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: Richard Reid

London-born militant Muslim Richard Colvin Reid's 15 minutes of notorious celebrity came about in 2001 when he tried to blow an airliner out of the sky with a bomb concealed in his shoes.

Reid had boarded the flight in Paris and was bound for Miami. The 6'4" mule-faced would-be "martyr" was overpowered after a flight attendant saw him lighting a match to the toe of one of his shoes. Happily, the plastic explosives failed to detonate.

Details of Reid's past are still murky, but he had converted to Islam in the 1990s, lived in a variety of other countries and is thought to have trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and possibly elsewhere. He also has a record in England of arrests for muggings.

In 2003, Reid pled guilty, was convicted of a terrorist act and was given a life sentence without chance for parole.

No comments:

Post a Comment