have been well discussed here and we are now aware of the toxic properties of fuel, the fact that serious accidents happen even to the most experienced performers etc.



However, none of this is well known to the general public who are prone take the word of those who claim it's safe if done properly.



In this thread I'd like to focus on one simple and clearly put question: -



Should spinners, as a community, disassociate themselves from fire breathing, and, where possible, endeavour to spread awareness about its dangers and basically do their best to discourage it?



Practical examples could be-



when asked to spin at events ask the organisers if they're going to allow fire breathing and, if they are, refuse to spin, or at least inform them of the safety issues and point them to the above thread.



if organising a gathering make it known that fire breathing isn't welcome.



i.e. not just the kind of education that is already ongoing and spreading the word amongst experienced spinners, but informing those who are most at risk (the non fire community).



I'd be good if we don't get distracted by the side issues- 'it's down to individuals to choose...', or 'nothing in this world is 100% safe...' etc, if only because they've been well discussed in other threads.



"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:Quote:

I'd be good if we don't get distracted by the side issues- 'it's down to individuals to choose...', or 'nothing in this world is 100% safe...' etc, if only because they've been well discussed in other threads.



Surely the two issues are one and the same. You must first form and state an opinion about how you view fire breathing before discussing it further.

Anyway, my answer: No. For several reasons.
As fire spinners it would be somewhat hypocritical of us to pronounce other established performance acts as inherently unsafe. Refusing to perform if another performer is fire breathing is disrespectful of their own, hopefully educated, choice of performance.

It is not our reasonability to tell people not to fire breath because of safety considerations for the same reasons we would be probably be annoyed if people stopped us from fire spinning for some of the same, legitimate reasons.

It is up to an individual to choose whether to commit an act which is potentially harmful to themselves. If the situation is wrong for fire breathing - low ceilings, close crowd, obvious unprofessionalism of the performer, etc... and there is valid concern for other people's safety and these are good reasons to raise concerns to an event organiser and leave if you feel you have to.

Something to note here is that there is a big difference between a professional fire breather performing and a 16 year old trying it out because it's cool. To try and 'educate' the professional or refuse to perform alongside is an affront to their professionalism.

The kid, however, probably does need somebody to point out the risks and try to discourage them from trying fire breathing. However the discussion then becomes - if they're going to try anyway do you help and teach them to reduce the risk, or turn your back and leave the risk high - and that's a very personal decision to take.

And we are definitely not the police of the fire performers world, especially as almost all of us don't even rate as amateur on the performance scale.


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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:thanks dom! youve said everything i was going to say, thus saving me having to type it up. biggrin

"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Sorry, I was a little unclear on the event organisers bit, I was talking about the kind of events that often ask for fire spinners to come along and spin for free at.

There's a lot of this happening in Sheffield at the moment and generally the organisers have got no idea of safety issues.

Most of what I said above was about the majority of fire breathers who are not professional performers, some of whom breathe whilst drunk etc.


Quote:

Anyway, my answer: No. For several reasons.
As fire spinners it would be somewhat hypocritical of us to pronounce other established performance acts as inherently unsafe. Refusing to perform if another performer is fire breathing is disrespectful of their own, hopefully educated, choice of performance.


Breathing is a lot more dangerous than spinning- far more people have died doing it.

Refusing to perform is not, in my opinion disrespectful. Each of us has the right to decide whether to perform or not, and the right to disassociate ourselves from fire practices that we consider too unsafe.






"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:


And we are definitely not the police of the fire performers world, especially as almost all of us don't even rate as amateur on the performance scale.







But we have a lot of knowledge and experience which many of those organising events, and those who are introduced to fire arts at parties lack.



That includes the posts we've read on HOP about fire breathing which the general public don't know about.



Also personal experience over many years being at fire meets/events, which include, in my case, seeing 12 year olds fire breathing, drunks fire breathing, a very competent friend almost dying from a breathing accident, and now, tales of people teaching it to drunk students at parties.



In the past I kept out of it, thinking it wasn't my place. More recently I've intervened; it can work.





"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:How do we "dissociate" ourselves from fire breathers?

Do we make a group statement that covers every fire spinner in the world? Do we pass an international law? A treaty? Do we thumb our noses and sing "neener neener neener!" at fire breathers?

