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 14, 2009

Misc.: Louise Brown

Some Americans of sufficient age who have followed the news very closely may recall the name Louise Brown as belonging to the first baby known to have been born by in vitro fertilization.

This breakthrough took place in Oldham, England, in 1978. The new medical procedure has, since that time, helped more than a million infertile families have a child of their own.

The procedure was developed by a gynecologist, Patrick Steptoe, and two MDs at Cambridge: Barry Ravister and Robert Edwards.

Using a laparoscope, an egg is removed from the woman's ovary and is mixed in the lab with the father's sperm and then placed in a solution for two and a half days. The fertilized egg is placed back in the mother's uterus and if all goes well, voila! A baby shows up nine months later.

Brown, now grown, has worked as a mail clerk or carrier and in a daycare center. She married in 2004.

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