Editorial: Get your hands off their booty! And Culture!

Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER
Vincent Ta/HIGHLANDER

The amount of fake pirates on this campus is too damn high!

It should come as no surprise to any of the readers that this would be the topic we would feel we need to cover this week in our editorial. With Captain John Freese’s recent emails sent out about the high rate of piracy around the waters of UCR, it may seem redundant that we should take this stance.

Who would want to copy the actions of the massive amounts of actual Pirate-Americans who regularly steal students’ booty, or shoot at us on our way to class so they can sell our gondolas on the newly established floating black market? These people work hard to ensure that the students not fit for the seas are left adrift, baiting the hungry sharks — Pirate-Darwinism if you will.

This is the question that we pondered as we discussed the emergence of the pirate-culture around campus. Signs on the frat-barges that float over the once-grassy lawns have replaced Greek-life with pirate-life, taking on new names like the recently established Scurvy Scurvy Wench fraternity, or the Cutlass Swabby Pegleg sorority. These groups have claimed that they do not endorse the violence, nor the hygiene habits, of actual Pirate-Americans, but wish to embrace the free spirit that they stand for.

It is this same free spirit that they say college is all about, as one fraternity member, Bro-Beard the Pirate, stated, “Arrrrgh.” (For those readers unaware, this translates roughly to, “We believe that college is some people’s first steps to independence, and as such, we think piracy best fits the decision to strike out on one’s own and blaze a new trail, or chart a new course in the world. Also, spiced rum is just delicious.”)

It is unfortunate, however, that this embrace of cultural foundries comes at the cost of the pirates’ actual victims. Those who are left drifting in the waters after their gondolas are stolen, and their gondoliers shot with a flintlock, are then made to see people around campus promoting these piratical stylings without understanding the implications of the parrots on their shoulders.

Additionally, as they are generally dressed indistinguishably from those actual pirates who roam the canals around campus, the UCAPD (University of California Anti-Pirate Division) has begun profiling students all around campus, claiming that everyone wearing tricorne hats with feathers in them “all look alike.” So not only have our rights to privacy been breached by excessive searches for swords and peglegs, but cultural profiling against actual pirates has been increased as well.

It is to this point that cultural appropriation of pirate life must be condemned. While those of us who are regularly held at gunpoint may not approve of it, UCR prides itself on being the most diverse campus above water (UC Atlantis has nothing on us. We are above them in water level and prestige), and this includes the rich pirate culture that we are regularly immersed in.

Pirate studies professor Salty Samantha recently commented, “Yeeaargh,” on the subject. (Once again, the Highlander wishes to clarify for those who are not accustomed to Piratical: “The appropriation of this culture constitutes a highly disrespectful view of a people with a long, rich history on the seas. These people desire to take what they like about pirating, and forget all of the bad that comes attached to it, often forgetting the oppression of the Coast Guard and the British Royal Navy.”)

Former hipster Carrie Armisen, now swabby-in-training, converted relatively recently, remarking that, “We all remember that the dominant style on campus was once hipster, but this became quickly outdated when we could no longer wear loafers, because they didn’t get traction on ship decks, and when we had to abandon our skinny jeans, because the salty sea air made them just a bit too tight. You know, tight in that way where you walk so that all your bits fit properly. But they never do.”

It’s understandable then that something would have to come along to take the place of hipster culture, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of the integrity and pride of pirate culture, and it certainly shouldn’t open students up for exploitation by the UCAPD.

Let’s all look elsewhere, like those losers at UC Atlantis, and appropriate their culture. We can devalue and commodify it to our heart’s content, eventually spreading capitalism to those pinko fish people until they have to admit that we’re better. This way, nobody loses and we can all be happy, especially those Pirate-American students who have been so affected by the recent theft of their heritage.

 

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