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Schadenfreude

I admit it.  I'm into schadenfreude.  I know it's not a psychologically or spiritually healthy pleasure, but having spent my entire childhood (and several major episodes during my adulthood) being abused by bullies, I can't help but take delight when the "karma's a bitch" equation completes itself and misfortune lands upon the head of someone who so richly deserves it.

 

Over at Uncensored we had a "recurring villain" who would show up from time to time and derail every thread he could wedge his keyboard into.  He went by the screen name "Curly Surmudgeon" and was pretty extreme about everything.  He'd frequently claim that anyone who isn't a militant atheist like him is clinically insane.  He'd force rather bizarre political views down everyone's throats and say very rude and disturbing things about anyone who tried to steer the discussion back on course.  He was a tinfoil hatted lunatic who ran OpenBSD.  When he was asked to leave he screamed about censorship.  Insults flew in every direction, and when someone randomly called him a pedophile he suddenly came completely unhinged and started threatening to sue everyone involved for defamation of character.

A few years later we have just discovered that, as a matter of public record, he actually is a pedophile, having been arrested on some pretty serious child pornography charges.   I think that pretty much slams the door shut on any possible libel or slander lawsuits.  Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.  :)

There are limits to my schadenfreude, though.  Despite the delight of imagining his tinfoil-hatted head exploding after having a government-issued tracking device strapped to his ankle, I hope and pray that this incident will truly convict him and get him thinking, reflecting, etc. and eventually repent before he has to stand before the God that he spent his entire life trash-talking.

 

There's another bit of schadenfreude in my life right now, and it will culminate in a delightful celebration early next year.

As many of you know, I am a nerd.  I like computers, I hate sports.  I can play four instruments but I despise popular culture.  I'd rather have a chess board in front of me than a dance floor.  I can name all the characters on the original Star Trek but I could count the number of reality show characters whose names I know on one hand -- even if you cut my fingers off.

So it's no surprise that my childhood was pretty miserable.  I was unpopular, I was un-cool, I didn't get invited to parties, and I seldom had more than a handful of people I could truly call my friends.  My sister, on the other hand ... was a cheerleader.  She was popular and trendy and cool and had lots of friends.  We have always been opposites in every way; if we didn't have a Sebastian-and-Viola resemblance to each other I would really doubt that we were even really related.  But she was my sister, and she could be the one person who could give me some street cred, right?  The one person who could socially prop me up?

Nope.  Instead of helping me out, she made it worse.  She distanced herself from me as much as possible, assuming that I would be toxic to her reputation.  "Oh he's a total loser," she'd tell everyone.

Fast forward a few decades.  I now have a gorgeous wife, beautiful children, a nice house in the quiet suburbs, and a successful career.  What's she up to?  Well, let's just say that she still likes to "party like it's 1999."  In other words, she still acts like a 25 year old, hanging out with her friends and consuming way too much alcohol.  She doesn't have the things she really wants: a family and a meaningful career.  So it is no small pleasure for me to count down to her 40th birthday early next year. 

Turning 40, no husband, no kids.  Karma's a bitch, bitch.



Posted by IGnatius T Foobar on Thu Nov 28 2013 18:54:23 EST
28 comments | permalink
IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Thu Nov 28 2013 18:56:34 EST
(For those of you on the text client ... if you read this blog post with a web browser [ http://goo.gl/32XCCl ] you get to see one of those cute embedded countdown widgets)

dothebart  says:  Fri Nov 29 2013 07:29:14 EST
Hm, we should probably also think about those, whose life Curly seems to have made more miserable than yours.

zooer  says:  Sun Dec 01 2013 10:24:56 EST
It finally hit me. I thought you were a person that was bullied and turned into a bully. After reading your sister's story I realize what it is. You are bitter. You are bitter about all those years of abuse. Your life turned out pretty damn good, you have a lot to be happy and thankful for. Let the past go. Leave the bullied past in the past. You seem to be religious, take the higher road and forgive those who hurt you because you have over come all that teenage bullshit. Being bitter will do more damage than being bullied.

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Tue Dec 03 2013 14:06:54 EST
That's pretty much the whole picture. And it's the reason why the one thing that really makes me totally come unglued is seeing a bully win. Whether the bully is a child, an adult, or one-seventh of the global population, the bully needs to experience all twenty of the Top 20 Movie Deaths Of All Time simultaneously. Because I don't think bullies can be cured.

So yeah, I do carry around a lot of bitter. Some of it needs to go. On the other hand my grandfather spent most of his life simultaneously bitter and happy, he made it work somehow...

