“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” said Leroy “Satchel” Paige, the greatest Negro Leagues pitcher of them all, and —who knows?—maybe the greatest pitcher of all time, in any league. Imagine: Paige wasn’t allowed to play against white players in the Major Leagues until 1948 when he was over 40, and he still was hard to hit. Satch is a great symbol for the ageless and those of us in denial: he pitched in his last Major League game in his 60’s, throwing three scoreless innings against the Boston Red Sox. Paige’s whimsical idea that age is just a state of mind has now been carried to its illogical conclusion by Dutch citizen Emile Ratelband, a “positivity trainer” who calls himself a “young god,” and who has asked a local court to legally change his birthday from March 11, 1949 to March 11,1969, the BBC reports.
Heck, why not? If someone with a Y chromosome and all of their original external organs can say they “identify” as a female and use the ladies room, join the Girl Scouts, and have the protection and support of the law and the woke, why not declare age simply a matter of attitude and mind over matter? It’s just the next frontier in the politically correct realm of reality denial, and I would say, and I know Satchel Paige would say, if how someone feels is sufficient to legitimize that defiance of concrete reality, treating age as similarly flexible is more than reasonable. Just a stroke of a pen by a judge, and poof! You’re as young as you feel.
It is unethical to lie about reality, however. It is as unethical to deceive society, the world and yourself as it is to lie to anyone else. The delusion that we can make something so by just saying, wishing and insisting so has somehow infested all aspects of society. We see it in public policy, where laws of economics are ignored because it would be so nice, if, to take an especially obvious example, if a $15 minimum wage actually worked. It doesn’t work, but never mind: the important thing is that it feels right. Open borders, to recall a recent post, is in that category. So is Communism. So is socialism. It’s a long, long, tragic list.
People have been gulled, or deceived, or otherwise misled into believing that certitude and sincerity is enough. (Charlie Brown’s lament: “How can we lose when we’re so sincere?”) If you want to act like you are a woman, I’ll be happy to respect your wishes within reason/ If you want to pretend you are black, like Rachel Dolezal, that’s fine too, as long as you don’t insist that you are black, because you are not. And sorry, Emile, but no matter how young you feel, and you can talk and dress like a 10 year-old for all I care, but Satchel Paige notwithstanding, age is a solid, immutable reality.