Word of the Day: Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude is defined as “largely unanticipated delight in the
suffering of another which is cognized as trivial and/or appropriate.”
 ie It is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.

hm… sometimes it’s really tough understanding human psyche eh? If anyone gets how schadenfreude can be rationalized – feel free to comment! I’d love to understand it!

– –

Avenue Q Song: Schadenfreude

GARY COLEMAN:
Right now you are down and out and feeling really crappy

NICKY:
I’ll say.

GARY COLEMAN:
And when I see how sad you are
It sort of makes me…
Happy!

NICKY:
Happy?!

GARY COLEMAN:
Sorry, Nicky, human nature-
Nothing I can do!
It’s…
Schadenfreude!
Making me feel glad that I’m not you.

NICKY:
Well that’s not very nice, Gary!

GARY COLEMAN:
I didn’t say it was nice! But everybody does it!

D’ja ever clap when a waitress falls and drops a tray of glasses?

NICKY:
Yeah…

GARY COLEMAN:
And ain’t it fun to watch figure skaters falling on their asses?

NICKY:
Sure!

GARY COLEMAN:
And don’tcha feel all warm and cozy,
Watching people out in the rain!

NICKY:
You bet!

GARY COLEMAN:
That’s…

GARY AND NICKY:
Schadenfreude!

GARY COLEMAN:
People taking pleasure in your pain!

NICKY:
Oh, Schadenfreude, huh?
What’s that, some kinda Nazi word?

GARY COLEMAN:
Yup! It’s German for "happiness at the misfortune of others!"

NICKY:
"Happiness at the misfortune of others." That is German!

Watching a vegetarian being told she just ate chicken

GARY COLEMAN:
Or watching a frat boy realize just what he put his dick in!

NICKY:
Being on the elevator when somebody shouts "Hold the door!"

GARY AND NICKY:
"No!!!"
Schadenfreude!

GARY COLEMAN:
"Fuck you lady, that’s what stairs are for!"

NICKY:
Ooh, how about…
Straight-A students getting Bs?

GARY COLEMAN:
Exes getting STDs!

NICKY:
Waking doormen from their naps!

GARY COLEMAN:
Watching tourists reading maps!

NICKY:
Football players getting tackled!

GARY COLEMAN:
CEOs getting shackled!

NICKY:
Watching actors never reach

GARY AND NICKY:
The ending of their oscar speech!
Schadenfreude!
Schadenfreude!
Schadenfreude!
Schadenfreude!

GARY COLEMAN:
The world needs people like you and me who’ve been knocked around by fate.
‘Cause when people see us, they don’t want to be us, and that makes them feel great.

NICKY:
Sure!
We provide a vital service to society!

GARY AND NICKY:
You and me!
Schadenfreude!
Making the world a better place…
Making the world a better place…
Making the world a better place…
To be!

GARY COLEMAN:
S-C-H-A-D-E-N-F-R-E-U-D-E!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. pou
    Oct 05, 2009 @ 21:30:30

    I found http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schadenfreude to be interesting. The way I see it, but it’s only an opinion, is that Schadenfreude is not more than a sense of being a piece of statistic/probability : we know that unfortunate events happen to everyone, but it’s unusual for them to happen all at once on everyone; so the more I see unfortunate things happening around me, the more I’m reminded of my ‘luck’, which gives me pleasure as I feel blessed/priviledged/lucky/better adapted/smarter. So enjoying other people’s misfortune is really an indirect way to enjoy oneself’s. Just my 2 pence 🙂

    Reply

  2. L1
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 21:40:02

    Thanks for your 2 pence 🙂 Interesting point!I guess it’s natural to feel lucky that bad things don’t happen to you. But it’s a whole other thing to feel happy when you know something bad has happened to another. Relieved that it’s not you, yes.. happy in the face of another’s suffering.. hmm that’s different. I suspect that for others – there may be something darker underlying Schadenfreude. I’ll have to check out wikipedia 🙂

    Reply

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