July 18, 2002

Two issues to contend with:

1) "Lust for Life." Say what you will about the ethical issues of using cherished rock songs in commercials -- it's not the relationship between art and commerce that bothers me, it's the relationship between music and evil. Especially when a deadpan-ironic lyric like "Lust for Life," just oozing with smarmy pride as if to say "I'm fucked up beyond thunderdome but I'm feeling like a million bucks so eat shit and die," is misinterpreted (or reappropriated) as some sort of weekend-warrior anthem, the rallying cry of a nation of skiing WASPs in ugly yellow jumpsuits. That's just WRONG.

2) "Walk on the Wild Side" and "Satellite of Love" should also be copied or purchased through a hits compilation. As for the other songs on Reed's second solo effort, would you spend $15 just to hear lyrics like "Hey you gotta live your life as though you're number one/Yeah, you gotta live yeah your life and make a point of having some fun"?:


Look... thing about Lou Reed is, the fact that his lyrics are so dorky is what makes Lou Reed the man he is! If you think that Lou's contribution to rock music begins and ends with a few Warhol references and one or two songs about being on drugz, you need to go to school! I mean, I love lines like "She smoked mentholated cigarettes" ("mentholated" -- your grandma from Staten Island might have said that in 1961) and "You must think I'm some kind of gay blade" (INSTANT mental association with George Hamilton) because they come from a different mindset, a different time, from a nerdy, pretentious suburban kid who obviously was NOT a hippie and who had to create his own, subculture-defining agenda of cool so he could get a little action and get people to hear his poetry. Really, when I say that his infatuation with Laurie Anderson and his affiliation with Vaclav Havel are really just part of the fascinating plot development in the Great Lou Reed Novel, I'm not being a smug hipster jackass. Transformer IS essential to understanding Lou Reed, and so is The Blue Mask, and so is Set the Twilight Reeling, and I hate it when this new breed of anticanonical thugs declares something BAD or OVERRATED just because they're too ignorant to think about the many levels on which certain works can be appreciated and enjoyed.