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, December 2, 2009

Murderers: Devin Moore

Cop-killer Devin Moore stood out from the never-ending mass of American murderers mainly because of the defense mounted on his behalf: that playing a violent video game had made him do it.

In 2003, 18-year-old delinquent Devin Moore (born Devin Thompson) grabbed an officer's .45 pistol and shot and killed two policemen and a police dispatcher in Fayette, Alabama, after having been arrested for car theft. Then he took off in a police car.

Moore pled not guilty, and his defense attorney argued that hours of playing the video game Grand Theft Auto had been to blame for the killings. The jury did not buy it, however, and Moore received the death sentence, which in December 2009 has yet to be carried out.

In 2005, former lawyer Jack Thompson brought suit against Sony on behalf of two of the victims. In the case of Strickland v. Sony, Thompson argued that games such as Grand Theft Auto are, in a way, similar to selling pornography.

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