My Version of SchadenFreude: 1

As many of my regular readers have probably guessed by now- I take great joy in the misery, pain, suffering, dismemberment, illness and death of others. But how did it come to be this way? I was certainly not born like that..

As explained in some of my oldest posts, I gradually lost my faith in humans. Most people still don’t realize social and technological changes make it possible for a person to lose all faith in humans, harbor considerable ill-will towards others and still have a life that appears normal. Of course, this will cause numerous problems in that society such as lack of social cohesion, an unwillingness to care about common goals and a variety of behaviors that reduce the benefit a society accrues from people who play by the rules.

One of the least mentioned effects of loss of faith in other people is strong omnipresent schadenfreude. It can be so strong that a detailed account of a random child’s painful death from a terminal illness can suddenly brighten your day, or stories of mass deaths of people you never knew can make you feel good.

At some point schadenfreude transcends issues such as whether they were guilty, deserving or competitors. It is now about undiluted misanthropy.

Even you can reach this level, as long as you can satisfy some preconditions.

1. You have to be aware that you are mortal, but so is everybody else.

2. People around you must have consistently been unhelpful, deceptive or exploitative.

3. You are not particularly affected by the possibility of your own death.

4. You have no real reason to care about others.

5. You see human beings as obstacles to your modest goals.

6. Nobody has expressed genuine remorse over their behavior towards you or have tried to make it right.

Once the above mentioned preconditions have been satisfied, you WILL gradually lose any guilt, empathy, restraint or sense of decency towards others. Eventually you reach a point where the suffering of others will make you happy even if you have never met them or don’t benefit from it.

Note: Traditionally schadenfreude is linked to envy and comparison rather than generalized misanthropy.

More in a future post.

Comments?

  1. Dreamer
    August 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm | #1

    Jesus Christ man, wtf did people done to you? Everybody have their bad moments, some more than others. I had my share of people who treated me like shit. But I have enough moments in my life who shown enough care and consideration for me that prevent me from taking your view on the world.

    Can you give more details? I’m assuming your life is not some horror biopic where you thrown the worst possible card with a childhood in warzone with abusive parents, but more of an average life with college (from my memory of what you said in the past) who struggled with have some status amongst your peers.

    Did you never had a friend who defended you from assholes and try to help you gain a backbone? What about your family? Did they just abused you all your childhood or something? C’mon man, even the people on the bottom of the totem pole in high school had some comradeship and company in each other. Did everyone in your life just kicked your dog or something?

    The details are not that important, but I have no reason to feel anything other than utter contempt for people.

    • Dreamer
      August 6, 2011 at 8:21 pm | #2

      Details are pretty important when one is trying to fathom why you gained you no reason to feel anything other than utter contempt. Your hints at your background seems to paint a picture that you had a life that tend give the probability that you would encounter some people over the years who would treated you better than one would assume for one who reach this world view (which sounds like absolutely nothing along with a dysfunctional and abusive family that you barely escaped).

      • waking_up
        August 7, 2011 at 12:13 am | #3

        Its about the critical mass of the impressions made on you – sure, we all experience some kindness, but it is swamped by the overpowering tendency of this (ironically) humanistic civilization to dehumanize us. The happy-joy-optimism fluff of the past few centuries has been sloughed off by the grating reality of all the shit we see around us.

        As for going to college, sure it looks like good fortune, but really the best thing a perceptive person gets out of it is to realize that the supposedly intelligent are just scumbags; either mere dullards with a good memory, or dweebs who employ their intelligence selectively to exclude all realizations that are not to their animal advantage (i.e. comfort, career, sex). Think of this as the kind of college experience that is a precursor to the frame of mind described in this post.

        Humanity, cry for your lost innocence. ;)

    • DoesnotMatter
      August 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm | #4

      And I have no reason to feel anything but utter contempt for the likes of you

  2. August 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | #5

    hahaha Diablo,

    Next time your in canada, you can take a break from escorts and visit this place:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wreck_Beach

    just remember to put sunscreen on the lil’ Diablo….

