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: Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards

Who could forget Eddie the Eagle? This intrepid Brit found at least temporary celebrity in a most unusual way: by being relatively bad at a sport.

The lanky, pleasantly goofy-looking Edwards, originally a plasterer by trade, came to public notice as a ski jumper in the 1988 Olympics. Despite being the best ski jumper in the UK, the near-sighted Eagle came in last in both the 70- and 90-meter events in Calgary.

One disadvantage was his lack of financial backing. Another was that he could not see without his glasses, which would fog up during the jumps, badly endangering his safety.

Despite his lack of competitive success, Edwards became the most popular competitor of the 1988 games. His ironic nickname was partly accountable, and probably his happy, undeterred demeanor contributed as well.

Edwards made the talk show circuit, and in Finland, where ski jumping is really big, someone recorded a very successful song, "My Name is Eddie."

The Eagle worked in tv advertising, went bankrupt, earned a law degree and worked as a tv show host.

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