Happy Birthday to the Old Salt Blog & Thank You for Not Talking Like A Pirate

meMDlyQI would like to thank all the readers and supporters of the Old Salt Blog. Today is the fifth anniversary of the very first post, five years ago. So happy birthday to us all. Since September 19th, 2008, the blog has been visited by 968,229 unique visitors, who have viewed 1,640,344 blog pages. Not too shabby for a personal blog. Thanks to everyone for stopping by. Please have a  slice of virtual birthday cake.

This is also happens to be, regrettably,  International Talk Like A Pirate Day, in which many pay homage to the Disney view of piracy, while ignoring both current events and history.   Not coincidentally, five years ago today, our very first blog post was “Thank You for Not Talking Like A Pirate,”  which we are reposting below:

Thank You for Not Talking Like A Pirate

If by good fortune you missed the “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”, just as well. If you managed to pass the day without a single “Aargh” or “Shiver Me Timbers” congratulations.

I have a rather good sense of humor and some might say a quick wit. (And some say half-wit, but be that as it may.) Nevertheless, I am revolted by those who confuse piracy with cute colloquialisms, funny hats and the occasional parrot. Piracy is about murder and theft. Not too unlike terrorism, though in most cases with less justification.

If piracy had disappeared in the 17th century and, as such, was nothing more than a quaint artifact of the past, it might be comparable to the Renaissance Fairs that break out every summer. The problem is, of course, that piracy hasn’t disappeared. It is alive and very nasty, particularly, these days, on the east coast of Africa off Somalia, not so far from Captain Kidd’s old cruising ground.

Pirate Whack-a-Mole on the High Seas

Many blame Disney for the trivialization of pirates into clowns, but in fairness, sailors have been the objects of fun in British musical halls for quite some time.  I wonder when the transition from sailors in general to pirates in particular took place.  Certainly by 1879 with G&S’s Pirates of Penzance, the shift seems to have been complete.

At least one reason for resisting the Disnefication of piracy is that wandering around shouting “Avast ye, matey” makes you look about as stupid as the last ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ movie, which says quite a lot.

In short, if you wouldn’t know a futtock from your buttocks, best not try to talk like a pirate.

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8 Responses to Happy Birthday to the Old Salt Blog & Thank You for Not Talking Like A Pirate

  1. Mind you those of us who write (fanciful most untrue) novels about pirates enjoy today because its a chance to market a few books! Interestingly though, my pirate (well ex-pirate now he’s gone straight-ish) doesn’t talk like a pirate anyway – I don’t think he’s growled “arrr” once. 🙂

    Happy Birthday Old Salt! Savvy?

  2. Joan Druett says:

    Heartily concur. I am currently reading Kofi Annan’s book, just out, called “Interventions.” His description of the political background to the evolution of the Somali pirates is very revealing and very sad. It’s the terrible outcome of the first “peacekeeping” United Nations mission that used military force. As he says, “The troops, deployed [in Somalia] under the mantle of a UN peacekeeping operation, had no peace to keep and were being drawn into a complex and shifting civil war.” No winners came out of it. Just the pirates.
    You are absolutely right. Pirates spring from misery and create more misery. They should not be trivialized and glamorized.

  3. Congratulations!! It made me check when I first started publishing NAUTICAL LOG and to my surprise found I also shall be five (5) years in November 2013.
    Good Watch.

  4. Rick Spilman says:

    Well, my early congratulations to you as well, Captain. Thanks for all your support.

  5. Akiko Umechi says:

    Hi! I’m Akiko Umechi from Japan.
    This is my first visit.
    And I enjoyed your blog very much.
    Happy 5th Anniversary!
    Wishing you Fair Winds and Happy Voyage!

  6. Liam Hegarty says:

    I’ll just point out that “Talk like a pirate Day” is one of the holy days for members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster). We should be careful, what we might interpret as irritating Disney fluff is actually someone’s deep profession of faith.

  7. Rick Spilman says:

    I would prefer to voice my opinions without being constrained by concerns about giving offense. And I really do think that the Pastafarians can show tolerance for conflicting views. I doubt too many will get the meatballs tangled up in the spaghetti over such things.

  8. Irwin Bryan says:

    Congrats, Rick! You and your readers may be interested to know you have averaged 898 articles per year and 2.5 features a day. There’s something for everyone almost every day.
    Great job and glad I found your blog and friendship so long ago. Thanks!