Monday, March 26, 2007

Perper revisited

Dr. Joshua Perper, the coroner of Broward County, Fla., appeared before the cameras again today to address the cause of death in the passing of Anna Nicole Smith, the Houston-born model and "actress." (Accidental overdose, he said.)

We always like when Dr. Perper goes on the TV. Because he has a large lump on top of his head, there has been instense world-wide interest in the Romanian-born doctor, and for reasons that still amuse us, The Brazosport News has become one of World Wide Web's leading information sources on the aforementioned lump.

One day awhile back, during a particularly heavy TV day for Dr. Perper, our site meter registered 1,400 "hits," which is a lot for our small-town Weblog, and a good 90 percent of them were from people hitting search engines for an explanation of the lump on the doc's head.

Background: When Dr Perper first stepped on the world stage, we wondered aloud about the lump, and complained that the mainstream media was remiss in not explaning the oddity. Shortly thereafter, we were notified of a story that appears in a Florida newspaper that explained the origin of the abonormality -- he was dropped on his head as a child, causing a blood clot to form.

Fair enough. Question asked, question answered. We linked to the story, resulting in more readership. Then, as the investigation into Anna Nicole's death stretch on into the sixth week, more readers came to our site, some from search engines, others from message boards and forums where Perper watchers posted a link to our Weblog.

This is known in some quarters as the "snowball effect."

All told, some 10,000 to 15,000 new readers from around the world have found The Brazosport News all because of the lump on Dr. Perper's head.

For that we are grateful. We feel our mission to inform (and, if possible, to entertain) has been accomplished, and we will continue to try and address the questions to which "average people" want answers.

Some, however, have taken our curiosity and the resulting reportage as an attempt to ridicule Dr. Perper. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Take, for example, this woman, Peggy Madison, who wrote to us to say:

I am appalled at the sheer ignorance of all you people. I was Dr. Perper's Executive Secretary and Administrative Assistant for 16 years. Dr. Perper is a doctor, a lawyer and holds a Master of Science Degree. He is an internationally known and well respected forensic pathologist. Besides being extremely intelligent, Dr. Perper is a warm and caring human being. He has raised a family of two sons (both of whom are doctors) and a daughter (who is a lawyer). What right do you have to comment like this on this man's appearance? Dr. Perper's origin is from Rumania and he has educated himself to become one of the world's leading forensic pathologists. I cannot believe the audacity of you unintelligent people. Instead of respecting his knowledge you have made a mockery of him. I think you are all horrible! Shame on you!!!!!!

Peggy Madison's comments depressed us greatly, as we felt we were performing a public service in describing to the public how the lump on Dr. Perper's head got there. An anonymous letter sent to the comments section this morning describes accurately our view on the matter.
Peggy, we mean no disrespect and cartainly no one here doubts the good doctor's standing in his chosen field.

However, we are only human and have curiosity about the unusual.

Like it or not, just about EVERY person who sees the doctor either in person or on media is going to ask "What's with the lump?"

Some will ask themselves silently, others will ask aloud. And if you're honest you'll probably admit it's a question YOU have asked at one time or another.

SO GIVE US A BREAK and untwist your panties. You know the doctor on a personal basis so tell us... WHAT'S WITH THAT FREAKIN' LUMP?

We appreciate the sentiments of the anonymous person who wrote in. Mere curiosity, of which we have an abundance, should not be misconstrued as something else. And we will continue to be curious. When we cease to be curious, we will close up this blog and return to our previous simple agrarian lifestyle. That is all.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Dude, you can't be agrarian. Hunter/gatherer, that's the uncurious ticket.