June 07, 2015

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From a certain point of view, it does work, however: that of someone who wants to see the world, avoid boring routine, feel good about himself, and make a tolerably good living, all at the same time. These are not evil intentions, but they do not seem to me to be particularly admirable, either. In short, a career like many others.

The subject of the profile admitted that it sometimes felt as if his son were right. But then he hears that some country or other has passed a law because of his “intervention” and he feels as if he has achieved something, as if all laws in the world were obeyed and achieved their end. Obedezco, pero no cumplo, as the Spanish officials used to say in South America when they received a royal order: I obey, but I do not fulfill. The object of The Lancet‘s dithyramb seems unfamiliar with the phenomenon.

Week after week, when I subscribed to the print edition of The Lancet, I used to read on the cover messages such as the following:

The right to the highest attainable standard of health is an asset and an ally, which is at the disposal of all health workers.


Despite formidable challenges ahead, a shift towards an equitable distribution of energy based increasingly on renewable resources has the potential for major health dividends.

They used to make me feel slightly sick, as if I had eaten too many rich chocolates, as I pondered the question as to the quality of a mind for which such sentences, with so many flatulent connotations without denotation, are deemed worthy of emphasis.


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