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.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Whistleblower Coleen Rowley

Our government's actions regarding the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, are still the matter of much debate and lingering mystery. The best known whistleblower associated with this tragic matter is Colleen Rowley, who at the time was an FBI special agent working as the Minneapolis field office's legal adviser.

Following the attacks, Rowley sent a detailed memo to the agency's director, Robert Mueller, criticizing the way the agency had handled information available to it prior to 9/11 on terorist suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. She complained that FBI top brass had prevented Minneapolis agents from investigating Moussaoui's activities, and about what she considered the agency's overly bureaucratic, politicized policies in general.

Soon thereafter she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the same matters.

Further, she said publicly that for the United States to invade Iraq would have the effect of increasing terrorism, which has since proved to be an inconvenient truth.

Having been branded as less than a "team player," Rowley left the agency in 2004.

In 2006, Rowley was defeated in a Minnesota congressional election, losing to the Republican incumbent.

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