The Soapbox Archives:
However, in promoting his new website, Adam made it a point to desparage the tango website, TangoNet, and its webmaster....me. I am particularly offended by his comment that my format "puts everyone at the mercy of the [TangoNet] calendar." I can't think of anyone else who put that much (unpaid) effort over the last 20 years into supporting the local tango community and not be in the dance business.
Here was my response to the Boston tango Yahoo group:
Since Tango.Havetodance.com was mentioned, I felt that I needed to say something in my defense.
www.HaveToDance.com (DanceNet) was created in 1995 as the next evolution of the weekly newsletter that I had been sending out since 1991 as part of the Swing/Ballroom scene. [Long-time ballroom and tango dancer] Anne Atheling was primarily responsible for coming up with the DanceNet name. Tango.Havetodance.com (TangoNet) was created within six months after that. For the entire time since then, there has been only one person who has been editing the website(s) with no financial interest in what happens in the dance scene.
Over the last 20 years, there have been other dance websites and other calendars claiming to be the latest and best information resource for dancers, but this website is still around and they're not. Why do I keep running this website? As many of the old-timers will tell you, tango.havetodance.com lives because there is a need for an *independent* tango website, free of the influence of anyone who teaches tango or runs a milonga. With one editor, there is a baseline for the information: no one gets an advantage over anyone else and no one can write just anything they want. Case in point, Adam's note about the new All Things Boston Tango says that it's "Boston's Premiere Tango Website". How can it claim to be the "premiere" website if it just got started? Sure, it probably will be bigger and better in the future, but not right after it was created. I've heard the same thing from other dance websites (and some of them were definitely better than havetodance.com), but most of them are gone now. I don't stop people from putting what they want on their own websites or Facebook pages, but at least on Tango.Havetodance.com, everyone is equal and no one gets to say stuff like they're the "best tango teacher" or they run the "best milonga". Everyone has to play by the same rules. I also don't get to decide who is and who isn't a tango teacher in Boston.
My motivation for continuing to run the website is based on making sure, again, that no one in the dance business is in control of the dance information. No business gets preference ahead of everyone else. My *friends* don't get preference on the website. The only reason anyone gets their information listed first on tango.havetodance.com is because they sent it to me first (note, that the Tango Society's regular events in 2016 will always be listed first on any date because Vicki sent me the entire schedule already). That encourages the dance organizers to make sure to get their information out to my readers as soon as possible. If they choose to be lazy and not send it to me, that's their problem and not mine.
To be honest, I hope All Things Boston Tango grows to be a fair and independent tango website; I hope it is extremely successful, in the right way. If people migrate away from TangoNet, I can stop spending all my time working on it. Until then, TangoNet has to exist and be run by someone who's not in the dance business, i.e., doesn't make money off dancing. And everyone will have to play by the same rules.
Suggestion to the dance organizers: www.bostango.com redirects to "www.adamandtilly.com/boston-tango", Adam's website. He's a tango teacher. I think that it should be moved off to its own website and be "owned" either by a committee of tango organizers and teachers or be managed by someone who has no financial or personal interest in any particular dance venue. That's the whole reason why TangoNet is still around. Having an independent moderator around to edit or approve every listing forces the dance organizers to play nice (with me and the other organizers).
Another thing: The current list of Tango teachers at All Things Boston Tango does not include everyone in Boston who teaches Argentine Tango. The list at tango.havetodance.com does not exclude teachers who happen to teach other dance styles.
PS: For some history, take a look at the National & New England Swing Dance Server. The moderator gave up on editing it and gave everyone the power to add their own listings. It hasn't been useful in 10 years or longer.
Some people might wonder why we go to these things. After all, you can always buy autographed pictures of TV and movies stars off the Internet. What *we* did was create memories: we were there and personally met the stars of our favorite TV shows and even got to sit with some of them for drinks and talked to them. We also made friends and it's always good when we see each other every year; now we have someone to visit if we ever go to Italy or Houston.
The biggest name of the Stargate franchise doesn't go to this event; there's some issue between the event's organizers and him. However, Richard Dean Anderson (aka "MacGyver") will be at the Super Mega Fest in Framingham in November.
As we drove across the Midwest, we noted the variation in gas prices. It was around $2.74 in Pennsylvania (or so). Ohio seemed to be the cheapest around $2.59-$2.69 (BP). Indiana went up to $3.19-$3.29 which was a suprising jump from last year. We were totally shocked (and annoyed) that it was $3.69-$3.89 around Chicago. The New York Thruway (I-90) varied from $2.65 to $2.84 (Mobil). There were rumors of a refinery shutdown that drove the local market prices up in Indiana and Illinois.
All of a sudden, the girl's mother noticed that Walker's two transport SUV's were missing. She went to the back of the building just in time to see everyone leaving through the kitchen entrance and being shoved into the SUV's. She gave out a big whistle and her daughter ran to the back followed by a crowd of reporters who arrived in time to see Walker's encourage roar off in their vehicles. The reporters, including some foreign correspondents and some reporters from a New Hampshire conservative blog, then made sure to interview the young girl. The only bad part of the event was that my friend, the girl's mother, was described as her *grand*mother.
In case you didn't remember, Walker built his conservative credentials on abolishing the teachers' unions in Wisconsin because he felt that they were government employees and shouldn't be able to have collective bargaining power. Strangely enough, he didn't do anything about the police unions. The ironic thing is that at the meeting, he talked about how he was strong enough go head-to-head with the unions and anyone else, but he was chased off by a single teenaged protester with his tail between his legs.