"Taking pleasure in the failure of others has long been considered a grubby, poisonous quality," says Kate Knibbs. "So bad that philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer called schadenfreude 'the worst trait in human nature.'...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." Knibbs adds: "In the past five years, a cascade of Jackass Icarus narratives have outraged and delighted the public that consumes them. From Fyre Fest to Theranos to the rich parents behind Operation Varsity Blues, this is a flush era for grifting, trickery, and fraud. One of the central pleasures of taking in these stories is watching the players at the center get their comeuppance. They are morality fables, capped off with finales that produce shivers. While the emotional response it elicits is similar to that of a scam story, Quibi isn’t a scam. Delighting in Quibi’s foibles is distinct from, say, rejoicing when Elizabeth Holmes’ hubris was finally exposed. What’s the difference? Quibi is a good, clean goof, a majestically pure screw-up. No malice, no harm—just a flop. It’s 'snackable.' It is a symptom of a fundamentally absurd system, an example of the rot of Hollywood patronage and American kakistocracy. (Founder Jeffery) Katzenberg’s folly looms even larger when you zoom out—only someone so thoroughly insulated from the economic conditions circumscribing the lives of the vast majority of Americans could blow so much cash on a stinker and maintain optimism that it’ll all work out. This wasn’t a good idea. It was a rich person’s idea. Failing to distinguish between the two? That’s entertainment."