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: Susan Leigh Vaughan Smith

In 1995, Susan Smith of Union, S.C., was convicted of one of the most grisly kinds of murder of them all: that of her own children, ages 3 and 14 months at the time of their deaths.

In 1994, Smith called police and reported that her car, with the children inside, had been hijacked by an African American man. A little more than a week later, however, she confessed to murder.

The children were killed by Smith having rolled her Mazda into John D. Long Lake, where the two tykes drowned. Her motive was not at all clear.

Figuring into Smith's troubled background were her parents' divorce, her father's suicide and later having been sexually molested by her stepfather.

Smith looked dowdy and crazed at her trial, but since being imprisoned has lost weight and has taken on a much more youthful appearance. Two prison guards reportedly have had sex with her.

Smith will be eligible for parole in 2025.

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