Over at Stay Free!, one of my favorite blogs, Jason Torchinsky has proposed a brilliant new unit of measurement: the “Walt Scale” of crass commercialism. Think about it: we have Nielsen ratings for levels of TV viewership, “Q” ratings for the likability of celebrities, and hedonics analysis to put a price tag on pleasure denied. In physics, there are ohms and ergs and rems. Why not a unit of measurement to more precisely describe the level of trashy, commodified culture?
Torchinsky explains the origins of the scale and why it’s called “Walt”:
Ever been to Myrtle Beach, SC? It’s a craphole. What makes it a craphole is not so much the actual beach landscape itself, but rather the sheer volume of crap-vending, advertising, and generally far too much commerce in too small a volume. Not good commerce, either; lots of “12 for $5” t-shirt places, Hooters, and similar offal.
The Walt Scale: What a conceptual breakthrough!