I-I-I-I-I Want You Back!
by Erin Hill
Here’s the thing. Whenever my two boyband songs (“Larger than Life” by the Backstreet and “(dirty) Pop” by the 'NSync) come up on shuffle on my IPod, I start giggling uncontrollably. I think this is:

a) Because the songs are ridiculously ridiculous musical pageantry, with hilarious Atari-like sound effects and robot voices that it is hard to believe were meant to be taken semi-seriously by anyone, even preteens.

b) Because now that boybands are extinct, I take them semi-seriously and have admitted to myself that I love these two songs with every fiber of my being. I would like to write it all off as ironic, glib, hipster amusement, but I know it’s not. A.J. McLean, I think I heart you.

All of this makes me feel shame, not because boybands are stupid -as I’ve just demonstrated, clearly and without a doubt, they. are. awesome.-- but rather, because I clamored for the fall of boybands just like all of the rest of you. And then one morning I woke up and they were gone. Like thst heartbreaking scene in The Labyrinth, in which David Bowie takes Jennifer Connelly's baby brother because she thinks she doesn't want him. Only if instead of an adorable baby, David Bowie had taken away about 15 adorable man-children with facial hairstyles that shift like desert sand in a windstorm.

This isn’t to say that we should all be living on a steady diet of these bands. Just that it is a crime that the only things to survive the 2001 Boyband holocaust were Justin Timberlake, Nick Lachey and Nick Carter.

These guys use "classy" waterfalls in their Videos.

and Spanish guitar.

and REAL rappers.

Howie D and Joey FatOne are supposed to rap if there's rapping to do. THIS IS MADNESS!

The other 73.5 degrees have been chewed up and spit out on the side of the road, like so much bubblegum. The rest of the Backstreet Boys, the fabulously grotesque, bloated, pill-addicted Mariah Carey to NSync's staid, boring Amy Grant, are gone without a word. And somewhere Chris Kirkpatrick is drinking himself into an early grave.

Meanwhile where's the spectacle? Where's the homoeroticism on offer for teen consumption? Where are the ridiculous boyband manoutfits? If there were any justice in this world, a Native American would by crying a tear for my lost robot voices.

manoutfitsBut you know what? Just as I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows, I believe there is still hope for these fallen pop angels. Here is what I propose:

98 Nsync Backstreet Boys from O-Town, or 98NSBSBOT for short.

A Smithsonian-like repository for all of our national boyband treasures, 98NSBSBOT would make excellent boyband music for you and me, so that we could buy that music and make good on a promise that we as a nation made to its craftsmen: that we would always love them.

For you see, all those years that Lance Bass was slugging away, working his fingers to the nub on songs like "It's Gonna Be Meaaaay!" fans promised to love him 4-ever. And he believed them, like Boxer in Animal Farm believed he would retire to the paddock once the windmill was built. Boxer was taken to the glue factory, America. We've got to send Lance Bass to the paddock. The paddock of 98NSBSBOT.

Please help. Join the cause. Write your senators. Demand funding from the NEA. Together, with your help can make 98NSBSBOT a reality. Come on, America! Show 98NSBSBOT, the meaning of being un-lonely, won’t you?