Duff McKagan's column runs every Thursday on Reverb. His memoir, It's So Easy (Simon & Schuster) is out now.
We all see these lists accumulated by Forbes or Yahoo! or CNBC; you know, the "Top 50 Cities To Live In," "Top 10 Beaches In The World," or "Most Literate Cities In America." We all love these lists. It also seems, that all of the different media outlets do competing lists at the same time.
I like the lists myself, and couldn't help but open the latest lists provided by all of these outlets on 'Most Stressful Cities'. I was a bit surprised to see our own beloved city of Seattle making the top 10. I wondered enough to read on. Here is CNBC's qualifier for this particular list:
"In order to gauge the stress of residents in American cities, data cruncher Sperling's Best Places considered the 50 largest metropolitan areas (which includes suburbs). The team considered the following factors: divorce rate, commute times, unemployment, violent crime, property crime, suicides, alcohol consumption, mental health, sleep troubles, and the annual amount of cloudy days.... ?'
Well, let's take these one by one:
1. DIVORCE RATE: Could it be that Seattleites are just a bit more curious and less afraid of a little thing like court? I mean, court-rooms or lawyers offices ARE inside, and thus, out of the weather. Divorce could be like the Seattlites' version of an igloo or yert.
2. COMMUTE TIMES: A few years ago, I would have disputed that driving was THAT terrible in Seattle. We ARE congested-largely because of bridges and such-but recently we have seemed to get worse at driving; pushing up commute times. I say we bring back J.P. Patches. You KNOW that some of us would stay home longer in the morning, and THAT would stagger our number of drivers on the road in the morning. Hell, bring back the afternoon movie on channel 7, and 'Dialing For Dollars' with Sandy Hill for that matter!
3. UNEMPLOYMENT: Yeah, it sucks. Yea. Buy stuff locally y'all, and otherwise try to create some jobs up in here! Also (and as I have said here before), the State Of Washington should relax its filming taxation numbers. More films that are made here, the more jobs. The more films that are made here, the more tourists. More tourism=more jobs. While I am at it, we need our Sonics back!
4. VIOLENT CRIME: Yeah. What the hell is going ON in our downtown and even our suburbs? People with guns and knives and whatever? And now a serial killer in Bremerton? I'm afraid that I don't have a snarky comment for this one. Violent Crime=Horrible.
5. PROPERTY CRIME: Oh, you mean like where the biggest Barnes & Noble west of the Mississippi, was financially forced out of the University Village? For a furniture store? Now, I am not a big proponent for a corporate bookstore like B&N, but at least they DO sell books. It was a great gathering-spot down there in the U-Village. That propery now, will sell disposable goods.
6. SUICIDES: Didn't I say something about bridges already?
7. ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION: They must have misconstrued this one. People in Ballard can take up the slack for about 5 large metropolitan areas, as far as drink-consumption goes. They should maybe take Ballard out of this part of the survey. It's not fair to the rest of us.
8. MENTAL HEALTH: I mean....we have a futuristic needle type of building as our city's main landmark.
9. SLEEP TROUBLE: Hell! I sleep GREAT with the sound of rain on my roof!
10. ANNUAL AMOUNT OF CLOUDY DAYS: You mean to tell me that the sky isn't naturally gray? What the?!!!
So, you see what I did there? Without even trying, I gave yet another list of useless information for you all to click on. Hit away, folks!