December 13, 2003

Introducing The Rant's Bermuda Index

RANT READERS WILL UNDOUBTEDLY NOTE -- gee, it's not like you can miss it -- the rather large banner in the left-hand column of this page noting something called "The Rant's Bermuda Index." However, as the graphic does not explain what The Bermuda Index signifies, an explanation is warranted. So here goes:

Last night, as we were hobbled by fatigue and frustration, we penned an awfully angry post on an incident at the University of California at Davis, in which we learned that some joyless thought-police type had registered a grievance over the inclusion of the word "holiday" in a department's "holiday party." As we wrote then, our apoplexy nearly caused us to blow out our spleen.

Later, though, we realized that this was -- when all was said and done -- a minor aggravation in the grand scheme. However, we also realized that if too many aggravations were to come down the pike at once, our nerves would be entirely shot. That would reduce us to a shuddering, angry, unpleasant state, in which we constantly mumbled about the impending dangers of Bolshevism.

Hence, to prevent that breakdown from happening, we have instituted The Bermuda Index.

The Bermuda Index runs on a scale from 0 to 100, and is similar to a stock index, in that it can go up or down at random for no particular reason. However, like the market, certain things -- societal stupidity, our dealings with idiots, and other unfortunate incidents -- will be used to explain the movement of the index, whether or not there is any correlation.

Something minor, like the UC-Davis incident, may warrant adding two points; something really minor, such as that televised reality-show wedding, may warrant adding one-tenth of a point. Something major -- let's say an auto accident in which some idiot rammed his SUV into my Taurus because he was talking on his mobile phone -- would be worth adding 30 or 40 points.

A reading of 0 means that all is right with the world, I am feeling fine, and the week just seems to be getting better and better. A reading of 100 means that I am on the verge of losing my last marbles, and to prevent that from happening, I have gone on vacation to Bermuda for at least a week.

So there you have it -- The Bermuda Index: tracking both my own sanity, and that of our nation. It will be updated weekly or as circumstances warrant.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at December 13, 2003 01:24 PM | TrackBack