Schadenfreude \SHOD-n-froy-duh\, noun: Malicious satisfaction obtained from the misfortunes of others. Schadenfreude comes from the German, from Schaden, "damage" + Freude, "joy." It is often capitalized, as it is in German. – Dictionary.com
The recent troubles of Congressman Patrick Kennedy have brought this word to Porcupine’s mind. Bleary eyed and staggering, “young” (can we still call a 38 year old a ‘fresh faced politician’ as David Wedge of the Herald did on WBZ?) ‘Patches’ Kennedy crashed his car, without headlights on at 2:45 a.m., into a security barrier at the U.S. Capitol, and emerged from his second car crash in a three-week period asserting that he was late for a vote. Has that happened before – Legislating Under the Influence? While the D.C. Police have been formally disciplined for the incident for preventing the officers on the scene from administering a field sobriety test, Kennedy stoutly asserts that he didn’t ask for any special treatment. Indeed, he may not have, as Porcupine would imagine that pouring various Kennedys into cruisers for special rides home is a forty year old tradition in Washington, D.C. that has evolved into standard practice. Now, he is off to the Mayo Clinic, again, after his Christmas stay there, to get dried out and possibly avoid all that messy Twelve Step junk that would involve taking a fearless and searching moral inventory and making amends to those hurt. No, let’s just see what the latest in monkey glands can do instead. Otherwise, making amends to the people of Rhode Island might involve a resignation. Or surrendering his license before he kills somebody.
Contrast this with the media’s treatment of Rush Limbaugh when he was shown to be an Oxycontin addict.
This week, the ultra-liberal Blue Mass Group chose to resurrect the Limbaugh matter (timing is everything, isn’t it?). Follow this link, or read these comments:
Porcupine has never been a big Limbaugh fan. He prefers the rapier to the sledgehammer (or the threshing machine that is Savage Nation!) Still, six or so years ago, Rush was a novelty and amusing. Then he became Conservative Satan, as outlined in the insipid book by Al Franken (did you know you can get a copy for $1.67 on Amazon.com?) and subject of a campaign to force him off Armed Forces Radio. He was too compelling! He might change minds! WHY does he have listeners when Air AmeriKa can’t stay on the air without stealing from children?
Let's be sure always to emphasize that he's a hypocritical, unsympathetic to all forms of human weakness, lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key, screw-the-poor drug addict. Most drug addicts are good or potentially good people.
I wonder what this little addiction has cost the [sic] pulic coffers? How much did insurance companies shell out in co-pays? How much did it
cost to investigate his crimes, arrest him, hold him, and prosecute him? Not only is he a [sic] crimminal drug addict, but he was sucking off the public teat to boot! Then again, he's white and rich. All is forgiven,
It's Okay If You're A Republican". applies to so many things!
Still, this was Limbaugh’s statement when he announced he was going off the air and into rehab:
"I am not making any excuses. You know, over the years athletes and celebrities have emerged from treatment centers to great fanfare and praise for conquering great demons.
"They are said to be great role models and examples for others. Well, I am no role model. I refuse to let anyone think I am doing something great here, when there are people you never hear about, who face long odds and never resort to such escapes.
"They are the role models. I am no victim and do not portray myself as such. I take full responsibility for my problem.”
Compare that with Flo Jonek on WBZ gushing that Kennedy checking himself into rehab is “his own Portrait in Courage”. Or with Kennedy’s own statement on his problem:
"Of course, in every recovery, each day has its ups and downs, but I have been strong, focused and productive since my return…I simply do not remember getting out of bed, being pulled over by the police, or being cited for three drivingYes, now that’s admitting we were powerless over alcohol/drugs - that our lives had become unmanageable.
One of these figures is a United States Congressman and the other is a Radio Talk Show Host. Porcupine asks – which was in the more responsible position, and which deserves the greater castigation? Both Right and Left can enjoy Schadenfreude over these scandals – but let us treat them each in an equitable fashion.
Click HERE for a link to The Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions of AA, the parent of a sobriety groups.