I make a big deal about the fact that I don't breathe fire and I make sure people know why not. But as long as people are educated on the risk and of legal age to be making major decisions like that, I'm not going to stop them.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Looper
Looper

grasshopper in training

Member Since: 4th Feb 2004
Total posts: 124
Posted:Firstly, i love seeing breathing. But if i saw it performed with fire only once a year, it would be too often. The long term risks always make me shudder, never mind the immediate threat. For huge fire shows, where there is a real need for it then i mabye could be convinced, although usually dancing is much more beautiful. For me, twirling is awesome, however, drunken breathing (or children! eek mad) is terrifying.
I think if respected fire spinners make it clear that they are 'against' fire breathing then it will become much less of a problem. I agree that it is much more dangerous and i have also seen many people (who have never even spun fire) get drunk and breath fire. spank But they did get there kero from the people who were twirling.
I was twirling at a party two days ago and someone asked if the kero that i was using was what the used to fire breath. I said "no, and thats f'in stupid mate." Good aussie answer i thought. Didn't make friends, but also stopped a few of them asking to use my stuff etc.
So my point is if respected, skillful spinners (and begginers!) frown on breathing then it will lose some of its 'party appeal'. Our opinion at a party does have a huge impact, and i have never seen someone breath fire at a party where there wasn't already fire.


There is a world made of air, one of earth and one of water.
And there is one made of fire, and all of them fight for supremacy. They are fighting now, in my head.

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:I find myself agreeing strongly with what Dom said.

Personally I am all for the spread of information about the dangers involved with fire breathing, but I in no way shape or form think we should be actively trying to put a stop to the practice.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to develope a pamphelet sized PDF file that we can download from HoP or somewhere else that describes the dangers of fire breathing in an objective way so that we can print some up and keep them with our fire gear and when we see people who are clearly not mindful of the dangers, we can just hand them a copy and not make an issue of it.

The main problem here is ignorance. Fire breathing isn't against the law, and I don't think we should be taking it on ourselves to get all high and mighty about it and start policing the practice of it. If you want to do something about the issue, then address the ignorance, but don't infringe on people's freedom. People should be able to fire breath at appropriate times in appropriate places if they want to. But they should also be making an informed decision about it.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:

So my point is if respected, skillful spinners (and begginers!) frown on breathing then it will lose some of its 'party appeal'. Our opinion at a party does have a huge impact, and i have never seen someone breath fire at a party where there wasn't already fire.




I agree fully with this.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:
How do we "dissociate" ourselves from fire breathers?

Do we make a group statement that covers every fire spinner in the world? Do we pass an international law? A treaty? Do we thumb our noses and sing "neener neener neener!" at fire breathers?




No, we don't make laws.

As a practical example of disassociation, in Sheffield there's a lot of jugglers/spinners/fire people and there's a lot of small festivals/community events who request that people turn up and spin for free.

If it's an event I like the sound of I'll sometimes spin, but first of all I'm going to want to know if the organisers are allowing fire breathing; if they are then I'm not going to spin because I'm not going to be associated with an event where there is fire breathing.

That's my choice, it's totally up to me what kind of events I spin at, we all have that choice but many don't think of checking with the organisers about what they're going to allow.

It also helps spread awareness that there are serious safety issues concerning the practice of fire breathing amongst one of the groups that is most unaware of it.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Concerning education and informed decision, one of the points I'm making is that the general public are not getting the benefits of it, and won't do so until we start to actively target them, rather than just posting info on HOP.



It'd be interesting if those of you who always post the 'all we can do is educate...' type replies would address this issue, because to me it's starting to sound like a way of avoiding it.



To clarify, articles on HOP/internet of fire breathing dangers are great, but have two limitations: -



1. Kids seeing fire arts for the first time and being exposed to breathing by irresponsible people at parties are not going to benefit from them



2. Organisers of the community type festivals prevalent in Sheffield don't have access to these articles



In these situations the main possible source of info is from the fire spinners they are exposed to.



Lastly, there's the obvious fact that, despite the existence of these articles we're still getting drunk breathers turning up at meets, young people being taught to fire breathe at parties etc.



In fact, despite years of 'education' safety considerations at fire meets in my area are as non existent as ever, with NO safety equipment, no plan of action to deal with people who turn up drunk wanting to fire breathe, and, more recently a new fashion in loading up cages with wire wool and spraying globules of molton metal around with no consideration to the proximity of other spinners.







