America Loves the Outlaw
I was asked recently about my “notoriousness” when someone (anonymously of course) tried to make it an issue. I laughed, waved my hand around our surroundings and asked the speaker, “Does it look like we are worried about the opinions of others?”
I do not shrink from, but embrace my brigand, outcast reputation. I was the guy that paid no heed to the hall monitor at school and shot spitballs at the teacher. I rooted for Snidely Whiplash and not Dudley Do-Right as a kid.
When I came across the word “Pirate” I thought it was perfect.
Americans love their outlaws, and their pirates. And it doesn’t matter whether those outlaws were evil as in the case of Bonnie and Clyde, or politically driven good guys as in the case of Jesse and Frank James. The James brothers are lionized and remembered, whereas few can actually name the man that stopped them…and of those who do, most villify Robert Ford. Edward Teach (also known as Blackbeard) is remembered but Lieutenant Robert Maynard is as obscure as fog. James Dean was far more popular than Pat Boone, and D.B. Cooper is still thought to be living in Costa Rica.
Bern Williams said, “The average man will bristle if you say his father was dishonest, but he will brag a little if he discovers that his great-grandfather was a pirate.”
One wonders what the great-grandfather would have said. Probably would have shrugged, and at the point of a cutlass said, “Yes, I am a fecking pirate…now hand over the dubloons”.