sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Piracy as an Occupational Choice


There are people who tell of great opportunities in life, of career goals and toiling upwards through the night while your peers sleep soundly. There are others who tout hallowed halls of learning.

From what I've seen lately, one of the least risky careers you could choose is "high seas pirate". Gone are the days when you risked hanging from a yard arm, keel hauling or being staked out just above the high tide mark for the amusement of the crabs.

The Somali Pirates have inspired a new generation of would-be buccaneers in search of loot. On the Spanish Main, the pirates sought treasure ships worth a kings ransom. Today, they ransom the ships to insurance companies (how sanitary can you get?).

Historically, you needed a large ship and a substantial crew of brigands, each of whom shared the loot. Today you need a small motor boat and four men. Historically large cannon were required. Today an RPG launcher and a couple of rockets do the trick. There was a time when pirate ships criss-crossed the Atlantic looking for an unwary sail on the horizon. Today, the ships steam close to shore - close enough that you cant seize a ship on the high seas and be home for supper.

The Somali Pirates have shown the way to virtually risk-free career building in the early 21st Century.