copyright © 2007 Jeff Goode

Hitting Rock Bottom
by Jeff Goode

I’ll never understand why those who’ve been to war - and now realize what a huge mistake they made - are considered the highest authority on both war and peace. It seems like we should be listening to the people who knew better than to make that mistake in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, getting ready for a big exam, nobody was fighting to get the kid who flunked the last test into their study group. You always wanted the dweeb who aces everything. That’s just common sense.

Insurance companies don’t offer "perfect driver" discounts to the guy who just totaled his Maserati. Hopefully, he’ll do better next time, but nobody thinks that experience makes him an expert in driver safety.

And you don’t take marital advice from someone who’s already been through three ugly divorces. Especially not if you have access to someone who’s been happily married for 50 years.

Yet, in the world of geo-politics, somehow it’s only the biggest fuckups who are thought to have any kind of credibility on the matter.

Under the current administration, the only ones who can be counted on to undo the damage that has been done by the current administration… are former members of the current administration. And the only dissenting opinions anyone respects, are the ones that come from people we all know used to have the worst possible ideas.

I understand that there are certain unique and valuable insights that one only gains from destroying one’s own life and that of everyone around them. But we don’t value that kind of experience over all other sources of wisdom combined.

If that were the case, Saddam Hussein would still be alive today, because we’d all be desperate to follow in the footsteps of whatever example he would surely lead after having run his whole country into the ground.

But the fact is, we don’t take advice from screw-ups, in real life, because you don’t have to make mistakes to learn from them. In fact, if you play your cards right, you don’t have to make mistakes at all.

When I was a kid - unlike most evangelical Christians - I read my Bible. And when God said, "thou shalt not kill", I pretty much figured out what He meant by that on the first try. I didn’t need to go murder someone in another country, before I could come back and go, "Oh, y’know what? God was right about number six. Go figure! ...Take it from me. I been there."

You’ve been there? Why the hell were you there in the first place? And why am I listening to you?