Serial: S02 Episode 07: Hindsight, Part 1
February 18, 2016 10:45 AM - Subscribe

It makes sense if you're Bowe Bergdahl.
posted by jenfullmoon (10 comments total)
*sigh* So Bowe had a sad, isolated, scared childhood. This episode is all about The Logic of Bowe and How Bowe Thinks and Poor Sad, Morally Concerned Bowe.

....yeah, I still am not fascinated by the thinking of this guy one bit. He's reminding me of the shitty chocolate cake people keep buying in our office that has no flavor whatsoever. I wish I liked this or cared, but this dude just isn't growing on me and I don't care about how he thinks.
And guess what, there's a part 2 of How Bowe Thinks coming out tomorrow!

And yet, I still will drag on through this in hopes that I finally get interested or at least finish it for completion's sake.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:49 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Why are they now fixated on fucking with the episode schedule?

Anyway, I knew guys like this in high school; the profoundly deluded, self-isolated white male that never acquired the chrome of "adult" people skills. It wasn't their fault; they were kids. But one way or another it never ended well.

Sooner or later you have to have that realization that you aren't special and are going to die no matter what; better to do that before you do something really stupid, like go walkabout in the most dangerous place on earth.
posted by selfnoise at 10:59 AM on February 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah, the comparison I drew in my mind was to the Maine Hermit from a few years back ("White Male Solitude at its most cartoonish" as Mallory Ortberg put it).
posted by Cash4Lead at 11:39 AM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm glad Bergdahl has people who love him, because he sounds completely insufferable.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 12:52 PM on February 18, 2016 [10 favorites]

Yeah, and clearly he had a pattern of making dumb life decisions even before this one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:53 PM on February 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I will never look at MeFi advice to join the Coast Guard the same way ever again.

It's interesting, though, that the self-involvement and sheer obstinacy that sent Bergdahl to the Army, then off on his walkabout, may have been personality traits that helped him mentally and physically survive captivity. Of course leaving and getting caught was his own damn fault, but what blinkered institution put him in Afghanistan in the first place? I'm actually looking forward to some kind of explanation (tomorrow?) for the Army's failure to screen him out, even with the surge on.
posted by maudlin at 5:15 PM on February 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

I had a really hard time relating to Bowe in this episode. I also could *not* understand why on earth someone who couldn't hack Coast Guard basic training would want to join the Army.
posted by radioamy at 8:55 AM on February 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've met four or five Bowes - and this episode does a good job of describing the Bowe characteristics.
And it's really too bad nobody took enoug care of him to give him the tools (help him find the tools within himself) to hack the stress of the Coast Guard training because that would probably have been the best thing for him.
Also, throughout this I keep thinking back to Catch 22 and whoo-golly but is the US Army at times a gargantuan shambling mess of a thing.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:26 AM on February 20, 2016

I've known a couple of these guys too. One even went to Iraq at the height of the war to see what was going on.

This episode was interesting enough, but "who is Bergdahl?" or "why did he do it?" are not questions I really give a fuck about. I've been far more fascinated by everything else that happened as a result of his actions.

And there's something that bothers me a bit - Bergdahl sounds so normal when he talks. Or rather, he doesn't sound like someone who's been damaged by his years spent living in a cage. He narrates everything so calmly, it's as if he is completely disassociated with what he went through. Or says he went through.
posted by kanewai at 2:15 AM on February 21, 2016

I've worked with a lot of Bowes in my time in the Navy and it's no surprise that he had more trouble with the coast guard versus the army. I've found that the branches that have a reputation as "not the real military" like the coast guard or Air Force work that much harder to prove to themselves they're just as military as the rest.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 11:32 AM on February 21, 2016

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