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Forums > Social Chat > A philosophical question

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:I'm sure that this topic (or something related it) has been discussed to death, but I saw it coming up on the Poi Moves board and I figured that this was a more appropriate place to run off on a tangent.

There are some people who like to criticise "show-offs." Now, I'll grant that I can't stand an egomaniac who thinks that he's G-d's gift to spinning, no matter how good or bad he is. Personally, I'm a good spinner. I'm not excellent or great or even very good. I'm just good. I guarantee that a lot of you are much better than I am. BUT I don't consider spinning to be a competitive sport. If ever anyone gets the idea to have a contest, you can count me out.

BUT...I'm also a show-off. Is that really such a terrible thing? I mean, this is a performing art, right? While I do spin for me and for the rush that I get from it, I also spin for others. I have no illusions that I'm the world's best spinner, and if another spinner shows up, I'm glad to give him my chains and let him play for a while.

As for fancy moves, the non-spinning audience doesn't really notice them. They just watch the pois and they don't really care if it's a simple forward weave or a nine-beat BTB Rhodesian Hummingbird. In general, the only people in the crowd who really notice fancy moves (BTB, backwards, etc.) are the other spinners. And, of course, the performer himself. As long as you aren't hitting yourself, the non-spinning audience is so overwhelmed with the pois that they don't really notice who is "better" and who is "worse" (barring people who can turn flips and stuff in the middle of a routine, of course).

Sometimes I wonder if the fact that I now watch the spinner and not the pois has cost me some of my appreciation for the beauty of our art. Or maybe it's just changed that appreciation.

Anyways, I spin for me. I spin because it's meditation, therapy, fun, and an outlet for my creative energies. But I also spin for others and I do care what they think of it. After all, isn't that the essence of a performing art?

In the end, I walk away from a good spin smelling of kero and with a sweaty, ear-to-ear grin on my face. Isn't that what it's really all about?

Wow...that was a long post. Kudos if you followed it through.

Peace.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2001

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas

Total posts: 829
Posted:I feel what your saying. I feel that you should do everything to the best of your abilities, if your constantly toning your skills down to save face of others then you will never reach your full potential. As long as you are not using your skill to show-up someone else (which i admit i have done, but the ass was asking for it since he was trying to makemy friends look bad.) then let her rip.

If im in a club, i am looking for someone spinning thats better than me. Why??? so i can learn something from them. I like to show my skill, and i am always more than willing to teach someone something new if they ask me.

i dont look at it as showing, rather than a display of knowledge..

Super'

[ 10 May 2002, 05:22: Message edited by: Superman ]


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I agree (while showing off). PS While i'm using the phrases in these posts, I don't really agree with "better" or "worse" "best" "worst" phrases to apply to a non-competitive pastime like spinning. Tennis is different as the point of the game is supposed to be to win, but in our arts, each person may have an entirely different reason for spinning than the next guy.

I'm one of the biggest showoffs in the two main performing groups I'm involved with, and no-where near the top in any of them. But I still have fun!

I know of a guy who has said he wants to the best at everything, no matter what it is. That sounds like a good concept, but I've been thinking a lot about that lately.

If you want to be "the best", then you have to constantly be aware of others and how good they are in certain areas and have to keep chasing their new developments to catch up.

Personally, I think if you are concerning yourself with others more than just improving yourself, you'll never get to the "top" as it were.

There is one person who i consider to be the best spinner I've ever seen in the flesh, and he has that attitude of self-improvement, rather than "beat the other guys".

And it shows...


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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

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Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:Competitive poi is like competitive yoga. It misses the point entirely. Every move is a journey and an exploration of your physical self.

I do experience "poi envy" (not quite as Freudian as staff envy ), however I don't ever say "I am going to be better than him/her/it". I want to be able to do what they can do, and stand beside them without detracting from what they are doing.

I guess my experience of competitive people has always been the ones who feel a need to put the others down, and I don't want to do that.

R.


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Jello


ambiguous
Location: Mpls, MN, USA

Total posts: 646
Posted:quote:Originally posted by Rozi:
Competitive poi is like competitive yoga. It misses the point entirely.

hehe, cool. I admit when I'm practicing a new move and I really don't have it down, I'm always on the lookout for people watching me, and if somebody is, I pull out a nicer looking move. But alot of times I just put on my headphones and loose track of everybody around me. And it is true, you can impress alot of people with simple stuff, which if fairly good for me, since I'm not a pro or anything. But I'm getting better and it's still a fun thing for me to do and relax with.


