In the future, when we are old and grey, hair both wispy and dishevelled as we shuffle from room to room, crying out to long-dead friends from wars that haven’t happened yet, we will still be buoyed by the memory of something extraordinary. It will fill us with a constant hope, flowing fresh as from its first time overtaking its bounds and seeping into the world. It will remind us that Americans, for all our flaws and hubris, for all our failures, all our greed, are still capable of rising to any challenge, of accomplishing the unbelievable.

Our grandchildren will come to us, and we will tell them all about how we were witnesses to one of our nation’s proudest moments, how, in November 2008, after years of waiting and hoping and doubting that it would ever happen or was even possible — Guns ‘n’ Roses finally released Chinese Democracy.

I will certainly be checking this record out. I grew up on Guns ‘n’ Roses, from “Sweet Child of Mine” to “November Rain” to “Paradise City.” They were my mom’s favorite band, crazy as Axl Rose was, and they’d be in the car’s tape-deck on my way to karate class or Cub Scouts. I have many fond Guns ‘n’ Roses-related memories, and am glad to see this hubristic, excessive, whiskey-soaked rock-god finally come out of his slumber.

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