agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Everybody keeps using this word.  Sometimes the only way to make a word your own is to research it to death.  So I did.  Pleasure in another person's misfortune.  Hm.  I've felt that.  I was happy when someone who hassled me was found out to be rotten.  Actually, I exulted immodestly.  The person tried to frame me for their own misdeeds.  I wasn't glad they were bad, but once I knew they were bad, I delighted in the public discovery of their badness.

So.  In a less personally visceral vein, is that why we like cream pies in the faces of politicians?  Is that why we feel that a politician who presses charges against the pie thrower is a bad sport?  Or are politicians correct in pressing charges because not to do so would be to admit to the justification of the pie thrower's actions, and to admit that everyone else is right in feeling schadenfreude at their expense?

I don't find a lot of comedy funny.  I didn't love Lucy.  She was just embarrassing.  Also, plain pratfalls on banana peels are not funny.  Someone who sees the banana peel, sneers at the banana peel, and then slips on the banana peel anyway is funny.  It's only funny when the victim had the chance to not fall.

So.  Does schadenfreude always involve the victim "deserving" the pain?  Or, is schadenfreude undescriminating and just pleasure at another's pain regardless?

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agoodwinsmith

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