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Schadenfreude

So, this week a fairly big celebrity, who happens to go by the initials JB got himself into more legal trouble. It was seemingly another nail in the coffin sealing his reputation as an entitled brat, bad boy, miscreant, or whatever other term may be most appropriate.

Several commentators have stated that JB’s fall was predictable or inevitable. What else could one have expected of a very young man who rose so quickly to fame, wealth and notoriety before he had a driver’s licence or reached the age of voter eligibility? Even the strongest of individuals, from the best and most supportive families would have difficulty with the laser-like focus of fans and media examining each move, each step, from album to merchandise sales and beyond.

There’s no excuse for JB’s behaviour or the behaviour of any other young celebrities who believe they are above the law or who think that their fame or riches make them greater than the rest of us mere mortals, or “civilians” as some celebrities like to call the non-famous. What he did was wrong, reckless, and quite frankly, disgusting and embarrassing to watch.

Although it might not be as egregious, what is also terrible to watch is the glee with which many have reported the latest events. One can see on people’s faces and hear in their voices, a sense of pleasure at JB’s misfortune. Yes, he brought it on himself and he is responsible for how he conducts his life – and unfortunately he’s made some poor choices, some of which could have endangered other people’s lives – but it doesn’t give the rest of us license to enjoy watching someone’s life implode. Is what he did wrong? Yes, absolutely and he should receive the same treatment as anyone in a similar situation. But should I, or anyone else take joy in someone else’s fall or misfortune? For me, the answer is no.

Signing off,

Y.

Schadenfreude
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