When most people hear the word pirates I'm sure images like this cartoon come up -- peg legs, eye patches, maps, buried treasure, etc. If not that, then images of Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom or something along those lines. Hollywood has taken pirates to a level all its own. Most of what we see on the big screen or television isn't real when it comes to pirates. And often times, what we see is so outdated -- sloops, cutlasses, flintlocks, cannons, etc. If you watch or read the news, you'll see that pirates are still very real. They've traded their flintlocks for assault rifles and their sloops and compasses for high speed boats with GPS machines.
Did you know there are currently 130 sailors being held by pirates in Somalia right now? The Chandlers, from the UK, are still being held hostage. They were taken from their yacht last October as they were heading to Tanzania. The pirates asked for $7M in ransom, but the British government refuses to pay it. They hope, by not paying, that pirates will stop kidnapping if they no longer receive ransom money. I can't even imagine what they are going through being held captive for so long, as well as the other 128 people.
In the year 2009 along, there were over 217 pirate attacks. That was up 111 attacks from 2008. To me, this just seems unimaginable in this day and age. How can this still be happening? We can put men on the moon, but we can't control what goes on in the high seas. Or can we? Do you think government can or should do more? Should they pay the ransoms? Should they just go in with all guns a blazing? Should more countries take a zero tolerance stand on pirates? Or, do you think it will always be like this?
Hollywood has really distorted people's opinions on pirates. I think everyone should watch The Caribbean Pirates by the History Channel to see what it was really like. They might think differently about modern day pirates too. As much as I love the old pirate movies, including Treasure Island and Pirates of the Caribbean, I still feel a little sad that the subject has been glamorized so much and made these criminals out to be heroes. What will it be like in another hundred years? Will they make movies about LA street gangs and glamorizing them? Well, make more movies, since there are already enough of those crappy films. It's just one of those things that makes you wonder sometimes, you know?
Quite true Rena, it does make you wonder. I have an old video of Disney songs for children, but one of the songs is Yo Ho Yo Ho a Pirates life for me, and the lyrics of the song are not pretty at all! What were Disney thinking of!ReplyDelete
Yes, I've always thought that strange. I see lots of sailboats with pirate flags and wonder the same thing.ReplyDelete
Loved your review of Chocolate Factory. One of my top books ever.
I think glamorizing criminals is something hollywood loves to do. Funny thing when I first saw your post, I had a total flashback of a dream I had the other night regarding pirates. See? I even dream of them *swoon*ReplyDelete
I've heard that quite an industry has sprung up to protect the shipping industry from piracy. I tried explaining to my sons that there are still pirates, but they cannot fathom, thanks to Disney.ReplyDelete
You are so right Rena. Piracy was not and ever has been a glamorous affair. As for the Somalian pirates, from what I've learned they do it out of despiration. I sad and sorry state. I don't think we should ever pay for ransom bu that's easy for me to say, I'm not the Chandlers.ReplyDelete
Hi Rena, there's something for you at my blog :o)ReplyDelete
Every time I see something on the news about these modern pirates it freaks me out. I don't think governments have as much control of the ocean as they would like. That's why Japanese "researchers" are able to kill so many whales, too.ReplyDelete
It does make it hard sometimes to plug into reality when we have such a glamorized version stuck in our heads.ReplyDelete
I am obsessed with pirate paraphernalia. I have no idea why. And not stuff from the films!ReplyDelete
It is scary that in these times something like this happens. I hope they free everyone soon. I don't think they should ransom either. If they do it once, they will have to keep doing it.ReplyDelete
So true Rena. There is nothing romantic or wonderful about piracy and yet that is exactly how pirates are portrayed and not just in Hollywood. There is a whole genre of romance novels out there aimed at pirates. While they are not my favourite to read it does make me wonder how, if all of the pirates are so good hearted and wonderful, who actually did all the raping and pillaging?ReplyDelete