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 27, 2009

Hero Susan Boyle

An instant celebrity--and hero-- to plain people everywhere, and to those who have misgivings about the shallow, looks-oriented nature of television and other visual media,is Scottish singer Susan Boyle.

Boyle burst onto the media scene in April 2009 as a contestant on the show "Britain's Got Talent."

When she took the stage, the show's three judges were a study in barely contained disgust that anyone so very dowdy would dare appear before them. Shots of the audience showed youthful men and women laughing up their sleeves and rolling their eyes.

The moment when Boyle began to sing was electric. The judge who is an editor appeared about to cry, the usually sharp-tongued Simon looked genuinely amazed, and the living Barbie Doll in the middle was so surprised that she almost forgot to bend forward to allow the tv audience a better view of her cleavage.

Rarely has there been a more beautiful event in the entire history of television. The soaring notes of Boyle's rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from from Les Miserables had the audience on its feet throughout, clapping wildly. Had any of the judges dared say one word critical of Boyle's performance, the audience would likely have beaten him or her senseless.

Now the unmarried, unemployed church volunteer who lives alone with her cat has her own fan club and apparently has a record deal in the works. Rare is the person who has not seen her performance.

Boyle is living proof that not always do nice guys (or gals) finish last.

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