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Forums > Social Chat > Attention all - please read

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HOP admin
Location: HOP
Member Since: 18th Nov 2003
Total posts: 984
Posted:Yes I am emotional and for once I am speaking out loud my feelings.

At the moment I feel that HOP is going off track in what it stands for.

It has become so big it sometimes behaves like a monster. It seems to go through cycles and stages of good and bad times. Sometimes I get really angry at what I see happening. I feel it is all my fault. I have not made things clear enough and looked away when I should not. I have also created a competitive environment.

I do however see many great things on HOP, things that make me proud and bring me and I am sure many others much happieness. I tend to only think of these things.

What is great is hearing and seeing people communicate and discuss things of importance without being yelled at. People listening and wanting to hear. People thinking. People caring.
Seeing others helping people with their questions and guiding them in what to do to find the answers and /or answering them without making them feel stupid or un-welcome.
Appreciation of other peoples beliefs and choices.
Respect. Treating others the way you want to be treated. Sharing. People having good clean fun

When someone leaves HOP because of people yelling or selfishness, mindless, stupidity and generally %@#@%$@! type attitudes I truly now feel it is my fault and it pains me.

People have become too competitive. It is my fault for having created the video competitions and we are seriously considering tonight taking away the judging and competition part for the COL4 compilation video.

Last week we tried to put in words what we want the site to stand for.

I came up with drawing the picture that is currently on the main page.

Hopefully it does not require explaination
but I am going to say what it is supposed to mean.

It is a group of like minded people all equal in a circle. Each person is an important part of this circle. Each person feeds the fire (representing the reflection of our love for our arts and friendship) and in turn the fire reflects this combined love to all others in the circle.
Also note that the toys are not brought into the circle. Only our knowledge and love.
The various colours of people depict that we are all different and unique and the many colours makes a more colourful circle. Arms around our neighbours shows our connection and respect that we should have for each other.

We are only human and we make mistakes. HOP can change for the better again with your help.

We no longer want to have people trying to be the best by putting others down. If you do feel you have to do that please do it else where.

Thank you for reading this far.
More changes to follow.

Kindest regards


"May your balls always burn"


Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Bristol, UK
Member Since: 19th Dec 2001
Total posts: 3009
Er, read my signature before you read the post

I like NYC and FireMike's points (no, that it's a popularity contest).
HoP is alive and well and is a great now as it ever was! Like i's been said, there's always going to newbies, ego people, lovely people, patient elders. Just there's more of all of them now. So, HoP is great. Malcolm, when you look at it be happy. It also appears to be a great dating agency!

There is little negativety, and when there is it usually recovers or becomes self-moderated. As somebody who's been involved in some of the biggest and most heated debates I should know that afterwards everyone is still friendly to each other.

On other posts I've tlked about perception and how the way people react greatly affects other people. If we keep positive we'll all gain so much from here.

As to competitiveness, I think this has blown up too much. Sorry, but people are being too sensitive sometimes. I've thought about this quite a bit as I've improved and this is the way I see it.

When posting moves/videos/spinning in public and while travelling I can either limit how I spin to not intimidate people, or I can spin how I spin, fancy moves and all. What's the point in limiting myself? Well, people won't think I'm showing off and that can, but not often, be a big factor. However I have less fun and I'm basically lying to people.

The benefits of me spinning and using all my best tricks are many. Not only do I have more fun and advnace my own skill, but I inspire and teach other people. In the last 2 weeks a handfull of people in 3 cities have told me I'd inspired them and shown them that there's so much more possible with poi and even staff (yep, I was surprised too!). I opened people eyes to a whole bunch of new ideas. Maybe a couple of people thought I was showing off, but I'm not so I put this down as 'their loss'.

So, personally I think COL4 should be even more focues on great spinning. While it's great to see people spinning and loving it a lot of the COL videos are very much the same. I think the entry level should be set as advanced (like Sage, Shubaki, etc...) and the entries vetted (not judged because it needn't be a competition) by a wider panel of people. And entries should be of good quality, edited by the submitters, and show more than just fire, but the whole body movemenbt. This way COL4 could be a tool for people to advance their spinning to new levels, because that is what most people want when spinning - to puch themselves, learn and recieve joy from that. This is my opinion, I'm not trying to put down anyone who's starred in the COl vids, or Malcolm who spends so much time putting them together. But I think that this site and Malcolms products are about improving our spinning skills as well as our spiritual unification. It's not mutually exclusive.

My time's up, see you all later.

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne
Member Since: 13th Jun 2001
Total posts: 2830
Posted:Very sobering post Malcolm. The board is a community of people, so I really don't think you should blame yourself. As a community, we should all accept responsibly.

There have been some exceptional posts, comments and philosophies expressed already, and there is not much I can add. I hope you continue with col 4. The spinning and twirling from around the world videos are an inspiration to us all, as is HOP

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

HOP librarian
Location: Prague
Member Since: 15th Jan 2002
Total posts: 1841
Posted:Thank you Malcolm
HOP helped me to find myself and through the years I found a lot of heartfelt people.It was what I ever wish.



Location: the arms of the Ganja Goddess
Member Since: 17th May 2002
Total posts: 1551

You. Its whats for dinner!

As time passes, you realise all the mistakes you amde and the ones you wish you never did make.

The wave crashing on the beach


the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:I agree with FireMike that each of our environments also colours how we see chaos. Those of us from chaos maybe do not see this as such. Also I think too that those who are of a more emotional nature feel shakiness in the ranks a bit more than those who aren't so emotional.

we blessedly free the strong part within timid people- posted by FireMike

I love this statement! I just had to say that.

