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, July 17, 2009

Disgraced religious figure Paul Shanley

Defrocked priest Paul Shanley,78 at this writing in 2009, was one of the most flagrant offenders in the Roman Catholic Church's sex scandals of recent years.

Shanley was born in Boston and was ordained at age 29. More than a decade thereafter, he became active in the North American Non-Boy Love Association, an organization that openly advocated sex between men and young boys.

Father Shanley practiced what he preached from the time he was a hip-style young priest until his imprisonment many years later. By himself, he cost the archdioceses of Boston a great deal of money that had to be spent to settle complaints about his pedophilia.

The larger question is how and why the church, which certainly knew about Shanley's dreadful activities, allowed such things to continue. The "princes of the church" who were his superiors would seem to have a great deal to answer for in this scandal.

Shanley was fired from his Boston parish in 1993, moved first to Connecticut and then to California, and was arrested in 2002 on charges of child rape.

In 2005 he was found guilty and sentenced to 12 to 15 years. In 2009, his case is set for review following his appeals.

If there is indeed a hell, one suspects that people who sexually abuse small children will eventually find that their final resting place is in its sub-basement.

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