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, January 13, 2010

Mass/serial killers: Jeffrey Dahmer

Born to a fundamentalist father in Milwaukee, Jeffrey Dahmer grew up in difficult circumstances, which included being sexually molested by a neighbor.

Dahmer became an alcoholic loner and eventually began to perform "experiments" on dead animals. At age 18, he murdered his homosexual lover, who had wanted to split with him. In all, Dahmer murdered 17 boys and men, most of whom were young black homosexuals.

The most grisly aspect of these murders was that Dahmer engaged in cannibalism, kept some of his victims' severed heads in his refrigerator, and had vats of acid into which he placed various body parts of those he had killed.

In some cases, Dahmer drilled holes in his victims' heads, into which he poured strong liquids in an attempt to destroy the victims' conscious will and turn them into obedient "zombies."

When arrested in 1991 and charged, Dahmer pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The jury, however, found him guilty and gave him 15 consecutive life sentences. In 1994, he was slashed by a fellow inmate but escaped death. Almost half a year later, another inmate succeeded in killing Dahmer, by smashing his skull with an iron bar.

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