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.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Victim Natalee Holloway

Pretty, blonde 18-year-old Natalee Holloway was on a senior trip in 2005 with around 100 members of her graduating high school class. The merry group spent a week partying on the island of Aruba in the Caribbean.

When time came to return home, Holloway was missing. She had last been seen on the night before leaving a nightspot with three young men.

The three told police they took Holloway to a beach, then back to her hotel, but security cameras at the hotel entrance showed no record of her return.

Soon the FBI joined island police, and an extensive and highly publicized search began for the 5'4", 110-pound girl. Her family offered a reward, yet no trace of her has ever turned up.

Authorities arrested and questioned the three partiers, a Dutch student and two boys from Surinam. The young Dutch man, Joran van der Sloot, made a number of statements about what happened, which he later retracted. Other potential suspects, such as hotel security men, also were questioned.

Unable to locate Holloway, police could not build a solid case against any of the suspects. When Hurricane Katrina struck, the media switched focus. At that time, when the world wasn't watching, all three of the party boys were sent home, and the media frenzy attached to the missing girl's case fizzled out. No trace of Holloway has been found.

Disgustingly, a few people have tried to use the girl's disappearance as a way of making a quick buck. Others have complained--with some justification--that the only missing girls the media and public seem to care much about are white, blonde and good looking.

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