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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Basic Biittner : Fifteen minutes of fame

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Andy Warhol, the late artist, was famous for many years in some circles - not mine, but in SOME circles - for three things - his pop art, including the classic 1968 painting of a can of Campbell's soup; his partying with the rich and famous in New York City; and his oft-quoted statement , "In the future, everyone will be famous for fifteen minutes."

This oft-misquoted line has been used and abused many times over the years, and unfortunately, with the spread of cable and satellite television and the Internet , it now seems to have been a somewhat accurate prediction by Warhol.

In recent years, there has developed a group of "celebrities" whose artistic resume seems rather slim, who seem to be more "famous for being famous" than for anything they have accomplished in movies, TV, music, etc.

That would be (somewhat) okay, if these "celebrities" just used their allotted "fifteen minutes" of fame. But n-o-o-o-o-o-o-o! These people, or their publicists, have managed to keep their names and pictures in the news for years.

There are several "celebrities" I would nominate as charter members of the "Overstayed my Fifteen Minutes" Club (the late Tiny Tim, President Emeritus).

Not to speak ill of the dead, but the number one club member would have to be, of course, the late Anna Nicole Smith. It seems to me that ANS was a featured nightly subject on "Entertainment Tonight" for, it seems, a year straight, between the birth of her baby, the death of her son, the paternity of her baby, etc., etc., etc. Every time I would hear some news item about her, the first thing I did was either hit the "mute" button or change the channel. The next thing would be to wonder, "Who do they think even CARES about this stuff enough to have it on every freaking night?" The saddest thing, though, is the fact that the nightly bombardment of ANS "news," with a different angle each night, will continue now for who knows how long?

Number two on my list is Paris Hilton, who has a lot in common with ANS - they are (or were) both extremely rich, presumably blonde, and have no discernible talent as an actress or singer. Hilton's "Simple Life" pal, Nicole Richie, shares second billing in the club, with her claim to fame seeming to be that she's Lionel Richie's (step or half) daughter.

Number three on my list is Kevin Federline, or "K-Fed," as the media refers to him. The most famous thing he has done was to marry Britney Spears, and the second most famous thing was to divorce her. Spears is a member of my club too, of course. She had a hit song a few years ago, which was one of those songs that was played so often that, even if you liked it initially, you hated it eventually. Since then, she has made a really bad movie, had a one-day marriage to an old high school classmate, married K-Fed, which produced a couple of kids, and somehow managed to get her name and photo in the news constantly - all without accomplishing anything worthwhile (other than the children, who I hope won't be too scarred from living in a fishbowl).

Lindsay Lohan is a marginal member of the club, as I have heard she actually has some acting talent. If she can just get her alcohol problem resolved effectively, and shed an interfering parent or two, Lohan might actually deserve to be released from the "15 minute" club.

Lest you think this is an all-female club, I also nominate Ben Affleck for membership. He and his buddy Matt Damon wrote an Oscar-winning screenplay for "Good Will Hunting" several years ago, but ever since, Big Ben has been in the news mostly for his relationships. Another male member of the club, a very rich one, would be "The Donald" - Trump, that is. This man has certainly overextended his fifteen minutes, in my opinion. Donald - You're fired!

Then, of course, there's William Hung. I nominate Hung and all the other very untalented singers who tried out in the early rounds of "American Idol" as a group entry. Either no one had the heart or guts to tell these people that they had no talent, or they refused to listen.

One of Ben A's former loves, Jennifer "J-Lo" Lopez, was headed for club membership at one time, but I actually feel she's turned out to be a decent actress - at least in lightweight movies like "The Wedding Planner" and "Maid In Manhattan." Also on the plus side, she's managed to keep her marriage to singer Marc Anthony (club candidate?) pretty low-key. I'm not sure how good a singer J Lo is, though, so maybe she should just stick to films.

I'm sure there are many other "celebrities" who deserve membership in this exclusive club, but I've run out of space (in the column). Feel free to send me your own nominations. My e-mail address is sports@ctimes.biz.