Julescosby's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘tetris’

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!


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  Once manly virtues like strength or courage have been replaced by the ability to take on one of seven predetermined shapes.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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Post the First: To Blog or not to Blog

Posted by julescosby on August 11, 2009

Anyone would have trouble coining a phrase that as of today has over 600 million Google hits.  Nevertheless, my title remains a salient question to be asked by any budding writer in the 21st century, or one just catching up to the end of the 20th.

I remember the first time I was introduced to the phrase ‘weblog’ in undergrad.  It was by an English student who was on top of all things technological, something I hadn’t managed to do since public school.   Since then, I’ve always toyed with the idea but could never get around to doing it.  It certainly wasn’t for lack of time.  Looking back, if I’d only blocked Freetetris.org from my computer, I’m sure I would be king among bloggers by now.  Come to think of it, if I’d only blocked Tetris three or four years ago, I’d probably have a degree in chemical engineering or theoretical physics.

It will be said by the luddites that the internet only fragments opinion.  What it actually does is increase the potential for a diverse set of opinions to reach an audience.  To be sure, there will be falsehood and slander, all of the joys that come with opinions or beliefs.  But proportionally speaking, there is no less crap on the internet than has been bound into book, or put onto the silver screen.

(Although if it is crap you’re after, here’s a link to my friend Remi’s site.)

From an epistemological point of view, we are not going to reach a desirable objectivity by relying on large, privately-owned and increasingly centralized news corporations, any more than we are by listening to state sponsored media.  The age of the Imperial Encyclopaedia has long since past.

Having evolved to become a radically potent force in media, blogs are just about the only semblance of democracy we have in our so-called ‘democratic’ society.  We see the power of the internet, the blog and the ubiquitous camera recently on such disparate places as the streets of Tehran, as well as the town hall meetings of Main Street, USA.

Let us not fear, stifle, or deny the marketplace of ideas.  Let us embrace this democratic technology as one of the few potent weapons in our arsenal against dogma, superstition and illegitimate authority.

We’re in this together, kids.  I’ll get back to writing…after this quick game of Tetris.

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