Blog: Schadenfreude! Fun for the Whole Family! - 2018-01-20

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F376.png Schadenfreude! Fun for the Whole Family! January 20, 2018, Mike Rinder, Something Can Be Done About It

"Schadenfreude" is the experience of pleasure, joy, or self-satisfaction that comes from learning of or witnessing the troubles, failures, or humiliation of another (Wikipedia). I know it's wrong but I love this word—it just sounds cool—and as much as I try, I can't seem to feel sympathetic and not gloat at the misfortunes of Scientology. I can't seem to rise above and turn away from watching the demise of the church and seeing those old friends still trapped inside get their comeuppance. Apparently, I'm not as "great" or as big as Ron would have liked.

Don't get me wrong; I'm great sometimes. Just not all the time. I'm not a mean guy. I like to help others. Unless they're attached to my leg, I don't kick cats and dogs. I wait for pedestrians to get most of the way through crosswalks before speeding through intersections. I donate regularly to a handful of charities. I love the great outdoors. I always bring something to potlucks. I frequently "like" Facebook posts. But damn me if I don't enjoy sitting on the couch with my spouse after dinner watching Aftermath or listening to YouTube videos of Scientology's latest misstep.

Let's be honest. Nattering about others makes us feel better—at least some of us, some of the time. According to a number of scientific studies cited in Wikipedia (I know; using the Wik for research is almost cheating), schadenfreude is common to the human psyche—at least for some us, some of the time. For anyone reading this blog, though…nah.