When life gets you down, there's always YouTube and it's "Fail Compilation" videos, faceplants, nut-shots and other videotaped mayhem. A guilty pleasure some would say, but to me there is nothing guilty about it, as I believe we all have this tendency to take pleasure through the form of humor from other people their misfortune and it can help us cope with the unavoidable misfortunes of our own.
Humor is an important tool for coping with life's darker moments, yet when it comes to schadenfreude, it's often considered a "guilty" pleasure.
What are your thoughts? Are there boundaries, are the "Darwin Awards" funny for instance, and does anyone feel guilty for enjoying other people's misery?
Schadenfreude is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others.
Darwin Awards are prices awarded to people that have successfully removed themselves from the gene pool in such a manner that they deserve to be rewarded for it.
Take all of the Schadenfreude out of the Laural and Hardy, Three Stooges, Charlie Chaplin and Abbot and Costello movies, and what do you have? Titles and scrolling end credits --
And don't forget Tom & Jerry. Show me one child who will not giggle in glee while watching that poor cat get skinned, burned, cooked, maimed, beaten, raped and killed. Schadenfreude mixed with a little bit of sadism seems to be innate in humans.
I believe you're thinking of The Simpson's, "Itchy and Scratchy," Matt Groening's macabre parody of "Tom & Jerry," not something I'd allow a young child to watch.
In the actual "Tom & Jerry" cartoons, none of the above takes place.
I'm talking about the original series. I don't know whether or not the remakes have any violence. But I don't care to count how many times Tom had his teeth knocked out, tail cut or skinned, or how many times he got his face rearranged by that grey pitbull for waking him up from a nap. Those were good times, when a little violence in a cartoon wasn't frowned upon.
I remember Tom being cut into pieces, being mauled by a lion, being punched in the teeth by a dog ,on fire, electrocuted and frozen solid to name just a few occasions of gratuitous violence in Tom and Jerry.