Schadenfreude is a lowering emotion. The English language should take pride in its lack of a word for it. Why, then, when I read about Felicity Huffman, does something akin to that feeling nibble at me? Why do I smirk when I am meant to mutter gravely about the thanklessness of parental love?

It is the smirk, I think, of the wilfully childless. And it is directed at our alleged betters.

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