Friday, August 21, 2015
The Delicious Taste of Schadenfreude
It tastes so sweet, doesn't it? Like the tears of angels. That self-righteous son of a bitch finally got his. "There is a god," you say, licking your chops. In a just world, everyone gets what they deserve. Hypocrisy results in ironic misfortune. Those who don't lift the seat up when they urinate eventually sit down in a puddle of piss. The serial adulterer was being cheated on the whole time. That monkey that threw shit at you at the zoo had his whole species wiped out due to habitat loss. You deserved it, monkey. Enjoy being another footnote to humanity's grand march toward progress.
The problem, of course, is that that monkey was just one of many. There are plenty of shit-throwing monkeys getting away with it scot-free, is what I'm saying. This monkey's species might be suffering from habitat loss, but they aren't in danger of going extinct any time soon. Crazy fundamentalist Baptists that raise their women to be submissive baby-machines still lurk in the shadows like Lovecraftian horrors. Honey Boo-Boo's grotesque mother can be found in any trailer park or Walmart aisle. The desire to watch these train wrecks, these human disappointments, also exists in our own hearts. We compare ourselves to these fools; we laugh at their idiocy while giving them more influence and legitimacy. I am better than them, we say, confident in our self-assessment. We don't realize that the shit-throwing monkey is just doing as it was taught to do.
What am I trying to say? I don't know. Maybe we shouldn't keep these monkeys in the zoo. Maybe they should go back to the wild and try to live their own lives. Right now they exist so that we can derive pleasure from their misfortune, and really, that's perverse. You give a monkey a stage and pretty soon he's throwing poo at everyone and everyone's covered in poo. I don't care how schadenfreude tastes. It's got poo in it.