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Forums > Social Discussion > Flid's views on poi and the mainstream

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Well, I have to say, it's been a ahile since i;ve made a drunken HoP post, I went without beer since easter whilst revising for my university finals, so tonight is the first time in ages that i've been drunk. Anyway, why am I boring you with my post? Well, i debated with myself whilst walking home whether to write it at all, whether to put it in social chat or discussion, but, here it is. I know this has been discussed before too, but i thought just for myself i'd make my own thread, like 1600 post perogative (heh, lightening is creating enough threads at the mo!) smile



There's been many threads about 'mainstream' and 'poi will become mainstream and uncool' and all that. My 2 cents are here on my observations of the expansion of the poi scene over the past 2 years:



Poi is getting more popular, there's no doubt about it. At festivals here in the UK last year they were selling poi on loads of stalls and there were hundreds of people of all ages trying to spin the 3 beat weave. At uni tonight, the last big free event of the year, i saw various people spinning, including fire.



But, the majority of these people learn poi as a party trick. It isn't anything more to them than a 'hey look at me! arn't i cool!' type thing. It's like fire breathing (no offence to many that do), but it annoys me when i'm spinning and someone comes along and breathes and suddenly they have the crowds attention - because 'my flame is bigger than yours!'. My personal view, is that as poi reaches more people, there will be an increase in people learning, but the increase in people learning seriously, to the point of joining a forum such as this, meeting others, attending meet-ups etc isn't increasing that much. I think it will be a shame if it reaches the point where there are so many '3 beat as fast as you can' party trick fire spinners who set fire to stuff and give it a bad name, but as far as people who actually practice to the point of 5 beat, hyperloops, throws etc go, the expansion in numbers isn't that significant. There was a guy spinning fire tonight at uni, who was just clearly starting out, which is cool, but he was spinning fire in a really crowded area, with loads of drunk people around, and to be honest I just really hoped that security would come and tell him to stop - it was a disaster waiting to happen. I get the sense from people who spin for a living that they want people to enjoy their artform, but at the same time don't want hobbiests to destroy their scene/source of income by stupidity/giving it a bad name. I feel almost like a snob to be saying the same thing, as a hobbiest myself, but i'm worried that with the amount of people introduced to poi, the numbers of people taking the piss with fire and hurting themselves/bystanders will increase substanially frown. I'm still at the stage where i mention poi and people are interested, not think i'm reckless because their friend got her hair singed off by some pisshead with poi at a party.



My view of course, from my small corner of the globe smile It's not a particularly elegantly made post, but then it is 3am, and i hope you get the jist biggrin


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:I agree with pretty much all of what you say.



But the 'fast 3 beaters' have always been around and probably always will.



However, as experienced spinners we're in a position where we get some kind of respect from some of the people who want to learn, and, to some extent, it's down to us as to how spinning is seen.



When I teach people to spin, part of it is to talk about those issues, to make it clear that in my opinion: -



* spinning is about skill and art, the most important part is nothing to do with fire



* emphasise the value of slow spinning and developing flow, body movement etc, rather than just learning individual moves



* that paraffin is filthy toxic stuff



* fire is dangerous, and the most important part of learning fire is being safe



and, if I introduce someone to fire spinning, i emphasise the safety aspects.



I also do my part in telling people about the issues around fire breathing, and recommend that they don't get into it (also by posting on HOP)



Obviously, there's a limit to the numbers that we can reach, but, we can make a difference; I know that where I'm concerned there's a fair number of people who've given thought to safety issues that otherwise may not have done.



And, of course, posts such as the one you've just made are part of the education for those who find themselves looking for info online.



A look at how HOP has developed over the years concerning some of the safety issues gives cause for hope that that knowledge will also spread in the offline world.





"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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oli
SILVER Member since Jul 2003

not with cactus
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devo...

Total posts: 2052
Posted:Written by: flid


My view of course, from my small corner of the globe smile It's not a particularly elegantly made post, but then it is 3am, and i hope you get the jist biggrin



who needs elegance when you have beer logic ???

o and congratulations on your typing its very good considering your situation.


Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

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Frodo
BRONZE Member since Jun 2003

Frodo

old hand
Location: In a van, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1092
Posted:well said flid... i agree toattly ... although i am one of the people that have started in the last year!

passing through, this world still lives.

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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ), New Zealand

Total posts: 625
Posted:I feel the opposite...over here in NZ, when i first started there were loads of peeps spinning and most of them were decent. But over time all the old legends have faded away, and all reports from accross alot of the north island are bad, ie alot of juggling and poi stores have all closed down, its like its dying out. Even alot of the people who taught and inspired me have faded and there are only 1-2 real legends left.

