“Victor Hugo Urine” and other histrionics at “Les clefs de la danse” (en français – “saint-pastique” et autres “balbutiements” chez “Les clefs de la danse”)
Rémy Vézina used to have a website called ‘the keys to the dance’. It does not exist anymore, thank gawd! In April 2016 he sent me a registered letter to ‘cease and desist’ mention of his website on this blog. This was my response. I’m re-publishing this page so that people know what kind of wackos exist here in Montreal Tango.
Recently I was given reason to explore this website in depth. The site has two aspects to it – 1) Les clefs de la Salsa, and 2) Les clefs du Tango argentin. I restricted myself to exploring and evaluating the tango aspect. (Please note: this blog post is here for a limited time.)
For me, entering this site was a painful, time-consuming process, but there were a couple of genuine belly laughs, like “Victor Hugo Urine” and this: “Lily Palmer petit femme saint-pastique pas très évoluer en danse qui fait du copie collet. Ne connais pas l’histoire du tango“. There are other gems on the ‘Lily’ page too; for example the remarks on Tango Libre, La Tangueria, Academie de tango, Al Sur, Studio Tango, Bobby Thompson, etc.
Going through this site, it took me more time than expected to find a name associated with the author/owner. Finally I found a first name (only) “Rémy”. As it turns out, the owner of “Les clefs de la danse” is Rémy Vézina. Some of you may have had an experience with him. I’d like to take a few moments to address this person directly; in that way you (the reader) will have a better understanding of why I’m even offering him this ‘fifteen minutes of fame’.
Mr. Vézina, the first reason that a visitor to your site would only spend less than a minute of time is that you do not openly identify yourself. A first-name (only) is not enough in this type of commercial forum, where you are trying to attract potential clients for financial gain. There are no photos of you, there are no videos, there is no biography that someone could validate, you have no enduring place of business! Potential clients have no idea what to expect of you as a person. For example, you do nothing to discourage prospective clients from imagining you as the Elephant Man, or a Hannibal Lecter-type. There is simply nothing that would assuage the worst of fears, however ridiculous my example may seem to you. My personal opinion (quite frankly) is that you appear to be more of an Internet predator than a serious, verifiable merchant in the social dance industry.
The second reason to immediately dismiss your site Mr. Vézina is that your language and writing skills are not worthy of a reader’s most precious commodity: time. It is absolutely excruciating trying to read your texts. They are far too long and often meander in context. Much of the time they are simply incoherent. For example: “Le ridicule ne tue pas“. The first thing that I would suggest is that you research the value of this software: Antidote, and then seriously redact and reduce your texts. You may also want to consider trying to find a way to be a bit more forthcoming about your dyslexia. You mention this fact once on your site, and (for me) it explained a lot, but I had to force myself to delve deep into your texts before I discovered your admission. Others may not be as patient as me.
Overall Mr. Vézina, I find your site is a strident attempt to establish a credibility in tango that you have not earned nor do you deserve. On my site, I have been critical of Lily Palmer and the quantity of her tangible contributions to Montreal tango, but she is a veritable GIANT contributor, compared to you. Another example that fails miserably where your credibility is concerned is how you cite two comments from students, one from Judith Privé (is that a real family name?) and another from a former student, Elena Marot. You get a failing grade here because of your stated intentions to pursue Elena in criminal court because you think that she either stole some of your writings, or that she is (somehow, for some reason) using ideas that you (presumably) shared with her willingly, or that she paid for in private lessons, but now you consider those interactions with her as ‘intellectual property’!? Well, good luck with that feeble ploy. And good luck building a client base, if this is the type of treatment prospective clients can expect from you. (btw, that’s sarcasm)
Further to your attempts at establishing credibility: at the top and bottom of your page about the origins and definition of dances, you claim ‘intellectual property/reproduction’ rights over the text. To me, much of this page appears to have been plagiarized. For the most part your list is common encyclopedic knowledge. The fact that you added some of your personal impressions (much of which are erroneous by the way) to the dance and music forms listed, seems to have given you the idea that you should announce restrictions on others from using the information therein. It’s just weird for you to do this, in my opinion. My advice: drop the warnings; there’s nothing there of value to anyone but yourself and you are ‘frightening’ potential clients unnecessarily.
The same goes for your page on the history of tango. You can’t claim reproduction rights on information that is common, encyclopedic, historical knowledge. In my view, you ‘borrowed’ this information from somewhere in the first place, for purposes of self-aggrandizement. This may come as a surprise to you: history and historical references are NOT original thought. (Mon dieu, what planet are you from?!) These ‘reproduction’ warnings really give it away Mr. Vézina… that you are a seriously uneducated, unstable, self-indulgent and self-aggrandizing person.
