On taking pleasure in the misery of others

Conan the Barbarian was asked “What is best in life.” Arnie’s response: “To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women.”

Mike Royko, no conservative and man whose writing I admire deeply, talked of his love of John Wayne, the admiration then as now seen to be an embarrassment among the elite. Royko said that he was standing on the armrests of his chair and hollering encouragement when, in True Grit, one-eyed Wayne faced evil Ned Pepper and two of his henchmen across a glen and yelled “Fill your hand you son-of-a-bitch!”

Admiral William “Bull” Halsey said that his life “reached a climax” when the dejected Japanese foreign minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed the treaty of surrender aboard the battleship Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay 1945.

All of these men, real or approximate, took pleasure in the defeat of their enemies, real or adopted. I was with you Mike. I still jump on the couch when I see Wayne’s shocked look at Pepper’s last taunt (“Pretty bold talk for a one-eyed fat man!”). I admit to feeling part of Halsey’s pride. I can understand the surge of joy when victory is gained over the bad guys. This, after all, has driven the entire career of the Governator.

So are these emotions any different than those espoused by anti-American movie-maker Michael Moore who recently said that because a major hurricane is soon to hit the American coast, there was “proof there is a God in Heaven”?

See, Moore doesn’t want the Republican convention to pass without interruption and he delights in the idea that external events might force a suspension or cancellation in the GOP’s gathering.

Like a lot of his ilk, though, Moore would have his victory at the expense of hundreds or thousands of innocents, something John Wayne or Halsey would never have countenanced. Moore must have figured out his comments were asinine because he later added he hoped “nobody gets hurt” when the hurricane hits. This is nonsense, of course, because it is only the deadly destructive power of the storm that causes it to be of note in the first place. Even if nobody is physically injured, the storm will still cost everybody in its path a packet. Only a fool or an idiot doesn’t realize this. Moore knew what he was wishing for. He knew what would happen.

Moore is a member of the “Victory at Any Cost” club of the left. Whatever has to be said or done in order to gain power is acceptable. Because once in power, these elites reason, all will be put right. Utopia is just around the corner! And nobody or nothing should be allowed to stand in their way.


  1. Joy

    Halsey’s life clearly took a different patth when he started in TV commercials! Let that be a lesson to the merciless. If your day is ruined by your enemies surrender, You’d better start learning the piano.

  2. Denny

    Halsey’s life clearly took a different patth when he started in TV commercials

    Really!!! What TV commercials do you think he made?

  3. Joy

    fig Newtons I think. They must be some sort of fig roll. He played in the backing music.

  4. Joe Triscari

    I think the Conan’s quote is based on Ghengis Khan:

    The greatest joy a man can know is to conquer his enemies and drive them before him. To ride their horses and take away their possessions. To see the faces of those who were dear to them bedewed with tears, and to clasp their wives and daughters in his arms

    Charming chap. The most Michael Moore could hope to have been in the Khan’s world is harem eunuch but at least he shares his values.

  5. Alan D. McIntire

    The German word for taking pleasure in the misfortunes of others is “schadenfreude”. We’ll have to adopt that word since we have no equivalent in English.

    George Will, in one of his columns, added “schadenfreude” to the 7 deadly sins.

  6. Denny


    I believe I can safely say that Fleet Admiral Bull Halsey never played music in a Fig
    Newton or any other commercial.

  7. Joy

    Sorry, my mistake. Must just be someone who sounds like him.

  8. Joy


    A case of mistaken identity!! Evidently Halsey wasn’t that good on the piano.
    Wicki confirms it now!

    Please now help in the question of mysterious “Hal” to settle confusion, Sir; The first, in the obama versus McCain item, the penultimate post. There were others.

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