“Daffy Duck Crushed to Death Rushing in Front of Car to Save a Penny,” or “Jane Smith Crushed to Death Rushing in Front of Car to Save a Penny.” Who will get the headline?
“Dr. Oz Saves Pedestrian Hit by Car,” or “Nurse and Pedestrian Save Woman Hit by Car.” The media feeds off the name. Maybe it’s true any publicity is good publicity, even if it’s not true.
The story is that a pedestrian first applied a tourniquet using a belt; a plumber, second on the scene, assisted; and a nurse who did not give her name or want credit took charge, called for ice, made another tourniquet, and then the Wizard showed up. I mean Oz. Now I have nothing against Dr. Oz. I have no idea if he knows what he’s talking about or sells snake oil. I do not watch Dr. Oz. I will assume he was on the sidewalk after bolting out of his office to help, not to speak to the reporters, pushed by some PR person. My issue is the media. “Dr. Oz Saves Pedestrian Hit on the Sidewalk”-- that’s the way the headline I saw read, and I am sure there were many I did not see. Headlines got my attention and yours, but what about the truth? “Nurse and Pedestrians Save Woman…” I’m not sure if we eat fodder because it’s fed us, or fed us because we eat it. However, we are truly star worshipers, and I bet we’ll hear about Oz for almost as long as the play has run, but how about the forgotten bystander, the plumber, and the nurse? Names, please?
Elmore Leonard! There’s a name to be reckoned with. Never heard it? What about Get Shorty? Elmore Leonard has been called the master of his genre, the Dickens of Detroit, the Chaucer of Crime. Everything he wrote from the mid-1980s on was a bestseller, and every fan of crime stories knew his name. George Clooney was an admirer. So were Quentin Tarantino, Saul Bellow, and Stephen King as well as millions of ordinary readers. Elmore Leonard died Tuesday, August 20th. We easily recognize the names John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, and of course Danny DeVito from the movie. I hope some will also remember the name Elmore Leonard. Elmore Leonard wrote more than 45 novels, many that were turned into screenplays. Maybe the best known was Get Shorty.
Names, names, names. You have a name, I have a name, and we do not need to make names for ourselves or live in the shadow of someone else’s. We only need to recognize ourselves and those around us as being as important as Daffy Duck. Or as Shakespeare wrote: "What's in a name? That which we call a rose / by any other name would smell as sweet.”