Monday, November 12, 2012

Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude: n. Pleasure derived from the misfortune or discomfort of others.

Schadenfreude is a big buzz word in liberal circles these days. Mostly it seems to be used by liberal scolds (of which there are plenty) telling us to pipe down, that we shouldn't gloat, that we shouldn't rub the right wingnuts' noses in their defeat. To which I reply, "Why not? They've certainly gotten plenty of glee from rubbing our noses in it over the years!"

My intellectually superior companions at breakfast this morning laughed at me when I admitted that the word was new to me. I really didn't know the meaning of it until it started popping up over the last several days in the blogs and online media that I read and I had to look it up. I think that probably the reason I wasn't familiar with it was that throughout much of my life I've been on the receiving end of Schadenfreude.

So, now, since I am a bleeding heart liberal, my heart is supposed to bleed for the radical wingnuts who have done - and will continue to do - their best to hijack my country? I'm supposed to be mature and magnanimous and have compassion for their suffering??? Sorry, I guess I'm just not that mature! 

On the contrary, I totally agree with Salon.com's Rob Spillman's take on subject,  that gloating, in this instance, is a patriotic duty :
And isn’t this what this election has been about, the outsiders versus the entitled? For once gays, women, Latinos, African-Americans, math geeks (hello, Nate Silver), science nerds (global warming, anyone?) and even pot-smokers banded together to win the day against the anti-intellectuals (Santorum’s boastful “we’ll never get the smart people”), anti-science (Romney jokingly saying at the convention, “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans and to heal the planet. My promise is to help you and your family”), anti-women (pick your insane rape statement by any number of Republican candidates, all of whom lost, not to mention Lilly Ledbetter), anti-gay (the Republican platform called for a ban on gay marriage and for bringing back Don’t Ask Don’t Tell), anti-Latino (they used the word “illegals” so often that even the notoriously conservative Cuban-Americans voted for Obama), and to top it all off there was the attempted bum rush of statistical wienie Nate Silver. Was that the tipping point? When the Fox and company bloviators went after Silver for, gasp, using math and logic, and did so in their characteristically smug and condescending manner, as if addressing the uneducated help sweeping out their dressage horse stables, this was when they were putting the finishing touches on the Schadenfreude targets.  
Oh, yes, for those of us who have long endured the condescension of the anti-scientific, anti-reality know-nothings, this is our moment and Schadenfreude is sweet! Just let us enjoy it for a few more days.

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