The German word “schadenfreude” is defined as deriving pleasure from the misfortune of others, and this week, following on the heels of Teresa and Joe Giudice’s indictments, a former “friend” of the Housewives of New Jersey showed all of us how deeply disturbing such a mindset can be. For three solid days, KimG has taken to Twitter, awakened by her crypt keepers, to spew some of the most vile and obnoxious sentiments regarding the matter. Evil delight is what comes to mind when you read her vitriol, with a heavy emphasis on evil.
There’s nothing to be gained by repeating them here. Most of us who follow reality shows and the news about the Giudices already know about her messages. To garner even more attention, she linked her gleeful missive to bloggers and other websites, including one run by her partner in crime, someone by the name of Tom Murro. I have no idea who Murro is, but it appears as if he fancies himself a journalist. He runs a website called “Celebrity Magnet”, which is full of pictures of him with all sorts of celebrities, big names and small, looking like he was running all over the place, photo-bombing people at various events. His bio, which I found at examiner.com, reads as follows – “Tom Murro was once just an ordinary guy from New Jersey, until the fateful day he met President Barack Obama, and discovered that he had the unlikely power to attract celebrities like a magnet. Using his magnetic powers only for good, he will share his celebrity experiences and photos right here…” See that, he’s using his magnetic powers only for good. I think he forgot about that.
We’ve seen a lot of bad blood between cast members on reality television, and a lot more grudge matches. Then there are times when even the worst enemies find a way to just shut up and let things play out without piling on more misery, and, perhaps, saving themselves from looking like even bigger fools. KimG and her bestie Tom haven’t gotten that message or perhaps they got a memo from Jill Zarin on how to trash people even when they’re no longer a part of your life and are going through rough times. It’s ironic, in a way, that these two find themselves in such a lofty position, one which entitles them to sit in judgment and wish the most awful things on other people, mocking and laughing at a situation that will, in time and in due course, have its’ own real and life-changing consequences. Apparently the houses of Granatell and Murro are made of glass, they’ve lived their lives free of any flaws or misdeeds and they’ve been busy, gathering stones for a very long time.
As Granatell and Murro seem to think that their words matter, I found an interview from 2011*, given by KimG to Murro, in which she talked about her departure from the New Jersey franchise. She talks about how life has dealt her some bad hands of her own, finding out that she had brain cancer and the death of her mother, things that make most of us more introspective and understanding of other people’s problems. Instead, it looks as if she’s done nothing but dwell on whatever she perceives to be insult and injury suffered at the hands of her former cast-mates. It’s a bad, sad and bitter place to live, and one almost feels sorry for her mostly self-inflicted misery.
One philosopher called schadenfreude the most evil sin of human feeling, noting that envy is human but savoring schadenfreude is devilish. Not so surprisingly, it often occurs when people favor one political party over another and find themselves reveling in the foibles of a politician they dislike or disagree with. Scientists have studied schadenfreude – how and why people let it take them over. Their findings revealed evidence that it’s a combination of things which allow such feelings to rear their ugly heads. Brain waves showed that the part of the brain that controls empathy (come to think of it, those were some of the same things used to describe psychopaths and serial killer on “Dexter”) might be awry. There are also signs that people who feel lesser than, with low self esteem can experience it. Another paper talked about how someone can be envious of their target of schadenfreude. It’s all above my head, but it sounds as if it’s a real form of mental illness and one that can and should be treated. Or you end up being KimG.
All of us who follow reality TV have an opinion on the Giudices’ legal woes. That’s normal and natural, and the genre invites it. Outside of a few comments on Twitter, among other social media sites, the vast majority of people are not hoping that Teresa and Joe “rot in jail”, as KimG wished on them. I’d save that sentiment for someone like Ariel Castro, perhaps, someone who’s crimes are so awful that they leave one speechless and defy all rationale. For this particularly depraved man, it’s also a wish that’s going to come true – without any interference or assistance from us.
I know that KimG and Murro won’t give a rat’s patoot about what I have to say. This is the response she had for tweeps who asked her to cut it out –
@Kimgranatell I’M AS RICH AS SHIT –YOU CAN ALL KISS MY ASS!! HAHA!
Obviously, these two operate from a place that also defies reason. I only have one wish for them – that they’d take a moment to stare into the nearest mirror and see how they look right now. It ain’t pretty.
*This is her entire interview: http://www.examiner.com/article/kim-granatell-moves-on-from-the-housewives