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.