Editor’s Note: What you are reading is the seminal document that launched this whole stinkin’ thing! Thanks to the pioneering work of Matthew Fairley, we are taking the study of buffoonery – Buffoonology, if you will – to new heights!
Buffoonery is a lamentably little-studied science, despite its implications for human interaction and relations and its current proliferation in the political arena.
Accordingly, we believe the time has come for dedicated Buffoonologists such as ourselves to bring this science into the modern age by subjecting it to the rigors of the Scientific Method.
Unfortunately, the state of Buffoonology is so primitive that even the most rudimentary tools are unavailable to the dedicated political scientist, such as a codified unit of measure to describe levels of Buffoonery. Accordingly, this monograph will attempt to determine a standardized unit of measurement for describing individual levels of Buffoonery, as well as the Buffoonishness of individual acts.
When developing such a standardized unit of measurement it is helpful to have a frame of reference that allows the lay-person to understand the relative level of Buffoonery involved. For example, if I were to say that a mountain is 1000 meters high, it would have no meaning if you do not understand the metric system (and you’re an American, so why would you?). Accordingly, to give a frame of reference it is important to use a standard that easily provides understanding.
Thankfully, when it comes to Buffoonery, the good lord has given us a walking, unintelligibly talking, track-suited frame of reference named the Rev. Al Sharpton. The Rev. Al’s adventures in Buffoonery are legendary, and therefore he shall be our frame of reference for describing Buffoonish people and actions in a little something we have developed called:
The Sharpton Scale™ – Measuring Buffoonish People
Years of scientific research have shown that some people, bless their hearts, just cannot help themselves when it comes to being a Buffoon.
There is an inherent level of Buffoonery inside of all of us, but to paraphrase Orwell, some Buffoons are more equal than others. Accordingly, it is important to categorize where individuals fall on a scale of Buffoonery. Once again the Rev. Al provides us the basis for developing such a scale. Using the good reverend as our lodestar, the buffoonish nature of a person can be ranked on a scale from 0 to 100 (hereinafter The Sharpton Scale™) with the Rev. Al at the top of the Sharpton Scale™, as he the only (as yet known) perfect 100 ever recorded in history. At the bottom of the Sharpton Scale™ we find those perfect individuals whose every action was pure and noble (i.e Jesus, Buddha, or Weird Al).
All the rest of us mere mortals will exist somewhere on the Sharpton Scale™.
As the graphic above illustrates everyone has a place on the Sharpton Scale™ that can be determined based on one’s overall propensity for Buffoonery, coupled with the magnitude of the Buffoonery in question. You can have a high Sharpton Scale™ score even if you aren’t prone to daily Buffoonery, if your Buffoonish acts are severe. Conversely, you can be prone to Buffoonery on a weekly basis, but if your Buffoonish acts are mild or benign your score will be low. A good example of this is President George H. W. Bush. President Bush was prone to a daily malapropism, but his mangling of the English language left him more “Benign Grandpa” than “deranged moron.”
The Sharpton™ – Basic Unit of Measuring Buffoonish Acts
Having established that everybody has an assigned score on the Sharpton Scale™, it is important to note that not all Buffoonery is perpetrated by those that exist in the upper half of the scale. Even those of us that live our mundane lives in the bottom half of the scale are prone to acts of profound Buffoonery.
Therefore, it is important to have an additional unit of measure to evaluate Buffoonish acts. Once again we shall draw inspiration from the Rev. Al in creating our unit of measurement: “The Sharpton™.”
Each Buffoonish act will be assigned a set number of Sharptons™, with no defined upper limit. For example:
As you can see, Buffoonishness is unpredictable and untamable. But, by studying the examples above and learning from the Buffoons that committed them, we can begin to have understanding of how Buffoonery affects our political sphere and how we can manage it and prevent it, and keep the dumbass Buffoons who commit such ass-backwards acts out of office.
Thank you for your kind attention