A Second-Rate Drag-Routine: The Spice Girl’s “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)”

 

Ten years after Wannabe, said to have been the best-selling single by a female group in the history of musical recording, the Spice Girls have brought out a new single. It attempts to serve as an overture to the world tour that the group is set to begin next month. The whole thing is really very tragic: the song, the tour, what life has done to the girls in the past 10 years, and not to mention what’s happened to the society they helped to create. They should just stay at home, grow old gracefully and look back in wonder at how once they walked hand in hand with the defining mood of the late 1990s. This time the zeitgeist is certainly not with them, nor they with it.

In their new song, Headlines, they sing: “I wanna tell the world I’m giving it up for you.” Oh, really? The video is soft porn without the sex, no more than some tricky lighting, ditzy angles, phoney enthusiasm and calculated lies. Victoria is in bondage gear. Those bubbly, boisterous, noisy, tuneful, natural girls have turned themselves into airbrushed, skinny, desperate housewives, overanxious to entice, ribs showing, faces blank from Botox. And now they’re all mothers, except Sporty, the one with the voice, who still looks halfway human and who not even airbrushing can help.

Peter Aspden wrote this recent review in England’s Financial Times:

“Perhaps it is the cold nights of November drawing in, or possibly just a rank bad mood. But I ask: has there been anything so repellent in British cultural life as the new song and video by the Spice Girls? It is called “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)“, a title that hints at the momentousness of the much heralded reunion of the five women after several years of moody estrangement.

To judge by the video, it is the kind of reunion I imagine when the former states of Yugoslavia get together to discuss mutual sewage needs. They slink into a dark room in slow motion and adopt a series of pouts and poses that would shame a $10 drag act. The two members of the group who consider themselves sufficiently thin to be attractive are semi-disrobed. The others remain shrouded and shadowy. None of them relates to any of their freshly reacquainted friends. The sophistication of digital trickery forces us to ask: are they in the same room?”

It’s really, really dreadful. Take a listen here:

The Spice Girls: “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)”

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Memories of Old Motels: A Remembrance of Things Past

Memories of Old Hotels: A Remembrance of Things Past

An unattached and sprawling group of independent motels spread across the country during the golden motel era, the twenty-five years or so following World War II. When I was a youngster, motel life was a glimpse of paradise. But in recent years, these off-brand motor courts have been disappearing from the landscape, displaced by boxy three-story chain hotels that cluster at freeway interchanges. Occasionally one passes by old motels that have been converted into little office parks, homes to psychic healers and vacuum-cleaner fixers, and this is always sad. The number of these old motels continues to fall. Sometimes, I fantasize that their value will dramatically increase and that they’ll be saved and really appreciated.

Music: Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge/Help Me Make it Through the Night

Memories of Old Motels:A Remembrance of Things Past

Florida Motel Nostalgia

A Pilgrimage Across the Old Highway 66

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