Love her or hate her, there' no denying that Lady Gaga is a cultural force who resonates with many, many young people. Perhaps no other creative genius since the late (great) John Hughes has been able to effectively express the inner turmoil and feelings of disenfranchisement that are part of modern teenage life.
For many young people, Lady Gaga ("Mother Monster") has been able to tap into the global zeitgeist of a generation of "Little Monsters" and empowered them through her music to speak up share their voice.
Project Gaga 2010 is a user-generated fan project that collected over 268 pictures of mostly teenage fans from across the globe all "with the same message: thank you, mother monster, for giving us all a voice."
Teenage fan behavior patterns haven't changed that much in the last 50 years or so. What has changed are the ways in which they express their devotion as a fan to their favorite movie, music or TV star.
Today's teens, unlike previous generations, have many more digital tools that allow them to self-organize via social networking sites, coordinate the collection of this photos from around the world, use free web-based tools to produce a video and free distribution on YouTube.
And oh, a tweet of approval from
"Mother Monster" is a pretty good way to market your tribute.
Now for some of us who are a wee bit past those awkward crazy teenage years this "Mother Monster" tribute stuff may seem a little bizarre.
But before you dismiss it, consider the idea that if previous generations had the same bounty of free digital and self-publishing tools, the web would be full of similar tributes to Madonna, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Frank Sinatra or Al Jolson.