Introducing The Sharpton Buffoonery Matrix™

What follows is the culmination of over a decade of happy debates, arguments and discussions between myself and any combination of my closest friends Russell Gallo, Diana Gallo, Amanda Kohut, and especially, Matthew Fairley, who singlehanded devised the framework I am about to outline. 

When we started really calling out political Buffoonery, our discussions boiled down to a common agreement that we knew it when you saw it. “Buffoonology” was so primitive because society had failed to establish even the most rudimentary tools, like basic units of measurement or even a common lexicon. Out of our friendly interactions,  we created our own shorthand to better identify and describe the political Buffoonery occurring all around us all the time. 

To start, we needed a common understanding of scale that would allow us to communicate to a lay-person the significance of the observed Buffoon or Buffoonish act.  For example, we were all taught how long a foot is, so you will likely know what I meant if I told you that a certain mountain was 1,000 feet tall because you could extrapolate in your mind what 1,000 feet of mountain would look like. So, our first goal was to create an agreeable reference for measuring the dual aspects of political Buffoonery: one’s personal Buffoonish Nature (BUN) and the Buffoonish Action Magnitude (BAM) of one’s Buffoonish acts.  

Let’s talk BUNs. A decade of collective observations has shown that everyone, to some degree, has a BUN. You. Me. Everyone. But, to paraphrase Orwell , all Buffoons are created equal, but some Buffoons are more equal than others. The size of our BUNs are not uniform. The size of one’s BUN is directly related to one’s propensity to commit a Buffoonish act. If you doubt this, you needn’t look further than our political class in America. It contains not only a disproportionate number of Buffoons within it as compared to society in general, but a politician’s BUN is decidedly bigger and more prominently displayed than your average Joe. This makes political Buffoonery fertile ground for field study. 

We answered the need for a BUN measuring tool by establishing The BUN Scale™, a finite rating system from 0 to 100 which allows us to compare each politicians’ BUNs and come to an agreement on who is the bigger political Buffoon. 

The only remaining problem was identifying a lodestar. Someone we can unanimously agree possesses the biggest BUN of all. Thankfully, as I will discuss extensively throughout, the good Lord gave us a walking, unintelligibly talking, track-suited, chain-wearing frame of reference in the Rev. Al Sharpton. Rev. Al’s decades-long adventures in Buffoonery are legendary, as you will see herein. His selection, of course, was unanimous, establishing him as the only (as yet known) perfect 100 on The BUN Scale™.

As for the bottom of The BUN Scale™, one would find those perfect individuals whose every action are widely considered pure and noble, such as Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, or Weird Al Yankovic. Any one will do, as we will spend very little time on the lower end of The BUN Scale™.

 Having established that everybody falls somewhere within The BUN Scale™, and that one's overall propensity for committing acts of Buffoonery determines the size of your BUN, we moved on to establishing a means for identifying one’s propensity for Buffoonery. The simple answer was to base the size of one’s BUN on the magnitude of past acts of Buffoonery, which we call BAM. Each observed Buffoonish act needs an agreed-upon BAM score, which we can then plot along a second scale that has no defined upper limit. Like, BUNs, an act’s BAM is ranked in comparison to other acts. 

To quantify the comparisons, we need another standard unit of measurement. Once again, we shall draw inspiration from our perfect Buffoon, the Rev. Al, and created “The Sharpton™.” We established some concept of scale for “The Sharpton™” through a series of contextual examples, with acts of greater significance rating higher. 

Private Buffoonish acts have a low BAM. For example, locking your keys in your car would come in somewhere around 50 Sharptons™, while forgetting your anniversary is clearly a higher magnitude in comparison, and would score around the range of 17 KiloSharptons™.  

Public displays of Buffoonery have a higher BAM because of its greater impact on society and culture. For example, NASA losing a Mars space probe because the engineering team used inches in their calculations, but the flight team used centimeters  has to be somewhere in the hundreds of MegaSharptons™ range, to be sure. Even bigger actions, like President Bill Clinton asking “what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is” while giving testimony before a grand jury, gets up into the rarified air of GigaSharptons™.  

Measuring BAM for each action seems straightforward enough. But, this concept gets trickier when trying to determine the relationship between the BAM of a Buffoon’s action and his/her BUN. Thus, the Sharpton Buffoonery Matrix™ was born.  

In general, the greater an action’s BAM, the more likely one’s BUN will increases. When a person commits a Buffoonish act with an inordinately high BAM in comparison to their BUN, a Buffoon’s BUN grows based on a sliding scale. Buffoons with lower BUN scores are more likely to see their BUN grow if s/he commits an act with an inordinately high BAM, while Buffoons with already large BUNs need to commit an act with a real doozy of a BAM to see any upward BUN movement. Thus, moving into to the upper echelons of Buffoonery requires acts of higher and higher BAM as your BUN score increases.  

That sliding scale gives way when one’s BUN gets higher than 60. At that point, we draw a line in the sand and declare that only Buffoonish acts with a BAM reaching into the GigaSharptons™ will trigger an increase in BUN. But where should we draw that line? For this, we take inspiration from that noted genius, Dr. Emmet Brown , and declare that an act with a BAM of 1.21 GigaSharptons™ and above always triggers an increase in BUN. Those acts are collectively identified as Sharpton-esque. 

As you can imagine, different permutations arise when analyzing a Buffoon’s BUN-to-BAM ratio. It is possible for one’s BUN to be and remain high even if s/he does not commit frequent Buffoonish acts, so long with his/her average BAM score is sufficiently high. Conversely, one can be prone to act Buffoonishly more frequently, but if his/her average BAM score is mild or moderate, that person’s BUN will remain smaller. A good example of this is President George H. W. Bush. During his presidency, Dubya was prone to near-daily malapropisms, but each crime against the English language carried a low BAM, which, in turn, did not cause any significant increase in his BUN. Knowing one’s BUN-to-BAM ratio is also useful in differentiating between a benign Buffoon whose average BAM are usually low, and an irredeemable with high average BAM. 

These tools represent a good first step, but Buffoonery remain unpredictable. At all times, someone who possesses lower BUNs remains just as susceptible to committing Sharpton-esque acts as Buffoons with big BUNs. Hopefully, by using our newly-developed tools and through constant observation, we can fully identify those Buffoons already in office and marginalize their impact on society. 

No comments:

Post a Comment