Here's my new most-useful word:
Websters: Enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others
I saw it used in the context of Paris Hilton being sent back to jail. All of America is feeling schadenfreude about her self-inflicted woes.
It's not a particularly good thing to derive pleasure from the woes of others, but I s'pose it's human nature. In fact, the opposite is probably better - feeling compassion or empathy when we see our fellow humans suffering. (And hopefully all of us are capable of feeling compassion and empathy when appropriate... but maybe not towards poor little Paris.)
But it put me to thinkin'. And I've got to confess - I feel a certain amount of schadenfreude when those Hummer and F350 commuters are pumping $3.50 gas. I feel it when I see the bumper-to-bumper, stop-and-go traffic on I-84, State Street, Eagle Road, etc., every weekday.
Motorists probably have the same reaction when they see me floundering along on a triple-digit-hot day, or in a downpour. Or when they see me repairing a flat tire by the side of the road. Their feelings may be merited when I'm fixing that flat. Other than that, what they are feeling is pseudoschadenfreude. Because I may not relish the single-digit or triple-digit temperatures, or the downpour, but taken in measured doses I enjoy the variety that they provide. And they make me appreciate the perfect days. (And no matter how bad it gets, it's better than being totally dependent on a motor vehicle.)
(Pseudoschadenfreude - isn't that one of the ingredients the meth-cookers use?)