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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Murderers: Lee Harvey Oswald

Although he was shot and killed soon after his arrest and long before he could be tried, Lee Harvey Oswald, according to the findings of the Warren Commission, was the assassin of President John F. Kennedy.

After a troubled childhood and dropping out of high school, Oswald enlisted in the Marines in 1956. During his years of service, he was court-martialed on two occasions.

Oswald got a hardship discharge in 1959 and moved to the USSR. There, he was turned down for citizenship but took a factory job and married a Russian student. He and wife Marina moved to Dallas, Texas, in 1962. He had difficulty holding a job and in the following year tried to murder right-wing retired General Edwin Walker, which came to light after his arrest in the Kennedy assassination.

Oswald took a job in the Texas School Book Depository, where on 22 November 1963, he apparently shot the president and wounded Texxas Governor John Connally.

Shortly thereafter, Oswald shot and killed police officer J.D. Tippit, who had stooped him for questioning. Oawald attempted to hide in a movie theater but was arrested there.

Two days later as Oswald was being moved to the county jail, he was shot and killed by underworld figure Jack Ruby.

Years later, a House committee concluded that Oswald was not alone in the plan to kill the president but could not identify his co-consiprators. Many a conspiracy theory was advanced.

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