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 5, 2009

Victim Terri Schiavo

A heavily publicized victim of both bad medical luck and the ongoing battle between the forces of religious conservatism and secularism was Terri Schiavo, who died in Florida in 2005 after having been disconnected from life support.

A sufferer from bulemia, Schiavo had gone into a coma in 1990 due to a potassium inbalance. Two years later, her husband sued her physician for malpractice and won a judgment of a little more than $1 million. Not long thereafter, he and Terri's parents began to disagree over her care.

Told that his wife would never recover, husband Michael asked a court to allow the removal of his wife's feeding tube; her parents opposed doing so. A long, convoluted legal battle followed.

The state of Florida, encouraged by Gov. Jeb Bush, passed what was dubbed Terri's Law, to let the state to order the feeding tube left in place. In 2004, the state's Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional, and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the decision.

More legal action and even more political posturing followed, turning the comatose woman into a political football. In the end, the tube was removed and Terri
Schiavo died soon thereafter.

The Left called her demise an act of mercy; the Right called it medical terrorism and judicial murder. Sadly, her case had become part and parcel of the larger debate over abortion and stem cell research.

A year after Terri's death at age 41, both Michael and her parents published their own book giving their side of this sad, controversial case.

No comments:

Post a Comment