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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Misc.: Jude Wanniski

Very few economists of any kind come even close to achieving celebrity. Jude Wanniski, who also worked as a journalist and commentator, was the exception.

Wanniski was an associate editor of the Wall Street Journal in 1976, when he came up with the descriptor "supply-side economics," which made him a darling of the Reagan White House. Wanniski published the influential book The Way the World Works in 1978.

Later, he broke with the Right by discrediting the George W. Bush administration's claims about the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion of that country, and he continued to be anti-war where Iraq was concerned.

As far back as the mid-1990s, Wanniski began warning that America's biggest economic problem would be deflation, not inflation. At this point in 2009, it seems that he might just be right.

Wanniski died in 2005 at age 69.

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