"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Dai
member
Location: Aberystwyth/ Newcastle
Member Since: 12th Aug 2003
Total posts: 22
Posted:Wilst I agree that fire breathing could damage the name & reputation of other fire performers (eg poi, jugglers) and see nothing wrong with refusing to perform in the presence of fire breathers you have to look after yourselfs and why associate yourself with people you dissaprove of? I don't think were quite in a position to lay down the law and claim riteousness.
Many fire poi performers are lacking in the safety department - hopefully you all do this but simply keeping a bucket of water and and old blanket/fire blanket handy to put out any fires and regularly checking your poi for ware & tear could avert a seriouse injury - a flaming poi head coming lose could cause nasty injuries! On top of this I fear many poi users are using poi never built to a high enough standard, before I made my poi I calculated the potential max force generated by the centrepetal acceleration acting on the poi head taking into acout the full weight of a fueled up head and bought swivels and chain of appropriate strength (I used 200lb swivels to be safe) but I often see others with much 'lighter' built equipment and wonder in the back of my mind I f their heading for dissaster - I hope not!!


even a frisbee is a lethal weapon in the hands of the wrong person

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Dentrassi
Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane
Member Since: 9th Apr 2003
Total posts: 3044
Posted:Quote:
So my point is if respected, skillful spinners (and begginers!) frown on breathing then it will lose some of its 'party appeal'. Our opinion at a party does have a huge impact, and i have never seen someone breath fire at a party where there wasn't already fire



for me it has been the reverse...... unless its me performing, i rarely see firespinners at parties. ive seen way more drunken firebreathers randomly performing with dodgy homemade towel wicks and household kerosene - with no actual knowledge of what they are doing. usually there are no actual firespinners around.

this is probably cos in Oz spinners are a bit more spread out than in uk.




"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:I guess it's different in different areas; my experience has been more like Loopers i.e. I've never seen fire breathers in isolation, but they tend to be drawn towards gatherings of spinners.

I'd like to make clear that I do distinguish between different types of fire breathers i.e. those who are responsible and put in the time to learn it properly, contrasted with the cliched bearded drunks, and the trash who think it's clever to impress young girls by teaching them to fire breathe at parties.

Sadly, the latter seem to be getting far more common than the former. This, combined with the fact that people often show up when it's pitch black at night, makes it almost impossible to distinguish them in any useful way, until it's too late.

===========

To those who have mentioned 'stopping' fire breathers and righteousness; I wish you wouldn't, I'm blatently not saying we should stop people fire breathing, even if we wanted to we couldn't.

I'm just a spinner who's seen way too much stupidity and, due to the recent incidents of fire breathing being taught to drunken, and sometimes underage people, think it's about time that some of us start to decide where we stand.

I know I'm not the only person to feel this way and I'm bringing this up for discussion, not only on HOP but amongst spinners I know in real life as well.

The aim is that spinners who do feel this way can get coherent and say that 'if people want to fire breathe, then that's their choice; but we're going to exercise our right to say they're not welcome at our meets, and we're going to extend the current 'education' philosophy to those who really need it- the general public and organisers of events in the areas we live in'.

What's been done up to now is great- useful articles, information about dangers and a general raising of awareness. However, it's blatently not reached all the right people, otherwise I wouldn't have, over the past couple of years, seen 12 year olds fire breathing, a drunk with his beard on fire, a friend almost dying from a breathe gone wrong etc etc.

The public are currently totally ignorant about breathing, they literally cannot distinguish between a fire juggler and a fire breather . We've got adverts on British TV featuring fire breathing to sell indigestion tablets.

In addition, when the clampdown comes, and it will when more underage people die fire breathing, it's likely that the authorities will not distingusih between spinners and fire breathers.

But, to me, that's not the main issue- if fire meets are banned in this country I can live with it, I'm so sickened with the slackness I've seen that I barely do fire any more.

The main thing is that people, some very young, are going to die, and I think there's something we can do to prevent it.









"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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robotface
member

Member Since: 2nd Apr 2004
Total posts: 190
Posted:I agree with onewheeldave. I don't think it's an issue of righteosnous or being judgemental, I just wouldn't want to have people burning their faces off and filling their lungs with kero at any gathering. Really, I couldn't enjoy myself knowing amateur fire breathers are fire breathing while I spin. I would agree to turn away fire breathers just out of purely selfish reasons.

I fire breath, and the scene here is neglible so anything onewheeldave is suggesting is irrlevent to me. But I would certainly not mind loseing the privledge of fire breathing if it meant being sure some drunk wont be fire breathing beside of me or people I care about endangering their lives.


