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.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Notorious celebrity: Lisa Nowak

We are unused to hearing or reading anything that isn't absolutely stellar about U.S. astronauts, but despite her good work in the space program, Lisa Marie Nowak let the green-eyed monster get the better of her in 2007.

Americans who follow the news were surprised to learn that she had been arrested for allegedly attempting to kidnap a romantic rival for the affections of a male astronaut, William Oefelein.

The third party in this love triangle was Colleen Shipman, an Air Force officer.

Shipman maintained that Nowak had stalked her over a two-month period. In an Orlando parking lot, Nowak apparently sprayed Shipman through the driver's window of Shipman's car with pepper spray. Police arived to find Nowak attempting to dispose of a bag that held a BB gun, wig, knife, mallet, gloves and other odds and ends.

Nowak was at first denied bail, but that decision was later changed. She was allowed to plead guilty in 2009 to a lesser charge of battery, but her job as a NASA astronaut had been terminated in 2007.

How sad that Nowak's stellar accomplishments were tarnished by something such as this.

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