Schadenfreude: Clowns Running Circus

This past year and a half feels like a journey to the depths of human depravity.

What do I mean by that, exactly?

Well, first let’s look at the definition of schadenfreude. It is a lovely, concise German word that means malicious joy at someone else’s misfortune. In other words, elation at another person’s suffering.

Because of COVID-19, people are dying and suffering. People are scared, terrified.

Those in charge of leading us are supposed to guide us, protect us, and serve us. Instead, it appears that clowns have taken over the circus. With large feet (inflated egos) they prance before us with self-aggrandizing arrogance and hubris.

The media who is supposed to be the purveyors of facts gleefully distort information that the rest of us rely on for our very existence, when it comes to this pandemic. We need to know the truth; sadly, it all appears to be a distortion no matter which media outlet is spewing their version of the details we need in order to make informed decisions.

There are those who take malicious joy in wishing ill will to those who have decided to wait for FDA approval before taking the vaccine.

Truth is that we are all in this together. Unfortunately, we are being pitted against each other.

Perhaps, if early on, the clowns hadn’t juggled the truth, tossed it in the air, and stomped on it with there oversized clown shoes, more people would be less hesitant to take that step to get vaccinated.

If, perhaps, the other clowns would cease from their bi-polar pontificating from their high wire above their audience, and get down to business and approve the allegedly life-saving medicines, people would more readily step forward and pay attention to the clowns.

Unfortunately, the clowns continue to spin their bumper cars in circles, crash into each other, stumble out with new playbills that say “do this this week; no, you don’t have to do that anymore. Wait! You gotta do this. No, wait! Don’t. . . “

COVID-19 is real. People are dying and suffering. This should not be politicized. It is not about what political party a person is affiliated with. It is about human life that can be lost, and/or damaged.

While the clowns compete with each other for the spotlight, and spout out nonsensical gibberish, and feast on the fear that they cruelly create, real human beings are dying, sinking into depression, giving into fear and the despair that comes with that fear.

Malicious joy at another person’s suffering is evil. Plain and simple.

What is needed is compassion. What is needed are leaders who will lead. What is needed is a media that reports the truth rather than making their words a political agenda.

It appears that the clowns revel in pitting their audience against each other.

This is not a competition. Let’s extend compassion to those who are afraid. Fact is, we are all afraid.

Let’s do better as human beings. Let’s be kind. Let’s let the clowns know that we are not pleased with their performance by demanding the truth rather than words being juggled, tight wire hysteria antics, and bungling shoe tripping.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2021

Photo by Pixabay on

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I am a published poet and short story writer. I have been published in SNHU's the penmen review. is the link where you can find my poetry and a short story. Previously, I self-published my novel "Bully Another Day," "Short Stories and Vignettes", and a poetry book "Spaces between the Pause" on Amazon/Kindle. Due to abysmal interest in my self-publishing venture, I have unpublished those three projects, as well as my poetry book "Life at the End of the Rainbow." However, I plan to be more aggressive in trying to find a traditional publisher for these projects.

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