During my high school years a particular book was loaned to me. Half of the class was more than curious what was written there, so, naturally, everyone had a peak. We were simply a bunch of geeks, all immersed in their own interests and more than occasionally playing truant in between classes, which we had little interest in.
Back to the subject matter; the book was titled “The sexual lives of the Polish kings”. I think this was the first time in my life that I agreed with my teacher that just as lack of information can be detrimental to one’s worldview; so can be its excess. I didn’t finish the book, though I found it reasonably amusing. Nevertheless, despite the obvious amusement, most of the time I raised my eyebrow asking myself what on earth I was reading. I experienced a very similar feeling, when I discovered “The art of nose-picking” in someone’s home.
Despite the obvious waste of time, some ‘facts’ presented in “The sexual lives of the Polish kings” were, in a way, interesting; i.e. that princess Dobrava, who became a wife of the first king of Poland, Mieszko, was as ugly as a person can be. The historical records were much more diplomatic in stating her shortfalls; she was said to be a woman “of a beautiful heart”, which in many respects probably meant that there was no one equally ugly within at least 30 miles radius. I preferred not to know it; somehow, I chose to think, that indeed her heart must have been beautiful. The book also, sadly, influenced my initial impression of the French rulers. Shortly after the Polish kingdom run out of its heirs, Poland ‘imported’ elected kings. The first of that type was Henry Valezy, a French prince, sent to Poland by his family to extend the French influence, but insignificant enough to make sure that not too much good blood would be wasted in Poland; there was simply no need. Poland was already divided so much between the nobles that all it needed for further destruction was to be provided a king that would do nothing. He did do exactly that. The thing that he was remembered by were his lavish parties and frequent orgies. He was remembered by the Polish history as a promiscuous pimp and thus the Poles have thought that the French were generally useless people, not worthy to be paid much attention to. It changed with Napoleon, but that’s a different story.
Without further ado, I will write quickly what I am driving at. I still can’t get over the information published by the Office of the Prime Minister of Israel on Thursday last week. I waited before writing anything, thinking that it will pass and somehow I will forget what I read, but then I caught myself googling up random world leaders with, hopefully, an equal liberty at disclosing intimate health matters to the public for no apparent reason. I may be exaggerating, but this is what was published by the PM’s Office on Thursday 21st May:
Blood tests were completely normal including those for sugar, cholesterol and fats. The Prime Minister’s blood pressure was normal (120/80), aided by light medication (as was reported last year).
Prime Minister Netanyahu trains several times a week at the gym (treadmill and weights) and is in good physical condition.
As befits his age, his prostate was examined last year and found to be enlarged, which is characteristic for his age. No pathological findings were seen; the Prime Minister’s health is unaffected.
Dr. Berkovitz has determined that the Prime Minister’s health is very good.
Thank you Dr Berkovitz, now I can sleep soundly, knowing that not only the PM’s bloods are reasonably fine, albeit he continues on his medication; he manages to work out on treadmill and lift weights (does he do any other exercise?), but also, the most important thing it seems, his prostate is enlarged, but due to his age, this, again, is normal. No alarm then. You’ve left a one confused girl here, I can tell you that. I did not expect to know how the PM’s prostate is. As a matter of fact – I didn’t think the public would aspire to be considered worthy of having such intimate piece of information being bestowed upon them.
I do not want to be unfair though so without rushing into conclusions I checked on other world leaders to see how open they are about their health. After all, we do say that our politicians are our public property and their lives ought to be transparent (suddenly this word has an added meaning to it). For no reason whatsoever and no pun intended, I googled up Kim Joung-un, because I remembered that some vague reports about his declining health have been recently released. It was reported that he had issues with indigestion (apparently something to do with having too much cheese). On a deeper level, I only managed to find out that though his health has been declining and he has been noted to limp more so now than in the past, and currently walks aided by a cane, there have only been confirmed reports regarding his ankle problems and these, of course, did not come from his office.
Vladimir Putin, following his recent divorce, the object of desire for many Russian women, has also been doing not so well recently cancelling more appointments than in previous years. No official report was submitted and these are only speculations.
These two however are dictators and they are surrounded by people who literally watch the steam coming out of their mouths, ready to attack whenever they are the weakest. It is understandable therefore, that their medical report is not open for viewing. I decided to move towards other world leaders; those whose lives do not depend on their health, so to speak.
Queen Elizabeth II has been reported to have declining health and a heart attack as of last year. I understand here, however, that such information is vital because of the necessity of naming the heir, should she not wish for Charles to take over, especially following his unsuited marriage.
As a matter of fact, since the monarchy had to survive throughout Centuries, it was a standard procedure to check their queens’ health regularly to ascertain whether or not they were able to bring forth offspring who would eventually inherit the throne. The fate of their countries depended on the positive level of activity in their ovaries.
I didn’t find anything on Obama, but accidentally I came across an update on the Saudi King Abdullah, who was hospitalised back in January 2015. According to the royal court, he had been suffering with pneumonia and temporarily needed a tracheotomy. Of course, with him in the hospital bed his fluctuations have been closely monitored bearing in mind the influence he has in the region where the world share of oil amounts to 30%.
The sample presented above may not be excessive and I am quite sure I have already betrayed the train of my thought. On a personal level, I more than pleased to hear that the Prime Minister Netanyahu is in good health and thus fit to run the office. This, however, would be more than enough for me to know. The statement such as:
PM Netanyahu underwent a routine medical examination to ascertain his fitness to run the office. He is in generally good health and the report has been authorised by his personal physician, Dr. Berkovitz
would be sufficiently detailed for the purpose of the public knowing that he is well on the body and will not collapse in the middle of an important meeting. I do not think, however, that as an individual I need to be randomly informed about his non-life threatening and controlled tachycardia or swollen compound tubuloalveolar exocrine gland. Since his heart rate is under control and his prostate has no voice in political dealings, I doubt flooding the public with that sort of information will make an ordinary citizen feel that the PM has finally begun attending to his state matters more fervently than he otherwise would. The PM office is not inherited, it’s neither kingship nor a dictatorship, so we do not need to know that he is healthy enough, in a figure of speech, to produce offspring in order to secure the throne.
I am trying to determine what frustrated me about this announcement and then I thought of the book I read in high school. I have been unnecessarily over-informed on the topic that has nothing to do with the survival of the state and as a result I can’t look at Netanyahu seriously any longer. Suddenly it all sounds like a shitty business (pun intended), less to do with politics and more to do with the image.
To sum up, PM Netanyahu must be indeed very important, or simply felt compelled as a matter of competition to share non-life threatening, but very intimate medical information with the public. Sadly, so far since the last elections, this is the only definite point of his action. I wonder, in case we suddenly lose track of what the PM is doing in terms of solving the issue with the Arabs and making sure that we don’t have attacks on streets almost monthly, whether or not we should ask Dr. Berkovitz. After all, thankfully due to his profession, he went as far as no man has even managed to examine Netanyahu and perhaps, by reverse, he found some answers we are all looking for.