inspired by the morning commute. Everyone in the northeast knows what this morning's drive to work was like- as we used to say when we were kids, H. R. Muck&stuff. 99% of the commuters were being careful and responsible, but in a city of a million people, 1% is a lot of troublemakers.
Driving my beloved to work, on the way up we- and almost everybody else- were doing about 30 in a 45, which was right at the limit of sanity... but zooming along in the left lane was a Lexus SUV, doing at least 50, spraying the rest of us with brown, salty slush. Now, I'm not a road-rage kind of guy, but I genuinely regretted that I was too busy driving and using the windshield washer to spare a hand flipping the bird. Then, on the way home, the same thing happened again, with the perpetrator being a Cadillac Escalade. But coming up to a stop light, the Escalade slid in the intersection and brushed another vehicle that was stopped in the intersection patiently waiting for his chance to turn left... this other vehicle was a snow plow, and the blade opened up the side of the Escalade the length of the vehicle.
Nobody was hurt; the airbags of the Escalade didn't even go off- the only result was many thousands of dollars of damage done to the Escalade. (no damage was done to the plow blade) I laughed like a maniac. But then I was ashamed of my laughter. Which made me wonder...
Is it schadenfreude if the other whose misfortune you're enjoying is a dick? I mean, after all, one could argue that what he suffered was not misfortune, but well-earned consequences. Is it OK to enjoy brutal karma, or is the enjoyment unworthy irrespective of the cause of his suffering?
A further thought is that this question is related to another one: is a snarky comment still snarky if it's true? I've never resolved that one, either.