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.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Victim Christa McAuliffe

Slated to be the first teacher, and the first civilian in space, Crista McAuliffe was one of seven crew members of the space shuttle Challenger, which exploded 73 seconds after liftoff in January 1986.

According to NASA, the explosion was caused by leaks in two solid rocket boosters, which caused the liquid fuel tank to catch fire. Faulty O-rings were said to be the culprit.

McAuliffe was chosen from 11,000 applicants for this mission. She was a social studies teacher in Concord, New Hampshire, and, cheerful and photogenic, had become popular with the media that covered the launch.

All aboard the Challenger under the command of astronaut Dick Scobee were killed instantly in the explosion. Since that time, roughly 40 schools have been named for McAuliffe.

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