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, February 10, 2009

Femme fatale Paula Jones

It is unclear whether to consider Paula Jones a femme fatale or more nearly a victim. She held a state job in Arkansas during Bill Clinton's time as that state's governor. According to her testimony, she was propositioned by the governor in his office, and he underlined the point he was trying to make by dropping trou.

Jones filed a sexual harassment suit in the amount of $750,000. A sort of witness was a state trooper who was stationed outside the governor's door at the time. Clinton's legal advisors argued that since he had become the nation's president, he was (as were a couple of major corporations in the 2008-2009 banking collapse) "too big to fail." The U.S. Supreme Court disagreed and allowed Jones' civil suit to go forward. In the end, Clinton settled out of court with Jones for $850,000, most of which reportedly was gobbled up by her lawyers, as is the usual custom.

But for the Jones suit, Clinton's later affair with Monica Lewinsky might never have become public.

As for Jones, she posed for Penthouse magazine, had a badly needed nose job and in 2002 was briefly back in the public eye in a celebrity boxing match, which she lost to former skater Tonya Harding. At last report, Jones was making her living more quietly, in real estate sales.

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