Its quite sad, the fact that most of the spinners are newbs, and though meeting new good spinners is a wicked buzz i think right now...its at a trasnition which could go either way. For sure it will be strong again 1 day...but its like the anticapation thats killing me. I could be wrong and i do hear that there are still good spinners in the south...but it feels like the begining of the end...like a dying art only handed down from a elite group to the selected few to pass on like that for awhile till it blooms again...

For now, i just make sure to instill the right motives, safety and respect to all i teach and hang with so when they pass it on its stays true to its origonal form...the form that made me wanna spin and the insprinational force that lies within.

Right now id gladly accept mainstream over stagnation. And dont worry Flid...there are always idoits...but i do know that there are such awsome people out there, that they even it out biggrin


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MEERCAT
BRONZE Member since May 2002

MEERCAT

A Meerkat that eats chicken
Location: Cambridge UK

Total posts: 194
Posted:
I hardly ever post BUT.......................................................

"I AGREE" with all of what u say jedi master ubbloco

weavesmiley weavesmiley


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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:Flid, I'm not having a go at you, but thought I'd reword your post:

Breakdancing is getting more popular, there's no doubt about it. At festivals here in the UK last year they were selling breakdancing videos on loads of stalls and there were hundreds of people of all ages trying breakdance. At uni tonight, the last big free event of the year, i saw various people having fun by breakdancing.

But, the majority of these people learn breakdancing as a party trick. It isn't anything more to them than a 'hey look at me! arn't i cool!' type thing. It's like swing dancing (no offence to many that do), but it annoys me when i'm breakdancing and someone comes along and swing dances in my space. My personal view, is that as breakdancing reaches more people, there will be an increase in people learning, but the increase in people learning seriously, to the point of joining a forum such as this, meeting others, attending meet-ups etc isn't increasing that much. I think it will be a shame if it reaches the point where there are so many bad breakdancers (that don't even bring their own piece of cardboard) and give it a bad name, but as far as people who actually practice to the point of really out there breakdancing. There was a guy breakdancing tonight at uni, who was just clearly starting out, which is cool, but he was breakdancingin a really crowded area, with loads of drunk people around, and to be honest I just really hoped that security would come and tell him to stop - it was a disaster waiting to happen. I get the sense from people who dance for a living that they want people to enjoy their artform, but at the same time don't want hobbiests to destroy their scene/source of income by stupidity/giving it a bad name. I feel almost like a snob to be saying the same thing, as a hobbiest myself, but i'm worried that with the amount of people introduced to breakdancing, the numbers of people taking the piss with breakdancing and hurting themselves/bystanders will increase substanially . I'm still at the stage where i mention breakdancing and people are interested, not think i'm reckless because their friend got leg kicked by some pisshead breakdancing at a party.

frown


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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:Know what? Juggling is pretty mainstream and I don't think that makes it any less cool.

It's this irony thing. At first, people are all enthusiastic, and then once it grows, people start wondering what happened to their little club.

Life does that, folks.

And Burning Man will not be as good this year. wink


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Tao Star


Tao Star

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol

Total posts: 1662
Posted:ditto

how many people do you know who can just about juggle 3 balls? i know F**king loads.

not many who can juggle 5 though...


I had a dream that my friend had a
strong-bad pop up book,
it was the book of my dreams.

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:Ade, your dancing anaolgy confused me, mainly because I don't think that dancing carries the same perceived risk as spinning fire does.

Even if the chance of a 'hobby breakdancer' injuring themselves or bystanders is as high as a 'hobby spinner' doing the same the nature of the activity determines whether or not people think that they are in danger. Fire will always seem more dangerous than feet. And burns leave scars (which of course the chicks dig, but that's neither here nor there).

All just in my opinion, bacause I was starting to sound a bit high handed there. spank
Except for the burny scars bit - that's definately true.


As for mainstream poi
My boyfriend reminisces about when there were less than half a dozen people doing poi in Edinburgh. But then again they weren't doing all that much with them by all accounts. For all the hundreds of people taking up poi, there are going to be some who really take to it and maybe even dream up something totally new and impressive. Against those few there will be manymany fast-as-you-can types who lose interest fairly quickly (or have their toys confiscated by their injured friends). As far as I can see the only thing you can do to counter poiers getting a bad reputation is to set a shining example like onewheeldave does.

