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.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fenmme fatale Kay Summersby

A lingering mystery of World War II is the matter of did or did not General, later President Dwight Eisenhower have an affair with his driver, perky Irish lass Kay Summersby while his headquarters was a house south of London. The answer remains unclear to this day and likely will remain so.

In those days, rumors circulated as they always do, but the media were more inclined to give the great and the near great more space than do today's ravening tabloids. Extra-marital hanky-panky went on, of course, but was not so avidly pursued by the media, which by today's standards were pretty conservative and discreet.

A few years after the war, Summersby published a memoir in which she made no mention of any sort of romantic connection with the General. Nearly 30 years later appeared a second book with Summersby listed as author; in it, a wartime romance was hinted at, but not spelled out in detail. In it, she more or less claimed romance minus actual sex.

What is fairly well established is that during Ike's long wartime absence, his wife Mamie had understandable periods of jealosy regarding Summersby and probably other young women. All in all, though, Ike's public image has remained rock solid. Most people find it hard not to like Ike.

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