“Schadenfreude”

Oh, don’t we all know this? Don’t we all agree?

It doesn’t necessarily mean we’re evil. Sometimes painful things just look funny. Like slipping or tripping over something. And the Germans, God bless them, have a word for it! (No, I didn’t just find out and went to immediate “I NEED TO BLOG THIS!” mode, but I just felt like doing it.)

So, first thing. Definition.

And everyday life is just teeming with perfect examples! Here are a few:

  1. When a friend spills drinks/sauce/anything and have to mop it.
  2. When your friend’s couple gets a temper tantrum and your friend has to deal with it. (Not the serious ones that lead to fights and tears, though.)
  3. Someone gets hit by a random flying item and no blood sprouts out. There’s likely a mix of sympathy and gladness that it didn’t happen to you, resulting in rapid movement of air inside our bodies we call laughter.
  4. Taking someone’s stuff and watch them frantically look for it.
  5. Pranks. Self-explanatory. Pure, intended schadenfreude.

See what I mean? And if you don’t find these funny, you’re either too uptight or have a golden heart. I just hope you’re the latter.

I’m a BIG follower of schadenfreude. It’s how I get through life. It’s how I express gladness, that the bad things may happen to people around me I care about, but at least it’s not me. That’s the beauty of it. It shows a sense of selfishness. It’s a part of human nature we’re prone to.

As long as we don’t get hurt, it’s okay.

That’s why we react differently to things that happen to other people. One friend may be okay being teased for the way he/she looks, and you decide to join in the fun. He/she may be lightly offended, but it’s not serious. It’s just slightly annoying. You laugh it off together. No hard feelings. But some may take it to heart, and that’s when the funny stops, doesn’t it? It’s not schadenfreude anymore because at this point, you also feel pain looking at them being pained. Again, it’s selfish. You don’t find it funny because now you’re feeling pain too.

I’m not in the mood for gobbledygook right now, so let’s just cut this short.

You can’t get rid of schadenfreude. It’s useful human nature. It’s a way of expressing ourselves. It’s not always nice, but people just aren’t. Still, it has the power of making bad things seem better. Anyone who could take a laugh and laugh along with all the problems they’re facing is an awesome person. You can use it to measure how good people are. When things take a turn and stop being funny, but they still confidently smirk, it’s time to question just what kind of “friendship” you have.

Personally, I think the best kind of person is someone who won’t try and look nice and concerned if I fall on my butt just because they’re trying to keep a good image when they’re actually stifling. That’s disgusting. I like people who’ll laugh anyway, but still help me get up.

They enjoy themselves, distract me from my pain (unconsciously sometimes), and underneath all that grinning, they really, truly care.

Besides, life would be boring if you can’t even laugh at problems.

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Know Your Culture: Geek vs Nerd

Haven’t been blogging in a while (usually even if I don’t post I still click random blog links) due to the reason I’m hooked on something else. For now. 😉

So this post is actually “inspired” by a blog post from a friend who just got new frames for her glasses and described it as geeky. She’s savvy on fashion and right so I don’t really have anything against that. But then… another friend retweeted this pic:

falsegeeklove

And. I. Just. Lost. It.

Not only do they (unconsciously, maybe) give false hope to nerds around the world by referring to them when they actually mean their clothing style, they also don’t have enough sense to at least Google trends they don’t understand. Maybe it’s because they’re lazy. Maybe they just take what they see for granted. Maybe they have an ego that’s too huge to admit they don’t get a trend. Especially if they’re already following it.

I don’t follow (fashion) trends. But I cringe (at least inside) whenever I see people mistaking geeks for nerds, vice versa.

And you know this kind of look people have been drawn to lately?

Well, that’s not a geek look. Save the glasses. The glasses are geeky. The rest of the look is preppy. Or a cool version of nerdy. Here’s a pic of a nerd just for comparison:

And here’s a pic of a geek (right):

Are you starting to see the difference? Here’s another pic below to compare geek/nerd and the 21st century trend. Note that the left human half is’t really “Authentic Geek” but more of a geek and nerd combination.

Recognize anyone you know who dresses like that? I’ve seen someone who dresses fairly similar to the guy on the right. He has everything minus the belt. He’s a varsity kid who becomes an instant photographer during events for, you now, documentary.

And some people really do just like that kind of fashion. They don’t care what it’s called, they’re just attracted to certain types of clothing. I have nothing against them. I mind when people wear these clothes to be in style and don’t even know what they’re wearing.

An obvious teller in this case is when someone says something like this:

“OMG, I look sooo geeky now!”

Just because they wear the signature glasses.

Don’t get me wrong. The outerwear of geeks have changed from age to age. Ranging from the “conservative” look with a whole pencil case in their front shirt pocket (before “nerd” was introduced, probably) to the super-hero-T-shirt-wearing geeks with a collection of who knows what in their room.

Conclusion: geeks have a wide range of clothes they wear, according to what kind of geek they are. Still, unless there’s a new kind called “Preppy Geek”, then I still have my pet peeve to those blind followers of trends.

So, what’s the difference between the two? Here’s a chart I found that pretty much explains the general things.

Please let it be remembered that these charts and pics are mainstream of geeks and nerds. One doesn’t necessarily have to have all or even half of these traits. As cliché as it sounds, you really only can know a person from what’s inside.

And if you happen to be a geek, or a nerd, or anyone else who’s more savvy about this and think there’s something wrong,

feel free to object and correct this. 

‘Til next time, folks.