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, May 4, 2009

Victim Elizabert Smart

Salt Lake City school girl Elizabeth Smart, 14, was abducted from her home in June 2002 and held by her deranged captors for nine months until she was recognized and rescued.

Itinerant handyman and street preacher Brian David Mitchell, wild eyed and bearded, and his apparent wife, Wanda Eileen Barzee, grabbed the girl from her home, where Mitchell had done odd jobs. A highly publicized search followed.

Elizabeth was recognized in nearby Sandy, Utah, in March 2003, even though she was wearing a gray wig and veil. Mitchell, who referred to himself as Immanuel David Isaiah, reportedly had regarded Smart as his second wife.

The kidnappers were arrested but eventually were found incompetent to stand trial. Both are still being held in a Utah mental health facility. Elizabeth, at last report was a music student at Brigham Young University, has said publicly that she fears for her safety if the two are ever released. One suspects she is right to worry. The Smart family published a book about Elizabeth's ordeal, and her abduction was also the subject of a made-for-TV movie.

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