  3. Anonymous
    August 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm | #6

    So to make a very long story short, you’re /b/

  4. Dreamer
    August 7, 2011 at 9:23 pm | #7

    @waking_up Okay, so you got a critical mass of shitty treatment that you and Dissension reach a point of misanthropy that you take pleasure of the deaths a thousands people? Your response did help give a clearer picture, but it still doesn’t describe what kind of treatment you received made you start to take pleasure in the suffering of random people. What is the grating reality of all the shit you see all around you? What have you seen differently that others have seen and commentated (the usual “all around shit” that people tend to point is things like war (from the news), poverty, and perhaps superficiality – other vices are less visible, so I’m not assuming you see betrayal, murder, malice, or things like that) that gave you the critical mass and not the others?

    The college point is used because it usually means that they come from a privileged enough position to have food, a home, some family and met different people as one grew up. While a few have a background of rising from a broken home, most usually have a stable background with memories of good old friends and likely have a family that cared enough to provide through the cost of college. You know – not being treated like shit… Your perception of how many people in college itself isn’t convincing. Many have cried the lack intelligentsia historically perceived, but instead a bunch of regurgitating robots who spend their weekends partying with no irony that they aren’t that special isn’t convincing. Yet didn’t reached the same point as you or the OP did. Most of them – myself included – have memories of meeting good friends who treated me well (and I to them in return) along with shown care by other people.

    I do know one person in college who I pretty sure come out with a sense of misanthropy. First, I’m not saying you or the OP was this guy. I’m just bringing this up because I can fathom him if he came to the same conclusions of you guys. The man I knew was at heart a good person. But had a sense of hatred for basically everything. He was a heart a nerd (or was it geek – either way he loves playing Magic and gravitate towards that type of people), but when he speaks about them – he speaks with a sense of hatred rather than a self-aware irony of the flaws they come with them. His family seems to care for him enough to send him to college and offer to help pay the cost of anywhere he wants to live after he graduate and they did rush to help him when he was diagnosed with cancer in his sophomore year, but he hates is parents and his sister. The reasons for his sister is understandable (she was a slut and she took advantage of her parents). We never given any light on why he hates his parents. Anyways, the point of that description is he was a person who have a negative view of things and views his experiences negatively enough to be able to conclude your views. Justified or not (personally, it looks self-inflicted as he pushed all of us away). I’m not saying you are him, but you better have a better reasoning and experiences that made you reach your conclusions than his experiences. Which his experiences seems to stem more from his negative spin than actual negatives experiences.

    • waking_up
      August 8, 2011 at 2:55 am | #8

      Dreamer,

      I must admit that my comment was an instance of playing devil’s advocate for AD, because I can understand his perspective, but I don’t SUFFER from it. When I feel a similar way in real life, it is a superficial feeling that drifts through my ego, not something that touches my core. Protect your core from the dirt that the ego is forcibly exposed to by virtue of its direct participation in social life!

      I work hard to preserve my loving warmth deep inside, because we men should be ever-ready to extend a helping hand to other people that life brings into our orbit, if we judge that they deserve it.

      So rest assured, if we happen to meet in real life, I might not be the fastest friend you make, but I’ll watch your back if you’re cool.

      As for AD, I’m sure he’ll admit that he could easily neutralize one of his 6 preconditions to free himself from his schadenfreude – but he’s having too much fun being a grinch!

  5. Commander Shepard
    August 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm | #9

    I’m basically in agreement with you, AD. Society heaps shit on young men it’s only appropriate to reciprocate.

  6. DoesnotMatter
    August 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm | #10

    you….my exquisite bastard, are going to die in great fear. You lie when you say you don’t fear your own death. All you petty cowards are the same. You will die terrified and I will laugh at your terror

  1. August 14, 2011 at 1:10 am | #1
  2. August 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm | #2
  3. August 30, 2011 at 7:40 pm | #3

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