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 Deloris Wilson

One of those very, very quiet heroes is Deloris Wilson, a high school librarian in West Monroe, LA.

Wilson's minor and certainly temporary celebrity came when she bravely resisted the forces of the academic dark side (the school's administration, of course) and refused to remove four books from circulation. Administrators were, apparently, afraid the students would find out about...gasp, sex, as that was the topic of the books in question. Later told to remove from the shelves all books having content dealing with sex, she began, as a protest, to pull many classics and even the Bible.

Authorities so often want to save everyone else from themselves. Wilson's case brought to mind an earlier such incident when members of the U.S. Congress ordered the Library of Congress to get rid of a list of offending books, which included "Make it With Madmoiselle." Turns out that was actually a book of sewing patterns. The LOC was also directed to get rid of the braille edition of Playboy magazine--that is, until librarians patiently explained that the only thing in braille was the verbal content.

Wilson entered a formal complaint in her matter, and the ACLU of Louisiana represented her. The books were returned to the shelves, Wilson kept her job, and a settlement was reached.

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