|Painted by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris, 1920|
At first glance it seems that a day dedicated to talking like a pirate would be a wonderful excuse to spend hours drinking rum, swashbuckling anything resembling a sword while Hardy Har Har-ing and Arr matey-ing around the office to the bemusement, or annoyance, of fellow employees. I don't doubt that the holiday was conjured in good humor, nothing spices up water cooler chatter better than a little treasure hunting scavengery and eye patch wearing costumery, but have you or your pirate lovin' buddies ever stopped to think about what kind of people pirates actually are? Should the infamous behavior of a glorified gang of ocean bullies with a curious way of talking be celebrated?
|Johnny Depp - "Pirates of the Caribbean"|
Either way, subtract the glamor of Hollywood and the child friendly Disney yo-ho-ho spin machine, and we are left with quite a disreputable gang of hooligans.
It's not my intention to ruin all the fun but did everyone collectively forget that the adorable terms "raping" and "pillaging" really mean taking sexual advantage of ladies and then stealing all of their worldly possessions? Just because gold coins and shiny jewels seem like antiquated currency doesn't make it any more right to steal it. Yet somehow, a pirate swiping rubies and stuffing them into the pockets of his tattered vest is a comical caricature more reminiscent of a Captain Hook than a Blackbeard. What in modern day society would be considered grand larceny and a prison sentence, is considered an elaborate and totally harmless game of capture the flag...because ya know, pirates are funny.
|Captain Hook - "Peter Pan"|
|Crew of the Northwestern - "Deadliest Catch"|
|Ambroise-Louis Garneray (1783–1857)|
The adjective bloodthirsty isn't cute, it's actually quite appalling. Pirates weren't merely looters and hunters of booty, they were serial killers, psychopaths, terrorists, murders and crooks. They were homeless and jobless hobos who carelessly wielded deadly weapons without compassion or regard for any life but the continuation of their own despicable existence. So as you spend today trying to "arg" and "avast" with the rest of the "pirate day" observers, perhaps take a moment to pause and rethink just who it is you are pretending to be.
If it was up to me, I'd rather have talk like Data from "Star Trek" Day, or talk like Rocky day, or talk like Sean Connery Day, or Jabba the Hut or Yoda...