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, April 24, 2009

Hero Clint Hill

Clinton "Clint" Hill found his brief moment in American memory when he leaped upon the back of President John F. Kennedy's limo in Houston, TX, after the president had been shot.

A history major who served in the Army following graduation from college, Hill in 1958 joined the U.S. Secret Service. After his training, he was given the White House assignment and provided protection for both Dwight D. Eisenhower and JFK.

In this position, Hill was on the detail for the fateful Houston trip in November 1963. He rode in the car immediately behind the president's car.

When he heard the first shot and saw the president lurch forward, he ran to the trunk of the limo and jumped onto it to shield the president and first lady. Another shot or shots were fired; one hit front-seat passenger Texas Gov. John Connally in the back, wounding but not killing him.

Two cars further back in the motorcade, Secret Service agent Rufus Youngblood did essentially the same thing for V.P. Lyndon Johnson, who was not hurt.

Hill could see that Kennedy had been mortally wounded, with part of his head lying on the car seat and blood everywhere. He yelled for the driver to go quickly to the nearest hospital.

November 22, 1963 was one of America's saddest days. The president had been assassinated, but alert agent Clint Hill had done his heroic best.

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