Monday, August 29, 2011

Not Celebratory

James Lileks went on a Disney cruise to Europe. He made an interesting point about one of the themes on Day 5.

On the ship it was Pirate Night.... I arrred well and hard at the maitre d’ when we entered: it’s table nine I’ll be wanting, me hearties - but once Bradford, our waiter, asked me if I would be dressing up, I explained that my sympathies were with the colonial administrators, just trying to get the money to the mother country without losing it to some thieves. Pirates are interesting, but not admirable, no matter how you gussy it up with yo-ho-hoing and avast-ye-matey exultations of a life unbound from convention and oppression. As all the waiters danced around the room, wearing pirate costumes, I had a vision of a ship 400 years hence, with all the waiters dressed up for Al-Qaeda night, wearing suicide vests and waving automatic weapons.

The Al-Qaeda reference might be going a bit too far, but seeing the suffering caused by current pirates, and realizing that past pirates caused similar fear and loathing, does temper my enthusiasm for extolling them, even in cartoon form, which is what this is. I also can't help but wonder at holding such a party on a ship.

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