DUFF MCKAGAN: Random Thoughts (And Experiences) Of 2008

VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N' ROSES bassist Duff McKagan has penned the latest installment of his weeky column, which appears every Thursday on Reverb at SeattleWeekly.com. A few excerpts follow below.

"I really don't have a 'tidy conclusion of 2008' column anywhere in me. Really, I think I ceaselessly strive for my life to have soft edges as opposed to sharp corners, but it just never works out that way. Instead of actually writing some sort of year-end wrap-up, I thought of maybe just blurting out some random things that this year has perhaps influenced in my thought processes.

* Don't smoke crack: This stuff, while maybe getting you off for a few moments, really wreaks havoc on those around you. Enough said on that.

* Write a weekly column: Especially one where you may get instant feedback from readers. This experience for me has been nothing short of spectacular. Firstly, coming up with a weekly topic that others may find interesting is tougher than it may seem, but has kept me on my toes — stimulating, I should say. Secondly, reading feedback to a point (or NON-point!) you are trying to get across really lets me into the mind of others... I especially like the hecklers. The Internet is a place where most of us can remain faceless and shameless!

* Call instead of text someone (better yet, meet for a fucking coffee! OMG): This past year has been 'the year of the text' for me. I must agree that texting someone is generally OK, but only if you also TALK to this person (LMAO). I have seen people whom I have known for a long time become socially retarded as a direct result of relying on text-messaging to do all of their bidding. I do believe (IMO) that our younger generation may be headed toward some serious social difficulties as a consequence of this technological advancement. :-) Some of my friends have increasingly gotten better at communicating via text or e-mail, while their people skills have decreased at the same rate.

* Require politicians to read world history before they commit us to war and such: If old George W. had simply read a few history books about tribal warfare in the Middle East, he may have thought twice before stating that 'The Iraqi people are perfectly able to govern themselves.' Tribal warfare has been going on in that region since before the time of Jesus, and Saddam was just one of a long line of despots who have ruled with an iron fist in that part of the world. I do agree that Saddam and his sons were wicked bastards and should have gotten everything that was coming their way, I just wish a wider berth had been given to the IDEA of a mixed-religion Iraqi senate with real power back before we decided to invade. There was lip-service paid to the defeated Iraqi army that they would have work—that never happened either, and those legions got pissed waiting around, etc.

* We elected a President with pecs: When is the last time women have been all aflutter over a politician? I came downstairs the other morning and my mother-in-law was freaking out over a news piece they had just run on Obama on the beach in Hawaii. I saw the piece a little later that same day. I think gym memberships probably saw a spike that day. This will serve as a notice to all you malcontent nations out there — our Prez can beat up yours!

* Look forward to the future! OK, so we all have borne witness to a pretty awful eight years of Bush policies. We have also all seen this credit cri sis throw us into a recession that is shaping up to resemble the one we had back in the early '80s. (Seattle is in MUCH better shape now than it was then. Downtown looked like a ghost town.) It will probably get worse before it gets better, but it WILL get better. I am confident that President-elect Obama is 'the smartest guy in the room' and will apply lessons from history. We have got the best guy for the job. Now, if he could do something to get an NBA team back here in Seattle."

Read McKagan's entire column at SeattleWeekly.com.

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