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.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Victim George Allen Smith IV

Honeymooner George Smith, son of a well to do Greenwich, CT, family, died in 2005 while on a cruise from Barcelona, Spain, to Istanbul, Turkey. Whether his going overboard was the result of an accidental fall or murder has never been determined.

Smith and his bride, Jennifer Hagel Smith, had been in the casino of the Royal Caribbean ship Brilliance of the Sea. They had been drinking heavily and reportedly had some kind of argument there.

George staggered back to the couple's stateroom in the company of three fellow passengers, who also were reportedly loud and drunk. Jennifer somehow ended up in another part of the ship, where she was found unconscious and taken sometime later to their balcony room by crew members using a wheel chair. The next day when George failed to appear, blood was found.

The three other passengers were put off the ship for a later disturbance, in which another woman passenger claimed that they had assaulted her.

Much later, Jennifer said that George had mixed alcohol and prescription drugs that night. She made various complaints against the cruise line and reportedly reached a settlement in 2006. Her view is that George's death was accidental. His family's opinion is that he was the victim of foul play.

No comments:

Post a Comment