Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Why We Love Pirates

I was trying to understand why pirates are so popular these days. Even people who turn their nose up at organized fun you have to stand in line for like Disneyland, are standing in line for "Pirates of the Caribbean." At first I thought it could be explained by people's need for escapist fantasy in a world growing meaner and more brutal everyday. Then I thought it was just the hunky guys playing the pirates or the sex symbol hollywood wax figure of the week starring alongside them. Or maybe it was the simple plot in a too complex world that gave people a nice break from reality.

It's probably a little bit of all of the above, but also has a lot to do with the fact that we ARE living in a time of pirates. Look at the people in power now. Surely they fit the definition of pirate quite well. They care only about accumulating treasure and booty, killing and pillaging their way to democracy and even sadder, still use rape as proof they can conquer and humiliate a weaker enemy.

The romantic ideal of pirates seems to ignore the bad side of piracy, if there can even be a good side to it. We think Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom instead of Cheney and Rumsfeld. We want our thieves to be handsome and driven by altruism instead of ugly old white men driven by greed and cruelty. We want to believe pirates were the last of the rugged individualists instead of hired thugs employed by expansionist-minded governments to act as cover for their crimes, much as that paid whore Oliver North did for the Reagan administration.

Today's pirate ships are called Halliburton, Exxon, Neoconism, Bushco and other names we've come to associate with our poor excuse for a government. They are here for one purpose only: to steal as much as they can for themselves and their masters before someone comes and boards their ships of corrupted state and hangs them all for the treasonous criminals they are. After all, pirates rarely die of peaceful old age. They mostly end up getting exactly what they deserve in the end and history, except for the few brief periods when romanticism takes over from reality, records them for posterity as the bastards they truly were.
Design from Ursine Logic Changing minds one t-shirt at a time.

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