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.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hoaxer Rory Emerald

A stay-at-home dad and Los Angeles artist with a truly eccentric sense of humor is Julian Lee Hobbs, who pulls off his serial hoaxes under the name Rory Emerald.

Hobbs' harmless pranks--more than 40 of them so far-- follow a pattern. He places a classified ad in a local newspaper somewhere in the USA indicating that he has found some unlikely object and lists his own phone number. When people call, he informs them that the ad is a prank. Some laugh; some are angry.

Hobbs' first such hoax ad, in 2005, claimed that he had found a prosthetic nose outside Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch.

He has not attempted to profit financially from these bogus ads, and his motive for going to all this trouble is not clear, but he refers to himself as a "merry prankster" and a "professional hoaxer."

Hobbs, who was born in Pontiac, Michigan, has also claimed to have found Elton John's platform boots, the bottle from the TV show "I Dream of Jennie," Leonardo Da Vinci's brushes and palette, a two-headed cat, and the very first VW Beetle.

Prior to all these hoaxes, when he was 23, he hoaxed the Associated Press into reporting that he was actress Elizabeth Taylor's lover.

Hobbs is living proof of the old saying that it takes all kinds.

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