The list of foreign words and phrases in English is long. From “ab initio” to “zeitgeist”, there are in the Oxford dictionary no less than 174 of them, of which however only five are German (including “Katzenjammer” – “hangover” !). Webster’s adds “schadenfreude”, “glee in another’s misfortune”.
Some Saints have been known to practise schadenfreude, in imagining one of the pleasures of Heaven as looking down on the poor wretches writhing in the fires of Hell. (When Jim, Lumen de lumine, our Catholic commentator, comes back on the air as of December 1, he may ask me to prove that this is true. I will ask him to prove that it is NOT ! Does that ring a bell about proving the existence of God ?) Anyhow, whether they did or they didn’t, the Church provided for its members a briefer version of the same pleasure, right here on earth, by the public burning of people at the stake (heretics and witches were frequent fodder for the flames). Ostensibly the purpose was punishment but also to scare the living daylights out of the rest of them by showing what is in store for them if they didn’t walk the line. But there was no obligation to attend the gruesome execution or to witness the excruciating torture or to smell the burning flesh. Nonetheless eager crowds flocked to and filled the town square because it was, like those later too-quick hangings in America’s wild west, entertainment. But it also satisfied a sadistic streak in sickies subject to schadenfreude. (“Wow ! Did you see that ? His eyes just popped !”).
Jim seems to enjoy threatening Hell to Thom, our other prolific commentator, and myself. One can only imagine the pleasure he takes in spelling out the sadistic doctrine in his madrassa. Defiling and deforming children’s minds with this horrendous rubbish is unconscionable. I will not add “May he burn in Hell for it !”. I am just sad that the blind continue to lead the blind.