Thursday, March 25, 2010

There Need to be Limitations ...

... on the word "pirate." Bilge Munkey posted a link to this event on his page:

Police Nab 2 So-Called 'Grease Pirates'

Grease pirates? Really? I mean come on. A couple of posts ago I was lamenting that there were only two types of pirates left in the world - Somalian thugs and Internet pirates who steal music and movies. But what I was suggesting was that we needed more nouns followed by the word 'pirate.' If I steal somebody's dog am I a "puppy pirate?" If I'm a car thief does that make me an "Auto Buccaneer?" Of course not. So let's get the word out that there are pirates and then there are thieves, plain and simple. Pirates are historical figures who are no more. All that exist today are thieves and terrorists. And that's all there is to it.

But while we're on the topic of wanna-be pirates:

Armed contractors shoot dead Somali pirate on UAE ship

Of course, this increases the stress level of governments who have naval forces in the area. They want to keep private forces from escalating violence and giving the Somalis reason to start killing their victims, rather than holding them for ransom. However, it's not surprising that shipping companies have resorted to this strategy. In a way, it is reminiscent of events that occurred toward the end of the Golden Age of Piracy (1650 - 1725). Angered by the escalation of piracy, the European navies began escorting merchant ships and actively hunting pirates through a variety of means. In addition, sailors who manned sailing ships were offered pardons and recruited into the very navies who were hunting them! With the possibility of forgiveness and diminishing returns from a life under the black flag, the era came to an end.

Perhaps this incident is the beginning of a repeat of these historical events.

1 comment:

Marrock said...

I proudly claim the title of Highway Pirate for myself, so there's one more for the list.