Taking pleasure in the failure of others has long been considered a grubby, poisonous quality. So bad that philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer called schadenfreude “the worst trait in human nature.” More recently, British tabloid The Daily Mail claimed in a headline that a person who enjoys others’ misfortune “may be a PSYCHOPATH.” A tad dramatic, but it’s true enough that people who revel in their neighbor’s plight are often exhausting sourpusses with iffy morals. Yet, occasionally, circumstances arise where someone or something so high and mighty takes such a ludicrous tumble that the pratfall practically begs for a gleeful response, even from the most generous of spirits. Case in point: the disastrous debut of Quibi, a lavishly funded new streaming service that may currently have more jokes made at its expense than loyal subscribers. Yet, I’d argue that there’s nothing psychopathic or “the worst” about finding mirth in Quibi’s tribulations. It’s not sinful. In fact, there’s something akin to virtue in recognizing why Quibi deserves a ribbing.
Short for “quick bites,” Quibi is helmed by its founder, former Disney executive and DreamWorks cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg, and its CEO, former eBay and Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman. Both of these people have already established their legacies: 70-year-old Hollywood big-shot Katzenberg has had a long, successful career ushering classic films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Shrek into existence. The 63-year-old Whitman, meanwhile, is one of the wealthiest women in California after a career spent hopping Silicon Valley C-suites. Instead of resting on their gilded laurels, this high-net-worth duo secured the as