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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:For one moment concider that the fire community is *really* small in the performance art world, and only a fraction of them are fire breathers. So, who is going to speak with the Magicians? The Buskers? The Rock Stars? The Sideshow Acts? The Circus Performers? The Clowns and Physical Comedians?

In many areas fire breathing is illegal without a proper permit. If you truly feel the need to find a way to regulate it, you can always take a writing of concerns and an information packet to your local fire marshal and have him/her ban it from there.

Unfortunately, fire breathing is easy, too easy. And people like to see it...too much. And event promoters will pay for even the crappiest fire breather because general spectators don't know the difference, and in truth most audiences *want* to see someone get hurt (not killed, just singed) because it makes for greater suspense in a show. It is sad fact, and is why so many stunt performers are in demand in circuses and such now.

And it is old, thousands of years old.
It is around to stay.
People who want to know the dangers will seek out answers and do it as safely as possible.
Most kids and drunks wouldn't listen to what we have to say anyway, because all they care about is "being cool", it's part of what makes them kids and drunks sadly.

I just try to educate those who want to hear about it, and harbour alot of hope that the others will eventually realize they are being really stupid and dangerous. *shrug* It's all I feel I can do.

Kindest Regards,
Pele



Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:


Most kids and drunks wouldn't listen to what we have to say anyway, because all they care about is "being cool", it's part of what makes them kids and drunks sadly.



I just try to educate those who want to hear about it, and harbour alot of hope that the others will eventually realize they are being really stupid and dangerous. *shrug* It's all I feel I can do.













You've done more than anyone to spread awareness with your article and posts on HOP and I'm sure that many people who may have given fire breathing a go, have refrained from doing so after reading them- you've basically saved lives.



Like I said above, I'm not looking for a ban; I believe that, as these incidents increase, the authorities will become involved anyway. But I'm not going to try to bring them in because I believe that the spinning community, if they organise themselves, have a better grasp of the issues involved and can better regulate their own meets.



I agree fully about the 'cool' thing, I disagree with the tone of futility that you convey.



As an example take skateboarders- In Sheffields concrete skate park in summer you will see loads of youths pulling off spectacular jumps on boards and BMX's. What you will never see is a single helmet or piece of protective equipment.



The 'personal choice' brigade so prevalent here would no doubt put it down to the fact that the kids have made their own decision on the issue etc. That's rubbish- the reason there are no helmets is peer pressure/ridicule; anyone showing up with a helmet would be laughed out of the park on the grounds that he/she looks uncool.



Contrast that with extreme unicycling, look at the videos on the net, I'm not saying that you'll always see helmets, but, in the majority of cases you will.



This is despite the fact that unicycling, even off road, carries far less risk of head injury than skateing on concrete.



The difference is that the extreme unicycling community is fairly recent, and the people involved are often mature adults who have promoted use of helmets and pads. so, whem kids see Kris Holm pulling off incredible stunts, they also see the fact that he's helmeted and protected; he's cool, but he has enough respect and intelligence to look after himself.



So, when kids face the choice of wearing a helmet or not, they have a real choice, balancing up cost, type of riding, risks etc, and, for the considerable number who do get helmets, they know they're not going to face peer ridicule.



Same with fire breathing, take two scenarios: -



1. Kids watching spinners; it looks great/cool, the kids respect the spinners and would like to emulate them. Suddenly there's a 6 foot plume of fire coming out of some guys mouth; the spinners stop to watch and applaud. Message is that fire breathing looks great and is cool.



2. Same situation, but this time, when the breathe happens there's a different reaction- the spinners here have discussed this issue and they're ready.



Instead of applause there's a bit of 'boo-ing'. Straight away someone goes over, trailed by discreet back up in the unlikely event that the breather is going to get aggressive. Politely he/she is informed that, for various reasons, they'd rather that breathing wasn't done here, that they personally don't want to be seen as being associated with it. If the breather quibbles with it then, assuming he/she is sober and coherent, some discussion/dialogue/education takes place.



Everyone benefits, the kids watching see that fire breathing is not seen as 'cool' by the spinning community, the breather maybe learns something new; and the spinners, who previously felt powerless when crashed by a breather are now confident that they have control over their meet.



This is actually very do-able, the only thing that's stopping this becoming reality is the usual torrent of negativity and people thinking that they can't change things.



