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: Andrew Luster

Overprivileged Andrew Luster, scion to the Max Factor cosmetics fortune, was convicted of multiple rapes in 2003. Luster had never needed to work for a living and instead spent his life in bars and as a well-heeled "surfer dude" in California.

His specialty was using his money and good looks to lure young women to his bachelor pad, slip them the date-rape drug GHB, and have sex with them while they were defenseless. He was tried in 2002 for rapes that had occurred in 1996, 1997 and 2000. Police were in possession of video footage he had taken of each rape.

Luster fled the country in 2003 while court proceedings were underway and, supported by money from his trust fund, reportedly worth around $30 million, continued his dissolute lifetsyle elsewhere.

Luster was tried in absentia, convicted of multiple offenses and sentenced to 124 years.

In 2003, while Luster was living in Puerto Villarta, Mexico, he was located by the colorful bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman, who himself got into trouble for operating illegally in Mexico. Luster was returned to the United States and tossed in the pokey, where he is very likely to remain for the rest of his life. In 2004, he filed for bankruptcy.

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