Thursday, January 19, 2006

schadenfreude \SHAHD-n-froy-duh\, noun:
A malicious satisfaction in the misfortunes of others.

The historian Peter Gay -- who felt Schadenfreude as a Jewish child in Nazi-era Berlin, watching the Germans lose coveted gold medals in the 1936 Olympics -- has said that it "can be one of the great joys of life."
--Edward Rothstein, "Missing the Fun of a Minor Sin." New York Times, February 5, 2000

From the musical Avenue Q.

D'ja ever clap when a waitress falls and drops a tray of glasses?


And ain't it fun to watch figure skaters falling on their asses?


And don'tcha feel all warm and cozy,
Watching people out in the rain!

Oh, Schadenfreude, huh?
What's that, some kinda Nazi word?

Yup! It's German for "happiness at the misfortune of others!"

"Happiness at the misfortune of others." That is German!
Watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken

Or watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in!

I wonder what part of our brains and souls are satisfied by Schadenfreude. Some call it "the minor sin." It certainly isn't a very Zen, good or spiritual way of thinking, but I don't know anyone, myself included, who doesn't dip their foot into the Schadenfreude pool on occasion.

That stupid bitch was tailgating me, even though I was driving 75, he blew his horn before I had a chance to pull into the right lane. He zooms past. Two miles up the road he's getting a ticket from the State Trooper. SCHADENFREUDE!!!!

That nasty-ass meter maid who was standing by my car waiting for the meter to run out to write me a ticket. I plead. She says no. She walks away, and gets swamped by a load of mud and rain from the bus going by. SCHADENFREUDE!!!!

Seeing that big mouthed meathead at the bar get kicked out and stomped after harassing one to many patrons. SCHADENFREUDE!!!!!

What about you? Any good SCHADENFREUDE moments in your life you want to share?