A general rule in life is that if you really belive you cannot change something, then you'll probably be proved right.



I'm sure that the main arguments against the abolition of slavery in America were of the type- 'it's not possible', 'it's economically unfeasible', 'you can't change such deeply entrenched practices' etc.



Luckily, a minority weren't put off by the above blocking tactics and followed what they knew in their hearts to be right.



Isn't it time we got down to compiling a list of do's and don'ts that we can all concur on and then get to work on bringing about change, rather than coming up with more reasons why it can't possibly work?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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vanize
vanize

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Austin, Texas
Member Since: 21st Aug 2001
Total posts: 3899
Posted:ok, onewheeldave's last post makes good sense to me. If fire breathing has developed into a problem in your area, then I don't see anything againt you all taking sort of a guild attitude towards it. Fire performers in Austin and Houston have done similar things (regarding unsafe fire performers) and had some success. If you can get others to go along with you on the issue, it may work to a degree. I wouldn't go around actualy booing them though - that's just asking for trouble. A cold reception may help though.



An I think the health education bit should be brought up with fire breathers we see, which is why I suggested maybe we make a pamphlet sized PDF file covering the basic facts about ARDS that we can print up and have with us at events to distribute, making things a little more painless. Even though I have no intention myself of stoppping someone from fire breathing, I do think that from now on when I do meet fire breathers, I will be having a casual health discussion with them. If even Pele didn't really know the full risks, then I doubt many out there do.



But again I reiterate that if someone is taking a professional attitude about fire breathing, I am never going to be one to tell them to stop.


-v-

Wiederstand ist Zwecklos!

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Dunc
Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands
Member Since: 19th Aug 2003
Total posts: 7263
Posted:Yeah lets boo them, lets walk over and tell them they're not welcome in this public place with back-up behind us incase there's a tumble. But we don't want to stop them from doing it confused

The way I see it is that if someone wants to breathe fire, turns up to public meets and breathe, and not cause harm to others then what right have we to stop them in a public place? (permit permitting of course if applicable) I don't agree with letting drunkard untrained/unpracticed folk do it, I don't think it should be pushed onto others, I don't think the tools should be given to newbies, but what somebody wants to do with their own body is ultimately their choice not ours. We can advise, make them aware of the dangers but bascially if your pushing your views onto other and trying to force them to stop because you don't like it them that's on par with minor-facism in my book.

"Hey you fire breather, we don't want you here, please stop while we spin balls of fire around our heads"

Safety first and all that agreed, and you make some very good and valid points Dave, but I think you're taking it a little to far and trying to push your personal views on other members of our free society. Some regulation could work, maybe, but banning or booing or any other negative activity against singluar members by larger groups will only exasperate a situation and push it further into unsafe territory.

On a slightly different note, I've seen it performed and was very impressed, I read about the subject (mostly here) and would never try it. Education is the key, not banning or outlawing. No problem was ever solved by banning, it just makes the rebels rebel even more. You've obviously identified a problem needs to be treated, but treating the sypmtoms won't cure anything.


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I don't like the vibe that yelling "BOO" creates. I don't think it's right to make someone feel badly, especially if they weren't aware that firebreathing was not welcome.

My view is put up signs up all over saying "PLEASE: NO FIRE BREATHING. (Eating and tracing OK)"

That way, nobody gets put off. I'd HATE to get booed at when I didn't realize I was doing anything wrong.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Referring to the Skate example:



Taking this scenerio into account then, Tony Hawk, quite possibly the MOST visible Extreme Sports Athlete internationally right now **always** wears safety gear, even when he has a simple walk on role in a commercial, in his video games, even on his sports wear. And as a fan of extreme sports, I can say that is pretty common amongst all the pro's. Even in appearances on shows like Jackass they wore safety gear even when the "stars" of the show did not. Now, kids if kids are not emulating that, it is due to their own choice. Here, as I don't know about anywhere else, if you do not wear proper padding at the skate park, you get kicked out. It is a safety regulation. So to compare it against the extreme unicycling is really not fruitful, as they are nearly identical in scenerio actually, at least here in the U.S.



Quote:


1. Kids watching spinners; it looks great/cool, the kids respect the spinners and would like to emulate them. Suddenly there's a 6 foot plume of fire coming out of some guys mouth; the spinners stop to watch and applaud. Message is that fire breathing looks great and is cool.



2. Same situation, but this time, when the breathe happens there's a different reaction- the spinners here have discussed this issue and they're ready.



