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 Earl Paulk

No one is more admirable than an ordinary minister, priest or rabbi, but when one such person puts on such a good show that he or she gathers up an enormous flock, this individual bears looking at closely, and with suspicion.

Georgia man Earl Paulk, although admirable for being on the side of the angels during the Civil Rights Movement, appears to have always had an eye for the ladies. He resigned from the pastorate of one Atlanta church in 1960 over an affair he had had with a parishoner.

Later that year, he founded a new church in Atlanta, the Gospel Harvesters.

The church moved to an Atlanta suburb in the early 1970s, grew like holy heck, and built an enormous building that became known as the Cathedral at Chapel Hill. His charismatic, Pentecostal flock grew to around 12,000 until a variety of sex scandals brought him down. Some of the charges against him involved child abuse.

The frosting on this unseemly cake was applied when the huge church's new pastor, who had been thought to be Earl's nephew, turned out to be his son instead. Wow!
Even worse, Paulk's own granddaughter accused him of molesting her.

Paulk died of cancer in March 2009.

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