Fifty years after Lou Reed took a Walk on the Wild Side

Fifty years after Lou Reed released the album Transformer, his Walk on the Wild Side is looking increasingly like a walk on the mild side.  While it will always be one of the great rock and roll albums, the taboo subjects and subversive themes Reed explored in those days now seem rather tame by present standards, and would probably only elicit yawns from many listeners today.  To be sure, taking a walk on the wild side ain’t what it used to be.    

Take Holly from Miami FLA, for instance.  After plucking her eyebrows, shaving her legs and becoming a she, Holly eagerly sets out to take a walk on the wild side.  Thirsting for adventure, she hits the mean streets of the city ready to give the tiger a whirl.  Instead she’s ushered into the local public library where she reads children’s books to the assembled youngsters for an hour.  Later in the day, she’s invited to participate in a family friendly event where she dances and lip-syncs while moms and dads sip beer, kids geek out on Mountain Dew and they all devour hot wings and french fries.  

Then there’s Candy from out on the Island.  Of course, the back room is no longer her scene.  Candy has an OnlyFans page where she’s assembled quite a following of pathetic rich dudes who are all certain Candy’s heart belongs only to them.  She’s still everybody’s darling, but if you want her to be your darling, you’ll have to register in advance for the special private group event at the OnlyFans Convention in Las Vegas.

Jackie is still speeding away, only now she’s on Adderall to treat her “attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.”  Jackie’s job in the tech sector demands that she take on more projects and become more productive.  She’s strutting her stuff on the wild side, logging twenty hour days for a crypto start-up.  While she has no idea who James Dean is, she does sometimes feel like a god and pities all those poor souls who’ve never experienced the pleasures of amphetamines.   

Sometimes it feels like the wild side should’ve stayed in the wild.  There was something secret and thrilling about reading stories or hearing songs from a world that was illicit and underground.  Most likely, the wild side was doomed when Lou Reed penned his songs all those years ago.  Certainly, by the time he did that Honda Scooter commercial, it was curtains for the wild side.