Andy Warhol once said,” In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” Becoming bored with continually being asked about this particular statement, Warhol attempted to confuse interviewers by changing the statement variously to “In the future 15 people will be famous” and “In 15 minutes everybody will be famous.”

Since that time just about all of us are aware of people who have grabbed the spotlight and infested our collective consciousness. Sort of like a flu bug laying waste to a cubicled office or an elementary school.

Most of these folks quickly fade away and the only time we hear of them again is when they are arrested for domestic violence, file for bankruptcy or divorce, each for the fourth time, or DNA has finally enabled identification of their dismembered body.

Alas, we seem to be forced to endure too many celebrities (small c) far longer than it takes the cable guy to actually show up 3 hours later than the 4 hour window when they promised to be there.

Let’s look at some celebrities whose time has expired or the sands are running rapidly.

Jeremy Lin The New York Knicks phenom parlayed a unique demographic combined with exuberant, excellent play to grab the attention of even this NBA-phobic observer. With the team back to crappy and a new coach with a system un-Lin-friendly, to keep up with him we may need to check listings for Harvard reunions.

Kardashian Pick one, any one. Whether it’s the one divorcing the basketball player, or the one whose basketball playing hubby realizes the sham marriage has negatively affected his career, or any one of the extended family from the merely annoying to the ones who make you want to emulate Rick Santorum reading about separation of church and state, it is time to put on the turn signal and exit the unreality TV show freeway. Thank goodness. We will no longer be exposed to medical procedures to determine the authenticity of buttocks.

Herman Cain The man did bring a certain cachet to the GOP race for the presidential nomination. His nine-nine-nine tax plan, which was bad-bad-bad is pretty much gone-gone-gone. There is a chance you may hear from him again. If so, tip well. Those pizza delivery guys do have to pay for their own gas (and sexual harrassment suit settlements).

American Idol True, this is not a person but a glorified karaoke contest (Two for one on Long Island Iced Teas!). While some of the winners have made a ton of money and their names remain on the lips of both family and people who grew up on the same block, I have yet to see any immortalized a la the Golden Calf or Baal. Idol schmidol!

Wheel of Fortune Look, Vanna White is, hands down, the best and most prolific letter-turner in history, though with the set and technology changes she has not actually turned a letter since late 1942. And affable Pat Sajak, after all, was a Vietnam DJ on the order of Adrian Cronauer. But for the past thirteen years they’ve been importing their vowels from a Chinese sweatshop. It’s time, not for “Good Morning, Viet Nam”, but for “Goodbye, Wheel.”

The Tea Party No, not the one of Boston legend, or the one created by Charles Dodgson, not even the one hosted by your cute niece. No, I’m talking about the one that erupted upon the political scene pretty recently that offered us an entire set of fresh ideas. Fresh, that is, if you were living in medieval England. They should disappear back through the looking glass.

Rush Limbaugh A man truly for all seasons. His rant was old before he became Jeff Christie and, like rotten eggs, has putrified the air with the reek of sulfur ever since. I keep trying to figure out how he came up with the term “slut” to apply to Sandra Fluke. It’s obvious, isn’t it, that he’s never spent any time around women with sexual experience.

Sarah Palin Or as I prefer to refer to her…***** *****, the name that shall not escape my lips (or keyboard). From obscurity she arose, like a boil on your neck. Her legacy to humanity will lie in the fact that, hopefully, we will never again have occasion to exclaim, “Holy Shit! That person was almost a heartbeat from the Presidency!” (I say hopefully because have you seen some of the potential GOP VP candidates this year?)

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  • little_minx  On March 22, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    UMOC, Jeremy Lin shows promise of having at least a journeyman-caliber NBA career — which, combined with a Hah-vahd degree makes him no loser in most people’s books.

    I’m also a tad hesitant to lump Pat ‘n’ Vanna in the same category as all the mouth-breathers you cite, because I personally know several foreign immigrants (even distant cousins!) who’ve watched “Wheel” for years not only for entertainment but also as a fairly painless way to work on their English literacy — including through contexts. It may not exactly be “Jeopardy!” but it sure beats heck out of most game shows on TV.

    • umoc193  On March 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      I included Lin simply because, regardless of talent, he’s unlikely to again be the object of such acclaim as he was during his meteoric rise. None of that’s his fault and, if I were him, I’d revel in the attention to a certain extent.

      As to Wheel, my recollection is that contestants who did not have English as their first language, did better, on the avaerage, than us natives.

  • Deke  On March 23, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Sarah Palin is like a cyst on someone’s ass.


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