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.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Notorious celebrity: Clarence Stowers

Very few people gain their 15 seconds of celebrity by refusing to give someone the finger, but Clarence Stowers did.

In 2005, Stowers was enjoying a pint frozen chocolate custard he bought at Kohl's Frozen Custard in Wilmington, NC, when he came upon part of a human index finger.

Understandably, he complained. It turned out that the finger belonged to a 23-year-old Kohl's employee who had it lopped off in a mixing machine accident. Management asked to have the finger in hopes that it could be re-attached by doctors. Local physicians also asked the same, but Stowers refused. Instead, he took home the partial digit and put it in his refrigerator for use as evidence in a lawsuit.

For fingers or limbs to be successfully re-attached surgically, the operation must be done within a few hours of an accident.

Many who read this story very likely wished they themselves could give Stowers the finger. Appearing below is a photo of the shop where the finger episode occurred.

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