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, November 6, 2009

Murderers: Jack Ruby

While still in shock over the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the American public quickly received another jolt--shown on live television--when small-time nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Kennedy's alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Oswald was being moved by authorities through the basement of the Dallas jail when Ruby pushed through the crowd of onlookers and fired one shot from a .38 handgun into Oswald's midsection.

Ruby's birth name was Jacob Leon Rubenstein, but he and his brothers shortened and "Americanized" their last name to Ruby sometime in the late 1940s.

Ruby was suspected of having Mafia connections and had a history of relatively minor offenses: carrying a concealed weapon, ignoring traffic tickets, violations of liquor laws, and assault. Ruby was also suspected of running guns to Fidel Castro and his supporters in Cuba.

Ruby reportedly said that his decision to shoot Oswald was a spur of the minute thing, but conspiracy theories abound about the Mob having ordered him to do the "hit."

Ruby was found guilty and sentenced to death. On appeal, a higher court ruled that Ruby's motion for a change of venue should have been granted, overturned his conviction, and ordered a new trial.

In 1967, before the new trial could commence, Ruby died in prison of a pulmonary embolism.

The photo shown below shows Ruby in happier times while he was serving in the U.S. Air Force in World War II.

No comments:

Post a Comment