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 Rosa Parks

An iconic figure in the story of the struggle for civil rights for African Americans was Rosa Parks, who became known to America because in 1955 she refused to move to the back of a Montgomery, AL, bus to make room for a white passenger.

At that time, some bus seats were labeled for whites, others for blacks. Parks was seated in what then was termed the "colored" section when a white passenger got on the bus and the driver asked her to move further back. She refused and was arrested.

The otherwise mild-mannered Parks, a seamstress by trade, was convicted of disorderly conduct but had struck an important symbolic blow for equal rights.

It was her small protest that brought Martin Luther King and other civil rights figures to Montgomery, as well as sparking a yearlong bus boycott by Montgomery blacks. Her act was also influential in the U.S. Supreme Court's 1956 ruling that outlawed segregated seating on public transportation.

Parks received many honors, yet in 1994, she was mugged and robbed, ironically, by a fellow African American. Parks died in 2005.

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