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, June 22, 2009

Inventor/Innovator David Chang

A board game innovator whose controversial new game eventually was ruled a trademark infringement is David Chang.

In 2003, Chang began selling a take-off on Monopoly that he called Ghettopoly. His concept was to make money by satirizing African-American stereotypes. In place of the usual elements on Monopoly, his version made use of pimps, prostitutes, thugs, car jacking, protection rackets, massage parlors, drugs, crack houses, loan sharks,liquor stores and the like.

The game sold well, but many people found it offensive--no big surprise there.

In an attempt to do damage control, Chang introduced Redneckopoly, and he had plans for other variations, such as Latinopoly and Hiphopoly.

Then the wheels of the law began to grind. Hasbro, owner of Monopoly, brought a trademark infringement suit in 2003. In 2006 the court ruled that Ghettopoly was too similar to Monopoly, finding against Chang and ordering him to cease producing any such games that traded on the original product name Monopoly.

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