November 8, 2018

The Dutch man who's asking a court to change his age from 69 to 49 got his inspiration from Tony Robbins.

I really don't think the press should even cover this stupid and basically phony story, and I wouldn't blog it except for the Tony Robbins angle. From "A 69-year-old man asks to be declared 49, claiming age is as fluid as gender" (WaPo):
[Emile] Ratelband’s desire to remake himself is distinctly American, he said, and comes from his training under Tony Robbins, the motivational guru and master of the life hack. He lived and traveled with Robbins for about six months in the late 1980s, he said, and came to believe that, “You have to make your dreams come true from visualization.”

“This is American thinking,” he said. “Why can’t I change my age if I want to? You have to stretch yourself. If you think you can jump one meter, now I want to jump 20. If you earn 100 grand a month, now I want to earn 120 grand."

He drew a comparison to the forces elevating President Trump, arguing that people don’t want to be told how to live or what to believe, and therefore appreciate that the president has cut himself loose from standards of decorum that governed prior presidents.

“He is just himself,” he said. “Trump is the first one who is honest. He shows his emotion on Twitter, saying to everyone, ‘Shut up.’ He’s a new kind of person.”
Ratelband got everyone to pay attention to him, but obviously, he can't be concerned about getting perceived as 49, since he's made his age so conspicuous in this bogus effort to "change" it.

I'm interested in the way foreigners create their own conception of what it means to be "American" — and the subcategory of deriving the idea of "American" from Trump. Ratelband is (purportedly) trying to adopt a different age, but he's also trying to adopt a different nationality. So it's a type of cultural appropriation. But isn't that generally something we Americans like to see — foreigners inspired toward freedom and self-expression and calling that "American"?

I'm thinking of that 2003 Iraq war story (NYT):
In the giddy spirit of the day, nothing could quite top the wish list bellowed out by one man in the throng of people greeting American troops from the 101st Airborne Division who marched into town today.

What, the man was asked, did he hope to see now that the Baath Party had been driven from power in his town? What would the Americans bring?

''Democracy,'' the man said, his voice rising to lift each word to greater prominence. ''Whiskey. And sexy!''

34 comments:

My name goes here. said...

Why not? If sex is not an immutable characteristic, then why should age be?

Give it another year or two and the polygamists will use the same logic about marriage. If it can be changed by court fiat to allow for the marriage of same sex couples then it should be changed to allow for multiple spouses.

Gahrie said...

I really don't think the press should even cover this stupid and basically phony story,

How is this anymore stupid than someone claiming to be a different race or a different gender? Aren't they all about ignoring facts and indulging feelings?

Oso Negro said...

Do you object when people change their gender? Age and gender are both biological realities. People do not age equally. The calendar time elapsed may be the same for two individuals. The biological reality may vary. I suspect Althouse is an ageist.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Attributes that used to be considered immutable are now understood to be nothing more than social constructs--as such they can be changed at will.
Failure to agree with someone's decision about their own identity is regressive, hateful bigotry. It's ugly and simply won't be tolerated.
If someone identifies as 49 who are we to disagree?

Gahrie said...

“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life..."

Darkisland said...

Dammit Ann, are you a science denier?

Bruce Jenner and others can become a woman simply by claiming it

Gays can be "born that way" simply by claiming it

Global warming can be true simply by claiming it

Fake warming can be caused by carbon dioxide (not carbon) simply by claiming it

In the above cases we are told that it is SCIENCE!

So why can't I change my age by claiming it? Is that not the new SCIENTIFIC! way?

John Henry

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Brilliant.

All 15 year olds should identify as 21. All drunk drivers should identify as sober.

Why not. These are just arbitray social constructs not biology.

Darkisland said...

Slightly related last night I saw a post somewhere that says in some states simply claiming to be a woman (like Bruce Jenner) is enough to get you the lower insurance rates that women enjoy.

Don't know if this is true or not. Seems too good to check.

I don't understand what the benefit of claiming to be younger is. My bones will still hurt and I'll lose my head of line privileges, senior discounts, senior parking at Sam's Club and some other perks.

John Henry

David Docetad said...

"...this bogus effort to "change" it."

How can someone write this in 2018? He merely identifies with a different level of maturity. Ann, surely someone with your sophistication and education knows that "age" and "maturity" are not the same thing (For now. In two weeks, they will be). Maturity is a social construct. Why do you fault the man for identifying with a different age than the one that was arbitrarily assigned to him?

You must be trolling.

dreams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick Turley said...

Well when one considers that the oldest cells in your body are mere teenagers, this makes a lot of sense...or at least as much sense as the gender, race, and so on arguments.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Most people maintain that the person who provided half of my genetic material, the person whose sperm fertilized my mother's egg during my conception, is not my father because he sold his semen to her and her husband instead of depositing it inside her during an act of intercourse. Far be it from me to argue for biological reality, because evidently, everyone gets to make that up based on what reality he or she want to live in. Get with the times, Professor!

gspencer said...

