Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music is 40 years old this month, and an album that was largely met with bewilderment and hostility on its release is… well, it’s kind of a perfect soundtrack for this day and age, isn’t it? People have been saying that the record was ahead of its time for years, but on a gloomy, muggy summer’s day in the downswing of late capitalism, it seems timelier than ever. Not convinced that today is the day to listen to four 16-minute suites of shrieking feedback and ear-melting noise? Here are ten good reasons why you absolutely should.
1. Because somehow the universe ensured that perfectly rational coping mechanisms (like, you know, booze and drugs) are inherently bad for you, while people who do yoga on the subway will probably end up living forever (and we’ll have to listen to them talking about wheatgrass and quinoa as we slowly waste away into puddles of dissipated anxiety).
2. Because for all that his stupidity, greed, and hate-mongering provide plenty of material for mockery, Donald Trump still has more money than you or I will ever see in a lifetime.
3. Because a 25-year-old dude who plays games on YouTube made SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS last year.
4. Because once the oil runs out we’re all going to end up as agrarian farmers eking out a living off whatever scraps of land Goldman Sachs and Google don’t fence off for their gated communities of tech/finance bros (and their unholy tennis-playing, polo-shirted, infuriatingly healthy children).
5. Because Uber.
6. Because one day we will scream with hysterical, despairing laughter about the days when all we had to worry about was whether we had been mildly inconvenienced by some tech company’s website redesign.
7. Because Dick Cheney is doing just fine.
8. Because the majority of the debt for which the IMF is screwing Greece was originally owed to private investment firms, except the IMF allowed them to transfer those debts to EU institutions, enabling Goldman Sachs, et al. to make out like bandits, as usual, and catalyzing the current disaster.
9. Because Gamergate is a thing that actually happened in the world.
10. Because the shadow of death lies upon us all.