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 Max Cleland

Former Georgia Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee from Vietnam, has been the victim of Republican smears that were lower than a snake's underbelly.

Joseph Maxell Cleland had run the Veterans Administration during the Jimmy Carter presidency, had been Georgia's Secretary of State and had represented that state in the U.S. Senate from 1996 until losing re-election to his Republican opponent in 2002.

Cleland ran afoul of the great Republican smear machine by criticizing some of the policies of President George W. Bush, especially the draconian and controversial Homeland Security bill.

Politicians will be politicians, of course, but the worst low blows against Cleland came during the time he supported presidential hopeful John Kerry. Cleland's patriotism was harshly questioned by the chickenhawk politicos of the Far Right, most of whom had never found it quite convenient to serve their country in uniform. These spokesmen were somehow able to turn Kerry's combat service into a negative andvia their gutter campaigning, make Cleland, recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star, sound like an enemy sympathizer. It was revolting enough to gag a moose.

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