_________________________________
Fuzzy Dice.......................................

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 6979
Posted:This issue relates more to a person's temperament than specifically to twirling.
Self analyse your own motivations, *honestly*
It will be then that you'll recognise your basic motivations to be vanity, spirituality or bestiality.
If you ever catch yourself possibly appearing proud, examine how it could make others feel - if they feel inspired, exhilirated, then good 4 you! if they look like they feel insufficient or humiliated, then I use what shame I feel then to drive to be a better twirlyperson! nowadays, when i twirl, i do it after others so that they have suffer no twirly comparison when they flame up - if you follow true self analysis with an honest response (the practice of self observation!) it will reciprocate into being a better twirly person! One day I hope I can truthfully say that I can watch an awesome twirler with absolutely no jealousy in me heart! I am getting there! the above post is right tho - behaving competitively does look as silly as competitive yoga.
Do unto others!


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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SickpuPpy


SickpuPpy

Ninja Rockstar!
Location: Denver, Co. U.S.A.

Total posts: 1100
Posted:*see catcallsandcows thread, re: displacement disorder.

People make it competitive because they are missing something in thier life and try to compensate for it by pretending that they are better at something and thereby better than every one else. And we all know that this is crap.

People make fun of the above people because they are jealous of them and compensate by trying to cut them down below thier own level.

Damn, I guess all those years of school are good for something, eh.


Jesus helps me trick people.

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:Absence of fear would be stupidity most often.

Mark Twain has a lot of good quotes.

sorry to wander off topic again


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:eesh, there was only one reeply a secodn ago *looks at watch and has a good long think about this concept called "time"*

i have to say, that sometimes it's good to want to be as good as or better than someone else. If you don't take it too far, it can give you a little motivation. such has happened to me lately in a non-spinning area, and in general the boy I was trying to keep up with (track or athletics depending on which country you hail from) was being really supportive and sort of goading at my pride to keep me going... you'll work harder if you wnatto beat someone sometimes, as long as you don't let the attitude carry when the poi/staff/etc is set down then i think it's not nesc bad.

of course, being able to strive for self-betterment is better i'm sure. but i'm not that special yet, leastaways not in most things. staff might be the big exception, out of my whole life.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Rozi,

EXCELLENT point about the "competitive yoga," except...leave it to the USA...people are getting competitive about yoga.

I guess I've some people starting to sound like poi should be a totally internal thing, like yoga, though. Sometimes it is that and I hate having other people watching me when I am just out to spin off some stress. But the fact is that it is a performing art and there is a fine line between entertaining your audience and being a totally blown-up egomaniac ass.

I don't want to be the best spinner in the world because that isn't possible. I just want to be the best spinner I can be. (Not that that's ultimately possible, either...)

Peace.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Rozi
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2996
Posted:That's very true, with the performance side of things. And it makes it quite interesting. Think how hard it is to judge "the best" dancer. What criteria would you use? What do you give marks on? Esp when poi encourages so many different styles and skills. So how hard must it be to set yourself the goal of being "the best" poi performer? You just wouldn't know where to start, because you can't pin down any way of measuring it.

The best you can hope for is that you are comfortable and confident in the performance style you have developed (whether it means knowing the most tricks, looking the most graceful, or whatever)


It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

What this calls for is a special mix of psychology and extreme violence...

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Superman
BRONZE Member since Mar 2001

Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas

Total posts: 829
Posted:if I think about it, i tend to worry more about what non-spinners think of my moves. I know that if you spin as well, you arent judging me unless your just a real asshole or something.

I dont think i have ever seen a group of spinners watching someone else, and in the middle of their performance or set, think

"ahhh they're not that great" or "thats not that impressive" then just walk off

So i guess we will "show off" to hold the atention of a crowd. Of course i know that most people spin for themselves, but i wont lie, i loove having that group of people that will surround you and cheer you on when you get in that zone and the adrenalin is pumping. Thats when i usually pull of a move that i usually have trouble with...

Apples and oranges..

Sooooperman

[ 11 May 2002, 02:58: Message edited by: Superman ]


Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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ishkasallymo
BRONZE Member since Mar 2002

member
Location: galway,ireland

Total posts: 12
Posted:It's always good to be reminded of what you really started twirling for. Sometimes when there are so many people around me learning all these moves at the same time I find that I get lost in the whole competition thing. But with me it's more the fear that someone is more of a natural. I don't know what I look like when I'm twirling, I haven't seen myself but I can tell when someone else is really good.... Sometimes it's easy to feel jealousy and learn the moves that they make look great and hope you make them look better....

About the whole showing off thing, I am such a performer... I'm not saying that I think I'm great it's just that I love it when people look at me in awe and especially when little kids are totally mystified by what I'm doing. I think they are the most truthful viewers because they don't know much about how difficult it is, they only see how it looks.... I think I just totally went off the point but what can you do, I am Irish!


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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:For some reason I find people with "Look at me!" complexes exhausting. Perhaps more than I should.

