Schadenfreude is the word Germans came up with to describe the joy you feel when witnessing someone being shat on by Freud. In more general terms, it's pleasure derived from someone else's pain, and we had that in rolling Schadengasms with news of the Fyre Festival being an absolute clusterfuck of a shitshow.
If you're not familiar, the Fyre Festival was billed as a luxury concert experience. For tickets that cost as much as $12,000, concertgoers traveled to a private island in the Bahamas to be treated to extravagant accommodations, gourmet food, and the dulcet tones of Mr. Ja Rule himself, the organizer of this grand event. What music fan with $12,000 to spare wouldn't jump at the chance to drop that on a chance to see Ja Rule? Ja Rule!
Well, to start, this is still 2017, not a Cracked classic from the good ol' days. This is 2017 Ja Rule. Did you know Ja Rule was still Ja-ing? Things went downhill from there. According to multiple accounts, Fyre Festival was more Flaming Turd. The "luxury accommodations" turned out to be disaster relief tents. The gourmet food was a Styrofoam takeout container with a small side salad, two pieces of bread, and some cheese slices. Let it be known that the bread was not even toasted. WHO THE FUCK DOESN'T TOAST BREAD?
Other issues included luggage being thrown haphazardly into the night from the back of a truck, packs of wild dogs, lockers that didn't have locks, a bar without beer, fights with locals, piles of random mattresses, and the airport shutting down all flights in a panic and essentially stranding a whole mess of folks on a mudflap of an island with nothing but cheese and ennui to keep them company. It's been likened to a refugee camp. Naturally, the internet found this hilarious and the jokes have been flowing like a fine wine.
Fyre Festival was the perfect buttfuck bacchanal of comedy. It was a failed music festival whose victims seem to be privileged millennials who went on to lodge exaggerated and tone-deaf complaints. And it was organized by Ja Rule. There are so many punchlines there that you need to stop to take a breather in the middle of it.
Mankind hates "hippie" festivals as a concept. Do you remember New York's Great GoogaMooga food and music festival? It raised $75,000, which wasn't enough to cover the damage everyone at the event did to the grass, and there was a brawl over fried chicken.
Every year when Coachella rolls, there's a deluge of articles and Twitter one-liners about the kinds of people you'll see at Coachella. Same with Burning Man, Bonnaroo, SXSW, whatever. If you go to it, you probably love it, but the rest of us for some reason disdain the events and the sorts of people who attend them. It's like each one is chum for cock sharks, and we're all Quint, just surly as shit for being eaten the last time this happened.
Fyre Festival had the fact that it's a festival working against it from the start. Toss in how it was for seemingly "rich kids," and there's an instant second layer of hate. Everyone wants to be rich, but goddamn do we hate people with money. We don't want to hear the opinion of Hollywood elites. We're sick of your affluenza, and we don't want you getting tax cuts, mocking us in first class, getting special treatment, or smugly not being poor. Fuck you, money bags. And when Fyre Festival comes along to actually fuck you, it makes the rest of us feel kind of nice. It's rare that we get to see the fuckers be the fuckees.
Compounding the mirth at the despair of the well-to-do is the ridiculous nature of their complaints. Of course we all understand you deserve what you pay for, and these people legitimately got scammed. If this happened to you, you would be pissed. But it didn't happen to you. So when someone says it's like being at a refugee camp, but they still have a tent and they actually get food even if it's not gourmet, those complaints come off just a little unsympathetic. Oh, is the concert concierge not available? Well shit, let's call the president, the pope, and Jesus, see if we can't get a team to fix that. Most outdoor concerts are considered a success if you get through it without contracting legionnaire's disease, so let's not feel too bad for ourselves.
The big takeaway from Fyre Festival, and this should have been obvious from the get-go, is don't trust Ja Rule. What are you doing leaving the country and entrusting your safety, your health, and your good times to Ja Rule? It's 2017! You shouldn't trust Ja Rule to fold some towels without starting a fire, let alone organize a massive concert in the Bahamas that's only offering you concept art of your luxury sleeping quarters. This dude spent a couple years in prison for tax evasion. Don't give him your money.
Did all of these people get screwed? They sure did. But man did everyone else think it was hilarious. It's not their fault, really. They put their trust in Ja Rule and some organizer who has since apologized and promised it'll be better next year, as if this pastiche of shit and poor choices has a snowball's chance in hell of ever happening again.
Is there a moral to this story? Maybe it's that we like seeing people taken down a peg. Maybe it's that the commercialization of entertainment is, fundamentally, something that makes us angry on a basic level. Maybe it's that you should never trust Ja Rule.
The proliferation of beer pong and craft beer may have you think that we're living in one of the peak times to get drunk, but humans have been getting famously hammered for millennia. Like a frat house's lawn after a kegger, history is littered with world changing events that were secretly powered by booze. The inaugural games of the Roman Coliseum, the drafting of the US Constitution and the Russian Revolution were all capped off by major parties that most attendees probably regretted in the morning.
Join Jack O'Brien and Cracked staffers Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt, Michael Swaim, plus comedian Blake Wexler for a retelling of history's biggest moments you didn't realize everyone was drunk for.
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