I don’t care how much you love this song, you don’t get to make this one yours no matter how much you identify with the handsome dudes who were cast to appeal to your sense of vanity and your not-so-secret desire to stab and machine-gun strangers to death.

Did Lou Reed know what Sony was going to do to his song when he signed the contract to this? Did he know that it was going to be completely recontextualized as an ode to violence, cloaked in superficial irony, to soundtrack a pretty blatant nod to the Columbine massacre fantasy that a whole generation of basement-dwellers kinda wish they could’ve got in on? (Don’t believe me? Skip straight to 0:44 and step straight into the mind of Harris, Klebold and Lanza as they saw themselves.) Did he care what they were going to do to it at all, or does standing on death’s door render such ideas as “artistic integrity” somewhat silly, especially when you’re facing one of the last chances to grab some cash for the loved ones you’re leaving behind?

Did the writer of “Candy Says” not understand (or simply not care?) that he was giving this song over to the most entitled, judgmental, misogynistic, homophobic, trans-phobic subcultures in the world? Was he okay with the possibility that one of his most personal songs could be recast as the soundtrack of male camaraderie as experienced by wealthy, frequently-racistmen’s rights-espousing fedora-wearers with fiercely tribal allegiances to companies whose underpaid employees work in some of the worst conditions in the entire world’s tech industry, and whose biggest passions center around the efficient mastery of increasingly-complex and realistic murder-simulation software?

Did Reed fully understand what Sony’s intent was in using his song in their advertisement? Did he know it would be sonically-butchered with new, out-of-tune vocals? Did he care that the demographic that his song would be used to hook are the most violent aggressors against any call for tolerance and sensitivity on the Internet, the same shit-eating bros who aggressively insult and threaten anyone questioning the status quo in any facet of “geek culture” that they feel remotely connected to? How could an artist whose work surveyed the lives of the down, destitute and disempowered think it was a good idea to give his song to a group of people who, indisputably on the whole, mock the very concepts of empathy and compassion?

Did he want his song to become the next “Mad World” or “Hallelujah”? Does he understand how the Internet and Internet culture have warped the meanings of those tunes and turned them into anthems for strangely-compatible nexus of Glee fans and self-righteous douchebags?

Lou Reed was never one of you and despite what Sony wants you to believe, his tumor-ridden liver was cooler than your whole toxic subculture. You don’t know what that means and never will but years of digesting cynical Internet memes have robbed you of the ability to realize that there’s anything in the world you don’t understand and can’t explain away in sentence fragments and image macros. Choke on your Doritos and fucking die already.

Advertisements