duffloaded1.jpg
Deanne Deesay
Watch a slideshow of McKagan's band, Loaded, at the Crocodile on April 9. Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
Hey, Kids!

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Duff McKagan: Why I'm an Eternal Optimist

duffloaded1.jpg
Deanne Deesay
Watch a slideshow of McKagan's band, Loaded, at the Crocodile on April 9.Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb.
Hey, Kids! Hear Daily Weekly columnist Krist Novoselic and Reverb's Duff McKagan fill in as hosts of the Ron & Don Show on KIRO 97.3 FM, Thursday, April 16 from 5 to 7 p.m.

I'm that guy who is constantly trying to see the "good" or "bright" side of most things. Reason and common sense do play into my rosy visions, and therefore inform me that not everyone or every situation may agree with the way that I look at it/them. I think that the moment that jadedness or ill will seeps into a person's thought process, it's then a dangerous and slippery slope toward what could be all-encompassing grey gloomy-Gusdom. To hell with that.

Obama has been sharply criticized by the conservatives of this country for not being "tougher" with the Europeans on his recent trip there for the G20 Economic Summit. Sure, pledges were made for some $1.1 trillion for a continental version of our TARP, but some say that Obama should have been sharper in tone and more bellicose in nature. I guess I'm not as cynical.

It appears to me that the maiden trip served its purpose in that Obama put world leaders on notice that they are dealing with someone who has intellect and a plan more nuanced than schoolyard diplomacy. If a politician (or anyone else, for that matter) yells, screams, and makes demands from the get-go, there really is no place to go from there. There may be more room for getting real work done if one goes into a situation first with a touch of humility and an air of academia and social ease. These things he most certainly did.

Also, it seems that the Obama administration is doing away with bleak terms like "Axis of Evil" and "War on Terror." I have no time or patience for religious fundamentalists who prop up terrorist acts to bring attention to their cause. These small groups of assholes must certainly be dealt with, but to give their movement and actions more attention does them a favor. Disenfranchised youth love to be part of something that goes against the grain, and in those parts of the world, the Taliban and their ilk is that something. When you get someone like Obama spreading the seeds of something kinder and more positive and having sit-down talks with the Taliban, then those youth will perhaps have to stop joining the ranks of the terrorist paramilitary camps.

Right now I am reading The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. The book recounts, for the most part, the trials and tribulations that this country went through recovering from the Great Depression. Roosevelt did a lot of things right in his recovery efforts, but there were definitely stumbles and missteps along the way. One of the big problems that generation faced is the same one we are experiencing now: a lack of consumer confidence. A dark outlook on the economy seeps into every pore of our society. Even when prolonged favorable economic indicators were prevalent back in the '30s, the public remained sharply resistant to giving their collective confidence back to our banking system and government. Chin up, people! The more I read of historical events, the more I see that everything is cyclical. I have optimism because history is the great indicator of future events for me.

Another reason for me to be pleased of late is our Seattle Mariners! Yeah, I know that it is painfully early to start to even THINK about talking or writing about the M's, but hey, I like how this team looks. Edny Chavez and Erik Bedard are just two of the reasons to pique Seattleites' interest in getting tickets to this first home stand. Ichiro and Junior's return are great stories, but a winning team with a couple of aces and some clutch bats would be a better one. Shit, we had a come-from-behind win last Saturday against the A's; I don't remember ONE of those from last year, do you?

Last summer I came off a brutal and drama-filled year touring our last Velvet Revolver record. All I wanted to do was get back to Seattle and watch some Mariners games on TV or go to Safeco. I think that I got back from tour somewhere around June 1. The season was already over. We all look forward to our teams being at least competitive in (at least) their divisions. Last season's M's gave me nothing in return for my abundant fandom, and it sucked. I have some optimism for this season, and it just feels good to have that right now.

The Huskies football program? No place to go from here but up. Seahawks? Same thing. I hear that there is even a soccer team in town now, too. What's next? Maybe there will be a ban on semi-automatic weapons...that would get me REAL optimistic!

 
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