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 political figure David Vitter

Louisiana Senator David Vitter is quite a sport, don't you know--nudge, nudge, wink, wink. He is also one of those politicians who lived through personal disgrace and kept alive politically.

A handsome young fellow, Vitter went to Harvard, got a law degree, and was a Rhodes Scholar as well. The New Orleans native is a conservative Republican and, as such, has had much to say about the centrality of family values--that is to add, before his name appeared on lists of published phone numbers of brothel clients.

In 2007, Vitter's number appeared in a much-publicized list of "johns" of a prostitution service called Pamela Martin and Associates, operated by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called "D.C. Madam." It appeared that Vitter had been a client for years--ever since he replaced Bob Livingston, another Louisiana congressman who resigned that in 1999 due to his own adultery troubles.

Vitter more or less admitted his adultery, but lay low and toughed out the criticism and the smirking. He also was reported to be on the list of customers of New Orleans madam Jeanette Maier, sometimes called the "Canal Street Madam." At least in this instance he could claim that he bought local.

Again the Democrats had a field day doing what columnist Cal Thomas termed "pinning the tail on the elephant." The sorry spectacle was no doubt a lot more fun for the Democrats than for Vitter's wife and four children.

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