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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disgraced political figure Frank Thompson

Frank Thompson, Jr. was not a name known extensively outside the state he represented in Congress, New Jersey--until the 1980 Abscam sting operation, that is.

Thompson was one of six duly elected Congressmen caught trying to peddle influence to a phony Arab sheik. Like the others caught in this net, Thompson was videotaped by the FBI doing what so many of our "public servants" do but usually manage to get away with doing.

For his political sins, Thompson spent 1983-1985 in prison, and his 26-year career in the House ended.

The never-ending need for hard cash--and lots of it-- does this to many a politician, but in this case, it seemed sadder than usual inasmuch as he had sponsored some very good legislation and had been a decorated member of the Navy during World War II. He died in 1989.

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