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

Sports/Outdoors: Edmund Hillary

Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand was a one-shot celebrity only in that his "career high" that made him famous was being the first mountain climber to reach he top of the world on Mt. Everest, 29,028 feet up. With Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay, the tall, lanky, 33-year-old Hillary made this iconic accomplishment on May 29, 1953.

Since that time, and until his death from heart failure in 2008, Hillary was the world's best-known mountaineer/explorer. He also made it to both poles and eventually conquered 10 other Himilayan mountains. Norgay died in 1986.

Until his famous climb, Hillary had been, like his dad, a beekeeper. Growing up, he had been strong, but non-athletic, with the exception of boxing.

The Everest climb was made as part of a climbing party led by John Hunt, who also was knighted by the then-young Queen Elizabeth II, whose coronation happened to be on the same day that word of Hillary's triumph reached Britain.

Sir Edmund liked to be called Ed and had the reputation of being shy and modest about his accomplishments.

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