28 May 2011

Amazing and Awesome

I really like my doctor.
Today, the Alan Block Death Watch 2011 has come to an end. As they say at Cape Canaveral, all systems are go. I am a hypochondriac of the Yossarian type: I think they’re trying to kill me; every cell in my body is just waiting to turn traitor. And so, every Spring, when I can’t stand the suspense any longer and feel that I am overrun with disease and stand feebly waiting for death to stop for me, I visit my (very, very patient) family doctor and undergo a complete physical examination. My physician/friend has already had performed the necessary blood work, and at our appointment today he pushed and probes and explores every available bodily part to which he has access (and even some he must make some effort to examine). I have had carefully studied over the past few weeks some of the internal organs by various medical procedures too numerous and sordid to mention. And dear doctor listens uncomplainingly to my various and numerous symptoms and concerns. He pronounces me well, shakes my hand affectionately and sends me on way suggesting that I am free to call whenever I have concerns, knowing full well he will here from me sooner rather than later and that he will see me again this time next year. For each of my concerns he has had either an explanation or a referral. Today there was need for only the former.
I really like my doctor. And I like him because he is so wonderfully competent. And for twenty years he has treated me physically and emotionally with skill, concern and great competence.
On the radio today I heard some citizens (of Iowa, where the first of the 2012 caucuses will take place) explain their ardent support for a) Michelle Bachman and/or b) Sarah Palin. And the reason they offered was this (alas, I do not paraphrase): “She’s just like me. She’s like (?) a normal person.” And I thought, “Why would anyone want someone “just like them” to serve as the President of the United States when the person who sits in that office must have a remarkable intelligence, possess tremendous insight into national and international affairs, and exercise crucial judgment in sensitive and complex matters of life and death. The President of the United States ought to be a person of great ability and mental acumen who thinks about things I do not, and whose critical intelligence I depend on to ensure that the quality of my life remains worthwhile and whose intent is to ensure that the lives of all others continues to improve. Oh, this is too silly: finally, I don’t want the President to be at all like “a normal person,” anymore than I want my medical doctor to be like “a normal person.” I want my doctor to be extraordinary and not at all like me. I depend on it.  And so, too, with my President. S/he must be, as my daughter might say, amazing and awesome!  And neither of my daughters has ever referred to me by those adjectives. Rightly so, I think.


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