Words and phrases come out of nowhere. They catch on like wildfire, and die out just as quickly. Some linger, like viruses. (I absolutely loved Joy’s Introduction To Nerd Poker, and I’ve already made it through like 30 1-hour episodes, but I cringe every time Blaine cracks a, “In Russia, [some noun] [some verb]s you!” joke. What is this, 2006?)
In an ever-evolving landscape, sometimes it’s not enough to let words happen organically. “Binge-watching” happened organically, and it works well. But there are certain things that happen on a day-to-day basis that we just don’t have words for, and we need them. Rest easy, friends. I’m here to help.
5. Reverse Schadenfreude
First of all, can we all agree on a pronunciation of the word ‘schadenfreude’? I’m pretty sure it’s like this.
Right, now that we’ve got that settled… For those of you who aren’t down with awesome words, ‘schadenfreude’ is one of those killer German words that packs a big meaty meaning into one long word, in this case, ‘the feeling of pleasure one gets from watching another’s misfortune.’ It’s the warm fuzzy feeling you get when some asshole passes you on the freeway and five minutes later you see them on the side of the road with a cop car behind them.
So what’s reverse schadenfreude, you ask? Well, let me give you an example. I sat down a few months ago to catch up on Game of Thrones. My roommate and I wanted to pick a show to watch together, and I’d only seen the first season, though I’d read the whole series. As the first episode ended and my roommate was stunned by Jamie’s casual window-toss of Bran, I was a bit bemused – ‘tip of the freaking iceberg,’ I thought. Besides, Jamie had kind of grown on me. And I knew Bran would be fine eventually. But then I realized that my roommate was coming into the series with no expectations – a fresh pair of eyes.
And seeing secondhand how he reacted to the “big” moments of Game of Thrones made a real difference in my enjoyment level. It honestly made it more fun for me to anticipate big events – Baelor, Blackwater, Dany freeing the slaves, the Red Wedding, to name just the huge ones – knowing my roommate would never see them coming, even if I did.
A movie is announced. You don’t know much about it, but then you see the cast. “Huh. Seven Psychopaths seems like an interesting title. Let’s check out the cast. Hmm, Colin Farrell. Cool. Oh, nice, Christopher Walken. He’s always good for a laugh. Oh hell yeah, Sam Rockwell. Sold. Wait, Woody Harrelson is in this too? Awesome. Wait. TOM WAITS? WHEN IS THIS MOVIE COMING OUT? LET ME SEE THIS MOVIE RIGHT NOW.”
Of course, the actual quality of the movie is still a crapshoot. I mean, when I saw the cast list for Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I literally could not think of better actors for those roles. Martin Freeman should be solid gold as Arthur Dent. Mos Def as Ford is kind of off the wall but I loved it. Sam Rockwell as Zaphod, oh my god, yes. Zooey Deschanel as Trillian? Yep. And Alan Rickman as the voice of Marvin? Perfection. So why was the movie such an insipid piece of crap? Well, sometimes you rise above the material, sometimes you don’t. Whatever they were trying to “package” Adams’ incredible novel as (I don’t know, Zoolander in space or something?), they failed admirably.
OK, this needs a bit of explanation. Basically, in my mind, ‘entimcipate’ is halfway between anticipate and intimidate. It starts with an E because E is between A and I. Uh, it made more sense in my head.
This is the phenomenon that happens when you’re looking forward to diving into some new and exciting imaginary world, but you’re intimidated by the scope of the thing to the point where it almost seems more fun to watch an episode of Community that you’ve seen 3 times. But on the other hand, you’re really looking forward to it because you know you’ll like it once you start it. Starting The Wheel of Time, The Sopranos, or Doctor Who is a very entimcipating experience.
The feeling you get when you know something good is going to be added to your streaming service of choice. Example: “I’m Netflixpecting Season 4 of Archer to go up soon. If you don’t hear from me for a weekend in January, that’s what I’m doing.”
Netflixpectation has a dark side, though. When you’ve got too much unwarranted Netflixpectation, you start getting angry. “Community on Netflix is a no-brainer. NBC practically pushed Harmon out the door with with a fire hose; they obviously hate the show, why in the name of great Odin’s raven would they not want to license it?”
Yeah I’ve got nothing for that third one…
*from the inestimable Garfield minus Garfield
A combination of Fun and Unease. “The vague feeling of disquiet that follows your soul when you’re missing out on something awesome because you’ve never heard of it.”
I love writing for Unreality. Mainly because it counts for my court-ordered community service. (No regrets – that penguin had it coming). But before I wrote for Unreality, I was a lurker for about three years. I found some of my favorite ‘internet videos’ through this site. American Psycho: The Musical. An epic, fan-made WoW video. Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt robbing a bank. The song from Portal 2 as a music video. Yeah, I might have found these elsewhere, but I have a finite amount of time I can allot to mindless surfing. What if I’d missed them? RWBY and Nerd Poker are two of my favorite things right now, and I might have totally missed them without this site.
Gone are the days when everything new and cool was either huge and on TV, or so hidden that you had to really work for it. Now, there’s an infinite amount (seemingly) of new and cool, and it’s limited only by how much time you’re willing to spend going down the rabbit hole. You don’t want to miss the boat on something cool. But there are thousands of boats. I can see how in the right frame of mind, this could be pretty nerve-racking.
I know that FOMO (fear of missing out) has a bit of a head start, but let’s be honest, do you really want to see another #yolo? I don’t. It’s too cute by half.
Let’s adopt Funease today. Don’t miss the boat, or else you’ll start feeling funeasey about it.