Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Guns N'Roses, Obama, a kidney

In the spirit of employing the power of positive thinking, I am putting out this thought to the universe...

Three things I want to see by year's end:

3) Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy

Nine years ago, it had already been long enough since The Spaghetti Incident? dropped in '93. That was when "Oh My God" appeared on the End Of Days soundtrack. And the Live Era double live CD came out. But Chinese Democracy didn't appear. In December of 2002, I saw Guns N' Roses at the Fleet Center in Boston (this was the tour that was cut short after Axl Rose caused a riot when he failed to show up for a gig in Philly), where they performed new-ish songs "The Blues," "Chinese Democracy" and "Madagascar" alongside the classics. It looked like they were setting us up for the album. But no... I saw them again two years ago at the Warfield in San Francisco. More new-ish songs were performed ("I.R.S." and "Better"), but still no album. But it looks official now, what with Billboard reporting a November 23 release date (exclusively at Best Buy) and the album showing up in a search on Best Buy's web site. It may not be the same band anymore, and maybe calling this band Guns N' Roses imposes a whole new idea of what "Guns N' Roses" actually is, but I agree with Sebastian Bach -- the songs are epic, which is exactly what I like. I, for one, am glad they're not writing "It's So Easy Part 2" or "Welcome to the Jungle... Again." Not to take away from those songs, but given the choice these days, I'll take the epic stuff like "November Rain," "Estranged," or that mystery song whose real title we'll know in five weeks over most of Appetite for Destruction. That album did sound pretty awesome in 5th grade though, let me tell you...

2) Barack Obama for President

More than his policies (yay to repudiating "trickle-down economics"), more than his stance against the war in Iraq (yay to ending a war that never should have been started in the first place), more than his positive message of hope and change, I'm most impressed by his unwavering ability to keep his composure. I have watched all three debates, and this is what struck me the most. Even tonight, when John McCain was at his most fiery, Obama didn't take the bait. He remained calm, and laid out his words logically and coherently. I was struck by McCain's audacity to point to this very quality of Obama's and try to turn it into a negative. As far as I'm concerned, this is exactly the kind of person I want to run the country. He'll be catching hell from other political adversaries, and he'll be tested by unstable leaders from parts of the world who intend to do us harm. I think his inner strength will allow him to stay calm and think his decisions through in a sensible way, which will minimize the possibility of errors in judgement. This is what it comes down to for me: character. He's got it. The polls are in his favor right now. Let's hope that this translates to victory next month!

1) A kidney

In February of 2007, my parents had to cancel a trip to San Francisco to visit me when it was discovered that my mother's kidney function was dangerously low. She has been on dialysis ever since. She has her up days and down days, but days are looking better since she started working again this year. Not only that, she has moved up to the top of the list of donor recipients in waiting for her blood type (B). My prediction to her was that she'd have a new kidney by Christmas. Anyone want to speed things up and be a living donor? (Hey, I had to ask!)

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Tangentially... one of my fellow Popdose contributors, a dude known as Scraps who ran my favorite Popdose column, the regular Friday feature/game "Name That Tune," suffered a stroke last week. He is a freelance writer and, as with most such people, does not have health insurance. Donations to cover his medical bills can be made here.

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And finally, a public service announcement: if going to a concert is like having sex, then earplugs are your concert condoms (or dental dams or whatever else you choose to use). Wear 'em every time without fail! I say this because I should have known better than to forget my earplugs before going to see Earthless on Saturday night. My right ear is still ringing, and I'm a tad on the worried side... don't be an idiot like I was.

And this concludes the ramblings I didn't have time to make in the first place...

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