SHADES of schadenfreude, whether it loves it or not, misery has got company. The international tragedy involving the implosion of a privately-owned submersible, resulting in the instant deaths of billionaires on board, has become the latest internet fodder for trolls everywhere.
And cruel as they often are, this continuous barrage of memes that have flooded social media has only proven that again, like piranhas in the water, most people just lie in wait for prey before they go on a frenzy.
A social scientist dreams of this one, is this just one way where people nowadays openly display their pent-up disgust for other social classes’ indulgences or excesses? At the moment, this seems prevalent everywhere in the world, where the public has shown disdain for leaders and the ruling class in the face of hardship.
But returning to the recent events, even as the decent gene that dwells in each of us may vehemently cry foul at this widespread grossness, let us never forget a milder dose exists inside each and every one, as well.
Who among us is not without even a tinge of guilty pleasure whenever the competing team that had earlier thrashed our favorite home team is eventually beaten in the end? At its worst, we’ve even local terms for this kind of sentiment, ‘merese’ and ‘buti nga,’ loosely translatable as ‘serves you right,‘ all orbiting around the overall concept of karma.
While many might just as well dismiss this whole thing of sub memes and I-told-you-so’s analyses as nothing but just a passing fancy, the reality is another incident in the future is sure to take its place, and the game of trolls begins again. Dismissively or not, the delight, be it great or small, derived from other people’s misfortunes or humiliation might perhaps be part of our shortcomings and shameful weakness as humans.
Looking back at history, it’s still difficult to wrap one’s head around the thought that, at one time, Christians were fed to wild animals or Jews were herded and gassed inside ovens. While these are but two dark pages in our overall story, it is without any doubt many more exist we might not be aware of. For one, wars still exist to this day, and not much of what’s going on is fully documented. There are even some insinuations that, perhaps, the truth is intentionally hidden from us. Be that as it may, the more important thought that others can actually regale at such tragedies and struggles by others takes the cake.
A friend I’ve talked to at length on the sunken sub and the loss of lives said, “The sad part of it all is that these people have families, too.” I added that what’s sadder still is the fact that until whatever misfortune befell others happens to us, it’s only then that we feel a bit of empathy.
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