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, November 4, 2009

Murderers: Andrea Yates

Americans who follow the news were chilled in 2001 to find that Houston native Andrea Yates had drowned her five small children in the family bathtub.

Yates had suffered severe depression, reported hearing strange voices, twice attempted suicide,and suffered a nervous breakdown in the years leading up to this horrendous event.

The killing of her own children, she said, was done out of religious motivation. Demons told her to do it, she claimed. Yates also said that she had to kill them because she herself was evil and had caused the children to become unrighteous and in danger of going to hell.

This poor, sad woman had gotten off to a good start in life before mental illness overpowered her. She had been her high school class's valedictorian and a member of the National Honor Society. Later she had worked as a registered nurse.

Yates was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to life in prison. In 2006, another court ruled that she had been insane and hence overturned her prison sentence, sending her instead to a high-security mental hospital.

No comments:

Post a Comment