Idol Chatter

spicegirlspic.jpgWhen it was suggested that I write about attending the Spice Girls reunion concert in terms of spiritual experience, I scoffed a bit. As enduring and as deep as my love of Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Posh, and Baby is, I just couldn’t see them as Divine, instead of just plain divine. But we here at Idol Chatter are often challenged with finding the spiritual in routine, everyday happenings, so I was game.
In general, I find that far too many things in this world are labeled “spiritual,” since spirituality sells so well. And maybe it’s all Oprah’s doing, but even washing dishes can be your gateway to enlightenment. Sure, call me cynical, but in this age of dish soap touting itself as stress-reducing aromatherapy, it’s not too hard to differentiate from real spiritual experience and spa spiritual experience.
So, on this last night of their reunion tour, I sat down to think about what could have possibly transformed my experience at the Spice Girls concert from just pure nostalgia into actual Spice Satori?

The very basic definition of “spiritual,” according to Merriam-Webster, is “of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit.” And on that level, the concert certainly qualified. As the gals opened the show with a rousing rendition of “Spice Up Your Life,” memories of Clinton era, pre-Internet bubble burst economic heydays came rushing back; the excitement of Girl Power and the ability to revel in pure pop music without apology stirred the spirit.
But, as much as I would like to make the argument that the concert was a transformative spiritual experience, I simply cannot. Sure, I transcended my everyday life for those two hours spent in Newark, but was I fundamentally changed in some enduring way? Did I experience a “Road to Damascus” moment when accidentally peering too closely at the ladies’ glitter-laden costumes? Sadly, no.
I didn’t even have a Britney Spears “Wicked” moment. (Although I was inspired to pray that one day I would aspire to having legs like Geri Halliwell.)
It may be unfair to suggest that all spiritual experiences need to be life changing, but it is just as unfair to label rather mundane items, like bottled water, as “spiritual,” unless they are being used in some ritualistic context. By doing so, we take away the very awe, the very uniqueness, that a spiritual experience should embody; unable to separate the sacred from the profane.
Yes, the Spice Girls reunion tour was a once-in-a-lifetime, historic moment and those gals are like goddesses to me. But as much as I would love to be provocative by declaring that the concert was like touching the divine, I just can’t justify giving the goddess descriptor a capital “G” this time around.

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