Thinking all that did make me wonder how yo-yo obsessives felt during the great yo-yo craze of the recent (well it feels recent) past. eek?

xx
hug


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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:I think a bit less ego would stop all this even being mentioned, yes? It doesn't matter if it's only you in the world who can do it or everyone in the world. It should still be just as special to you.

Popular/non-poular.....Underground/mainstream..why tag things? Just spin them and enjoy them weavesmiley

but....this time last year I'd never even heard of poi (ok that's a lie but I'd never tried it or really paid attention to it) and if becoming mainsteam means I have now learnt something beautiful and met lots of lovely folk from around the country and world because of it then popularity gets my vote, exclusivity sucks.


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:hasnt poi already lost its cool factor? at a party on the weekend isolations didnt draw even momentary attention from ppl (and I can gurantee none had ever seen iso's before) but some rather average 4 ball juggling had a few ppl cheering, and more watching.

Theres no threat to the technicque level of its hardcore proponents, as that will continue to rise with experience and practice.

And if they outlaw it? that will just push it back underground. I dont really have any problems with that either.

so I can only see a threat to that small group of fire performers that are still running on the 'Wow' factor rather than professional stage production. These ppl stand to lose out. But realistically, what are they losing? very few ppl that fall into this category are making a buck...and if its for the attention? There's always something to do if you want attention...

Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:It all depends on whether the town your in has been saturated with poi or not.

This is the same discussion we have every year.

Only with Flid drunk.


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

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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:Wait, Flid being drunk is the EXCEPTION?

Oh crap, someone just coded. Gotta run.


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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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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:False alarm. Overzealous nurse. Ok, we now return to the topic of conversation.

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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Good to know that Mike typed the sentence, hit "Continue", and THEN ran out of the room to help. wink

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

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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 type fast. Besides, NEVER be the first to a code. People expect you to know what you're doing.

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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:ubblol

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Dragon7
GOLD Member since Oct 2003

Dragon7

addict
Location: Aotearoa (NZ), New Zealand

Total posts: 625
Posted:lmao ubblol

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Helloswave
Come dance in Belfast (or anywhere in Northern Ireland) sometime!!!
There's only me here (oh, maybe another girl I've heard about)...
It's really nice, cos people here only see fire in connection with unpleasantness... so I'm getting loads of lovely warm comments - as well as the 'hey, you lunatic' types too.
There's plenty of fire jugglers, but sadly, no dancers.
And there's nobody doing staff... at all frown
Have fun weavesmiley
xo


Getting to the other side smile

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:that's cuz belfast isn't maintstream enough, it's still underground. You need a shovel or something to find it and they spin very small poi in mouse holes and sewers too wink

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Faberg
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

veteran
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 1459
Posted:bounce2 i'll come to belfast bounce2

My mind not only wanders, it sometimes leaves completely smile

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Nice one!!! Would be good to see you play up here!!
And I'll go take a look in the sewers and small mouse holes for other players
(wishing for a sherlock-holmes type smiley)
biggrin


Getting to the other side smile

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Mags The Jedi
GOLD Member since May 2004

Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK

Total posts: 2020
Posted:I started spinning with poi just over a year ago after my girlfriends cousin showed me her fire poi. I've always kinda had a wierd fascination for tieing things to string and spinning them, but hadnt taken it any further until then.

I guess this ranks me as a Novice, the step above newbie. Or padawan, depending which posts you read. The point is, in my world (the one that revolves round me) I've got pretty ok at it, and I'm proud of what I can do.

I went to the WOMAD festival last year in Reading, took me 'chains and had a great time, met some truly amazing spinners/staffists. There were quite a few stalls selling poi, and after 3 days you couldn't walk past a group of kids without one of them franticly spinning away. Most of those kids have probably never picked the things up again since. A small group of them will have, and they're the ones who graduate from "person who has spun poi" to "Newbie Poi Spinner".

I admit, I'm torn. Half of me wants it to be massive, partly so people don't give me wierd looks when I tell them why i have chain marks on all my clothing. The other half is the jealous, protective "I want all the toys" little kid inside me, who resents the fact that some upstart little kid might actually become better than me! (Shock horror!)

The deciding factor for me, I think, is that Poi seems to do something to people. It makes them nicer. Or maybe it only attracts nice people. When I talk to my friends about it, they all say the same thing. They got into Poi partly because it felt and looked cool and fun, but primarily for the sense of community you get from other spinners.

I know that if I see someone spinning, I can go over to them and say hi, learn from them, maybe teach them something, and hopefully make yet another friend.

And suddenly I'm not scared of the "mainstream" anymore.

