10 Great Moments In Schadenfreude In 2014

Schadenfreude is a German word for the sense of joy one feels at someone else’s pain. Though it’s been a hell of a rough year, newswise, some pretty awful things have happened to awful people, and sometimes — let’s face it — it’s pretty nice to see. Better than the opposite at least. So here are some great moments in schadenfreude from the year 2014, lest anyone ever forget the time Rick Perry had a mugshot.

1. Gay Marriage Bans Being Overturned All Over The Country, Giving Bigots A Sad

In June of 2013, same-sex marriage was only legal in 12 states plus the District of Columbia. Now, in December of 2014, It’s officially legal in 36 states, plus D.C., and bans on it in most other states have been recently overturned. As of right now, only five states have not had their bans overturned, so it’s pretty safe to say that same-sex marriage will be legal across the country well before the end of next year. Suck it, bigots!

I am so happy for all the couples across the country who will now have the right to marry. I’m also incredibly delighted at the prospect of all their happy marriages ruining the days of bigots across the land. Seriously. I hope they cry themselves to sleep at night, convinced that their heterosexual marriages mean nothing. I hope they’re biting off their nails, terrified that we’re all going to take away their “freedom” to not bake cakes for gay people. I hope their days are ruined. I really do. Because they’re awful people–and if your day is ruined by other people having equal rights, then you deserve all the misery you get.

2. Rick Perry’s Mugshot

Oh! Oh! Let me tell you–I don’t have any tattoos, but were I to get one, it would definitely be one of Rick Perry’s mugshot. It was the highlight of my year. It was absolutely beautiful. It would only be better if he were wearing a cartoon-style stripey uniform and cap. Indicted on two felony charges of abuse of power, and he thinks he’s gonna be president. Isn’t that cute?

3. “Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas” Rated Worst Movie Ever On IMDB

Kirk Cameron tried to rally his supporters to give him great reviews on his weird movie about him winning the imaginary “War on Christmas.” What happened instead was those who think Kirk Cameron is ridiculous rallied together and gave his movie terrible reviews on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes. Which I think means we won the War on Christmas, whatever the hell that means.

4. “Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity” Turns Out To Probably Be Bullshit

For some reason, there will always be people who find it fashionable to have a disease, particularly one that insinuates fragility. In the 19th century, the disease of the moment was “consumption” (tuberculosis)–which caused people to become very thin and frail, with a pale face but often pinkish cheeks. Because of its association with bohemians, poets (Keats) and operatic heroines (La Traviata, La Boheme), people thought looking like you had tuberculosis would make people assume you were very deep.

The past few years, it has become especially fashionable to claim to have a sensitivity to gluten, but without having Celiac’s. Suddenly, our grocery stores are full of gluten-free option for those who claim the protein causes them to get indigestion or something, and people are gleefully pestering waitstaff about whether or not everything they want to eat has a gluten-free option, and generally not shutting up about gluten, ever. However, a study this year–which was actually performed by the scientist who first claimed there may be such a thing as Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity–showed that pretty much all Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a figment of one’s imagination. Whoops.

5. Dinesh D’Souza Pleads Guilty To Campaign Finance Violation

If Rick Perry hadn’t been indicted, this may have been my favorite moment of the year. It was just beautiful. Conservative author, filmmaker, activist and douchebag Dinesh D’Souza plead guilty to making illegal donations in other people’s names to the New York Senate campaign of Wendy E. Long, and was sentenced to a five year probation, community service and a $30,000 fine.

6. McDonald and Walmart are Flailing, But Costco Is Doing Great

This year has not been kind to companies that refuse to pay their workers a fair wage. McDonald’s profit margin was down 30 percent this fall from where it was last year, and Walmart hasn’t been doing too well either. Both companies have been targets in the fight for better wages, benefits and working conditions, and both companies have been fighting hard against all of those things. Costco, on the other hand, which pays its workers an average of $21 an hour, is doing just peachy. Who knows if these things are at all related, but it’s nice to see things working out positively for the company that’s doing right by its workers, and to see companies that treat their workers poorly not doing so well.

7. Drug-testing Of Welfare Recipients Turns Out To Be Massive Waste of Money

There are few things the Right cherishes like the idea that all the poor people are going out and buying all the drugs, King Crab legs and big screen TVs while living high on the hog off of the hard-earned money of U.S. taxpayers. This year, they decided to put all their suspicions up to scrutiny by spending lots and lots of money drug testing welfare recipients. They probably imagined that said suspicions would be confirmed, and that all the people on welfare would test positively for drugs, and no one would ever have to give poor people money for food ever again.

OH. Except it turned out to be the exact opposite. The state of Utah, for example, spent $30,000 drug testing welfare recipients, and only found 12. In Florida, which has a drug use rate of about 8%, the state found that only two percent of welfare recipients tested positive. In Tennessee, just one person did.

Which means that all these “fiscal conservatives” spent a shit ton of taxpayer money on some serious bullshit. Unfortunately, they haven’t learned their lessons yet, as Michigan Governor Rick Snyder just signed off on testing recipients in his state.

8. Barbra Streisand Beats The Shit Out Of Chris Brown … On The Charts

This, I found incredibly delightful. I enjoy the fact that a wannabe macho woman-beater like Chris Brown was so handily outdone by Barbra Streisand, of all people.

9. Redskins Owner Tries, Fails, To Elicit Twitter Support With #RedskinsPride Hashtag

Redskins owner Dan Snyder had hoped to rile up the nation in support of his team having a racial slur for a name, after Senator Harry Reid spoke out against it. It did not go well. It did not go well at all.

9. Fred Phelps Dies Alone And Miserable

I don’t like the idea of rejoicing at anyone’s death, but if anyone in the world deserved to die alone and miserable, it is Fred Phelps. In the last year he was alive, he was reportedly excommunicated from the Westboro Baptist Church, living in a nursing home with no one coming by to see him. He deserved that.