I certainly enjoy watching a good show but really feel drained whenever someone is clearly begging for attention, be it through immature behavior or blatant showing off.

I tend to be more offended by antisocial overly competitive spinners showing off, than by a spinner who I respect as a person first.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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ishkasallymo
BRONZE Member since Mar 2002

member
Location: galway,ireland

Total posts: 12
Posted:What you say is very true....

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SmokyDavy
SILVER Member since Jan 2002

Do my poi look too small in this?
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Total posts: 394
Posted:Competitive Yoga??? what's the point? how do you tell who'se better? I'm lost on that one..

The funny thing about spinning is that at one party my friend went to in Toronto, she was spinning glowsticks around and someone made some comment about it being uncool and that she was just trying to get attention. (I wasn't there, or I would've had a word, rest assured)

The thing is that you'd never hear someone say that about a fire-spinner because its an accepted artform and therefore its accepted.

Even if someone was to make that comment about someone being an attention seeker, I can very well say that a HUUUUGE list of things are for seeking attention, whether you do it with fire, words, music, literature, mathamatics, whatever, just do what you enjoy.

If you are a d.j., party promoter, deco artist, music producer, play a musical instrument, write or recite poetry, m.c., dance in a creative way, dress up, dress down, play sports, work-out, try to excel in your career, try to talk to strangers in a club or bar, try to meet new people on a message board, mailing list, try to join a club or guild of sorts, you are trying to get SOME SORT of attention.

If you were to cut out the desire for attention, you cut out the passion and fire that burns beneath our hearts. Its that part that plants in your mind, watching yourself moving in a field with balls of fire burning and flying all around you. Its that part that thinks, F*ck man, thats going to be soooooo cool.

If you take that away, then what is there? Its dry, I'm doing it because of money, I'm doing it because I'm supposed to. A musician can say he's doing it for the music, a doctor can say he's doing it for the betterment of man-kind, but deep down inside, they want some sort of recognition for their efforts. Thats attention.. Recognition=Attention, and no matter what it can't be avoided.

I admit freely to liking attention, particularly from lovely girls.

What really does get to me though, is people with egos that over-shadow their skills and makes them into a pompous assh*le/bitch.

I strongly agree about the competition thing, there's no way you'd find me judgeing or being judged in one of those competitions. I'd more likely want to be involved in an exhibition or workshop, or just playing.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Fire, about what's happening with yoga around here, there was an article about it in the New York Times a month or so ago.

Basically, a lot of people are type-A personalities getting into yoga not to gain a spiritual connection, not to get in touch with their bodies, or not even, as I did, to figure out what yoga is (man am I glad I did!), but rather to gain firmer buns and abs and to wow their friends and...uh..."yoga buddies" with just how far behind their head they can shove their knees.

I got into yoga as a type-A personality to find out what yoga was, but also to try to relax. I came out of it more flexible, more toned, AND with a firm belief in the supernatural and metaphysical worlds. And now I am going to carry that through my life.

I got into spinning because I'm an attention junkie and I wanted to show off. I'm very glad I got into it because I really quickly learned a few lessons:

1) It takes a long time to learn and there ALWAYS someone who is "better" than you are. So I quickly shoved my ego up my ass (it was pretty big, so it hurt a bit to do that) and started paying attention to my "elders."

1a) There will be moves that I will never be able to do, no matter what. I cannot turn a cartwheel due to a bad back. For the same reason, I cannot bend over backwards. Rather than lamenting my limitations, I need to figure out how to use my strengths.

2) Spinning is meditation. While the high of a cheering audience is hard to beat, guess what I do when I'm taking a study break, hmm?

3) It's the art and not the act that brings me out. I never really had much of an artistic or creative outlet and now that I do, my life feels much fuller. And the fact that so few people have ever seen the art just makes it all the more fun.

4) Once you have the basics down, ANYTHING you do looks cool. You'd be amazed at the routine you can do with only a two-beat forward weave, a windmill, and a corkscrew.

5) Anyone looking at you and judging you as "inferior" is not worth your consideration of their opinion, anyways.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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the man behind the curtain


member
Location: second star on the right and s...

Total posts: 52
Posted:while i am an atention freak and love the crowd. i'm more into the meditation through selfmastery stuff. but i know that it has cost me in appriciation of the art. i don't even watch the poi anymore just the hand work and body movement, which is funney cause i won't watch at all if there is no fire. but now that i'm over the fire and see each trick as just time spent practicing i've lost intrest in poi. i know i could challenge myself to do more but as more people do it i look for something less commen. which is why i moved to devil stixs and plan to pick up staff. new tool equal less automatic control and more need for focus.

may you travel far andlive in interesting times.unless you a bhuddist in which case i wish you nothing

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