November 24, 2008

sympathy for the devils: I am pro–pirate.

Maybe I'm not the best person to talk about this. Every time I try to, people tell me not to romanticise the Somalian pirates.

Personally, I romanticise everything in my life without hesitation. So I am probably not the best person to talk about this. But you know... the whole point of blogs is to say the stupid things because there is most likely nobody listening... And when I romanticise this situation, I don't imagine moustachioed villains with cutlasses swinging from ropes. I imagine miniature anarchist utopias that spring up out of war and horror. I imagine reactionaries in the process of reacting.

I dig you if you say that's unrealistic. What am I meant to say, though? This isn't crime as we know it. Nor is it terrorism. It is deeply political in its own way, but I suppose it's basically a business, one with only minimal corruption and sleeze.

So yeah. I think the pirates should get vast ransom money given to them. They just seem like reasonable people. They have excellent PR, would be another way of phrasing that. Their statements are amazing. Such apparent mansuetude. Daybad said that thing the other day, about trawler fishing around Somalia and how it has put indigenous fishermen out of work:

Our fish were all eradicated so... we're going to fish whatever passes through our sea

Not only is that a stark reminder of the cost of international business on local communities, it is also an eloquently put way of saying, "you thought we wouldn't put up a fight when you stole from us, but you were wrong." It reminds me a little of something from that awful (brilliant) TV show Firefly, where the tough guy Jayne finds himself giving a speech to an impoverished community who believe him to be a revolutionary:

you people been given the shortest end of the stick ever been offered a human soul in this crap-heel 'Verse. But you took that end, and you... Well, you took it. And that's - Well, I guess that's somethin'.

I'm a literary guy. I really should've quoted a book just then. O well.

We surely all know, all of us who read/watch the news, the cost of oil. The oil industry has become a synonym for corruption, violence and environmental atrocity. When you see a newspaper article with the word oil tanker in the heading, you can't help but imagine hundreds of animals perishing, beaches destroyed, oceans on fire. Then you look again and you see hijacked by pirates. And then you read that the company Intertanko, whose name seriously sounds like that of an evil sci-fi empire, wants to put a blockade on Somalia.

A blockade.

Come on.

A blockade.

What the fuck.

Better yet, their spokesman is called Peter Swift. I can pretty much see the headline now: Peter Swift versus Jack Sparrow.




Bad joke.






I wrote this listening to Miami Beach by Sordid Humor



- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Don’t worry Ben, I’m on your side. Though I’d prefer for the pirates to be mustachioed if possible, and preferably cutlass-wielding. I’m a stickler for those traditions – blame lego for their homogenized plastic representations.

    08 Dec 2008, 21:14


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