It started in the 1970s with the Kiss Army - the self-ascribed label for the loyal fans of what was for the time a controversial band that flirted with mainstream popularity. But the idea seems to have been taken up by more recently by solo female artists to label their fans. This seems to have started with Lady Gaga and the renamed first album (Going from The Fame to The Fame Monster) - although it is quite possible that the renaming of the album happened after she had labelled her fans. (Update: KatyKrazy has subsequently told me that Katy Perry’s fans were using the name for themselves two years before Lady Gaga’s fans. So while it doesn’t explain the tendency it does drive back the popularity of the phenomena. Is it possible that these names all overlap all the way back to Kiss and perhaps even further? I can see an information graphic coming on…)
But from there things seem to have got out of control. With ‘older’ stars getting into the act retrospectively and X Factor pseudo-stars having a go…
These seem to be the most persistent names.
- Mariah Carey - Lambs
- Lady Gaga - Little Monsters
- Jessie J - Heartbeats
- Katy Perry - (Another update: Katycats. I’ve been told off by impassioned fans!)
- Misha B - Aliens
- Justin Bieber - Beliebers
- Paramore - Parawhores
- Nicki Minaj - Barbies
- Miley Cyrus - Smilers
Perhaps one indication of the impact and depth of the occupy movement is the degree that various public figures are prepared to be involved. Manuel Castells may not be a household name but in academic terms is probably one of the couple dozen or so widely respected figures. So a public lecture by Castells in the Bank of Ideas (an occupied empty UBS building in London) is a significant sign of intellectual support which - if he is to live up to his reputation - will be thoroughly reasoned and argued.
The OccupyLSX.org site is reporting this lecture along with other activities and the attempts of the bank to issue legal papers to the occupiers.
Shelagh Delaney’s death yesterday (at 71) presents an interesting moment for reflection. Her TV interview/retrospective of Salford in 1960 (update: which was directed by Ken Russell - who died 5 days later on the 27th) was done when she was 20 (but had already written a Taste of Honey). Despite being 50 years ago she is critical of the lost community that used to exist in Salford and the video displays two very different Salfords (it almost feels like it depends which way you look). The market is vibrant but with a definite edgy feel to it. The street scenes look idyllic but the sense of poverty is also clearly evident. Part of the message suggests that you can overcome a large amount of hardship if there is the support of those around you.
Bygone Salford - the trailer for a DVD made by the Salford Heritage Centre - if you can get past its atrocious sound recording, is a similar viewport in the early and mid-Twentieth Century Salford. There is both a sense of innocence and naivety about the scenes and yet such important events that helped to create the community that Shelagh celebrates in her thoughts.
Both these videos highlight an important continuity from what seems like such a distant period, where both feel like they could be reporting on a Victorian world. There are definite moments of continuity. The visit of the Queen (Elizabeth not Victoria) and the Coronation Street weekly where I could believe that I spotted a young Ken Barlow momentarily. Yet while Salford 2011 might not be perfect the scenes of the massively polluted Irwell and permanently foggy sky suggests that the pizza box and 3litre cider bottle while hallmarks of a faulty social system might not be as collectively terminal.