Dialogs and fights
Some months ago I was writing about how different communities react to different events and how this shapes and is shaped by the different cultural backgrounds. That post was inspired by how I saw events evolve in the two different communities I experienced. Some recent events in the Frankfurt community made me think a little bit more about the relationship between event organizers and communities.
Before we dive in I need to make a note here. Tango can be addictive so that makes us all, more or less, addicts. As addicts, we often do things that look strange or incomprehensible to others. For example, we leave our family to go dancing at night. Spending whole weekends away from our homes in marathons and festivals etc. More recently, I bet that many of us tried to gather in houses with friends to dance during COVID-19. As strange, incomprehensible, and condemnable seem these to outsiders of Tango, they make sense to us. However, this addiction never takes the control out of our hands and we are fully responsible for our actions. I mean nobody forces us to do things we don’t want to. Sometimes though, people cross lines and try to involve us in their own stupid personal wars. This is what this post is about.
If we, as dancers, are addicts, this makes the event organizers our “drug” dealers… our Tango-drug dealers. Especially the ones in our local community. They organize events where we can get our dose of Tandas. When there is a market opportunity, for example, an area or a time slot where there is no event some Tango-drug dealer will sooner or later emerge, see it, and try to grasp it. This is how markets work.
The community is a market, the organizers are the businesses, and going to an event is simply a business transaction. We might prefer one or the other dealer because of whatever reasons (time, distance, DJs, other clients-dancers reviews, etc.) but ultimately each and every dancer in a community is an individual unit that makes their own decisions about who to buy their doses from. As already said… nobody is forcing anyone to go to one or the other event. It was, it is and it will always be our own individual choice. It’s pretty much the same as anything else we buy these days from our food to subscriptions on streaming services, etc.
Tango-drug dealer wars
The problems in a community start when those Tango-drug dealers think that they own the community… when they think that the community belongs to them for some reason… when they think the community is their army… their gang… their soldiers…, and as such they try to deploy them in a war. When two Tango-drug dealers have a problem between them, it is very tempting to try to manipulate the community into thinking they are their supporters because they go to their event and that they should choose to go only to their events because the other organizers are the “bad” ones… they don’t care about them… they are such and such, etc.
However, every individual member of the community has their own standards, needs, and restrictions and will select where to buy their “dose” based on them. No dealer is entitled to tell them where to go. No dealer can and should think that the “addicts” that buy their dose from them are their soldiers, their gang, or their army.
Are you already a soldier?
As an “addict”, it is very easy to fall into the dealer’s trap and think that you are a member of their gang… their army… their group. It is very easy to get polarized… to judge and criticize other people who attend other events than the ones you “support”. Once you are in this trap it is very hard to get out unless you really open your mind. See what happens in politics or team fanatics in sports, or any other way people get fanatic all over the world. People are tricked into thinking they are the only ones with the right choice, diminishing and even attacking others just because the “others” are bad.
Healthy communities will see right through these attempts of polarization and dismiss them easily. They will figure out easily that this is just a territorial war between Tango-drug dealers. Other communities will fall into the trap and will get divided. So, if you see yourself being judgmental of other people in your community just because they attend different milongas, think again. Is it really because the others are “bad”… or just because they are different and you don’t like this “different”? Who convinced you they are “bad”? Have these others done anything bad to you personally? Is it your own opinion or the one that you have in order to be accepted by your group? How did you form this opinion in the first place? Have you experienced those other events in person?
After the latest reason for a Tango-drug dealers war here in Frankfurt, I thought about all this and made my choice for all local Tango events from now on in any community. Since I am an addict and the organizers are my dealers I refuse to support anyone. I will buy my doses from whomever I find more convenient (place, time, etc.) and that’s all. DON’T YOU DARE to think that I support you or any other Tango-drug dealer because I come to your milongas or events! We might have some friendly discussions… you may consider me a friend… I may consider you as a friend too… we may even dance together… but I am nobody’s soldier… I am nobody’s pawn… I am nobody’s fan. I belong to my own army… to my own gang… to my own community and I don’t accept ANYONE suggesting or even asking me to decide who to support. If you can accept that… we are ok… If not… feel free to just ban me from your events because…
I WON’T BE PART OF ANYBODY’S WAR!
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango
Tonight’s Goodnight Tango is Duello Criollo from Senor del Tango. It is a song that describes with its lyrics and its heavy strong beat, a fight between some tough guys back then in Argentina. Something like a fight between Tango-drug dealers or underground criminals when they have a dispute. I don’t know if it’s a good idea for the organizers to solve their problems this way… but my point is clear. Solve your problems between yourselves and leave the community out of your business! I am sick and tired of your stupid wars.
How about you? Have you had such wars in your community? How did the community handle them? How did you personally handle it? Did you take the side of one or the other organizer? Why yes or why not? Any other ideas on how to handle such wars without casualties? Let me know with a comment below, an email, or a PM on Facebook… oh… and if you liked it… don’t forget to share it with your friends.