What’s the difference between a cult and an icon? About 10 newspapers, a few misunderstandings and a nutter. But a cult icon? Never matched.
Today, we were informed of the death of Sir Christopher Lee, a name synonymous with a dark and gleeful eyed villain. A voice that never failed to be the herald of slightly mentally disturbing and spiritually pricking baddies, lost forever. The Dark Lord of Hammer horror, unbridled sexiness (in an old guy kind of way) and one of the most recognised Draculas ever, resigned to memory and celluloid archives.
However, I feel another sadness, as on the same day, Ron Moody died. Most famed for his portrayal of Fagin in Oliver, becoming one of the most famous of his own kind too. But, as in the case of Groucho Marx, who died a few days after Elvis, or Farah Fawcett who died a day or so after Michael Jackson, I fear that Mr Moody will become an unremembered footnote, lost to the cult hero that was Sir Christopher Lee. There are worse things and people to be eclipsed by, but it really is a lesser of two evils.
They say that to be a cult icon is a great honour, however I say not. I think that to be called ‘Cult’ is actually a little insulting. A cult classic is most often defined as something that ‘is vastly popular without easily found reason.’ I find this hugely cruel.
Sir Christopher Lee’s films, and indeed, all the Hammer horrors, were called cult classics, Rocky Horror Picture Show was called a Cult classic. But I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t seen at least one of Sir Christopher’s films, even if it was just Lord Of The Rings. I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t know of at least one Rocky Horror song, even if it’s just The Time Warp. To call something ‘Cult’ just seems to sell it far shorter than is fair.
There is a huge difference between Cult and icon. For example, Jonestown was a cult, scientology is, apparently (for sake of argument) a cult. Marilyn Monroe was an Icon, I am hoping to become an Icon, hopefully! But perhaps we could do a fair deal to our lost Icons, perhaps we could do them the honour of at least calling them an iconic cult icon? Perhaps a cult icon? Maybe even just call them iconic in general.
With that in mind, I beg a favour from the universe, not for me, but others, lost to our world. Rest in Peace Sir Christopher, Mr Moody, and those lost, forever remembered as an iconic memory, burned into our consciousness.
You know the difference between an icon and a cult icon?
It’s just a jump to the left…