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Gabez
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Okay, so I'm sure you know all about the Somali pirates, and how awful it is, and how these pirates are terrible people, and not at all like Jack Sparrow. It's just that...

 

"We've had no government for 18 years. We have no life. Our last resource is the sea, and foreign trawlers are plundering our fish."

 

The pirate said the crew was being treated well.

 

"They can move from place to place. They can sleep in their own beds, they even have their own keys. The only thing they're missing is their freedom to leave the ship."

 

...and then today I saw this, about a cruise ship being intercepted by pirates:

 

She had just passed a group of fishing vessels when the boats approached her and tried to intercept her path. One of the boats managed to get within 300 yards of the boat before firing at her.

 

The pirates had been seen by a member of the crew as they approached the boat. The ship’s captain, Jurica Brajcic, managed to manoeuvre out of the way of the pirates and, when travelling at full speed, to outpace them.

 

...and I thought of how you can attack the tourist boats in Curse of Monkey Island. It wasn't an intelligent link: I just thought when I was reading the story, "oh, I've done that, in CMI!"

 

And the idea of a ship race with pirates? I can't help but think that is cool... but I think I'm having difficulty seeing the difference between reality and video games.

 

I mean, aren't Somali pirates sort of like terrorists? Except their aim is to get money because they're desperate, not to frighten people or start wars... Hmm. Am I wrong to romanticise this?

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I'm having difficulty seeing the difference between reality and video games.

 

Quick Gabez, murder someone and sell your story to the Daily Mail! You'll be rich!

 

On a more serious note, I think there's a huge difference between being sympathetic to the root cause, and romanticising the actions of pirates. To do the first is right and necessary to finding a permanent solution to the problem, the second is wrong.

 

To invoke Godwin's Law, it is entirely possible to paint a sympathetic picture of Hitler. I think that this is good as reminds us that he was not pure evil but a complex human being like the rest of us and forces us to evaluate our own similarities. That does not make his any actions less horrific.

 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that an explanation is different from an excuse, and the two should not be confused.

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I think it's more than that -- to take your example of Orson Welles in the Third Man, I think a part of most viewers would relate to him and maybe even admire him what for what he does. Whilst high above the ground he points down to the tiny ant-like figures on the street below and says, "if you were offered £10,000 in exchange for one of those ants to disappear, would you not take it?"

 

I'd say that part of the reason for romanticising and admiring villains is that a part of us would like to do the same thing. It's human nature.

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I think it's more than that -- to take your example of Orson Welles in the Third Man, I think a part of most viewers would relate to him and maybe even admire him what for what he does. Whilst high above the ground he points down to the tiny ant-like figures on the street below and says, "if you were offered £10,000 in exchange for one of those ants to disappear, would you not take it?"

 

I'd say that part of the reason for romanticising and admiring villains is that a part of us would like to do the same thing. It's human nature.

 

Well, of course not all villains seem so great and relatable. I think that the biggest reason for romanticising characters like the Orson Welles one is not so much our hidden yearning to be pragmatical cynics, but the freedom, individuality and lack of doubt that those men have which we're often not allowed to in our own lives.

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I think they should all be shot to pieces.

 

I'm not sure if you're joking or not, but I don't think that will really help anything in the long run. A) These people are so desperate that the threat of being shot to pieces wont be a deterrent and B) for every one that gets shot more will take their place.

 

I might be biased because I'm opposed to capital punishment, but even so I don't think you can really fault me on my arguments.

 

EDIT: You're not being a pirate again are you TheJoe? ;)

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I was mostly joking, but part of me would not be opposed to violent interception, even though I too am an opponent of capital punishment.

 

But in this case, it's not really the death penalty, it's just defending honest citizens against criminals. When the police shoots an armed robber who is threatening to kill innocent customers, we tend to approve, and I think it's the same with these criminals. No matter how poor they are, they are still committing a crime.

 

Of course, violence should only be used as a last resort, and I think escorting ships with navy vessels, as is being done now, should be intimidating enough. Also, the problems in Somalia should be addressed (although the big question is how). At the same time, I don't think we should excuse these pirates - it is very much the question if everyone else would do the same (don't forget that some of these pirates wouldn't hesitate to kill!).

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Ah, I'd misinterpreted what you meant there Haggis. Neutralising a threat is very different from killing as punishment. I agree that in a hostage situation going an act of controlled aggression is 100% appropriate. As much as this might not act as a deterrent, giving in to their demands will certainly encourage more piracy.

 

As you say the big question really is what to do in Somalia. I, for one, do not feel remotely qualified to even begin to speculate on what a solution might be. Just because we don't have a solution though doesn't mean we should try to temporarily relieve some of the symptoms though I suppose.

 

This is why I liked maths so much as a child - it was simple, you have a right answer or a wrong answer. Why can't life be more like that?:(

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