Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shiver me timbers...America's Beloved Villains

So in my Caribbean History class, we discussed pirates today. While it only encompasses one lecture period, it turns out it is the sole reason many people enrolled in the course. This made me wonder: What is it about pirates that makes us love them? If you look at the facts it doesn't quite add up. Do we look highly upon murderers, thieves, and social deviants? Not quite. So why is it that when you throw in a black flag, a silly hat and a dark sense of humor, we swoon? Boys want to be them, girls want to be wooed by them. It's just odd. I know I may have invested more into this thought being a history major but that just leads to another question. How is it that pirates have been so interestingly portrayed throughout history? Well I am planning on doing more research on the topic, but in the meantime, if you're interested check out this article. It's a really good overview of pirates in general and begins to answer some of my posed questions. And if anyone wants to plan a trip to the museum let me know! -A


Jess said...

Great topic Allie! It must be the love of a "bad boy" image even though pirates really were bad boys to the max. People love to romanticize villainy. Why do you think civilian women write and fall in love with convicted rapists and murderers serving time? Or why do nice girls put up with crap from jerky boys?

And I think men romanticize historical pirates simply because they are testosterone driven. They have replaced villainy on the high seas with street gangs and the Mafia.

Being bad is so much more interesting than being good and that is a flaw of being human I guess.

rachd said...

Yup. Just what Jessie said. ;o)

james said...

History degree here too (with an emphasis in U.S.,African/middle-eastern histories)and a minor in world geography.

I also really dig native cultures such as in Africa. I lived there for a couple years.

I took a Caribbean history class as well and really loved it and for other reasons then just pirates. Although pirates ARE indeed cool. ;o)