Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick

news flash: humans can be icky

Tonight, rougewench turned me on to this story, "The Life and Death of Jesse James," about an online love affair gone horribly, horribly wrong and one man's heroic efforts to save his "friend" from an online... something: Predator? Not really. Freak, I guess.

Following up on various responses to it, I came across this critique of that story by legionseagle.

I was disturbed and felt dirty while reading Olson's original piece, and legionseagle put (his/her) finger on exactly why. Olson, too, victimized "Audrey" by trying to keep her the helpless victim, or at least cared more about his self-aggrandizing than he did about his "friend."

Why is schadenfreude so appealing to so many? Why have I spent an hour reading Olson's essay and legionseagle's examination of it and so many responses to this mess?

I sense some kind of insight into human nature that I'm not certain I want to face right now. I feel gross and tired after reading about this sick episode. But go ahead, read those pieces for yourself. Perhaps you'll be brave enough to look into the abyss and sense what stares back.

Tags: the human condition

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