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, April 16, 2009

Hero Chesley Sullenberger

Longtime airline pilot "Sully" Sullenberger became an instant celebrity of the most heroic kind in January 2009 when he made a successful emergency landing in New York's Hudson River, saving all 155 people on board.

His US Airways flight took off from LaGuardia Airport, destination, Charlotte, N.C.
About one minuet underway, the plane collided with a flock of geese, knocking out both engines, one of which caught fire. Having no power, Capt. Sullenberger knew he had to ditch in the river.

He brought the plane down smoothly, and doors were opened immediately. Passengers clamored out onto the wings, and a few fell into the 41-degree water. TV news crews in Manhattan, some of whom had watched the landing,rushed to cover the story. A ferry, the Thomas Jefferson, came alongside and threw lines and vests to those in the water.

In the end, all aboard were safely brought ashore. Capt. Sullenberger was the last out of the plane, having combed the cabin--twice--to be certain no on remained aboard.

Sullenberger appeared modest about his heroic accomplishment, although some said his safe water landing under such conditions was an aviation first.

The scholarly looking pilot, a member of Mensa who holds two master's degrees, had been flying airliners since 1980 and prior to that, flew fighter jets during his Air Force years.

No comments:

Post a Comment