Shazam  says:  Thu Dec 05 2013 13:08:57 EST
All people are made in G-d's image, and even bullies can repent and change who they are. I know, it looks like most people don't see when their own character could use improvement or if they notice it just seems like too much work to try to change, but everyone here, in this world, has the ability and may at any time become a better person.
As long as a person is alive, don't give up hope. On anyone. Really, people do change and can. I know it sounds corny, but if you love them, you can help them become better. Because who is really going to help someone except for the people who love them.
People aren't garbage and you can't throw them out, even if their characters are garbage, their souls are from heaven, so start with that and pray for them

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Sat Dec 07 2013 13:39:51 EST
I've been thrown out like garbage. It was one of the bullying experiences I've had as an adult. The bully was eventually sent very far away. This is why I always say I never, ever, ever, ever lose a pissing contest. It may take years but I never lose.

Forgiveness is one thing. When the bully is still actively inflicting pain and shows no sign of stopping it's a slightly different problem...

Shazam  says:  Sat Dec 07 2013 21:54:48 EST
Yes, well, that is different. If the bully in question won't stop and doesn't even want to or try to, you have to separate from them as much as possible.


IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Mon Dec 09 2013 11:55:43 EST
Correct. So when will Israel be launching the nukes?

Shazam  says:  Mon Dec 09 2013 12:12:34 EST
I don't know, you read the news a lot more than I do, so. What's going on in the world? Has it gotten any better? Why is that always funny? Isn't possible, at all, for the world to get better? Are my options still either be a realist or close my eyes and ears and be an optimist? I'm told repeatedly that I have to think positive, but I still haven't figured out how to do that and remain with the real world.

On the plus side, it is STILL sunny and joyful in Shazamland. Come visit. Bring your drugs, it helps.

It suddenly occurs to me that I could drop out of my life entirely in favor of becoming a drug addict.

OK, in a strange mood again. I really should stop and get back to work.

mo  says:  Sun Mar 16 2014 07:09:12 EDT
It made me smile reading about your sister. :) And i understand this curly character must have been a toxic piece of work. But as soon as you mention peodophilia all i can think of is small people who have literally no chance of fighting back, for many years at least, so i wish he really wasn't getting arrested for that; one less evil person in the world. Getting his wrists cuffed for whatever else, especially something trumped up, or by someone he has been bullying, seems like just deserts! I think we all look at the world in our own way, and it obvious that we all have a distorted view of the world and our fellow beings. My own outlook on the world has changed the more people i have met, and especially since i got a computer for the first time in 2007 i think. I fondly remember my school years, but we all got bullied, but not in a severe way, you know, the pecking order thing. As soon as we left at age 16 to 18 we nearly all cast off those childish ways. people who don't turn into little Golems i think lol :D

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Mon Mar 24 2014 07:51:06 EDT

I'm done with the thing about my sister at this point. I decided to make Schadenfreude Day (2014-jan-11) a point of closure for that. I essentially "won" and she now lives so far away that nothing further is going to happen.

Curly, on the other hand, is beyond description. He is just so incredibly toxic that it defies description. And I agree with you, feeling sorry for whatever number of children he has abused. At the time we thought it was just a random insult (I don't even remember who was the first person to toss it out there) but the degree to which he instantly became unhinged just surprised everyone. To discover that he was *actually* a pedophile was shocking. It was downright surreal.

I'm not proud of my schadenfreude but I have to admit it's extremely satisfying.
Call it a guilty pleasure for now. I know I need to let some of it go. It's easy when there's closure (as is the case with the two examples above). It's not so easy when the bully essentially "got away with it" and feels no remorse.

mo  says:  Sat May 17 2014 05:24:31 EDT
Schadenfreude Day! :D I like it, it's a good idea. January seems like a good time for such things, like the viking longship they burn in January in the Shetland Islands for the uphellyaa festival. B)

jakov  says:  Sun Sep 06 2015 05:20:51 EDT
Yes, bitterness is called ... bitter, because the bitter taste is the cue from the body that something is toxic. So, don't intoxicate yourself, at least not too much. Great that your life turned out well!

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Fri Jun 03 2016 08:16:07 EDT
Part 1: (text/x-markdown) (243 bytes)

(text/x-markdown, 249 bytes) [ View | Download ]
IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 11:40:59 EDT
In case anyone's still interested in the denouement of the Curly saga...

