2016: The Year of Schadenfreude

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The following was read live at The Paper Machete, Chicago’s only live magazine:

It’s cliched at this point to say that 2015 was a boondoggle clusterfuck in which systematic oppression, privilege-denial, and human greed danced together nude in the moonlight, sickly pale bodies streaked red and with the blood of the less fortunate, oblivious mansplaining dongs swinging in the wintry breeze.

This was a banner year for those of us who only feel alive when enraged. Rage-porn addicts needed only look at the “trending” bar on Facebook and see names like Jason Van Dyke, Ethan Couch, Bill Cosby, Martin Shkreli, Donald Trump, and Rahm Emanuel, provoking enough bile-spitting fury that we all risked eroding our own teeth from inside our mouths.

But if murderous indignance isn’t your style, relief can be found in the form of Schadenfreude. Several of 2015’s very worst fuckos finally suffered cosmic comeuppance this week. After all, the only thing more clit-stiffening than righteous rage is celebrating when a dickhole you hate meets retribution.

First up: Ethan Couch, 18-year-old Texas bro who killed four people in a drunk driving accident. Couch received only parole, thanks to his attorneys mounting a ludicrous “Affluenza” defense. Affluenza, according to Couch’s lawyers, is a cray-cray brain disease caused by wealthy helicopter mommies and it makes…empathy impossible…somehow.

In terms of professional diagnoses, Affluenza is as real as shopaholism or tan-orexia. And legally speaking, a lack of empathy has never been sufficient to preclude legal culpability. Defendants have to be either incompetent or psychotic. If lacking empathy prevented someone from being found guilty, then we would never be able to jail a single white-collar criminal or racist police officer in the history of…oh okay, nevermind.

Anyway, Ethan Couch, who looks like Simon Pegg and a moldy ass hospital mop covered in staph infection had a baby, got caught violating his parole, then fled to Mexico with his mommy. This week, the two were caught ordering Domino’s outside of Guadalajara, because their sensitive cracker palates found even like, mole too spicy. Couch is currently being held in a Mexico City Immigration office, lacking in both cheesy bread and beer pong tables, presumably starving.

The next grade-A douchiopath to have a rough week is former CEO of Kalobios Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli. This sad, rain-soaked whippet is infamous for purchasing the rights to a drug that fights parasitic infection in AIDS patients, and then jacking the price up 5500%.

Shkreli was arrested for securities fraud two weeks ago, and this week, his company filed for bankruptcy.

Since his release from jail on December 19th, Shkreli has spent his days playing iphone games on camera for “electronic sports” website Twitch.tv. He also goes on Google Hangout to flirt with 16-year-old Ayn Rand. THERE ARE NO JOKES IN THIS PARAGRAPH. I don’t even have to say that he looks like a ferret that’s been dragged through the hair trap of my shower, which has NEVER been cleaned and is inky black and clotted with filth and pube shavings.

I mean, sure Shkreli’s greed threatened to kill over 6 million Americans battling Chagras disease, and he managed to dismantle two pharmaceutical companies and a hedge fund in six months, but there’s no need to be petty.

Oh and by the way, Shkreli recently spent 2 million dollars on a one-of-a-kind Wu-Tang Clan album, which the members of Wu-Tang Clan are contractually permitted to steal back. And this contract also grants permission for Bill Murray to get in on the heist, for some reason?

Maybe Bill Murray’s Shrkeli’s dad and this is some kind of Kylo Ren, Han Solo situation. Maybe Bill Murray plans to break into Shkreli’s condominium and convince him to stop murdering people with financial mismanagement. But if Bill Murray is this guy’s dad — and there is a passing resemblance — then a ferret is definitely Shkreli’s mom. Probably one of those albino ferrets with the red demon eyes. Those shits are evil.

But, not every soulless monster is a pin-headed, greaseball white guy with frozen corn teeth. Sometimes a monster can spend decades passing as a paragon of family values and racial progress. Until one day at the end of his career, he delivers an incoherent tirade about how police brutality is caused by sagging pants and parents giving their kids African names. And then, many years after that, he is finally forced to face consequences for being a serial rapist.

I’m talking of course about Bill Cosby, who this week finally faced legal retribution for one of his over 55 sexual assaults. ONE. Out of 55 known cases.

Cosby was arraigned on Wednesday afternoon for the 2004 drugging and sexual assault of a Temple University basketball player. Charges were filed mere weeks before the 12-year statute of limitations on the crime was set to run out. And while the statute of limitations has run out for dozens of Cosby’s other rapes, 8 former victims are currently pursuing civil cases against him, citing assault, drugging, and defamation.

In the criminal case, Cosby is facing three charges of aggravated assault, a felony in the first degree that could put him in prison for up to 20 years. And there’s one silver lining to Cosby being charged so late in life, after so many years of ravaging women with impunity: at least if 78-year-old Cosby is found guilty, 20 years in prison will amount, essentially, to a life sentence.

And then, after decades of being bathed in the warm light of success and admiration, this rapist will be disrobed of his whimsical sweaters, grandfatherly persona, and once-sunny legacy. He’ll be stripped down to his rawest self, left in a cinderblock room with no supportive laugh track, no apologist fans, no victims. Just a cot, a metal toilet, a mirror, his brain, and time.

It feels good to imagine, doesn’t it. It’s okay. Let’s christen 2016 The Year of Schadenfreude. May Rahm Emmanuel be ousted, Donald Trump ignored, and every rapist and racist flushed down society’s drain, so we may celebrate, petty as hell, but in the right.

Originally published at erikadprice.tumblr.com.

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