Aspects: It's Better to Be Bitter in These Gloating Days; the Carole Anne Rice COLUMN

Article excerpt

What gets your gloat these days? No, that wasn't a typographical error. I mean gloat, that delicious wallowing in other people's downfalls, the divine pique of all emotions.

Few people admit to being victim to its charms, just as they won't agree to greed, jealousy or resentment, but nonetheless it's a forbidden fruit that has the politically correct feeling hot under their wimples.

Living in a therapy culture certain base emotions have become as extinct as white tigers. We are no longer supposed to feel hatred and vengeful when someone dumps us, but philosophical and cool with an "if you love someone you have to let them go" salve for our shattered feelings.

We have learned by rote that we are to forgive our oppressors and "get-over" life's bum deals to emerge truly magnificent, wise and wholesome human beings.

We publicly applaud the good fortune of others even when we secretly welcome their news as a lap dancer embraces piles and we offer crocodile comfort to the blessed who come a cropper. But it's time to stop the pretence.

The savage in each of our breasts leaps up and punches the sky when we hear that Jerry is to dump Mick, that Kate Moss may have put on weight and that Ruby Wax is in re-hab having cosmetic surgery done on her personality.

Gloating is therapeutic, crowing the new honesty, and denial is the weed that corrupts all our psyches. American authoress Suzanne Webber is the first to earmark this new regression to primal responses with her book How To Heal The Hurt By Hating which h as become a US best-seller as the spurned, bitter and unlucky in love have hugged the tome to their chest with a triumphant "yes"!

The book jacket says "My boyfriend Mitchell, whom I dated for three and a half years, left me for a woman named Heather and, to get even, I have devoted my entire career to humiliating him in public. …