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, April 20, 2009

Hero Daniel Santos

One of those legitimate heroes whose moment in the camera's glare is brief is New Yorker Daniel Santos, who, on his way home from work, dove 130 feet into the Hudson River to save a woman who was attempting suicide.

Santos' act of courage was especially commendable inasmuch as he is a self-confessed poor swimmer. Santos, 21 at the time, was a volunteer firefighter and just a year earlier had pulled a man to safety from a burning building.

The plunge from the Westchester-Rockland bridge stunned Santos, but broke no bones. Both he and the jumper, Maria Capozza, were fished out of the water by the dockmaster of a nearly boat club.

The interviews and hoopla, plus a trip to Disney World, soon ended. His employer disapproved of the time he had been away from work, and Santos quit his job, then turned to drink. Months went by before he got his life back on track. Sometimes heroism doesn't come easily.

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