Instead of applause there's a bit of 'boo-ing'. Straight away someone goes over, trailed by discreet back up in the unlikely event that the breather is going to get aggressive. Politely he/she is informed that, for various reasons, they'd rather that breathing wasn't done here, that they personally don't want to be seen as being associated with it. If the breather quibbles with it then, assuming he/she is sober and coherent, some discussion/dialogue/education takes place.







First off you are assuming that the kids view the spinners in higher regard than the breather, which is something that rarely happens to tell you the truth. In fact, spinning is not a highly regarded art form in many of the areas where there are fire breathers. Spinning is concidered a "kid" art and is associated with ravers, party kids, hippies and I have heard, "people who are afraid to take on a real skill". The exception to this is polynesian knife spinners. You are fooling yourself if you think we have enough clout, and most fire breathers are not part of the fire scene. If they are performers, they belong to a different subculture. If they are not performers, then they tend to be the party type who doesn't listen anyway.

In all my years of doing both, there is a reason fire breathing closed the show instead of openning it. It is what the people responded most to. It is what they waited for. It is what they wanted. And truth be told, it is what I loved to do most. In fact after more fire eating/breathing shows than spinning shows I had kids tell me they wanted to be like me when they grew up. That is when I encouraged them not to. Then again, I also encouraged them to not spin with fire too. As Whipping Boy put it, "anyone who doesn't realize fire is dangerous no matter how we use it isn't even intelligent enough to be a caveman."



To play a supremacy role will do no justice as it will elevate the fire breather to the role of underdog, and many people sympathize with the underdog. As many kids like to rebel and take the more dangerous path, just a flagrant display may actually push them to fire breathing. It would have me. Especially after the boo-ing bit. That is disrespectful, immature and wrong to do to a sober person. And to do to a drunk, well, s/he wouldn't give a damn. And to a kid, it would enflame him/her into doing it again. It would have me. Ignore them. Ask them to leave the space with a **publically** stated reason why so that the spectators can hear the reasons that as a group you choose to not associate with it. Or if one walks over privately to the breather, have someone else walk over to spectators and talk with them casually, explain the dangers and time tables of *all* of what *you* are doing, and then include the fire breathing, so that they don't see it as you singling out the fire breather, and where to find more information about all of it.



In doing such a thing tact is paramount, because that will be a huge push factor in how you are perceived by the spectators. Personally, I would address the spectators and ignore the fire breather. But that is just me.



Quote:
Everyone benefits, the kids watching see that fire breathing is not seen as 'cool' by the spinning community, the breather maybe learns something new; and the spinners, who previously felt powerless when crashed by a breather are now confident that they have control over their meet.





First of all many spinners at these events are the breathers as well. I can't figure out why you are seperating it out. If you approached me with this high horse and disrespect I would completely react unpleasantly.

Secondly the incedents I have heard of have happened at public, open to anyone, meets. If you do not want a certain element to show to the meets, then do not open it up to everyone. Have it be by invitation with rules stated clearly.



I just think there are alot better ways to handle this. Even when I have gone to shows where I was appalled at the handling of fire...Cirque Du Soliel's "O" had the worst handling of fire I had seen in a looooooong time (up until a recent trip I took), I did not boo. There is a way to gain respect and make your point known and I feel that acting like a poor sports fan is not one of them.



Quote:
I'm sure that the main arguments against the abolition of slavery in America were of the type- 'it's not possible', 'it's economically unfeasible', 'you can't change such deeply entrenched practices' etc.





Actually, no and I will not even begin to answer that. I find that comparison to be absolutely appalling.



Quote:
Luckily, a minority weren't put off by the above blocking tactics and followed what they knew in their hearts to be right.





This is an erroneous statement as well. There was a northern majority who stood their ground, and there weren't "blocking tactics" involved. There was a civil war, that decimated lives and land and was the bloodiest battle in our nations history. Not to mention that many people in the North did believe in slavery but wanted to abolish it for other, more political reasons.

Again, there is no common thread with this. I was a historic re-enactor in my teens and feel that this has no place in a conversation on fire breathing.



Quote:
Isn't it time we got down to compiling a list of do's and don'ts that we can all concur on and then get to work on bringing about change, rather than coming up with more reasons why it can't possibly work?





No I don't think so. And I am one of the biggest proponents of anyone else not doing any fire art at all. Want to know why?

