I’ve always been fascinated by the illusive nature of celebrity and the transient nature of contemporary fame. Andy Warhol’s metaphor calculated fame in minutes, fifteen to be exact. What he meant, of course, was that so-called “celebrity” has a very short shelf life.
Father Time wields an unforgiving and indiscriminate scythe. No one presently living has a clue as to what will be the classic of tomorrow or who will even be remembered—except perhaps in future Trivia games, a dubious distinction.
When I was on the Warner lot, I used to visit the main building of Warner Bros. where the green-lighters hung out listening to sweaty-palmed producers, writers and stars pitch their movie ideas.
The reception room was filled with large photos of the stars of yesteryear when the star system was at its height. I would take along my younger staff people, all movie industry wannabees and prod them to identify the names of those pictured.…
Read more: Shelf Life: Not a Trivial Pursuit