Did you know it’s 2008 and there are still all kinds of successful pirates? Not the swashbuckling sort with beard-themed names who drunkenly bury stolen valuables and encourage parrots to live on shoulders. No, the pirates of today are mainly poverty stricken foreigners with more guns than shoes. They don’t say “Argh matey,” or “yo ho,” they say “I will shoot your chest open like a bloody pinata” in Somali. Currently these modern day buccaneers have a Saudi owned oil tanker held captive and their demands are simple: They just want money. Millions of dollars worth. Real creative Somali pirates. That’s the best you can do? Boring ass money? No treasure map? Epic sword fights? No Kraken battles?! The saddest thing about all this is not the terrified crew being held hostage, or mass oil coveting this all revolves around, but rather the unnecessary besmirching of the term “pirate.” Technically speaking, yes, these madmen have “pirated” a ship, but not in the same exciting, cutthroat manner most associate with traditional piratehood. Call it something else, media, and leave our beloved crap-seated, vice-riddled maritime merrymakers alone. No one’s used the term “oil bandit” in a while, use that.
If this misnomer continues, a couple hundred years from now, when people remember pirates, they won’t think of salty sea dogs farting out rum soaked shanties in the sun; future-Disney will make high-grossing trilogies about the risible “Captain Korfa Aziz” and his various shenanigans threatening murder in pigeon English off the poorer coasts of Africa. Sure pirate-infatuation got hackily annoying for a while, with theater school drama nerds pulling crap like “National Talk Like a Pirate Day,” but is a chumbucketless world really one we want to leave our children’s children’s children’s kids? Ahoy, who’s the real scallywag here: Kalashnikov toting third world boat criminals, or the scurvy nostalgia hating media?
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