I was always under the impression that part of the current pop culture fascination with maritime piracy sprang from commonness of internet piracy. People, I think, like to indulge in the 18th century fantasy of rum and plunder because it serves as a kitschy extended metaphor for their bittorrent habit. ‘Yarrr, it be the Morrisey discography ripe for the takin’, yoho yoho’. Often we forget that there are, you know, actual pirates still lurking the waters–and stealing Ukrainian tanks!
The story of Somali piracy as an institution is interesting. It began as a vigilante force to protect the tuna-rich waters off the coast from international commercial fishing operations when the central government collapsed over a decade ago. They eventually evolved from armed tax collectors to straight up pirates because it was more lucrative — quiet million dollar pay outs from counties who want their men and property back, no harm done. In an interview with the New York Times, the Somali pirates’ spokesmen Sugule Ali claims that they didn’t know there was and estimated $30 million in weapons on the ship they hijacked, but that they simply boarded because it’s standard procedure to attack large, vulnerable vessels.
“We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”
Yet another timely example of how one man’s criminal is another’s folk hero. I do not condone the pirate’s actions but admit to being struck by their romantic sort of BAMFness. Theres something inspiring about people of a developing nation demanding ransom on the high seas from their neocolonial detractors. If nothing else, it forces us to remember that even those we dismiss as powerless can forcefully insert themselves into international economic and military discourse. Pushed too far, some people will arm themselves, organize, and board your frigate.
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I see my campaign contributions are being put to good use.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged bristol, choice, focus on the family, Maury, McCain, Obama, Palin, pregnancy, sex education, shit sandwich, WOAH WAIT WHAT on Monday, September 1, 2008|
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Mireille: there is a great deal of lacking in the teen sex news area
Mireille: what the hell else can I blog about
Steven: Au contraire
Steven: palins 17 year old daughter is pregnant
Mireille: WOAH WAIT WHAT
I don’t report this for the sake of slut-shaming but rather as an occasion to comment on Palin and her ilk’s hypocrisy. This will not make Palin reevaluate her stance on sex education. She is squarely in the abstinence only camp, which she is clearly teaching her own children. We see how far this has gotten them. Abstinence only sex education is just setting kids up for failure, it doesn’t make teenagers less likely to be sexually active but it does make them less likely to protect themselves. The Mccain camp also emphasized that Bristol decided on her own to keep her baby–As if she had much of a choice in the matter. One can’t help but feel sorry for her, she never had a chance in hell. She clearly never had the information a person her age needs to make an informed decision about sexual activity. Whats more she really has no other option but to keep the child and marry the father because her entire support system would abandon her otherwise. She must pass the rest of her pregnancy under intense scrutiny with the entire Christian Right paying her public lip service, all the while likely calling her all manner of awful names behind her back. Bristol Palin, you are a stronger woman than I. I personally apologize for the shit sandwich life has handed you.
Anyway, could you just imagine how they’d spin it if one of Obama’s daughters were a bit older and pregnant? CNN would lead with CRISIS IN THE BLACK FAMILY. Focus on the Family’s James Dobson would not simply shrug and say forgive and forget. We would hear nothing but how liberalism is ruining the American Family (capital A, capital F) and John Mccain would not be nearly as classy or charitable as Obama has been.
For those of us who are not nearly as scrupulous about political children, here are a few pictures of Bristol and Levi courtesy of the New York Daily News.
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