You Are Dumb, which is not a blog, posts new columns every weekday, except for a couple of days each month when it doesn't. It is also a Twitter feed, @youaredumb, with content in a similar vein but much shorter. My spinoff food site, Forkbastard, can be found easily enough by the clever.
February 19th, 2015
Memo to certain people who've fallen on hard times: YOUR TROUBLES ARE KIND OF FUNNY.
Schadenfreude, or taking joy in the pain of others, is a tricky emotion, which is why I enjoy it so much. It's a tricky thing to experience and still be a decent human being. There have to be certain elements in place for it to work - the damage needs to be self-inflicted, with an element of irony. Ideally, the bad things would happen to a person with a history of being an awful person. And then there's a tricky element of proportionality. Let's explore different amounts of schadenfreude in SPASTIC TOPIC SCHADEN FRIDAY!
Closest to the line comes the case of Christina Bond, a low-level GOP official in Michigan. On New Year's Day, Bond was having a difficult time getting her gun to fit properly into its bra holster. Already, we have the elements of tragicomedy in place. Guns, boobs, the Midwest. The gun, of course, accidentally discharged while she was fiddling with it, because that's what guns do.
Unfortunately, despite the NRA's propaganda to the contrary, guns do in fact kill people, and the accidental discharge was fatal. And this is where proportionality sets in. Wounding yourself while fiddling with the gun in your bra holster would be inescapably funny. Dying from it, while potentially good for the gene-pool long term, puts a damper on the schadenfreude short term. Doesn't wipe it out entirely, because BRA HOLSTER, but still.
On the other hand, Vanilla Ice getting caught with a house full of stolen goods? Goods he stole from a house next to a house he was renovating as part of his second career as a home renovator and occasional renovation-show host? That's fucking hilarious.
I mean, don't get me wrong. It'd be even funnier if Vanilla Ice were an even worse person, of course. As crimes against humanity go, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II rap and "Vanilla Ice Goes Amish" (real thing, look it up because I know you don't believe me) aren't, you know, Kissinger-level stuff. But how bad a celebrity renovator do you have to be to need to supplement your income with stolen bikes? Of course, now I want to see the saddest Oceans 11 ripoff ever, where Ice gathers fellow celebovators Darryl Hall, Bronson Pinchot, William Shatner, and Jennie Garth to steal a priceless first-generation XBox 360 from a neighbor's kid's room.
Every bad thing that happens to Tucker Carlson is funny. Any bad things that may happen to Tucker Carlson in the future will also be funny. Tucker Carlson is awful. And not just politically different awful or morally awful. He's also really bad at running a news website.
Recently, Carlson's news site caught some heat for an article carrying the headline "Kill All The Jews And When That Is Done Kill Those That Refused To Defend Them". This is a ridiculous headline conceptually, and an even more ridiculous headline just from a basic headline writing level. I mean, there ought to be at least one fucking comma in there somewhere and also it probably shouldn't mention killing all the Jews.
When sort of apologizing and sort of explaining how such a thing could have slipped through the cracks, Carlson gave an explanation of the editorial oversight at the Daily Caller that even my 2015 standards strikes me as incredibly shoddy. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!
"I don't know. We've got over 50 people here. He was hungover or something... I assume the editor was hungover, but I don't know. I literally have no idea."
You know what's really not that difficult at all? Having at least some idea of what the 50 or so people who you trust to run the shitty news site to keep that sweet, sweet survival seed and condo management software ad money. Maybe you should stop doing whatever it is you think you should be doing and RUN THE THING YOU SAY YOU RUN. You fucking buffoon.