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.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Femme fatale Paula Parkinson

There is something about national politics that imparts to the successful male politician the notion that he should not be bound by the usual social conventions. This "I gotta be me" outlook has landed many a politico in hot water, and such was the case with Delaware's golfing Republican congressman Thomas Evans, Jr.

In 1980, Evans and fellow Republicans Tom Railsback of Illinois and Dan Quayle of Indiana were doing the public's business at a Florida golf course, accommpanied by good-time agricultural insurance lobbyist Paula Parkinson, whose favorite crop appeared to be successful Republican politicians.

Questioned by the Justice Department, Parkinson admitted to innumerable flings , but only with Republicans. The Department decided not to prosecute anyone, but news of the junketing good time boys is thought to have cost Evans the next election, in 1982. The affair may also have been a major factor in the unseating of 8-term congressman Railsback. Quayle escaped the bad publicity and went on to exhibit his boyish charm and lack of spelling ability as U.S. vice president.

Parkinson did the expected and posed for Playboy magazine before disappearing from public view.

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