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Forums > Social Chat > Responsible or paranoid?

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Location: BC, Canada
Member Since: 4th Jul 2001
Total posts: 16
Posted:I'm in a bit of a moral predicament over the local fire spinning group.

I've been spinning for a year as of July 1, normally at the regular gathering point of down at the park on Friday nights. This completely unofficial gathering has been taking place for about three years now, and within the past year has grown enormously in popularity.

Last week there were turntables and DJs in addition to the drum circle. Probably three dozen people total, several children included. Most people who show up end up trying a staff. (Staff is the big thing here, poi are quite rare.)

Sounds fantastic, right? Here's where the moral dilemma comes in:

There have never been any safety precautions taken at the park, other than some basic common sense and lots of people around to say "hey! you're on fire!" One guy brought a spray bottle of water to wet his hair down and prevent flare ups, but that's as close to fire prevention as we get.

With the ever-increasing number of spinners, many of them first-timers who are simply handed a stick and allowed to light up, I see it as only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. The toddler who is utterly entranced by fire (to the point of throwing a tantrum when his mother won't hand the burning staff to him), the goth girl spinning while wearing layers of flowing chiffon skirts, the people who have already been accidentally whacked by another spinner standing too close...

If/when a serious injury happens, we're all royally screwed. Goodbye even tacit acceptance from authorities.

I however, am the *only* one who sees this problem. Nothing bad has happened yet...

Am I just paranoid? Is there anything I can do that doesn't involve trying to impose rules on a distinctly anti-authoritarian group?

the mind gap.
the mind gap.

old hand
Location: Brigadoon
Member Since: 31st May 2002
Total posts: 829
Posted:maybe you should dress up form head to foot in fireproof stuff without telling anyone, douse yourself in petrol and set yourself on fire (making sure you do it close to the bloke with the sqirty water bottle).
that'll show 'em

wherever you go, there you are.


old hand
Location: Nottingham UK
Member Since: 27th Jan 2001
Total posts: 950
Posted:I don't think you're paranoid. Some of us are more safety concious than others. If you are really concerned take a fire extinguisher along with you. If that's not possible wet towels will will smother small fires. As you seem to be the sensible one, why not adopt the task of "fire safety person" as your responsibility? I have found myself in this position a few times and IMO that someone's got to do it, and that someone may as well be me. Be prepared for some hostility sometimes though.

You could try talking to the other spinners about fire safety and your worries about the authorities, but in a friendly non-critical way. If people feel they are being attacked they can react quite aggressively.

At gatherings we are resposible for saftey of our own fire toys, and the people we let play with them. I hope this is helpful, let me know how you get on. Onelove Thistlefirepixie

Are we nearly there yet?

100 characters max...
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 11th Jan 2002
Total posts: 2996
Posted:Sounds like a good start to talk to some of the regular spinners. Maybe suggest that they each add one thing to their kit for help with safety, whether it be a wet towel, a bucket of water, a spray for wet down, a couple of spare head wraps to be lent out or for the committed, an extinguisher.

Sounds like your biggest concern is with the inexperienced ones twirling with the massive numbers of people who are there. What usually happens? Do they bring their own gear, or just rock up & borrow someones?

It was a day for screaming at inanimate objects.

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

Doc Lightning
Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 28th May 2001
Total posts: 13920
Posted:A complex idea that I have is to start a "troupe." That puts you in a position of some unofficial authority to start setting generally accepted standards of safe practice, like having wet towels and fire extinguishers.

So get some people together, give yourselves a name, and voila, you have introduced some organization to the chaos.

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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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