We were thinking the same thing recently...
I suspect 18th century pirates were a lot more like their Somali decendants than the swashbucklers of romantic fiction.
18th century pirates were desperate men- as are their present day Somali conterparts. It's not a career you embark on for fun.
I was thinking the same thing...if they perhaps were actual actors instead of REAL pirates, maybe...
Real life crime is rarely glamorous.
Fortunately I have read enough about pirates to know that they were never actually cool.
Although I do like the idea of Robin Hood... but he was a land pirate I guess?
I love Robin Hood- but I think he's almost as mythical/legendary as King Arthur.
Maybe they need to wear heavy eyeliner and adopt Keith Richards mannerisms?
2009-04-13 06:40 pm (UTC)
Pirates are definitely romantic only in fiction.
But I try to avoid letting real life get in the way of my romance.
Good article. Perhaps the Somali pirate are the good guys after all.
An awful lot of things are more romantic in fiction than in reality. Think of all the SCA folks who dress up like people from Medieval times. It sounds so lovely--knights and damsels with heaving bosoms and big stone castles. Let's forget about the lack of sewage systems and dentistry...
...and that the feudal system was disgusting.
Medieval European societies were a lot like Afghanistan under the Taliban- only with a more temperate climate and more (better) art.
2009-04-14 12:34 pm (UTC)
Don't kid yourself that we've gone past feudal times. We're giving over 40% of our labour straight to the government, in tax, "national insurance", value added tax etc. If we'd have had to give that much in Medieval times we would have rebelled and killed our masters.
I'm a socialist. I believe in high levels of taxation.
2009-04-14 01:26 pm (UTC)
So what don't you like about feudalism?
That it was a such a static society- "the rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate"-
I hate the idea- which feudalism enshrines- that one person is better than another simply by virtue of birth.
2009-04-14 02:37 pm (UTC)
It's the same these days. If I'm taxed to the hilt, such that I can just about afford mortgage payments, bills and food, and impededed by miles of government red tape, then how am I to break free from the position of wage-slave? I'm still the man at the rich man's gate.
I'm for one low tax rate irrespective of earnings, small government, civil liberties, personal responsibility and personal choice.
The opposite of this, I suppose, would be high taxes penalising higher earners (driving them away), large and always growing government, authoritarianism with more civil liberty incursions (CCTV, wiretapping, informants), welfarism (giving us council sink states, yob culture etc), and being told which hospital you will go to, what drugs you can or cannot have, which schools/universities your children will or will not attend etc.
This socialist way has been tried before (think Hitler, Lenin, Mao) and it didn't turn out well then. Do you think it will work this time, or were millions of deaths a tolerable side effect?
My ideal is the post-war Attlee government- and a kind of socialism which- as I think Harold Wilson said- owed more to Methodism than Marx. The British way is to muddle along, not paying too much notice to ideology- and it's produced one of the fairest, most equitable, least unpleasant states in the world. I detest the current government- but I suppose I'd rather be ruled by Gordon Brown than by almost any other national leader I can think of.
BTW, in spite of calling myself a socialist I'm seriously thinking of voting Tory next time round. I want to see these buggers kicked out of office as soon as is humanly possible.
2009-04-14 03:14 pm (UTC)
I think the trouble with socialism is that it may start off ok, but it's prone to non-stop growth. A new (and pressing) issue arrives? Great lets create a new (kneejerk) law.. ad infinitum.
I also think the country is running itself into the ground. Being equitable somehow means giving money to people, without asking for responsibility, or any kind of output (financial or social) in return. It seems to be hell bent on destroying the middle class too. If you're a multi-ethnic, lesbian, criminal, immigrant who needs benefits money to buy the batteries for her vibrator, then you get the full package of benefits. If you're a hard-working middle class type then you get shafted in an altogether less pleasant way :P.
As far as the big 3 parties go you'll find that they are all for big government and socialism.
Yes, perhaps- but they're committed to Thatcherite market economics too- another god which seems to have failed- as I guess all political gods are bound to fail in the end.
It's one of the strengths of our system that power regularly changes hands- so that you get this small shift from left to right and back again. I like what Churchill said about democracy- that's it's the worst system there is- apart from all the others.
I agree about this government's mania for making new laws. Law is only any good when it's enforcable. The Blair/Brown reaction to social failure of any kind is to chuck another law onto the ever mounting heap- never mind the implications for liberty.
2009-04-14 06:25 pm (UTC)
I think free market economics work fine, it's the very fact that it's NOT free which has caused this mess. Money supply is manipulated by the central banks (like the Federal Reserve and Bank of England). They row the economy between boom and bust on purpose in order to concentrate wealth and power with the powerful bankers. Markets truly allowed to work on their own are a very different thing. See this article: http://www.thelibertyvoice.com/?p=136
I would agree that power shifting between differing parties would be a good think were it not for the fact that they are so similar, and that I'm not even sure if they are the ones who hold the real power.
Yeah, and yet you don't see people running around dressed in burqas holding "Taliban Faires."
Give it time.
By the time the Taliban are seven hundred years in the past they may well have aquired an Arabian Nights type charm.