Correct me if I am wrong Malcolm, but I don't think you ever meant to not do COL4, just not offer a prize. Daniel, there was a prize for the first one, I think it was something around $100 of merch or something.
I have to disagree with Dom on his point that the entry level of COL4 should be at the level of Sage or Shibaki. I think that enacting such a rule displays another elitest attitude. I have seen beginners who are not remotely close to the quality of Sage spinning who pull some really interesting stuff off out of the blue that should be on a video for us to learn from. Again, it is not about technicality but about sharing what you can do that might enhance the art, whether it be a 55 beat something or a bodily variation of a butterfly. Granted, I do think that people who stand in one place and go "Butterfly, butterfly..uh..now..weave!" should wait to submit to COL5 perhaps, until they are smoother and more comfortable.

PK...Thanks for sharing that. I can remember a time when that would've been every single person on the HoP board...long before we had 3000 members! LOL

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


HOP Lord of the Pirate Admiralty
Location: Canterbury, UK
Member Since: 5th Nov 2002
Total posts: 1079
Posted:Thank you malcolm, truely from the heart. This site is the only place i can communicate with other spinners when im at boarding school. It so refreshing so write to peeps without beingafraid of them acting "too Cool" for a decnet response. What youve done in this site is bring a small group in the world a lot closer together. I pray one day we can meet.
Dave Vivas
Lesbian lover
X x X x X

X x X x X

Ship off the starboard! sound general quarters! noise and light discipline! man the cannons! GET ME THE RUM!

Master of the Free Hug Program


Location: Halifax, NS
Member Since: 12th Oct 2002
Total posts: 165

this is something i have recieved from most everyone who i have spoken with on HOP, and i have encouraged others ( in a very conservative and safe way ) if nothing else this page has given me this.. and i am thankfull for it ...

thankful to the moderators and the creator ..

all of our ego's tend to get large and large ego's bruise easily ,

but thanks for the encouragement


thats right i look like an albino ape that has had a bad day.. go ahead say something stupid... i dare ya !


Lambretta Fanatic

Member Since: 20th Dec 2001
Total posts: 4991
Posted:pele it goes to show in such little time how big HOP has grown and how fast the pace is here now with so many people that post.
Be prepared its gonna get bigger, can u feel the craze yet?... its coming.
preparation is what is needed now for what is to come. its gonna be loco


"To be an angel, one need not have wings.
In giving love there is an equal grace.
Nor need one seek the aura in the face,
As love unveils the beauty of all things."

*Francois Couperin.

Posted:WEll- I for one would support the removal of the competition side of the video compilation. I think instead it should be prize enough to get a DVD or Video copy for free if you get on at all, but as for the people on the tape - I think they should represent a cross section of STYLES. unfriendly competitiveness (which seems to be the problem) is SHITE, and IMHO, harms the spirit of firetwirling, and is only encouraged by the judging aspect of the vids.

You do a wicked Job Malcolm. Truly outstanding. Some people dont seem to realise what an amazing resource/opportunity this board is. But I do.


Location: scotland
Member Since: 5th Dec 2002
Total posts: 5
I am relitively new to this site and can confess that I have never used message boards chat-rooms or anything of the like before, but while browsing through HOP looking for equipement and checking out the site I was quite astonished to find such a thirving, colourfully community of fire folk. Well done for creating an environment within which people like us can make contact.
Let not the burden of Human Condition covet our spirits.

Liquid Pop
Location: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Member Since: 10th Nov 2002
Total posts: 62
Posted:malcom, i say that you have created the best site on the internet i have ever found. i think it has attracted thousands of great people who all have a love for the same thing. i only wish i could put things into words like you do man, keep it up, your doing an amazing job.

the pop

if practice makes perfect, and no one is perfect, then why practice?

Location: San Antonio, TX
Member Since: 15th Sep 2002
Total posts: 107
Posted:i agree with most of what firemike said, and yeah, there are many of us working on versions of a community. HoP was the first major place i hit, and, i hit it as a lurker, wanted to learn to blow, but wanted to be as safe as possible about it, after reading through stuff on here and learning the risks, i took it slower than i had planned, and, if i do say so myself, have gotten pretty damned good due to that fact alone..

TOTeM (mine) was started as a community/event site for local events, local shows, etc... since its start, it has evolved into a mainly fire site, i dont mind this really... but, any community site will have its fair share of conflicts, especially as it evolves. Growth and conflict will always be a marriage made out of necessity, at the same time it gets to be a royal pain to deal with at times, just know you have my full support in whatever you choose to do. This site has and will remain to be, an inspiration to anyone that is really trying to build a community.

Ego's will always play a part in anything, fire majorly.. I am guilty of this tonight, only reason i went to practice tonight was, deimos said nadine was getting better than me... i went with the intention of showing her up... instead of trying, i took into account i am still recovering from chem pneumonia, and only did three or four blows... she called me a bastard, then asked me how she was doing.. i went out of my way to tell her i was pleased with how much progress she's made in controlling the flame.

Sure my ego got me there, but seeing how much she had progressed made me drop the ego and try to be extremely supportive... in my book, ego is bad, but, necessary to help us try to become more than we currently are... if she hadnt of gotten beter, i wouldnt be forcing myself to keep up or surpass her the major concept here is to not let ego get out of hand, and to never let it control the way you act towards others... i may have a little bit of an ego, but, i also go out of my way to try and help others learn anything i know, instead of being rude and dissing on people...

sorry for the rambling, hopefully this actually made sense havent slept much lately, so... either way, I love HoP, always will, and, it will always inspire me to put in as much extra time and effort as it takes to try and make my site even half as good.


We bleed the same blood, We cry the same tears, We have the same fears, We pass the same years, We see the same stars, Under the same skies, We pass the same time, We all live and die

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