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 27, 2010

Nororious celebrity: Mary Kay Letourneau

Pretty grade school teacher Mary Kay Letourneau in 1997 was convicted of statutory rape for having sex with a student, which began when she was 34 and the boy, only 12. She became pregnant and had the boy's child in 1997. Her sentence was 89 months in prison. That sentence was reduced to 6 months in jail, and she was released early, in 1998. Part of her release order specified that she and the young man have no contact with each other. The couple failed to abide by this order, and she again became pregnant. At that point, her sentence was reimposed.

The couple had first known each other when she was his second-grade teacher. They were again thrown together when the boy, Vili Letourneau, was in her sixth-grade class.

The amorous and reportedly bipolar teacher was released in 2004, and the next year, she and darkly handsome Letourneau, then in his early 20s, married.

Sometimes the mysteries of the heart are mysterious indeed.

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