In a recent forum, Roosh and his minions were amused by a well-publicized news story about two women who drove into a lake and drowned. What they found particularly hilarious was that one of the women, in a panic, attempted to dial "911" on her cell phone. Because women are so stupid. And because women deserve to die, anyway.
Back when I was living in Louisiana, I was in the throes of my "bridge phobia." Driving on bridges and overpasses triggered severe panic attacks. (I still get a little anxious about bridges, but I managed to "desensitize" myself once I moved back to Seattle -- otherwise, I wouldn't be able to drive anywhere!)
I've had nightmares of being trapped in a car underwater ever since the Chappaquiddick scandal, when Mary Jo Kopechne was abandoned to such a fate by a drunken and cowardly Edward Kennedy. And who can forget the death of Jessica Savitch, whose date drove into a canal in New Hope? Mired in mud upside down, the doors of their car could not be opened.
Every time I had to drive across a lake or bayou in Louisiana, I unrolled the driver's side window and mentally rehearsed swimming out. I tightened my muscles in anticipation, and visualized bursting to the surface. The problem was that the windows of my Toyota were pretty small, and I wasn't convinced I could squeeze through. So there I would be on the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway -- which is 24 miles long, mind you -- gripping the steering wheel, sweating profusely despite the wind rushing through the speeding vehicle, and roundly cursing myself the whole way for being such a lard ass.
I still occasionally read of people, often late at night, driving off embankments or bridges and drowning in their cars. And I still think it's prudent to unroll the window when crossing bodies of water.
The story was tragic, but the real horror here is the psychology of people who find such stories risible, or evidence of the inherent inferiority of the victims.
When we hear about terrible accidents, we naturally try to learn how to avoid them (or how to survive them if they befall us despite our best efforts). We struggle to find meaning and purpose in what is otherwise random horror. We may look for ways to "blame the victim" in order to deny the possibility that such a fate could ever visit us. We grieve for the families and friends, imagining or remembering the sudden loss of our own loved ones. But regardless, on some level, we can't escape being reminded of the fragility of our own existences. Such stories are occasions for somber reflection.
But a person like Roosh is not one of "us," is he? He is a human who is devoid of humanity.
It's not exactly accurate to say that people like Roosh lack empathy. In fact, he has enough empathy to actually take pleasure in the suffering of others (specifically women, the targets of his inchoate, inexplicable, relentless rage).
His isolation from the cloak of humanity is his tragedy. And although I have just finished reading The Wisdom of Psychopaths, in which author Kevin Dutton argues that psychopathic elements contribute to the survival of cultures, I cannot imagine what purpose the existence of someone like Roosh serves in this world.
Perhaps one must simply accept that there is no purpose. Perhaps the best we can do is to try to identify the potential dangers of dark mountain roads or dark charismatic personalities, at the same time resigning ourselves to the fact that these are simply parts of the mystery of life.