Andy Warhol has been world famous for 48 years for saying that in the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.
Since then, however, advances in the art and science of publicity have allowed the seemingly only briefly famous to extend their time in the spotlight indefinitely.
For example, Clock Boy has now thrust himself back into the press, with its voracious appetite for incidents of “Islamophobia,” no matter how ambiguous or farcical. From today’s New York Times:
Ahmed Mohamed, Boy Handcuffed for Making Clock, Is Suing
By DANIEL VICTOR AUG. 8, 2016
The family of Ahmed Mohamed, the Muslim teenager who was handcuffed and suspended from his suburban Dallas high school last year after his homemade digital clock was mistaken for a bomb, sued school officials on Monday, saying they had violated his civil rights.
The episode at MacArthur High School in Irving, Tex., in September became a political flash point and President Obama invited him to the White House. But after the freshman was subjected to fevered criticism and threats, Ahmed and his family moved to Qatar.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified monetary damages, names the school district, the city of Irving and Daniel Cummings, the school principal. It accuses the school district and Mr. Cummings of discrimination, and said the Irving Police Department arrested him without probable cause.
As a result, the lawsuit says, Ahmed has been vilified and subject to conspiracy theories, lies and hatred that “no kid in this country should have to endure.”
“The only remedy, the only justice we have in the American legal system is money,” Susan Hutchison, Ahmed’s lawyer, said at a news conference in Dallas on Monday. “So we are suing for justice.”
At the news conference, Ahmed lamented the loss of his home, creativity, security and passion for building things. He has been wearing a hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and hat while in public in the United States, he said.
“Anytime I walk out of the house, there might be death waiting for me,” the teenager said.