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, March 23, 2009

Hoaxer Rosie Ruiz

One of the most-remembered hoaxers of them all is Rosie Ruiz, a Cuban-born woman who "won" the 1980 Boston Marathon.

Ruiz started the race with the other runners, dropped out and took public transportation, then jumped back into the front of the pack and finished first, ahead of the actual winner, Jacqueline Gareau, and the other 446 women in the race.

A few days later, reports appeared that someone had seen Ruiz during her mid-race bus ride. It also came to light that in order to qualify for the Boston event, Ruiz had cheated in a similar manner to qualify for the 1979 New York Marathon, this time taking the subway before crossing the finish line.

Ruiz had a run-in with drug-related legal trouble in the early 1980s, then moved to Florida.

Her temporarily successful and much publicized hoax has been responsible for increased camera monitoring of marathons to prevent repetitions of this kind of hoax.

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