Furthermore, on your page concerning the history of tango in Quebec you once again ‘borrow’ all sorts of public information from CIDREQ without acknowledging that fact. This does not look good on someone who demands ‘intellectual property’ respect from others, but does not practice “reproduction” respect when the opportunity arises. On this same page you offer personal impressions of many Montreal tango players. Well Mr. Vézina, I can’t wait for your particular notes (“avenir”) explaining how everything about Manuel Soto is a lie. And as to your question regarding Luis Lopez ‘who is this guy really?’ (“qui est vraiment cette individu?”) I can tell you Mr. Vézina that Luis Lopez is first of all a very fine Man. Yeah, that’s with a capital ‘M’, because that’s the kind of respect he gets from me (and MANY others). I’ve known Luis for 26 years now. I know the pleasure and the honour to work with him and call him a friend. I suggest that you take the time to find out more about Luis on your own. You could start here. (Please recognize the distinction that I make Mr. Vézina, referring to you in this post simply as a person.)
Your claims throughout your site that you are a highly reliable source as to what is authentic in tango are not supported by the ‘knowledge’ that you put forward in your texts. For example, you claim that tango is (originally) a freely improvised dance, but (now) you think that it takes fifteen years before you would deem anyone worthy of observation on a dance floor, and then twenty years before they should even attempt to teach tango. Who are you to make this arbitrary parameter? What are your qualifications, specifically? What are your tango accomplishments, specifically? Are there any video recordings of you dancing, or teaching? If not, why not? What do you have to hide? What are you afraid of? By all standards past and present Mr. Vézina you are a very creepy guy. Your preposterous positions on tango are simply NOT the history of this social dance, as your own site submits. But then it seems you are thoroughly confused, even about your own writings. (ça va sans dire!)
We all have our opinions Mr. Vézina and you are welcome to publish yours. But to me, you sound like a freaking lunatic and your musings on Argentine tango appear to be nothing more than masturbatory self-indulgences. While your thought processes and opinions may bring you the self-pleasure you seek from them, I would suggest that they have isolated you from the reality of tango as a social dance, as it is today, as it was in the past, and as it will ever be. I suggest that you try to make a verifiable contribution to tango and/or to the Montreal tango community, and then wait to see if someone (other than yourself) puts forward commentary on the value of that contribution.
In my view Mr. Vézina, you need some ‘key’ professional help. First of all for your web site; it is an abysmal failure in every aspect. Next, I think you should get some ‘key’ legal advice. Your recent contact with me was premised on fraud and inasmuch the context of that contact can only be viewed as extortion. Get a qualified lawyer to guide you through it. (By the way, he/she will also need to see a copy or photo of the envelope.)
And finally Mr. Vézina, imagine this (future) scenario if you will… your phone rings, the person identifies him/herself as a potential client, he/she says all the right things to entice you into a commercial interaction, such as a private lesson, or to engage in a group lesson. You agree to meet with this person and offer your services, such as they are. What you don’t know, or realize in the moment, is that this person is a plant, a dodge, a contrivance with a deceitful scheme in mind.
The scheme is to take secret photos and recordings of you ‘at work’. (As you know, these days secret devices can be hidden in all manner of jewelry, accessories and clothing.) And this ‘client’ intends to use these covert recordings, for ulterior purposes, without your permission! The deceit could begin like: ‘I read your website, you say all the right things, I agree with you on so much’ or, it could be ‘I read Joseph Bain’s blog about you, he’s such a nasty man, I’m certain you’re not that way’. There are of course other subterfuges possible as well; in fact, someone could contrive several dodges just to throw you off track, or two people could work in tandem. You never know.
Now, some people may suggest that I’m putting this scenario forward just to ‘get inside your head’, in order that you question the veracity of every single (future) prospective client, to the extent that you either: a) turn them off by an extensive/intrusive questioning during initial contact, whereby the client is never able to trust you and therefore he/she decides not engage your services in the first place and/or for subsequent engagements, or b) that you are never able to emit a trusting, relaxed attitude toward any client while you’re ‘at work’, because how could you (?!) with all those doubts in your mind, because everyone (it seems) is out to “copie collet” from you and your unique abilities and ‘intellectual property’. Well, I can tell you Mr. Vézina that is not the case. You can trust me. Besides, I have no control over your thought processes. I’m just sayin’, you’ve pissed-off a lot of people, so… “agissez en conséquence”.
sign me “Jophs Bain”
ps – I have saved all the necessary screen shots of your site as of the date of this publication, cheers