August 31, 2007

Schadenfreude Friday: Definitional Issues

The dictionary definition of schadenfreude may be satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune but I think we can all agree that an alternative definition would be the hilarity that ensures when a politician whips it out in an airport bathroom. I doubt Larry Craig, the esteemed and sexually adventurous senator from Idaho, would agree. He was arrested, plead guilty to a minor charge, was put on probation and charged $575 for the offense - "sexual misconduct" which was described as propositioning a policeman (oops). Which was really a shame. I hear that in Minneapolis, you can get yourself a night with twin midget transexuals and a goat for $575.

Of course two of Leona Helmsley's grandkids may argue over that definition. Instead, they'd probably propose something along the lines of the feeling other people have when they see that our dead grandmother loved her dog more than us. That would be accurate too. See, the Queen Of Mean real estate billionaire recently croaked and left $12 million to her dog, Trouble. But two of her grandkids didn't pocket a dime. This lunacy is compounded by the fact that she left her chauffeur a hundred grand. Not to speak ill of the dead...but what a bitch.

Lauren Upton might quibble with that take on schadenfreude. She'd probably define it as having to answer an idiotic question any five year old could answer yet not quite having the three brain cells it takes to get the answer out. When asked a relatively simple question, Ms. Upton - a contestant in the recent Miss Teen USA beauty pageant - got her stupid on. Take a look.

Question: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?

Answer: I personally believe... that U.S. Americans are unable to do so... because...uh... some people out there in our nation don't have maps...and... uh... I believe that our education, like such as in South Africa and... uh... the Iraq, everywhere, like, such as...and I believe that they should...our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S... uh...or, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian we will be able to build up our future... for our children.

Upton landed the third runner-up spot but she's first in my book. As soon as the tiara is made, I'm crowing you Miss Teen Schadenfreude USA, Lauren. Wear it proud!

Posted by Chris at August 31, 2007 7:06 AM

A post with Goats and Midgets. Yes!

Posted by: William at August 31, 2007 8:13 AM

I could not believe the "Teen Queen". What the heck are they (or aren't they) teaching in our schools? And I wonder if she is one of those kids who just got passed because she was a kiss up to the teacher and pretty to look at?
After the reference to Goats and midgets, your keyword activity is sure to grow!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 31, 2007 8:21 AM

OMG....i bet she was blonde...(and i say that after "trying" blonde to cover my grey for fun)...and boy does it CHANGE EVERYTHING!... all i hear are blonde jokes...but then again...she has probably ALWAYS been in pagaents and even won a few... and they put them damn tiaras on so tight don'cha know? she has leaked way too many brain cells outta her ears!

Posted by: the unicorn at August 31, 2007 8:59 AM

Have you heard the taped discussion between Mr. David and the police officer? It seals his coffin I would say. It is like he talking about breakfast with the man, not that he has been accused of propositioning a lewd act in the bathroom of a midwestern airport... Ack...

I posted that story on my blog because it just cracked me up. I think she just wanted to be a bitch from the grave. Like her last hoorah.

And why does the beauty queen thing not surprise me - have you ever watched MTV?

Posted by: Christina at August 31, 2007 9:13 AM

I totally agree with Lauren. We should all learn how to identify the United States on a world map. You know, for our children.

Posted by: Stephanie at August 31, 2007 9:23 AM

Many people (myself included) think that Miss South Carolina actually said "Osama" instead of "some" in that first sentence, and then tried to cover it up by following it up with the phrase "people out there...."

I feel bad for her - she obviously spent a few weeks being coached and training for all sorts of important global-issue questions, and forgot to focus on the "local" issues. That being said, she finished 3rd runner up, so how do you think the girls who ended up below her felt?

Posted by: Ross at August 31, 2007 9:28 AM

U.S. Americans? As oppposed to some other kind of Americans? So...if American kids can't find their own country on a map, how in the world can we help those in Iraq? Oh that what they're doing at Gitmo? Teaching them about maps?
And...uh...Lauren? Do you really think Asian kids need our help in school? Have you ever met any Asian kids in school? Maybe not since you obviously never made it out of the remedial classrooms, but those kids (many of whom live with parents who don't speak English)probably outscored you on the SAT by many hundreds of points.

Oh my God...I need to lie down.

Posted by: wordgirl at August 31, 2007 9:33 AM

my most favorite part is that she called it "the iraq"

Posted by: ali at August 31, 2007 10:06 AM

The fact that she finished third...I mean, really. What does that say about the rest of the teen female population on the stage? Or, for that matter, about the judges? Sweet merciful Lord, the judges!!

And what's scarier? Were you ever to be prosecuted by our flawless legal system, these would be the peers on your jury. Heh. HA! LET'S START DRINKING!!

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at August 31, 2007 10:12 AM

What kind of goats and what does $650 get me? hahaha..

You know I used to think that beauty queens were stupid...

Posted by: Nat at August 31, 2007 10:12 AM

It's unfortunate that everybody now thinks Miss Teen SC is a complete retard. I'm from there and one of my friends knows her personally, and says that she is very smart, she just REALLY screwed that one up.