I went to visit friends, some in Arizona and some in NY. Both sets know what happened to me, all the details and some people on here don't know. And want to know what? They all fire breathed. Some in front of me...and dangerously and terribly, not only to themselves but to others too! I mean, singes were happening, irresponsibility abound. And they wanted me to be proud of them when I was disgusted, and told them so. But several of them had the balls to come up to me and tell me how my article changed their lives and their outlook, and it really did nothing.



I saw girls so anxious to spin fire after an entry level poi class that as part of the "class show" they lit up. They were not in control of their poi. They set themselves on fire. This class was taught by someone who is a professional and I had hoped s/he would be more mindful of the well being of the students. It wasn't there. A professional encouraged this. How lovely.



I have seen people so freakin' hot to try to make a buck at fire that they risked their audience and themselves with minimal training and more fire than they can handle.



And this after they asked me to come and talk with them, and do workshops with them.

And this because they thought I would be proud because I am a fire manipulator, and they wanted to be just like me, no matter what.



Point is, people are going to do what ever they damn well please. I am not being fatalist, I am being honest. Yes alot of people have changed and been effected. Yes there are ways to spread safety, and I agree with that.

There is a thing called free will and we don't have power over it.

And I think that your tactic of peer pressure is just as wrong as your example of it getting the kids to not wear helmets.

I feel that your desire to regulate the fire industry as to what people should or should not do is infringing on their rights, and if it is their right to kill themselves, then so be it.



All I hope for is that they make an educated decision, and that is all you can offer, education.



Perhaps you should start with the Melbourne Fire Breathers Association which teaches countless people to fire breathe each year. Perhaps all the circus schools and sideshow schools that teach fire breathing? What about all the bars that allow it as part of a bar show? Or all the old performers who have been doing it for so many years that they had to do it with leaded fuel when they started because there weren't readily available alternatives. I know a few of these guys.



In my very realistic world, what you are doing is simply not feesible on a grand scale and the way you are proposing will do nothing but make you look bad in the end.



I am all for education, but what you are proposing sounds to me like preaching, and I do not condone that.



But this is all my opinion of course.

Kindest Regards,

Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:As far as I'm concerned, I've made it as clear as I possibly can that I'm not talking about a ban, and I'm not going to be pulled into talking about the very things that I've previously asked this thread not to be about- there's loads of other threads on those issues, plus the option of starting up new ones geared to your particular priorities.

Also, the point at which you associate me with fascism, is the point at which I give up on trying to clarify my views.

Vanize, your FAQ idea is a good one and you could probably make use of some of the stuff on this forum, for example Lightenings recent post on the medical aspects of fire breathing. A useful suggestion for anything you're going to carry to fire meets is to get a copy laminated so it survives the handling with paraffin soaked hands etc.

and: -

Quote:


Even though I have no intention myself of stoppping someone from fire breathing, I do think that from now on when I do meet fire breathers, I will be having a casual health discussion with them.



that's good to hear smile

Everyone else, let me again clarify that what I'm suggesting in this thread is that those of us who don't want fire breathing at our meets (i.e. I'm not talkiing about public events organised by others) discuss and clarify effective ideas to deal with unwelcome practices.

And that those of us who, despite acknowledging the real value of the education that has been ongoing, can see that it's not reaching many of the people it should i.e. community event organisers and the general public, endeavour, when the opportunity presents itself, to pass on the knowledge that there is a serious safety issue here.



"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Dom
Dom

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Posted:clap for Pele. I think you put it perfectly. Enough said.

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Dunc
Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands
Member Since: 19th Aug 2003
Total posts: 7263
Posted:If you just want to generalise instead of attacking the indivdual points and side issues as you said, the gist of this thread seems to say NO



reading just Pele's and Doms first post seem to round up the whole thread


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Stone
Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:OWD I'm sure your heart is in the right place, but I don't think the "booing, and banning" approach works all that well. I'm from the "personal choice" brigade, and I educate when necessary. I even had a flyer on fire safety that I used to hand out.

Safety is a complex issue and I'm fed up with bureaucrats taking the simplistic approach, like put on a helmet and this solves all the safety problems. Just putting on a helmet does not necessarily make a person safe because sometimes people feel invincible when the put on a helmet, and that can lead to injuries through recklessness. People have to think safe; a point bureaucrats generally miss.

