Schadenfreude…works for me…

Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly down on my disgusting, physical self, I’ll watch 4 minutes of Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo or Roseanne reruns and suddenly, my fat ass isn’t really that fat anymore.  In my own mind at least, I’m not so bad after all.

I’m not sure if making oneself feel better by comparing oneself to folks we consider worse off than we are in some respect is necessarily an appropriate way of living life, but it’s worked for me for as long as I can remember.

If semi-fat women feel better about their figures and their chances of landing compliments and a one night stand from men sauced on Budweiser at some bar by hanging out with really-fat women, then who cares?

Does the fact that June Boo Boo, or whatever her name is, is three times my size address the underlying fact that I’m still physically disgusting, or that semi-fat women are still going to be semi-fat when they awake to undertake their walk of shame even if the girls they hang with are really-fat?  No, it doesn’t help fix things at all.  Mentally though, there’s something to be said for being better off than somebody.

I’ve always used similar mind games to relieve my own angst about doing such things as jumping off a high dive, riding a roller coaster or taking a flight on an airplane.  Something that is, at least subjectively, inherently risky gets the juices flowing, but it always made me feel better to notice somebody younger and smaller than I was doing the same activity.  Hell, I figured, if a five year old was going to die in the same plane crash as me, then at least I’ve lived more life than he got to enjoy, right?  Is that perverse?

In that same vein, when I’m feeling mentally retarded, I turn to folks who are even more mentally retarded, at least in my mind, than I am, to make myself feel hunky-dory mentally again.

Lately, my brain has failed me on numerous occasions.  The instances of my walking into rooms and failing to remember why I’m there or forgetting to get money for the babysitter, or to freakin’ shave one morning even, have increased dramatically.

Last week, while making spaghetti for dinner, I opened a box of pasta and chucked it into the boiling water (the pasta, not the box).  When I went to toss the box into the recycle can, I noticed there was already an empty box on top.  Fuck!  I had literally, just 14 seconds prior, already put a box of pasta into the water.  One box is more than we can eat!  We had leftover spaghetti for a week!

Anyway, the point is that my brain done been failin’ me and I was beginning to feel like a dumbass.  In order to make myself feel like less of a dumbass, much like when I want to feel like less of a fatass, I turned to people I think are worse off than me.

While a dose of Honey Boo Boo or JimTom on Moonshiners might be just good enough to cure my mental deficiencies, (why in the world do we need subtitles with these shows, aren’t they speaking English?) there’s something about using TV to fix stupid that sits wrong, even with me.  Besides, JimTom can craft a moonshine still out of most metals from memory, so he’s dumb like a fox, at best.

No, to find real dumbassery, I turn to the internet to see what’s on the mind of the world’s most dimwitted section of the populace.

If you ever wish to get unwanted opinions from stupid folk, go to any online newspaper and read the comments after the articles.  They used to be priceless when comments could be left anonymously, but I guess the budgets for the Lee Enterprises of the world became too tight to pay somebody to spend the entire day editing comments for naughty and hateful speech that even a journalist would find offensive enough not to print.

In my experience, the most asinine comments come after the following types of articles::

  • Any sports related article –  Look, we get that you may or may not have played some sports up until you were in 8th grade, but that hardly qualifies you to share an educated opinion as to how to properly run any professional sports team.  That you once batted .281 in little league or that your fantasy football team is “kicking ass this season” doesn’t mean that you’d hit much better than even Matt Holliday in the playoffs (no matter how putrid) or that you could GM an NFL team to glory.
  • Most articles that involve your local police department – Ah, these are my personal favorites.  The morons come out of the woodwork when it comes to commenting about anything that the police were perceived to have screwed up.  You know, like when a man has just robbed a bank with a gun, carjacked an old lady by pistol whipping the shit out of her, fired 56 shots at police cars in a pursuit and then fired again at officers themselves after he crashed the car into a suburban ranch style home and was shot to death by police as a result.  Those commenting will lament the fact that officers didn’t shoot the gun out of the man’s hand like the Lone Ranger used to do or shoot him in the leg or just let him go and join hands while praying that their man will turn himself in peacefully when he’s ready.  Of course, then you’ll get the very vocal anti-God commenting crowd who’d bash the cops for praying as well as the even louder anti-gay commenters who’d bash them for holding hands!  Much like professional sports, if you’ve never done the job then shut the fuck up, you’re an idiot.
  • Any article that involves somebody doing something stupid, but especially if the stupid act was done by a black person (even though a whitey could have just as easily done the same thing). – Let’s say the article about the above described robbery involves a black man instead of a white man.  While it shouldn’t matter, the comments will absolutely be different.  How?  Well, there will be many “great job, officers” and “way to save the tax payers money” and similar inappropriate comments.  The general tone of the commenting public always seems to be more police friendly when they have to kill a minority.  Of course, there will be comments about where the person’s father was or how he wouldn’t have had to rob a bank if he had a job, etc.  It’s really unbelievable that people will make their racists comments right there for all to see.  While it’s frightening, I guess there’s something to be said for not being a closet racist.

It’s not just local newspapers either.  You can comment on almost anything written online now.  Most of the time, the comments are better than the original article.  Here’s one from my Yahoo page that popped up as I was typing this.

This one is classic commenting material!  Young, black football player, the SEC, college sports, teenage father?  This is freakin’ moronic commenting gold!

Go ahead and read the comments.  I haven’t, but I bet there are a bunch.

You’ll feel better about yourself in the mist of such mental depravity.

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10 Responses to Schadenfreude…works for me…

  1. Carol says:

    Matt Holliday is a saint – leave him alone.

  2. rebecca2000 says:

    Oh I forgot to say… I think you’re awesome for using schadenfreude. Very few people know that word and know how to use it. It is a delicious word.

  3. Learning the hard way says:

    Whacky German’s and their untranslatable words! I personally favour Trennungsagentur – or someone hired by a woman to dump her boyfriend – harsh but useful.

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