Friday, August 15, 2008

P'scuse me?

I was all prepared today to blog about something else entirely, but after finally getting a chance to catch up on my Olympics viewing, I have to just say:

<----- That girl is NOT 16.

Now, hear me out. I understand what it's like to look younger than you actually are. People regularly mistake me for being a high school student when in truth, I'm pushing 30. Well, not pushing maybe, but getting pretty close.

The Chinese government has provided documents that allegedly prove that all their gymnasts are 16, the legal age to compete in the Olympics. Which makes me wonder if the people vetting these documents are bouncers from the same NYC bars who accepted my terrible fake ID in the summer of 2001, when I was 20.

I'll never forget nervously handing my Colorado non-driver ID to a man blocking the entrance to Bohemian Hall, the storied beer garden in Astoria, only to hear him chuckle and say, "I coulda made this in my basement." He then took my friend Kim's ID, studied it, and asked her, "Are you 21 or 22?" Kim blanked, and couldn't remember the birthdate on her fake ID and just grinned and said, "...yes."
Yet the bouncer still let us in, offering only these words of advice: "Don't drink too much."

I'm not saying China didn't deserve to win the gold, but come on, they should at least be expected to play by the rules. I may not be qualified to judge the validity of Deng Linlin's passport, but I'm also NOT A BLIND PERSON.

1 comment:

Kadim said...

Well this hits an interesting issue...the fact is, the state issues ID documents and has the power to determine legal identity.

As long as we use IDs, the social contract requires us to accept the idea that whatever the state prints on the ID is legal fact.

I don't consider this cheating per se, because it's a power that invested in the state. If the state wants to declare her 16 then that's their prerogative...and they can make it a legal fact.

I didn't think they needed to hedge around this: "We've decided she's 16. Your doubts are your problem."