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.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Notorious celebrity: Dean Arthur Schwartzmiller

One of mankind's most despicable crimes is sexual child abuse, and one of the most prolific pedophiles of them all is Dean Schwartzmiller. No one knows how many children he has molested, but some authorities reportedly think his victims number into the thousands.

That he could do such a thing would seem to be a condemnation of our criminal justice system, inasmuch as he has been arrested and imprisoned multiple times, but has always been released to strike again.

Schwartzmiller's luck ran out, however, in 2005, when he was convicted for abusing two boys and was given a 152-year prison sentence. Unless he manages to escape, this time he is there to stay.

His sorry record of arrests began in 1970 and, punctuated with prison stays, continued until 2005, at which time police found a grisly diary that detailed what Schwartzmiller, then 64, had done to a mind-boggling number of children.

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