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, August 28, 2009

Disgraced media figure Bob Greene

One of the last of the many great Chicago newspaper columnists was Bob Greene, who also has written many books.

His column career ended sadly in 2002 when he resigned following his confession that he had paid far too much attention to a high school girl who had come to the paper to interview him for a school assignment.

The girl was 17, and Greene was a middle-aged married man. He later invited her to dinner, then met her at a hotel. Greene denied having had sex with her but admitted to the gross impropriety of his actions.

Greene had gone to work as a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1969 after finishing college. A couple of years later,his writing skills earned him his first column, which in 1976 was picked up by the Field Newspaper Syndicate.

He relocated to the Chicago Tribune, where his popular column appeared for the next 24 years and was nationally syndicated by Tribune Media Services. All the while he published books. He also wrote a column for Esquire Magazine and did commentary for Nightline on ABC and has written for CNN.

While he has done well with his career as a book author, the story of his departure from journalism is a sad one because he was so good at what he did in his column.

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