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 18, 2009

Victim Jill Carroll

Reporter Jill Carroll was kidnapped by the mujahideen in Baghdad in January 2006 but was finally released unhurt. She was the 31st foreign journalist kidnapped during the Iraq War.

Carroll was working for the Christian Science Monitor nwspaper when she and her driver and interpreter were stopped by gunmen. The interpreter was shot to death, the driver escaped, and Carroll was taken hostage. A brief videotape was later released on Al-Jazeera. Her kidnappers wanted to trade her release for that of all female prisoners held by the U.S. in Iraq. Two additional video segments showing Carroll were eventually aired.

Five Iraqi women were released from U.S. custody, which apparently satisfied Carroll's kidnappers, who called themselves the Brigades of Vengeance. Carroll was dropped off near the offices of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Al Ameriya and reported that she had been humanely treated during her three-month captivity.

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