Archive for June 11th, 2015

There’s gotta be a word for it

Ok, you know schadenfreude? I feel like this is similar in its perversity, but it seems to be self-punishing. Only I kinda enjoy it. What am I talking about? The act of purposely reading things that annoy me. For example, I pretty religiously follow this religious (ha!) parenting blog that I find beyond annoying. It’s preachy (ha!), poorly written and pretty smug. And yet I read it. AO seems to think I’m nuts when I rant about how obnoxious it is. It’s not like I have to read it. But I know that he reads lots of things that he knows are going to annoy him but he seems to read them because he wants to be annoyed. Like the Republicans explanations for the WEDC. Ok, maybe politics isn’t a good example because we should all stay apprised of what’s going on whether it’s going to annoy us or not. What’s another example? Hmm. Oh! He will read Doug Moe’s columns and then make the same criticism of him every time: He thinks he’s Mike Royko, but he’s not. And I’m not picking on AO. I’m just trying to prove to myself that I’m in good company. Or here’s another example that I think a lot of us do. I’ll read the comments on an article and I just get more and more annoyed but I don’t just stop. (I actually think newspapers should just do away with this feature altogether.) What is the word for this behavior? Am I deriving pleasure from being annoyed? Is it unhealthy? Or is it part of human nature? Or both? I feel like some of you may say, “Kate, the older I get, the less apt I am to concentrate on things that annoy me or make me unhappy. Just don’t spend your time that way.” And you know what? I get that. I do. I’ve become better about doing that in some things. And yet. I still read the damn parenting blog. I just want to know what the word is.

UPDATE: Or more, a clarification. I’m not referring to, say, watching Ann Coulter and getting annoyed. Though, if that’s your thing, then that’d count. I’m pretty good about staying away from things that will serve only to drive me completely batty. I’m talking about watching (I realize I said reading above, but it doesn’t have to be reading) or reading or listening to things that you take some sort of perverse (too harsh?) pleasure (too pleasant?) out of disliking. To me, it’s sort of like how Terry likes to email and text about how annoying Taylor Swift is. Why is Terry spending any time on Taylor Swift? I can’t imagine she comes up that much in her everyday life. And yet Terry can’t stand her and wants to talk about her. Totally normal! I think a lot of us have these things. Maybe not the more enlightened among us (not that you’re not totally enlightened, T), but a lot of us.


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