The Star Trek: Voyager Guide to Tango

27th March 2010

Emergency Tango Hologram: What is the Nature of the Tango Emergency?

Neelix: Its Tuvok; He doesnt have any Cadencia.

ETH: What do you expect? . He's a Vulcan; any sense of cadencia he may have been born with has been eliminated by his society's repression of the baser instincts.

Neelix: Cadencia is a base instinct?

ETH: I cannot say, but it emanates from the Amygdala.

Neelix: The Amygdala? That is a species I have never heard of.

ETH: No. Its not a species, its part of the brain. Is cadencia a Basic Instinct?. that requires a value judgement and I am not programmed to provide those except in triage situations; but I could offer you a recipe for boiled rabbit. Tuvok's lack of cadencia means at worst he will be an OK tango dancer; quite capable of keeping ladies happy, staying on beat, starting and stopping at the right times. That sort of thing.

Neelix: But doctor, that's tragic! I've spent weeks on the holodec with Golden Era tango music teaching Tuvok to lead and he is a fine musician too.

ETH: It is quite possible for someone to be a brilliant musician technically yet still have no emotional feel for music. My records show that some musicians have been autisitc or idiot savantes; they can memorise huge scores and replicate them faithfully, sometimes even able to play with a given "style", but there is no emotive response in the amygdala; they are merely processing the sounds as specific frequencies. In fact for them the sounds of ordinary scales will sound always slightly discordant due to the Pythagorean comma, which the human ear has become accustomed to, but denotes the harmonic error in ratios of notes relative to each other.

Tuvok: As I have said, Neelix, you can think of tango as a motor activity with an emotional component that requires movement of the body in synchrony with the music. Specifically the music of the Earth colony established on the South American continent in the city of Buenos Aires. Mr Neelix, I do not think I have a problem here. Tango music follows the same basic rules of all classic music. It is written in alternating Major and Minor keys, in a rondo arrangement of five parts; with small sized orchestras and sometimes with a singer. Surely walking around a room at a tempo of 60 beats per minute with a female person cannot be so difficult, even if there is a variety of steps that can be utilised in controlled randomness.

Neelix: Tuvok! there is a difference between improvisation and randomness!

Tuvok: I disagree; what jazz musicians regard as improvisation is deviation form a written score within tightly controlled parameters. My observation of dancers from the 20th Century is that the first few bars is spent in tentative uncertainty and mutual comforting, and dancing is statistically most likely to commence on the fourth or fifth bar. This puzzles me. Why the delay? Are they suffering from an aural deficiency? Or perhaps from what I believe humans call Stage Fright?


Captain Janeway: Tuvok, please meet me on Holodeck 3. Consider this order as a Cabaceo.

Tuvok: Yes Ma'am.

Neelix: (to ETH) Is there nothing you can do?

ETH: There is, but it's risky.

Neelix: I'm prepared to try anything

ETH: The key lies in Tourettes syndrome. People with Tourettes and other brain diseases that affect speech are still largely able to swear as it has an emotive content and comes form the deepest and most primal part of the brain. Get Tuvok to swear as much as possible before the ship's milonga and it may release some of his repressed emotion.

Neelix: But he's a Vulcan! How can I possibly get him driven to such extreme violent emotions that he swears uncontrollably?

ETH: Hmmm... tricky one. I suggest that you place him in an intolerable situation, beset on all sides by unpredictable and violent motions, such that order and harmony is literally impossible. We can program the Holodeck to simulate such an environment. If he doesn't swear there, he won't swear anywhere.

Neelix: Where? The high-gravity jungles of Primo IX, with its killer mobile plants, perhaps? Or maybe Rigel IV, with its poisonous air and lethal animal life?

ETH: No neither of those. Based on historical records, I suspect that the best location is in the Earth city of London, during the early 21st century.

Neelix: Goodness! Where was such a violent and unpredicable place?

ETH: I believe it was called... "Negracha" .

BorderTangoMan, 27th March 2010

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