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, September 7, 2009

Disgraced business figure Jake Butcher

Still a well known public figure in Tennessee is former banker Jacob "Jake" Butcher," the guiding light behind the 1982 World's Fair that was held in Knoxville.

With his younger brother C.H., Butcher ran eight banks, the biggest of which was Jake's United American Bank in Knoxville.

Having become very wealthy, Jake twice tried to become governor of his state. In 1974, he lost in the Democratic primary, and in 1978, in the general election.

In the early 1980s, officials began to become suspicious about some of the brothers' dealings, some of which involved shifting funds among their banks, and in 1982, raided these banks and their branches. Evidence of fraud was discovered, and United American went belly up in 1983, a major bank failure.

Jake Butcher pled guilty and got 20 years, but he was paroled in 1992. His brother, C.H. Butcher Jr., was also found guilty and died following a storke in 2002.

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