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, April 21, 2009

Hero Charles Moose

As police chief of Montgomery County, MD, Charles Moose became a celebrated figure in 2002 when he was point-man for press relations during the search for the Beltway Snipers, who eventually were responsible for 13 shootings and 10 murders near the nation's capital.

Moose, 49 at the time of the investigation, held a history degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a Ph.D. in criminology and urban studies from Portland State University.

He previously had been on the Portland, OR, police force for 27 years, part of that time as chief. During the search for the killers, Moose occasionally became frustrated and feisty with the media as the task force he helped direct tracked down John Allen Muhammad and his young accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo.

Moose's star dimmed somewhat, however, when news came out that he had begun work on a book about the case--while the search was ongoing--and reportedly had received a $170,000 advance for it. Also, Moose started his own consulting firm for crisis management after the arrests had been made. The book deal's timing was

contrary to regulations and brought about his resignation as police chief. In 2006, Moose joined the police department in Honolulu.

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