"What is Tetris?" I say this only half-aloud, mostly to myself, fearful of how my three friends may respond to this inquiry.
"Tetris is the conflict of a man," the French provocateur posits. "Within the void of a man called his soul, there falls the germs of his nature: his violence, his genius, his pride, his perversion. And Tetris is his own management of these natures." He cocked his head to his left, peering at his near-finished glass of '71 d'Yquem. Between the four of us, we have already polished off two bottles of the '95 vintage. No, we are not diabetics – we are men of taste, of a very sweet taste!
"By that same reasoning," said the Italian, "Tetris shows the downfall of man, as he must sooner or later yield his ghost. Brzustowski's paper proves that defeat in the game is inevitable. Man unwittingly destroys himself."
"But there is a Hindu nature about it," the American amusedly remarks. "For after his defeat, the player can always start a new game."
We stare at the American. I found his joke worth a chuckle, but the Frenchman and the Italian, to my surprise, were serious.
After an extended and uncomfortable silence, I say "Tetris is all around us. We are Tetris. In a Sociological context" –here, a chortle by the Frenchman, but I continue – "when we behave in such a way that society find acceptable, and proactive, we are blocks who have 'fit in,' without a gap. When a man acts out, when he breaks with society, he may fulfill a gap, collapsing incorrect preconceived notions; or, he may stand in the way of progress, a threat, creating a gap, blocking the future's way."
"But what are these gaps?" the Italian asks.
"They are obviously the deficiencies of society, old man," the Frenchman hypothesizes. "Of course, Sociology as an academic discipline exists more as a concession for Psychology faculty rejects, some way they can make their way in the world without totally wasting their talents, even if this new discipline is – indisputably – an aberration."
We toast to the humorous character of Sociology, and a round of cannoli later, we go our separate ways.