And, a final point, just how mainstream do you see this getting? Skateboarding threatens to overwhelm the world all the time, has done for years, yet it remains perched on the edge of the big time, quietly (or not) doing business whilst keeping its poise as part of the counter-culture cool.

*apologies for the stoned and long winded post*


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

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Twirly


Twirly

Shoryuken!
Location: Hexham, Newcastle, England

Total posts: 233
Posted:Hey!

I'm from a wee town called Hexham, very backwards but nice enough. Anywoo whats happened here is kinda like a microcosm of what you've all being describing/pondering over/worrying about whatever. Like up till a couple of months ago there were only a couple of people (literally) who played fire, but a wee while ago, for whatever reason, it all just took off. Everyone had their homemade poi in school and shit, playing with diablo's at break an stuff.

Well anyway it's totally died down again from what I can see, all the speedweavers have got bored + only the people who really got into it, rather than just wanting a new party piece, have stuck. Including me, yay! If I'd wanted to impress instantly, I don't think a meteor was the way forward.

Anyway you shouldn't worry, more people getting involved only pushes standards higher, and doesnt detract from what you're doing badly. If poi was more mainstream, more people would be impressed by the isolations than the firebreathing, because everyone would know how easy it is, and hopefully how stupid it is.

Like with skating, now that everyone and his daughter can ollie, it doesn't make the greats look any worse - rather, people appriciate just how hard the shit they can do is.

Davy ::::::


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duballstar
SILVER Member since Sep 2003

duballstar

slack rating - 9.5
Location: Suburbiton, Yoo-Kay, United Ki...

Total posts: 2216
Posted:i've said this before but... the more people there are learning poi, the more motivation there is for you to improve yourself! people that get very good very quickly raise the bar for the rest of us to reach a new level. meditate

furthermore, more people buy poi so more money gets put into the poi community to do cool stuff with! biggrin


It is our fantasies that make us real. Without our fantasies we're just a blank monkey' - Terry Pratchett

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griffin


griffin

feminine tiddly pom
Location: cambs england

Total posts: 505
Posted:i only started a couple of months ago, but recently showed my friends. they did the whole wowshowmeagainletmehaveago but they'll forget bout it soon
it will blow up, and more people will do, but more people will have something else to enjoy in their life, surely thats not bad?? i totally understand the nice feeling of iknowsommincudont but so is it nice to watch more art
art has to be found, and its integrity is normally compromised when its availible to the masses, but poi is such a skill that its specialness will always be apparent


in state of metamorphosis

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Mint Sauce
BRONZE Member since Sep 2003

veteran
Location: Lancs England

Total posts: 1453
Posted:i have been poi'ing bout a year and a bit now and think i am ok good enough to do fire without serious burns but not good enough to do in an open public space dose that meen i anoy all you pro's out there. you were all beginers once. but having said that i do like the fact that when people do watch me they are impresed and it is new to them. humm i seem to have double standards ho well

my main problem is i dont seem to be getting any better i need to spin with some experienced spinners to lern more and pull me from this sodding rut


before i met those lot i thought they'd be a bunch of dreadlocked hippies that smoked, set things on fire ,and drank a lot of tea but then when i met them....oh wait (PyroWill)

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands, United Kingd...

Total posts: 7263
Posted:Totally hear that Minty, my poi repotoire (sp?) exploded once I started playing with other spinners. It's great cuz you just feed off each other and inspire each other and it's totally the best thing.

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Mags The Jedi
GOLD Member since May 2004

Mags The Jedi

Fool
Location: Cornwall, UK

Total posts: 2020
Posted:i'm still rubbish, 13 months on. A good way to gain inspiration (when there are no others to spin with and learn from) is to try other toys like juggling balls, clubs, staff and stuff like that, and try to adapt those moves to poi. And vice versa.

I'm very hungover, so that may not make any sense at all. Oh well.


"I believe the cost of life is Death and we will all pay that in full. Everything else should be a gift. We paid the cover charge of life, we were born."

Bill Hicks, February 1988

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Pheonnexx
BRONZE Member since Dec 2003

member
Location: Plymouth, UK

Total posts: 89
Posted:I find it very hard to find people that poi around here in plymouth, but then sayin that i was contacted in easter by this guy was getting a meet together with some other guys and i finally found some people, I was one that was still learning loads but as soon as i had one evening with these guys i learnt so so much. I also learned that we could poi in a club on rock nights where i saw this other girl and learnt a bit watching her. So i think it is cool that poi is going mainstream so we can all leanr from each other, it also stops the whole thing becoming stagnant.

Burn !

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