Brandon Wetherbee is the host of the You, Me, Them, Everybody talk show. See him Friday, January 6 with Allison Lane, Katherine Jessup, Philippa Hughes, Morgan H. West, Haywood Turnipseed Jr, Kevin Tit and Norm Quarrinton at The Wonderland Ballroom in Washington, D.C.
5 women from a once great country gave us the best advice for 2017. Set in a post apocalyptic hellscape, the poets valued inclusion, positivity, dancing, diversity and whistling over fear. They delivered their message 20 years too soon.
Though time can not determine a good or bad year, 2016 was deemed a horrible year by most everyone. The election of Trump, the passing of Bowie, Prince, Fisher and many more beloved figures and a Brexit put the first world in a malaise. By the end of the year, it felt like everyone was in a deep depression. The rest were fired up to fight. Only a few people were celebrating 2016.
On December 31, 2016, at a small New Year’s Eve party with friends, it became clear that I was not depressed nor fired up. And I wasn’t celebrating. I was in a holding pattern, casually watching YouTube videos and chatting about the future. Then someone suggested Spice Girls videos. And it became clear. I was ready to spice up my life. I am currently spicing up my life.
“Spice Up Your Life” was the first single from the Spice Girls’ second album, Spiceworld, released on November 1, 1997. It was written for their movie, Spice World (yes, the album has no space between spice and world but the film does because?). The video looks nothing like the movie. The main video inspiration is Blade Runner. It has more in common with Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug” (also released in 1997 and also written for a movie (Lost Highway)) and The Smashing Pumpkins’ “The End Is the Beginning Is the End” (also released in 1997 (What was so bad in 1997?) and also written for a movie (Batman & Robin)) than with their previous oeuvre.
The film version of “Spice Up Your Life” is what you’d expect from just hearing the song. It features glitter, simple dance moves, adoring fans and George Wendt.
The two videos are important. They illustrate man’s duality. The light and the dark, the good and the bad, hope and despair. The main takeaway is simple. Regardless of the setting, we need to spice up our lives. Whether things are wonderful or horrifying, uniting behind a message of inclusion, positivity, dancing, diversity and whistling is important.
I will not be fighting in 2017. I applaud those that will. But I will not be escaping either. Not everything is fight or flight. The third option, party, may be the best option. And I will try to make my parties bigger and better, with more glitter and George Wendt than every before.
I will be spicing up my life. I think it means more partying* with more people and more partying with more people is what made me move to a city and expand my friend group and start my talk show.
2017 will be a year of spicing up my life. After listening to the words these 5 wise women penned and performed (they actually wrote the song with Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard), I have a guiding principle that I am not ashamed to stand behind. Whenever I feel lost, I vow to remember, “Hi-ci-ya! Hold tight!”
*By partying, I mean gathering together with groups of friends and strangers, not doing a bunch of cocaine.