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

Notorious celebrity: Alex Kelly

The son of a prosperous Connecticut family, Alexander A. Kelly was accused of rape, then in 1987 fled the country to escape punishment. Presumably supported by his family, he lived in Europe until 1995, when he gave himself up to Swiss authorities.

Kelly was convicted of a rape he had committed in 1986. At his 1997 trial for the first of two rapes, a mistrial was declared. He entered a no contest plea to the second rape, however, and got 16 years.

Eight years later, in 2005, Kelly, then 30, was freed after having served half that sentence, and he remains on probation.

Among the many rapes committed in the United States, his stood out and got heavy media coverage because of his family's prominence and his status as a wrestler in his high school years. Kelly was 18 when he was charged with rape.

Kelly claimed that rather than rape, the act had been consensual, but the young woman's testimony that he had kept one hand on her throat swayed the jury.

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