Transatlantic schadenfreude

The blog Fortuna had a brief, poignant comment a few days ago about a deeply unpleasant phenomenon I’ve noticed too:

Was noticing how excited some on the right seem to be about the riots in Paris suburbs. It goes back and forth almost rhythmically, doesn’t it, the schadenfreude? Americans point gleefully to European (particularly French) problems, like the heat wave deaths or the riots, Europeans happily call the U.S. a Third World country after Katrina.

Of course none of our readers would ever indulge in such behavior– would they?

(Hat tip: Clive Davis.)

By the way, if any of our readers in France can offer an on-the-ground perspective of recent events there, please contact me (email at left).

Update: And here’s something else I don’t like: declarations that “[insert name of city or country] is burning” when in fact only a relatively small portion of [insert name of city or country] is burning. The purpose of such declarations is to scare rather than to inform.

Further update: Harry’s Place reader Francis, “an Englishman on the Côte d’Azur,” has some interesting observations on his blog.