The Trials of the Tango Addict

The modern Western tango addict is inevitably bound for frustration. Having uncovered an escape from the banality of contemporary technoculture he is now stuck, halfway as it were, unable to go over completely to the other side where he can dimly discern reliable relief from existential angst lying available. Suddenly he is thrown from emotionally deadening routine into the ecstacy of the embrace and passionate music, for which decades of stifled consumer existence have left him mentally unprepared. His mind is focused and he is more than willing to unload his wallet for which the local tango afficionado teacher is more than willing to oblige. Powering through obstacles of technique he firmly believes that relief is available just on the other side of the next workshop expertly conducted by the best couple from Buenos Aires. He tolerates the fact that so many best couples from Buenos Aires fly in with surprising regularity and that techniques offering total relief keep piling on with suprisingly very incremental benefits, but of course only for a time. Cynicism and trench mentality, though repressed so as not to offend, start creeping in, as the addict senses a depressing unreliability of satisfactory experiences which too often seem just out of reach. A variety of factors seem effective in blocking the desired spiritual highs: wrong music, lack of partners, skills, or manners, at which point the whole project appears to implode. If, at this point, the addict quits, he will have learned nothing about himself. For, unbeknowst to him, where he pursued the will-o’-the-wisp of exotic ecstacy, he has potentially embarked on a rather longer than expected, and probably also more arduous and less exciting, but nonetheless more fulfilling journey of self-discovery that has the possibility of yielding more enduring products.


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