Why are pirates okay and Nazis are not; also, I'm a pansy

I kinda dig this “A and B” formula of posts, where A and B are entirely unrelated.

Here’s part A of today’s post:
Pirates are a cool thing, or at least a pop-culture-tolerable thing. Pirates of the Caribbean, for one. And Talk Like a Pirate Day. And every single goddamn idjit on the internet. This post is not about how pirates (and ninjas and zombies) are not funny anymore, although that is true. This post is about Why are they not offensive? And why are they even glorified? I mean, Johnny Depp is this roguish hero, and nobody cares.

Pirates were bad people! Right? They plundered and pillaged, and so on! Correct me if I’m wrong, but these guys were just common thieves, except common thieves who would kill you!

Nazis were bad people too, but we can’t have a movie with a hero who’s a Nazi. Is it a too-soon thing? If so, that’s silly, because it means in 100 years, Johnny Depp’s great-great-grandson will be playing a rakish, handsome Nazi. Is it a question of scale? Because Nazis were oppressive controllers, and pirates were just like little guys who committed minor (in comparison) crimes? That makes a little more sense… but I mean Jeffrey Dahmer committed minor crimes, in comparison to all the Nazis. Is it a question of premeditation? Nazis were systematically evil, while pirates were merely chaotic? Hey, guess who else is “merely chaotic”: suicide bombers.

How about talk-like-a-Nazi day? Or Nazis of the Baltic? Hmm.

Also, I need to grow a spine, in terms of social interactions. If I, say, need a book, I tend to phrase the question like “Hey, is that your book? Can I maybe borrow it? I mean, that is, if you don’t need to use it anytime soon, and of course it’s totally cool if you do need to use it, no really, that’s fine.” And the other day, this one guy was beating up another guy in the alley, broad daylight, lots of people around. That’s not okay! I noticed it and stopped and looked, as if to say to the beater: stop it! He looked at me and yelled “What the fuck are you looking at? Cross the fucking street. Cross the fucking street!” So what did I do? I crossed the (fucking) street. But I felt awful! What I should have done is cross the street and call 911. I didn’t even do that, and it didn’t occur to me to do that until later. Or maybe yell back: “I’m looking at you beating the crap out of this guy. You want me to call the cops?” I know what you’re saying, don’t get involved, but he was far away from me and there were tons of people around, so he couldn’t beat me up.

Whatever it was, I didn’t do the right thing, and I felt like a glub for hours.

Pirates are like that guy! They’re not like Johnny Depp!


Anonymous -

good points dan! i think pirates are glorified bc they’re kind of folklore. not true, but that doesn’t change most peoples minds. but yeah very interesting.

Julie -

People like pirates because they are anti-The Man. People do not like Nazis because they are The Man.

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