It's Wednesday, December 10th, 2008. 2:41 a.m. Can't sleep. Look, I'm a patient fellow. Quite patient, actually. I'm relatively chipper in line-ups. My well-stocked video iPod can get me through a grueling afternoon's wait at the emergency room. I once even dated a Sex and the City fanatic. But for the love of all things holy, it's been seventeen long days since the last Guns N' Roses album was released. My patience has officially hit its breaking point.
Okay, Axl Rose. We get it. You're a perfectionist. You're the reclusive, enigmatic Howard Hughes of rock n' roll. But enough is enough. How much longer do we need to wait until a new batch of tunes heads our way? Another week? A fortnight? A month? Tell you what, I've even got a title picked out for you. Appetite For Procrastination. How's that strike you?
Time for a little math. Let's say you wrote and recorded half a song each day since Chinese Democracy first made its way into participating Best Buy locations. Not a full song, Axl. Half a song. By the end of day sixteen, you'd have eight completed tunes at your disposal, which, by most countries' standards of measurement, is one full album. How easy is that? You'd even have a floater day in there to rest up. Or reset your cornrows. Or whatever it is you normally do with your copious, copious amounts of spare time, Senor Slacker.
Music aside, this is a major blow from a commerce perspective. Which, given our faltering economy, is the last thing the doctor ordered. If you'd gotten your act together sometime -- anytime -- over these past seventeen days, people across the U.S. would have a new GNR album to bestow upon their loved ones this Christmas. Instead, they'll dish out nothing more than an empty jewel case of broken dreams wrapped in disappointment paper and adorned with 'Where Did My Life Go Wrong?' tinsel.
Listen, I've seen no evidence to suggest this lack of productivity is a pattern of yours, Axl. My memory isn't what it used to be, but I'm working on the assumption there was minimal turnaround time between Chinese Democracy and the album that preceded it. But seventeen days is seventeen days. And that's a long freaking time. To give you a sense, try this on for size: take one day, and then multiply that day by seventeen. Pretty chilling, no?
So yes, although Chinese Democracy is one of the classic albums of our era, we need to turn the page. That baby hamster I bought a couple of weeks ago has literally grown up listening to Shackler's Revenge. Riad n' the Bedouins has been the soundtrack to too many of my life experiences, from that November 28th road trip to Buffalo to my biannual dental checkup on December 5th. And let's face facts here: we can only lose our collective virginity to Street of Dreams so many times. There needs to be a changing of the guard, musically speaking. It's early-mid December 2008. We can't sit around living like it's mid-late November 2008.
So much has transpired since Chinese Democracy (or Chiney D., as I'll now call it for the sake of slight brevity) dropped. And the reality is this: our North American culture has changed dramatically since those halcyon days of yester-week.
Example. The week Chiney D. dropped, Hillary Clinton was being strongly touted for the Secretary of State post under President-elect Obama's administration. Ah, but a near-lifetime later, she's now Obama's official nominee for Secretary of State.
The week Chiney D. dropped, the tweenish Vampire flick Twilight was number one with a bullet, reigning supreme atop the box office. However, in the long ensuing stretch, it has plummeted way, way down to the number two spot. Twilight WHO? Exactly.
Plus, let's not forget that famed Danish architect Jorn Utzon was alive when the album was released. Now, not so much. Oh -- and here's the kicker -- on December 1st, Venus and Jupiter could be seen by the naked eye due to a spatial anomaly. Now they can't. Don't even bother to look. That's right, entire planets have disappeared since Chiney D.'s release.
And this is why I sit at my computer in the wee hours of the a.m., living out this Brechtian nightmare, waiting for my own personal Godot to arrive. I'd consider putting on a little Chinese Democracy (yes, I'm using the full name again) to soothe my aching soul. But alas, its MP3s have become crackly and warped, worn down by the steady, protracted march of time.
I trust you're pleased with yourself, Mr. Rose. You monster.