Hey, When's Talk Like a Janjaweed Militiaman Day?
But I have to ask it:
How come it's so funny to talk like a pirate, and why is America so into pirates, and why do we laugh about "Talk Like a Pirate Day?"
Aside from the fact that we love Johnny Depp as Captain Jack, and he's totally hot, I mean?
Here are some of the things that pirates routinely did: raped women and men, girls and boys (and probably the occasional octupus, for all I know), tortured their captives, starved and enslaved each other, slit throats with impunity, destroyed property, terrorized entire seaside communities and the high seas in general, thieved and looted, murdered, mutinied and did I say "tortured" yet? I probably did, but let me be more explicit: pirates were known to flay men alive, to slash at their bound victims with swords and then pour salt into their wounds, hack off body parts, gouge out eyes -- oh, they were real charmers. Interestingly, one thing pirates did not generally do in real life is require their victims to walk the plank.
So as much as I love the Johnny Deep thing myself, I'm just puzzled by all the general merriment around pirates. They were savage terrorists who specialized in slavery and torture, and it's not like they're so distant from our time chronologically that we can romanticize their bloodthirstiness like we do with, say, the Aztecs. Do you want your great-grandchildren cracking jokes on "Talk Like a Janjaweed Militiaman Day?" Or wearing Nazi costumes on Halloween? Because those guys are colorful, too, and probably have some great costume options. And I bet the Janjaweeds party just as hearty as any pirate as they're pillaging their way through Sudan. I'm just guessing, here.
When I think of pirates, I tend to get a visual image of a filthy, siphylitic sociopath whipping some strung-up captive to bloody shreds. And I just really can't so much get into the "Argh, matey" thing. Even though I love "The Pirates of Penzance" dearly, the actual pirate thing is just about as charming to me as the Spanish Inquisition or Al Qaeda.
I know -- I'm no fun.