I’ve been hearing the Spice Girls song, “Stop”, a lot recently, at school. This has a weird effect on me. A group of girls at college used to do the moves to this song all the time, and consequently when I hear it I have a vision of them doing so – and an urge to join in. Mainly to upset the kiddies.
What made me think of this is the book I am reading: Spice: The History of a Temptation, by Jack Turner. It’s very enjoyable – although I am dubious of his repeated use of the term ‘Dark Ages’ in referring to the time after the (now) official end of the Western Roman Empire. Nonetheless. He has a whole chapter, of course on spice and sex: looking at all the different ways it was recommended to use spice to improve sex in a variety of ways, as well as the problems the more prudish (and supposedly celibate) members of the community had with it. Throughout, he makes comments on some of the things that have lasted to the modern day, and towards the end he comments on the Spice Girls, saying they “shot like a gaudy, squawking comet through the outer orbits of pop stardom before, in obedience to the Newtonian physics of celebrity, the acrimonious plummet back to earth and bust-up.” Beautiful. No wonder he writes about spice; he certainly has the language for it.