[ https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/pr/sacramento-man-found-guilty-receipt-child-pornography ]

[ https://www.justice.gov/usao-edca/file/868411/download ]

So he's very much behind bars at this point. I'm reading through some of the case notes. There's way more than just circumstantial evidence ... despite the schadenfreude of our biggest-troll-of-all-time being sent down the river, I did have some concern over the possibility that the government could just plant some evidence on anyone who they found inconvenient ... but he had a large amount of data on at least ten different devices, organized in a way that made it clear he was deliberately maintaining a personal collection.
And it gets worse -- "This attribution evidence includes a letter to a woman regarding an automobile accident and a letter to an adult woman with whom Mitchell appears to have been pursuing a romantic relationship." So not only is he a pedophile, but he was also cheating on his wife in a more conventional way.

My wish for today is for all bullies to get the comeuppance they deserve.

Ragnar Danneskjold  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 12:10:21 EDT
I'm surprised he didn't run off to Argentina.

fleeb  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 12:29:18 EDT

The court is prepared to provide counselling for staff and jurors having to view the stuff in the course of convicting him, regarding it as 'trauma'.

There was so much of it, the court felt it necessary to not use all of it to prosecute him (ostensibly because it would make everything take unnecessarily longer).

"...the government's theory is the videos are so graphic, so obviously child pornography that it is unbelievable that there could be thousands of these images sorted and organized across ten different devices in the defendant's office and garage, without his knowledge."

Gads.

It looks like the government prepared for him to pin all of it on this other guy who used to be a friend. How he could attempt such a defense, based on what you can read in those documents, I have no idea.

LoanShark  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 13:46:58 EDT

LoanShark  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 13:47:18 EDT
oops. fat fingered in the text client.

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 13:51:06 EDT
As I've said before, if it weren't for the fact that there were victims -- and child victims at that -- the whole thing would be a non-stop laughfest.
Instead it simply gets more and more surreal. As surreal as it is, though, none of it is surprising; everything in the case notes is consistent with the Curly we all came to know and dread. I'm sure he has a line of "former friends" a mile long. We know some of them. For him to have large amounts of kiddie porn on ten different devices, and then try to blame the whole thing on a friend who supposedly owns a book that was stored in the rafters of his garage, is rather pathetic, but consistent with the pattern of behavior we came to expect.

Yes, it's a train wreck and I can't look away. But I admit that the guilty pleasure of schadenfreude is there as well.

LoanShark  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 13:54:30 EDT

I've probably mentioned this before, but at one point he emailed me something that was basically explosive diarrhea porn. Yes, really. So none of this surprises me.

Ragnar Danneskjold  says:  Tue Nov 01 2016 14:30:17 EDT
Does anyone remember who it was who first called him a child molester here?

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Wed Nov 02 2016 06:28:07 EDT
Heh. Could have been any of us. I don't remember who, but random insults were being thrown in every direction (kind of a predecessor to the "everyone is Hitler" stuff we do now, but with a little more malicious intent).

And to think ... he was going to sue us all for defamation and lay claim to our domain name.

fleeb  says:  Wed Nov 02 2016 08:45:46 EDT

I don't recall who called him that, but his reaction could remind you of Shakespear: "Methinks she doth protest too much."

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Wed Nov 02 2016 15:37:42 EDT
EXACTLY. Thought of that right away.

IGnatius T Foobar  says:  Wed Nov 22 2017 14:05:44 EST

For those still enjoying the schadenfreude, or just find it enteraining, or are curious:

[ http://tinyurl.com/curly-surmudgeon ]

This is the documentation of the final judgment, sentencing, conditions, etc. It's basically the worst possible outcome for someone like our old friend Curly who found everything about a government-run Big Brother to be reprehensible.
Here are some highlights:

* Sentenced to 10 years. Remanded to US Marshal at time of sentencing.
* Must submit to government DNA collection.
* Must register as a sex offender.
* After release from prison, he will spend the rest of his life on parole.
* While on parole, must remain employed full time unless excused by parole officer. (Given his age, this will likely be excused.)
* Cannot own or possess firearms.
* Must undergo mental health treatment, partially at his own expense.
* May not own a computer, or access any online service ("bulletin board systems" are explicitly included!) unless required for work, in which case the computer must be fitted with government monitoring software.

Truly a fitting end for the most notorious troll ever to cross our screens.
As always, I only regret that there may have been victims who were impacted in a way far worse than those of us he encountered online.

Ragnar Danneskjold  says:  Wed Nov 29 2017 14:54:16 EST
Holy crap.

fleeb  says:  Tue Dec 05 2017 06:53:21 EST

That's interesting news. I'm guessing he tried to be his own lawyer, as I can't imagine any lawyer would have recommended he defend himself as he did.

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