Ode to Schadenfreude

Content (though not incautiously happy)
is he who witnesses in a single lifetime
the ignominious defeat of empire
in two quite separate theatres of war,
first its ambassador viewed live on TV
dangling from a copter above palm trees,
decades later their behemoth transports
seen via Twitter racing for the border
under a hail of stone and desert curses.

Conditional satisfaction infuses the masses
who in times of victory, however brief
and liable to reversal, respond as one soul
to the prospect of the oppressor suffering
punishment, even if career demotion hardly
equates to the death of ten million,
the squandering of earth’s resources,
the darkening of once luminous minds,
the torture of beings like Julian Assange.

We take our pleasure where we can,
their camera-lit faces tokening cancer,
a stumble on the tarmac surely a sign
of sclerosis. Never do we victims invoke
the Lords of Reprisal, beseeching them
in curtained circles lit by black candles
to inflict the agony of napalm on evil men,
doing to them what they did to others,
grinding them to dust while we all grin.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.