Addendum: Our Schadenfreude

The thing I intended to but didn’t say about Four Seasons Total Landscaping and didn’t is that it’s a story about shame, about humiliation, and about schadenfreude, and for this reason less easy to digest than at first it seems. Like everyone, I enjoyed Trump’s comeuppance, I got my licks in, dialed in my burns for maximum effect, but maybe unlike some other people, I had trouble enjoying my enjoyment. I felt no relief nor any ability to tell you for sure what would change and how, when looked at from any sufficiently wide angle. But also because I recognize that the source of Trump’s power lies in his ability to portray white shame, male humiliation, and American failure as ennobling, as the source of a secret power, and that every moment of humiliation potentially enables another beautiful fascist loser. You can’t shame or humiliate Trump or his followers out of what they believe, for shame is (at least for the footsoldiers) its origin. The Proud Boys are proud men or proud white men or proud Americans precisely in the face of these repressed humiliations and cuckoldries and look where these humiliations bring us—not to the Four Seasons nor even the Trump Tower but to working-class neighborhoods. Better these assholes are not even infamous.