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.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Victim Polly Klaas

Twelve-year-old Polly Hannah Klaas of Petaluma, CA, was taken from her home by a man wielding a knife in October 1993.

At the time of the kidnapping, Klaas was hosting a slumber party. The kidnapper tied the other girls up, then took Klaas with him.

An enormous search ensued, and all of America waited for news. Actress Winona Ryder, also from Petaluma, put up a $200,000 reward.

Clueless police officers helped Richard Allen Davis pull his car from the mud near the site of the kidnapping but did not think to call in his license plate. It is believed that Davis then panicked and killed the girl. He buried her in a shallow grave, to which he later led police after he had been arrested.

Klaas' father set up the Polly Klaas Foundation in his daughter's memory. Its purposes are to prevent child kidnapping, help locate missing children and lobby for improved legislation to protect children. The political activities became the job of a second foundation, the KlaasKids Foundation.

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