Since life, according to the lights of the left, has become a hall of mirrors, why not?

alan markus said...

Damn, my wife just did the online application for her Social Security. Everything defaulted to a FRA (Full Retirement Age) of 66 - no place for her to "identify as age 70", which would result in a higher monthly payment.

The Crack Emcee said...

Didn't I already explain this - right here
- and almost everywhere else I speak?

Unless Trump disconnects from the NewAge, it'll keep connecting to him - and threatening everything he's doing right.

Caligula said...

If you saw someone who was obviously middle-aged pretending to be a student in an elementary school you might think something was wrong, but, you're not supposed to think anything is wrong if you see (or hear) men peeing in women's bathrooms.

It's surely true that age remains as much a social barrier as sex, and if you're well beyond your teen years you'll find it somewhere between awkward and impossible to mix socially with teens if you're well beyond your teen years. And, logically, "I'm a woman if I think I am" seems as valid as "I'm a teenager if I think I am."

But teens are still not going to accept you as a fellow teen if your teen years were decades ago. Nor will most women accept a man (even when caked with makeup) as a woman.

gerry said...

Ratelband got everyone to pay attention to him, but obviously, he can't be concerned about getting perceived as 49, since he's made his age so conspicuous in this bogus effort to "change" it.

How is this more bogus than ignoring objective, genetically-determined, scientific proof regarding gender? Once one falls onto the postmodern slippery slope it's too late to prevent descent into a chaotic reality of one's own making that is really bogus.

You even begin even to believe that Naturopathy is true (H/T to Crack).

gerry said...

If you saw someone who was obviously middle-aged pretending to be a student in an elementary school you might think something was wrong, but, you're not supposed to think anything is wrong if you see (or hear) men peeing in women's bathrooms.

That inspires me to regard my old, fat body as a slender youthful splendor eligible for cheap health insurance. Those bastard bigots at the insurance companies (and eventually the government in the future) better not try to ration my health care!

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

The internet has informed me that Tony Robbins has a net worth of "$500 million USD (2017)."

The Crack Emcee said...

Do I need to repeat myself?

I should not need to repeat myself.

EDH said...

[Emile] Ratelband’s desire to remake himself is distinctly American, he said, and comes from his training under Tony Robbins, the motivational guru and master of the life hack. He lived and traveled with Robbins for about six months in the late 1980s, he said, and came to believe that, “You have to make your dreams come true from visualization.”

Reminds me of the movie plot in Shallow Hal.

In this case, how about 'Callow Emile' as the movie title?

Doesn't have the same ring.

The Crack Emcee said...

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

"The internet has informed me that Tony Robbins has a net worth of "$500 million USD (2017).""

A nation of suckers.

Leland said...

Wasn't it Einstein that said time was relative to the observer?

gahrie said...

I've heard that Ursain Bolt is planning on running in next year's Connecticut high school women's sprint competitions as a 17 year old girl.

Caroline Walker said...

According to the logic of our cultural Overlords, this guy should be able to reframe his age according to dog years, if that's what floats his boat. No norms! Reality is all in your head! Freeeeeeeeddommmm!

PM said...

THAT is Onion-funny. Bravo, brava, bravthey.

elkh1 said...

If Liz Warren can claim to be a Native American, if a he can claim to be a she and vice versa, why can't a 69 years old claim to be 49? He may not look 49, but who are we to judge people on their appearances?

bagoh20 said...

Who you calling a racist? I'll have you know that I self-identify as 100% woke, so shut your wine hole.

grimson said...

From Daniel Boorstin's The Americans: The Colonial Experience.

"Few American men dared look to their inherited stations to define their callings. They had to look to their opportunities, to the unforeseen openings of the American situation. Where a rapid-flowing life informed a man of his tasks, he would be lost if he anchored himself to any fixed role. No prudent man dared be too certain of exactly who he was or what he was about; everyone had to be prepared to become someone else. To be ready for such perilous transmigrations was to become an American."

Fernandistein said...

"A 69-year-old man asks to be declared 49"

He should just declare it himself. Why should someone else do it?

ALP said...

If age is fluid then time is fluid, correct? I am going to try this at work, a BigLaw firm that bends over to be inclusive/progressive. "You need this at 3:00? What kind of 3:00? The 3:00 that rolls around in a month, or did you mean the deadline was before we even got the work? Fine - I'll have it to you in 3 months. What, are you imposing your idea of time onto me?"

Wayne Martin said...

I'm waiting for 50 year old people to start claiming the they are 70 so they can collect Social Security payments.

n.n said...

Self-identification. #NoJudgment, but is it #PoliticallyCongruent?

Yes, "youthanizing" reduces or delays the after-birth burden, increases taxable commodities, and progresses the GDP.

D 2 said...

I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.