Posted by: Stephanie at August 31, 2007 10:13 AM

The video of her reply was awesome. You could see her little brain working overtime to somehow bring it around to world peace, you know, for the children. And the host was beaming with joy at her stupidity! It was supremely awesome.

Posted by: Elaine at August 31, 2007 10:15 AM

Ugh, my husband keeps playing that pageant video and it makes me cringe every time. Especially the part about US Americans and "the Iraq"

Posted by: donna at August 31, 2007 10:36 AM

Naughty boys like Larry shouldn't cast stones...

Posted by: Johnny Smoke at August 31, 2007 10:38 AM

and lo, it was a good week for schadenfreude.

Posted by: kalisah at August 31, 2007 10:48 AM

I wish someone would leave one of my dogs $12 million...

Posted by: sue at August 31, 2007 10:50 AM

Hell yeah I'd leave money to my dog before some of my nephews! They're going to be pissed when hobbitt and I die. We're leaving it to folks who loved us and showed it, and to several worthy organizations. Point is, it's mine to do with as I please. It belongs to no one else. I earned it, and no one else has a "right" to it.

But Leona really was was a bitch.

Posted by: bhd at August 31, 2007 11:12 AM

It's simply impossible to be that scorching hot and have more than two brain cells to rub together.

So hot and soooo very dumb.

Posted by: Brad at August 31, 2007 12:35 PM

Ok, I'm letting the Minneapolis crack go. ;)

As for Miss 3rd Runner Up, given that most people in the U.S. are more frightened of public speaking than death, and this young woman was in front of several million people, are you all THAT surprised she choked? I mean, yes, it was a horrible answer. But it's like when you forget the words to a song you're supposed to sing. And you just sit there and try to come up with ANYTHING. Except it's captured on YouTube and everyone makes fun of you.

Yes, she's pretty, but even ugly people screw up from time to time.

Speaking from experience. ;)

Posted by: alektra at August 31, 2007 12:39 PM

Ms. Teen USA should have answered that question this way: "Uh... A fifth of Americans can not, uh... locate the U.S.A. on a map, uh... for the same reason that I, uh... can not... uh, answer this question... Because, it appears, uh... that we are dumb. Very, very dumb. Uh... yeah. World peace!"

Posted by: GreenCanary at August 31, 2007 1:24 PM

I can't explain why but I found the Upton answer very funny when I saw the clip.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: Maria at August 31, 2007 1:35 PM

Well Chris, as you know, I'm from Idaho. Idaho has always been a traditionally Republican state. The Democrats and other political parties here are having a field day with this news. It just makes me sick because he knew what to do, he's obviously done propositioning like this before. And now that he has a lawyer he's back peddaling big time to save face and his political (ass) career. The republicans in our state have been schmarmy, holier than thou god and country good ol boys n gals for a while. This is certainly going to shake up things. I truly feel sorry for his wife and kids though, and what they'll will be going through the next couple of months or longer.

Posted by: Lisa at August 31, 2007 2:36 PM

Miss Teen Schadenfreude USA? CLASSIC! Totally deserving!

She is NEVER going to live that down, is she? ;) But, at least she got on the Today Show and is totally famous now...! Ahh, the things that make people famous these days....

Posted by: Haley-O at August 31, 2007 3:23 PM

She got third place?! Then it's true. The world really is getting stupider. Have you seen "Idiocracy" yet? RENT IT.

Posted by: Tink at August 31, 2007 4:38 PM

The websites of these teen pageants declare that:

"These women are savvy, goal-oriented and aware."

"Our program is an excellent vehicle for young ladies, who are recognized as the elite women of today and tomorrow."

Why don't the pageant directors just admit what the pageant is REALLY about and cut out the question and answer period entirely?

Posted by: Janet at August 31, 2007 5:36 PM

I am so sorry I clicked that Larry Craig link. Now I have horrible visions of a creepy old man peeping through the stall at someone.

Heebie Jeebies!

Posted by: krystyn at August 31, 2007 5:37 PM

The morning radio DJs totally ripped on the Teen Queen all week. I thought her answer was both hilarious and appalling at the same time (I'm a teacher, you know).

I also heard some snippets from Larry Craig's interrogation. Rather funny as well. The detective told Craig that he was good at spotting liars because he dealt with them frequently... and the senator responded that he, too, works with a lot of liars. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: ironic1 at August 31, 2007 5:55 PM

I don't know what's worse..the fact that 1/5 of American's can't find the US on a map.....or Ms. Upton.


Happy Labor Day!!

Posted by: Isabel at August 31, 2007 6:06 PM

Actually, the $575 for the midgets and the goat is only for tourists to Minneapolis. We locals know where to get a much better deal.

Posted by: julie at August 31, 2007 10:32 PM

Oh Gawd. Go watch the video if you haven't already! It was painful to watch, no? I had to watch it though my fingers.....and then go do a crossword puzzle pencil of course!

Posted by: bethany at September 2, 2007 8:21 PM

Can any of you americans locate Norway on a map?

I bet I would do better than most of you in naming and finding countrys on a map, and I only have my high school geografi to fall back on.

Posted by: Anette at September 3, 2007 4:29 AM

I'd say Miss Upton gets the "quote of the year" award as well.

Happy Labor Day!

Posted by: coolchick at September 3, 2007 8:03 AM