About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

One-hit wonder Sinead O'Connor

Despite the enormous amount of media attention paid to Irish singer and songsmith Sinead O'Connor of Dublin, her one really big hit song was a ballad about heartbreak written by Prince, Nothing Compares 2 U., big in 1990. Having had a difficult childhood, reprtedly including domestic abuse plus Catholic reform school, it is little wonder that Sinead has been an angry rebel as an adult.

Her first musical group called itself Ton Ton Macoute, named for the zombies of Haitian lore. Shaved bald and performing with a rebellious stare, she performed solo and with other singers and among other things, alienaed Roman Catholics by her harsh words and lyrics critical of pedophile priests. In America, her opposition to the U.S. invasion of Iraq especially alienated conservatives. Despite having had four children, she came out in 2000 as a lesbian. In 2003, she asked that her fans no longer view her as a celebrity, saying that what she really wanted was privacy. Two years later, she decided that celebrity wasn't really all that bad and began a musical comeback.

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