Wednesday, October 15, 2008

National schadenfreude levels skyrocket as Dick Cheney reports abnormal heart rhythm

By Darnell Washington, Newsophile Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- Immediately after it was reported that Vice President Dick Cheney had been experiencing atrial fibrillation, or an abnormal heartbeat in the top chamber of his heart, several national polls reported rising levels of schadenfreude among likely voters. The German word schadenfreude, which is defined as "delight in the suffering of others," was popularized among the Hitler Youth prior to and during World War II, and joined the English lexicon in the 1950s.

"Clearly, there are a lot of people who are itching to see Cheney in a full-fledged heart attack," said Maurice Zogby, who conducted the poll from his company's Washington, DC offices. "In the U.S., up to 75% of people agreed with the statement 'I was happy to hear of Cheney's abnormal heartbeat,' which is about even with his disapproval ratings among the American electorate. Of that 75%, two-thirds agreed strongly with the statement, 'I'm hoping and praying for a full-fledged heart attack,' with half of those also agreeing with the statement, 'I want the attack to be very painful.' Clearly, this man is some sort of lightning rod for what I would call schadenfreude, and we're pretty sure it has something to do with his politics."