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.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Sfports/Outdoors: Aron Ralston

Mountain climber/hiker Aron Ralston came to instant celebrity in May 2003 in a most painful way. He was climbing alone in the Robber's Roost area of Blue John Canyon near Moab, Utah, when an 800-pound boulder fell to one side and pinned part of his right arm.

Ralston, a Phi Beta Kappa engineering student, remained pinned there for five days, exhausted his supply of water, and had to resort to drinking his own urine to survive.

Finally, in a desperate move, he snapped the bones in his forearm and with his all-purpose tool's knife blade,cut off his arm below the elbow.

Although starving, dehydrated and disoriented, he somehow managed to rappel down the rock wall he had been climbing and to hike until he encountered two hikers who helped him.

Ralston, who earlier that year was almost killed in an avalanche, has been much in demand on the motivational speaker circuit. He has continued climbing and now has climbed all of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountains.

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