“Pirates?” Sheep, more like it!

Currently my Facebook status reads:

Stilgherrian is going to tell everyone who Talks Like A Pirate today that they’re a gullible unimaginative fuckwit of a sheep.

Mass-organised opportunities to “do something different”, like International Talk Like a Pirate Day, are just another way in which peer-pressure is deployed to make people conform to certain group behaviours. Yes, you can have fun in your life — but only this kind of fun. And only today.

And the rest of the time you can continue being a dutiful little cog in the machine.

Sorry, I’m capable of making my own fun. And I will decide what sort of fun I have in my life, and the circumstances in which I’ll have it.

And I certainly won’t put up with people exerting peer pressure, saying “X is wondering if Stilgherrian is a ‘Land Lubber’?” How dare you imply I’m behaving unacceptably just because I happen not to join your pathetic mob action.

18 Replies to ““Pirates?” Sheep, more like it!”

  1. Appropriate responses to people talking at you like a pirate:

    • “Today may be ‘Talk like a pirate’ day. However, everyday is ‘You’re a clueless cunt day’.”
    • “Well I’m going onto Limewire and downloading all the Ja Rule mp3s I can find.” (ok, bad pun)

      I think you’re reacting a bit too strongly to this though. Let the plebs have their fun 😉 Actually I’m getting rather fond of the first response…

  2. @Snarky Platypus: I was trying to be good and not use the word “plebs”. Maybe “proles” or even “gammas”…

    @jason: Agreed. If people want to donate money to genetic research, they can. If they want to wear jeans, they can. But “wearing jeans to show that I’m donating to charity” is just boasting about how good you are.

  3. Yeah, you’re overreacting BIG time. People have fun in different ways. Let them be.

    Just because it doesn’t CONFORM to YOUR way, you dismiss them as plebs or proles. Now … you don’t think that’s being stupid? I think it is.

  4. @patrick: You’ve missed the point. I really don’t care what someone else does, as long as it doesn’t frighten the horses — though I reserve the right to believe that it’s stupid, and to tell them so. What I object to is the peer pressure involved when someone implies that someone’s a lesser person because they didn’t join in, sheep-like.

    As for “plebs” and “proles”, please read more carefully, note who said what and in what order, and turn on your irony detector. You’ll get a lot more out of my writing — and life! — that way.

  5. In case you’ve all forgotten, this bit…

    And I will decide what sort of fun I have in my life, and the circumstances in which I’ll have it.

    … is a John Howard reference, remember? Or have we managed to purge that from our memories already?

  6. Your blog, your comment.

    You are just voicing what I’m feeling too (and I bet a whole lot of other people).

    Besides — what’s the historical context for pirates talking the way the do or are supposed to? Where’s the reference — crap movies? I dunno — I’m a librarian — perhaps I should research it, should, but don’t choose to…

    Anyway have a fun day regardless.

  7. Surely I’d be just as much of a gullible sheep if I refrained from talking like a pirate (which I quite enjoy doing regardless of the date) simply because some guy who writes a blog calls me a gullible sheep. Besides, where’s the fun in learning to fence if you can’t pretend you’re Jack Sparrow or Captain Blood occasionally?

    Thus, I shall spend today saying “Arr!”, “Why is all the rum gone?” (then finding some rum, drinking it and asking “Why is all the rum gone” again) and singing “The Last Saskatchewan Pirate” at random intervals until somebody punches me. Or I get bored.

    Have a happy Stilgherrian Hates Talk Like A Pirate Day Day!


  8. @Kate: According to the Wikipedia entry, “One of the most influential books on popular notions of pirate speech was Treasure Island, a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.” It then gives some examples from the book.

    However it also mentioned older material from actual pirates, including “He styl’d us ‘young puppies’ and shouted ‘May the Devil take my soul if I ever gives quarter or asks it of ye!'” and, from the (in)famous Blackbeard, “Damn ye, yellow-bellied sapsuckers, I’m a better man than all of ye milksops put together”.

  9. I can only pray that the Flying Spaghetti Monster will touch your hard, cold and possibly ninja-tainted heart and open you to the wonder that is… well, dressing up like a twat and talking bullshit in a stupid pseudo-Cornish accent. Ahem.

    My kids enjoy it, anyhow. And the Boy Wonder looks extremely cute in his cabin boy gear…

  10. @Sweet Sister Morphine: “Fun”? What is the “fun” thing of which you speak?

    @Eric TF Bat: I do not wish you to touch my “hard, cold and possibly ninja-tainted heart”. If you like, I can send a diagram showing the good places to touch me?

  11. OMG! If it weren’t for your post, I never would have even heard of International Talk like a Pirate Day! What a riot! Who thinks of these crazy things?

  12. @Julie: “Who thinks of these crazy things?” I’m guessing people with unimaginative jobs, which means they have a suppressed urge to be inventive. I reckon those of us with rich, complex and varied jobs want our recreation time to be simple and relaxing.

    So, how did you stumble across my website?

  13. You must be pretty down if you can’t engage in something unless you’re certain noone else is, or ever has, done it. After all by this point there’s very little that can be called truly original, and saying something is stupid, crazy, unimaginative or turns people to sheep simply because many people enjoy it together says little about your ability in group situations. Maybe instead of complaining about how having talk like a pirate day somehow says that you have to act a specific way and only on the day it is specified, why not look at what the 19th of September would mean without it. It would be just a day like any other. Whether one person makes it special, or a thousand do, it’s better to be happy with it than to try to feel smugly superior for not joining in. The majority of the world isn’t joining in.

  14. @Elle: Well for a start, I never said I “can’t engage in something unless [I’m] certain no-one else is, or ever has, done it,” so don’t verbal me. I wasn’t being that exclusionist. You can shove your straw man argument where the sun don’t shine.

    The rest of your comment makes the false assumption that because I find mass events irritating — particularly this one — that I’m somehow “down” or “sad”. Wrong. Start again with your amateur pop-psychology.

    By all means enjoy the day if it amuses you. Pirate your heart out. Shag a parrot. Hell, shag a dozen parrots! Do whatever may bring you pleasure. But having a go at me because I, personally, happen not to enjoy the day, and have said so, is precisely the inappropriate mass peer pressure I’m complaining about.

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