Julescosby's Blog

The Tetrosexual

Posted by julescosby on April 8, 2010

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how
infinite in faculties, in form and moving how express and
admirable, in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like
a god!

-Hamlet

Since the days of Fred Flintstone, men have always wondered what exactly it means to be a man.  But despite what some would have us believe, from the Neolithic through to the Renaissance of Shakespeare, there has never been a strict or eternal definition of manliness.  It is as malleable as Michael Jackson’s face, or the policy of the Liberal Party of Canada.

More recently, the turn of the current millennium brought us new concepts of man.  First came the Metrosexual, a prime example of life imitating art.  Or at least life imitating campy television shows featuring homosexual men giving makeovers to slobs.  Next, fast forward a few years to the age of Mad Men, and the Don Drapers of the world became known as the Retrosexuals.

But now, because the times simply cannot change fast enough, a new category of man is emerging from both the fabulous kitsch and the booze-soaked, women-bashing styles of yesterday.  This new man has been dubbed the Tetrosexual.

A Tetrosexual

The Tetrosexual is noted for his ability to choose the video game Tetris over anything else that life has to offer.  Work? No thanks.  Vacation? I’m fine here, thanks.  Sex? Puh-LEASE.

Aesthetically, the Tetrosexual might appear in bold magentas or cyans, or simple reds and blues.  In some post-Soviet countries, different shades of gray are the norm.  And while the Metrosexual may indulge his love for Lady Gaga, and the Retrosexual has an affinity for the crooners of his granddaddy’s day, the Tetrosexual listens primarily to a canned MIDI soundtrack of pseudo-Russian songs.

The ubiquity of Tetris made the cause of this phenomenon easy to overlook.  But a group of young men made this heavily addictive game, a relic of the Soviet Union, into a lifestyle choice.  Once manly virtues like strength or courage have been replaced by the ability to take on one of seven predetermined shapes.  And whereas once the yoga fad made men desire flexibility, physical fitness is now understood as the ability to rotate at strictly 90 degree angles.

Some have observed that the Tetrosexual is not merely a cultural phenomenon, but one which crosses over into the political sphere as well.  Tyler Shipley, political scientist at York University in Toronto argues that the recent American Health Care debate was not won through fear or intimidation, nor by the oft-decried but equally-as-oft-required backroom deals by technocratic oligarchs.  Rather, he argues, “the American health care debate was won by the widespread recognition that in life there are constants and there are uncertainties.  Pieces will always fall, and they will always fall faster.”

“You never know which piece will fall next,” he added.

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with a Tetronimo, a growing demographic of the American population.

In an age such as ours, Andy Warhol’s famous fifteen minutes has been condensed into a meagre fifteen seconds.  As such, it is difficult to see how long this latest trend will last.  Some have tried to compare the Tetrosexual to the emergence roughly a decade ago of the Petrosexual, a young uneducated worker who moved to Alberta to make big money on the oil field, only to spend it all on cocaine and hookers.  However, once the boom ended, the coke vanished and the boys moved home, the concept of Petrosexual was deemed as empty as American oil wells.

We know that boys will always be boys, but what about our men? Unlike boys, they will feel the need to define themselves, to negate the fact that they are as Hamlet and others have noted, dust.  Now they may do this four blocks at a time.

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