Schadenfreude (shahd-n-froi-duh). “Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune,” according to dictionary.com. You know you’ve felt it. That kick you get when you see people fall flat on their faces. That inner joy you feel after your suitemate flunks his single-variable calculus quiz while you aced your linear algebra midterm.
For those wanting to get pleasure from others’ pain, solace came in January 2008 in the form of fmylife.com, a user-generated blog dedicated to the expression of both commonplace and unorthodox forms of human hardship. Anonymous users submit short anecdotes about their latest misfortunes. As a result of this site, the term “FML” has become a ubiquitous expression of self-pity.
Now, FML has hit the Ivy League. On Sept. 12, harvardfml.com entered the World Wide Web, posting the first outbursts of Cantab anguish. Noice, the blog for The Voice, a Harvard student life publication, runs the site. But Yalies, too, cannot seem to resist the FML bug. Inspired FMyLife and HarvardFML, yalefml.com was up and running starting Nov. 2, though the site’s owners remain unknown.
Both the Harvard and Yale sites rely on user-generated content provided by students and other users. But Harvard has had a head start to complain — as of Nov. 16, Harvard’s wall of shame spanned 239 pages to Yale’s eight.
But the proof is in the misery contained in the posts, not the quantity. Like everything else crimson-and-blue, this is yet another area of contention between the two Ivy behemoths. Whose life sucks supreme? scene compares.
Harvard FML, Sept. 12
“I go to Harvard. FML”
Schadenfreude is not effective when the misery is self-evident. Come on, Harvard, we already know your lives suck — dig deeper.
Yale FML, Nov. 7
“YaleFML is so much lamer than HarvardFML. Why is Harvard always better?”
Harvard kids must be really miserable if their idea of letting loose is pretending to be Yalies on the Internet.
Harvard FML, Nov. 5
“I think I may need to go visit another school to find guys to date. FML”
Yale FML, Nov. 16
“While I am stuck in the stacks working on a paper, there’s a couple hooking up 3 shelves over. FML”
Ding-ding-ding! We have a match. Never has the Ivy League seen a more perfect pairing of Cupid rebels.
Harvard FML, Oct. 30
“I’m not taking Orgo … Orgo is taking me. FML.”
Yale FML, Nov. 13
Surprise, surprise! Cantabs and Elis both hate taking Orgo. Suck it up.
If there is one conclusion to derive from Harvard and Yale FMLs, it’s that misery really brings people together. Let us all go to the Yale Bowl this Saturday with our chins held high as the proud losers we really are. Trivial pain can only bring us closer.
Harvard FML, Oct. 29
“I’m 18, and my life here at Harvard revolves around Pokémon. FML.”
F your life indeed. Yale wins.
For more Harvard-Yale coverage, visit yaledailynews.com/thegame.