Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Toleration Matrix

So, there's this sitcom called The Middle that I like a lot. I like it because they have the best depiction of teenagers on TV (Sue Heck is a damn national treasure) and because they are a little poor; poor because of the twofold effect of an economic system actively fighting against them and also because they are a kind of sloppy with money.  They are poor like people are really poor.  They are not poor.  They are actually lower middle class.  I love to see this on television especially right before Modern Family, which is chockablock with crazy rich people. I've decided that Jay Pritchett's closet business is actually a front for some kind of Gustavo Fring style drug cartel.

Anyhoo, I keep urging people to watch The Middle because it's a great little sitcom, but I've been told by many people that they will never watch it because the matriarch, Frankie Heck, is played by Patrica Heaton, a person many find irritating beyond the point of toleration.

You may remember Patricia Heaton from such twitscapades (I just made this word up.  It's mine.  You can't have it) as mocking Sandra Fluke for being a slutty mcslutterson.  This is the kind of stupid stuff she says.  Here's some more.  She dumb. And I get that this would make people not want to engage with her on a weekly basis despite how awesome Sue Heck is.

Moving on: I've begun rewatching Firefly which is the funnest show in the Whedonverse and which I just adore.  My adoration of it has not been diminished by discovering that Adam Baldwin, who plays the entirely delightful Jayne, has outed himself as quite the homophobic libertarian fuckwit.  I remain sympathetic, though, to The Middle avoiders for reasons that can be represented mathematically:


You guys are impressed with my crazy math skills right?   When I was in elementary school, my math teacher taught me to think of the greater than/less than sign as an alligator and the alligator  always eats the bigger thing… which means I just said that Jayne was bigger than Frankie Heck which, while true, is not what I was trying to say.  Is there a way to represent "Jayne is better than Frankie Heck" mathematically?  Probably not.  You guys are probably less impressed with my crazy math skills now.

But I'm fixing to bring back your admiration by laying this out on a graph* that I made in Microsoft Word (that's right… I said Microsoft Word, bitches.  Deal):

I'm calling this "The Toleration Matrix."  If the level of artistic output is high enough to graph above the dotted line then you are free to enjoy it. 

Let's chart my guy, Kanye West.  Many people would chart Kanye West here: they find his level of odiousness far greater than his artistic output.  I, however, think that while Kanye is a guy prone to narcissistic bouts of assholery, he's not beating anyone up or breaking any laws.  He's not out driving drunk or advocating against a minority group.  He's just a really big fan of Kanye West.  Also, his music is amazeballs.  So he rests squarely above the Line of Toleration for me.

Chris Brown, on the other hand:

Squarely below.

Your assignment, Shouters, is to map the following brief list of celebrities onto the Toleration Matrix.  Which ones make it above and which make it below:

  1. Roman Polanski
  2. Ike Turner
  3. James Brown
  4. Penn Gilette
  5. Keith Olbermann
  6. Jenny McCarthy
  7. Britney Spears
  8. Woody Allen
  9. Charlie Sheen
  10. Justin Bieber
  11. John Mayer
  12. Jennifer Aniston
I was going to do more, but I gotta take the dog to the groomer.  So help me out: Got any other folks to add to The Toleration Matrix?

*If you watched How I Met Your Mother, this was definitely inspired by Barney's Hot/Crazy Scale, which makes me think the next matrix is how much sexism will I tolerate thanks to really good story telling and casting?