And hey, who says helmets are that safe anyway? In some situations, they cause damage. And are full-face helmets safer than open-face helmets? Not necessarily, according to a study by the
The Australian Craniofacial Unit, Adelaide Children's Hospital and Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia.



If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:I think that we need to understand that everything we do is risky.

You can die from firespinning, too. Get a lit poi wrapped around a careless arm and get a nice third-degree burn infected with something...that'll off ya.

Fact is it all has dangers and we can't just draw an arbitrary line where it stops. Sorry. We just can't. We can't force other people to bend to our will and we can't change them.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Ade
Are we there yet?
Location: australia
Member Since: 14th Mar 2001
Total posts: 1897
Posted:Quote:
Everyone else, let me again clarify that what I'm suggesting in this thread is that those of us who don't want fire breathing at our meets (i.e. I'm not talkiing about public events organised by others) discuss and clarify effective ideas to deal with unwelcome practices.





I'm not big on regulation, but here are a couple of ideas off the top if my head, untried and untested.

1. Ask all people to register as they arrive and to abide by the code of conduct for the meet
2. Ask them to produce the risk assessment and SOP for the activity they are going to undertake
3. Ask to see the MSDS for the fuel they will be using
4. Ask all first timers to attend the compusory safety talk at the beginning of the meet

etc..


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Spanner
Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...
Member Since: 27th Feb 2003
Total posts: 2790
Posted:Quote:

2. Same situation, but this time, when the breathe happens there's a different reaction- the spinners here have discussed this issue and they're ready.

Instead of applause there's a bit of 'boo-ing'.



I think your ideas of of great interest, OWD, and they could work for those who are uncomfortable with fire breathing at a meeting.

But please - don't boo! Performers shouldn't be agressive about it, but it's hardly the most positive basis for negotiation.

Added to which, having only been doing fire for 7 months, I find it very distracting when people shout while fire is being used. In those cases, I've managed to stop my poi and wait until they've finished before I continue, but even the most experienced of us could be injured this way.


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:This thread is really draining me, I'm not sure how long I'm going to stick around on this one.

Cheers to those of you who are being consise and sticking to the subject.

I'm going to have to be selective with my responses because there's so many different points being made.

Please, could people stop assuming that I'm proposing a ban, or looking for official regulation. Or at least if you're going to accuse me of that, stick in quotes where I've said it, then I can explain what I really meant.

I am not proposing a ban on fire breathing.

Concerning booing, I guess that's always going to be a sore point amongst a community which includes a fair few performers smile

I personally, though realising that it's harsh to be booed, find it considerably less offensive than the cheering that often accompanies fire breathing.

Basically, I withdraw it, I can tell from the universal dissaproval that it's not going to do any good to advocate booing- it was a mistake to suggest it and I was wrong to do so.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:
If you just want to generalise instead of attacking the indivdual points and side issues as you said, the gist of this thread seems to say NO





Cheers Custom Bug, I think that's an accurate summary- the majority are clearly against what I proposed.

Sorry for snapping at you earlier.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

Delete

onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Quote:
I think that we need to understand that everything we do is risky.

You can die from firespinning, too. Get a lit poi wrapped around a careless arm and get a nice third-degree burn infected with something...that'll off ya.

Fact is it all has dangers and we can't just draw an arbitrary line where it stops. Sorry. We just can't. We can't force other people to bend to our will and we can't change them.




Lightning, I really appreciate your restrained and consise posts on this thread.

What you say here is something I want to deal with properly, as it's representative of what I see as the 'well, nothing in this world is safe anyway....' type of argument that is used so often in discussions that touch on safety.

We get the same thing with smoking i.e. 'Even the food we eat contains toxins and is bad for us...' etc

Fire breathing is way more dangerous than spinning.

Whilst it is possible that a skin burn could get infected and lead to death, it is far less likely to do so than the consequences of a fire breathing accident.

You say we can't draw a line on the scale of danger. I maintain that we can, and do, throughout our lives.

An analogy is crossing a road, it's dangerous but we do it. Most of us draw the line at crossing the road with our eyes shut.

Both are dangerous, one is acceptable risk, the other is not.

Mike, concise as your point was, I notice that at the end you slipped in something about forcing people to change; I can also see that there's scope to bring in 'each paerson has to draw the line for themselves'.

Can we initially stick to your point that-

Quote:

Fact is it all has dangers and we can't just draw an arbitrary line where it stops.



I've tried to show above that we can draw such a line; do you agree, and, if not, why not?


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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