Wednesday, April 06, 2005


I've had some strange thoughts lately about pirates. It came to a head while watching the "Pirate Party" on board the Disney cruise line.

First of all, I am a fan of Neal Stephenson and am currently reading "Quicksilver". Among many other things, there are pirates in there, as it takes place during the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

These were really bad guys. They were sort of like terrorists are today. It took the resources of whole countries to finally get rid of them.

Strangely, children dress up as pirates today. On the cruise, there was a pirate party with pirate costumes and dancing. And this was right in Blackbeard's old neighborhood, as I understand it.

I can't imagine my great-grandchildren dressing up as terrorists for Halloween. It would be nice to think that the problem will be so obsolete by then that it could be possible.

Ok, that's wierd you say. But it doesn't end there.

The Pirate party is clearly inspired by the "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie and ride, an important part of Disney's intellectual property.

But wait - the term piracy now refers to people who steal intellectual property! This is actually something companies like Disney are deathly afraid of today.

So, let me get this straight - the original pirates who murdered, raped, etc. are trivialized/stylized by children and everyone else. Meanwhile, the word pirate refers to people who copy DVD's, and now it's their turn to be stopped by governments and multinational corporations.

So maybe I've got it wrong. Maybe my great grand-kids will dress up as I.P. pirates. That would be much cooler than terrorists. :)

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