You can be famous in two dimensions or three. You can be plastic (Barbie, Ken, Skipper)
or tin (the Tin Man) or the character in a book (Heathcliff, Captain Ahab, The Hunchback of
Notre Dame). You can exist on film (Molly Brown) or in a fairy tale (Rapunzel) or in
the circus (the Incredible Shrinking Man). You can be as ancient as Moses or John the Baptist,
as new as the set of quintuplets born in Bellingham, Washington, as kind as Mother Theresa
or as cruel as Mussolini. You can be famous for your talent (Michelangelo, Van Gogh) or
famous for your looks (Marilyn Monroe), your glamour (Elizabeth Taylor), money you’ve
accumulated (Bill Gates) or money you’ve given away (Bill Gates). You can be famous for
what you did right (Jesus Christ, Buddha) or for what you did wrong (Nixon, Cheney).
You can be a toy (Tickle Me Elmo), a town (Hershey, Pennsylvania), or a cartoon (Dudley Doright).
And you can be famous simply for hanging out with the famous.
Switched-on Gutenberg’s Famous/Infamous issue—our 10th by the way—can’t
possibly include all the people, dogs, cats, cartoons, sports players, movie stars,
comedians, newscasters, circus performers, singers, novelists, race horses, race car drivers,
historians, inventors, philosophers, archeologists, jugglers, bank robbers, saints,
murderers, book characters, poets, cowboys, playwrights, artists, military strategists,
pianists, English Channel swimmers, cello players, hotdog eating contest winners, dancers,
witnesses to catastrophic events, or people from Juneau, Alaska, who grow large fruits and
vegetables. We have selected from what was sent, and we have kept the number of poems small.
So enter the world of the Famous and Infamous via the red carpet and ask yourself who it is
you consider famous/infamous and...why?