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, October 2, 2009

Disgraced political figure John Jenrette

By far the most colorful figure brought down by the FBI's Abscam sting in 1979 was John Jenrette, Democrat, who represented South Carolina in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He was colorful in that he was young and energetic and in that he was at that time married to a blonde of extraordinary beauty with whom he is said to have had sex one night on the steps of the Capitol. The excellent D.C. comedy troupe, The Capitol Steps, have the Jenrettes to thank for their group name.

In 1980, John was found guilty of taking $50,000 from a phony Arab sheik in exchange for his congressional influence. He got a two-year sentence, and the shapely Rita divorced him and did an eye-popping spread in Playboy magazine.

John Jenrette later went into public relations and property development in his native state.

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