Posted:I used to be very happy in sending new spinners to HoP for all kinds of advice and tips and know that it was a haven of sane, safe advice (certainly on the main site, if not always the forum - though anything too silly gets commented on quickly enough to not be a problem).
But, having a discussion about fire breathing with our new university circus skills society safety officer, I was pretty shocked to see how the Fire Breathing Safety page on HoP has changed significantly from how I remember it.
Both myself and the safety officer (who hadn't previously known of HoP) felt that this does not paint fire breathing in enough of a negative light for the absolute dangers it carries :
Quote:"Picture this. You are a person in an audience, unknowing of what to expect next, enthralled by the performer in front of you wielding fire as if it is not one of the deadliest forces of nature. Suddenly, and with seeming abandon this performer takes a drink of what appears to be water and suddenly there is a plume of fire rising from their lips towards the heaven's. You, along with the other members of the audience, gasp. You feel the heat despite the fact that you are several feet away from the performer. You are dumbfounded and amazed. You are driven by the longing to be like this artist. You want to *breathe fire* like a god upon the stage.
The art of properly breathing fire is exactly that, an art. Art takes discipline, practice and skill. Art takes time and energy, and in this case it takes courage and a strong sense of sanity. You would think insanity, but the insane are more prone to become disrespectful of the fire and get hurt. The sane take their time and study their medium; they know what they are dealing with and what they are getting themselves into. The sane are the ones that succeed. The sane are those that regard fire breathing as more than a parlor trick to impress someone in a club. And if you are reading this, then I expect you are one of the sane and one of the courageous. "
OK, I can understand how maybe the author of that thought they were giving it the impression of something difficult that should not be casually tried, but the overall impression is not one that would dissuade anyone, but in fact completely glorifies it.
I used to fire breathe but gave it up after reading more about it and even more worryingly finding black spots had formed in my mouth the morning after a burn. I'm biased, I admit, as I now feel that it is nothing more than 'mildly creative spitting' and not an 'art' at all, but still I feel strongly that with such an intro, this page now gives entirely the wrong impression and I am not at all happy to guide young university students here for an introduction to safe practice of fire arts at this time.
It's hard enough to get excitable students to look at a page at all, let alone beyond the first couple of paragraphs.