Halal balloon twisting!

This is different.

This balloon-twister from Massachusetts, who hires himself out to kids’ parties, believes that Islam forbids him to twist balloons into representations of humans or animals. Hence, “halal balloon twisting.”

To each his own, I guess. But … what the HELL are those shapes supposed to be, anyway? If I’m not mistaken, I spot a palm tree and some flowers (apparently plants are okay), a sword, and a geometric shape or two.

But mostly I am at a loss to explain this.

Many of them seem to be infomercial exercise equipment replicas. :dubious:
Besides the CrunchAssisters (or whatever), there are the plants and flowers, and there are some exceptionally phallic swords.

I suppose that worshipers are all supposed to use their talents in the service of their chosen worshipee, but… uh… how about calligraphy or something?

The guy has some talent (the flower baskets are cool), but I agree, a few of the designs make me go :dubious:.

The first and second, as noted, are quite penis-y.

The fourth is vulva-esque.

The sixth looks like a diagram of the wider female plumbing.

Hang the eighth from ropes, and it’s a sex swing.

The eleventh looks like a starfish going airborne from the massive dump it’s taking.

The last event we were at had a talented balloon twister who did lots of hats and other things to wear (like wings for the shoulders), as well as the aforementioned swords and flowers. I’d imagine geometric shapes, as mentioned above (that’s what a lot of Muslim artists turned to over the centuries, since they couldn’t do people or animals) – I could see lots of interesting platonic solids and derivatives of them (I think a balloon dodecahedron would be pretty cool). He could also do Balloon Furniture, Baloon houses, and weird toys (how about a balloon axis with a sliding balloon ring on it.

Not being able to do animals cuts down on your repertoire, but it would force you to be creative in other ways.

Yeah I agree with Cal - I think a lot of the weird ones were just silly hats.

I think he’s good!

Yes, most of the weird ones are hats (if they could show one on someone’s head, it would be easier to figure it out!) although there are a few which were still a bit incomprehensible to me.

I really liked the flower baskets. There aren’t very many standard balloon-twisting designs that aren’t animals. I actually didn’t know that depictions of animals were against Muslim rules.

“Emad the Twister”? Where’d he learn his skills, the Mukhabarat?

And by the way, did anyone find it strange that while he’s unwilling to depict the human form in balloons, he’s not unwilling to depict the human form, as embodied by two small children, on YouTube?

Well, let’s just say some of his postings on another board where I came across this smack of someone who has many reasons for turning to a rather fundamentalist version of religion and some of them would lead to … inconsistent behavior. (One wag on the other board said he seemed a bit like Cat Stevens.)

The balloon twister has expressed a desire to come to Indonesia because he thinks he’ll find a more like-minded community here. I tend to doubt it - every day on my drive to work, I pass Islamic schools with cheerful, brightly painted murals of animals all over the school walls. Plus, I gather he’s an American of Jewish heritage, so he’s not going to have a lot of other points of commonality with the locals. But I wish him well.