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, July 20, 2009

Disgraced religious figure David Koresh

Born Vernon Howell in Texas, this religious cult leader changed his name to David Koresh in or around 1990, claiming to be the spiritual leader of the House of David.

In 1981 he had hooked up with a sect called the Branch Davidians, a group of well intentioned people who believed the end of days was near and that a new Messianh would come to escort them to glory.

This one-time loner convinced the sect's members that he was that Messiah and led his flock to a spot outside Waco, where they constructed a fortress-like compound and chapel on a hill. They also armed themselves to the teeth.

Allegations of weapons violations and child abuse were made, and when federal agents arrived in 1993 to serve Koresh a warrant, they were repulsed at gunpoint. It was reported that Koresh was requiring his followers to remain celibate while he was sleeping with their wives and daughters.

After a nearly two month-long standoff,officers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tried to storm the compound. The Davidians fired back.

Federal agents lobbed tear gas cannisters into the wood-constructed compound, which caught fire. In the blaze, Koresh, 23 children and 53 other adults perished.

Some surviving Davidians reportedly still go to the site, patiently waiting for Koresh to come for them.

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