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.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Femme fatale Nolanda Hill

Conspiracy theorists are still buzzing about the circumstances of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown's death in 1996 amidst the general sleaze of the Clinton administration.

Brown, a prominent African-American political figure of whom much was expected, died in Bosnia when his plane went down on a hillside. Quite possibly, the cause was purely accidental, but two years thereafter, Brown's colleague Nolanda Sue Hill, who also turned out to have been his long-time lover, gave court testimony that seats on government trade mission planes were being sold to people who wanted a buy influence in exchange for campaign contributions. (ruly we do appear to have the best government that money can buy.)

Hill fingered Brown for using drugs while in his high office and for taking money to help business interests. She also testified that he Clintons had been "renting" rooms in the White House to well-heeled rascals wanting something something in the way of a quid pro quo. No standard-issue bimbo, Hill was the wealthy owner of a couple of television stations before meeting and going into business with Ron Brown.

Hill herself got into trouble with the IRS for contributing to the filing of false tax returns and was indicted by a federal grand jury. Brown, too, had tax troubles and was set to make a deal with independent counsel then investigating the Clinton administration. By that time, the FBI was onto him for his dealings with Vietnamese interests. When Brown's plane went down, rumors flew about sabotage to ward off embarrassement to the administration. No evidence came to light, however. Hill dropped out of sight, and the roiled political waters soon were still again.

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