The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Thank you, Jack Sparrow

I guess you might have seen Seattle in the news this weekend, after the sad events at the Jewish Federation Building here in Belltown Friday afternoon. I am vehemently opposed to the overkill tactics of the Israeli forces, but can see no justification for an individual to spill yet more innocent blood on the other side of the globe. If anything, this gunman's rampage will simply fuel hawkish support for the irrational use of force in the Mideast. It is indeed a vicious cycle.

I find myself in the odd position (again) of having to credit the authorities here, on their public and straightforward assertion that this was the actions of one lone, probably disturbed individual, thus sparing us of any nonsense about terrorist conspiracies. While I don't always agree with the city's policies concerning spending the public funds, I have been impressed with the handling of some truly disturbing events like this, or the ugly shooting back in March that claimed several of our young folks after an all-ages dance.

Life in Seattle is going on. We are in the midst of our annual Seafair party, and tonight's Torchlight Parade went off without a hitch up Fourth Avenue, only a block from the scene of the crime yesterday. It was reassuring to see our own Seafair Pirates, manning the Moby Duck and blasting off their tradition cannons. Piracy was definately THE fashion statement this year, in the parade and by the spectators as well --leave it to Johnny Depp to get masses of straight men to wear eye-liner and vogue. Aaaaaaaaaargh!

I haven't seen the latest "Pirates" movie yet, but I certainly have the buccaneer spirit myself. Not unlike the first Star Wars movies back in the seventies and early eighties, adventure movies featuring rebels and rogues as heroes is not only welcome fantasy relief from the heartbreaking headlines (back then it was the hostage situations), they can tend to provide much-needed relief from the day to day realities by asserting unambigous themes. No one can doubt what side to be on when Luke and Han take out the Death Star, any more than not know to laugh aloud when Sparrow pays the Port Royal Harbormaster an extra shilling to become "Mister Smith", and then promptly pockets the man's coin purse from the dock desk.

We all love a scoundrel. Especially the romantic rogue who ends up doing the right thing. It has struck me that while many folks in America are gleefully throwing "Pirate" birthday parties for their kids, I'm betting they fail to realize the irony of the fact that at the time when the buccaneers actually held sway over the Caribbean and Gulf, they were indeed considered the terrorists of their time. I suppose this proves nothing except that perspective determines labels. Certainly a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Empire considered the Rebel Alliance to be insurgents. The dons of Mexican California, to be sure, held the same opinion of Zorro and his fellows.

Art (even the Hollywood version) can reflect life, if through a distorted lens. Sir Francis Drake was a priveteer to the English, but considered by many, especially the Spanish, to be a dangerous pirate. The United States itself has a long history of utilizing criminals in times of war; in World War II, it was Lucky Luciano. In the War of 1812, it was Jean Lafitte in the Battle of New Orleans. More recently in the 1980's, our country supported and armed Saddam Hussein in the Iraq-Iran War, Manuel Noreiga in the bogus "War on Drugs", and even Osama himself during the Soviet conflict in Afganistan. To be sure, all of the above had their own concerns and agendas, but it is worth noting that with the exception of Drake, all came to be considered enemies of the US. In the cases of Hussein, Noreiga, and especially bin Laden, this seems fairly understandable, although originally supporting these guys in the first place begs the question of common sense. I mention these notable rogues from history to reitterate the point that perspective determines labels.

I think, given the disasterous course our country is on, from my perspective it's high time we learn to exploit some design flaws created by the rogues currently controlling events. I am interested in prosecuting the current administration, the Republican Party itself, several multinational corporations, and a large list of members of Congress under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known commonly as RICO. Take a minute to read the Wikipedia description; remember that RICO (being the idiotic piece of legislation it is) is so broadly worded that it can be applied to almost any type of misdemeanor or felony involving more than one person, and then start smiling.

This is the part I really like: Those found guilty of racketeering can be fined up to $25,000 and/or sentenced to 20 years in prison. In addition, the racketeer must forfeit all ill-gotten gains and interest in any business gained through a pattern of "racketeering activity." The act also contains a civil component that allows plaintiffs to sue for triple damages.

Since Congress will not look into the clearly impeachable offenses committed by the White House over the past five or so years, I think it is high time we "Caponed" these guys. I think the Force is with us, as it were; all we need is a rogue scoundrel prosecutor with cajones of steel, some legal researchers who are not the droids they are looking for, a couple of Ewok reporters, and we are ready to blow this sucker and go home.

Class-action suit on behalf of the American Taxpayer to take back triple the billions of dollars stolen through fraud and deceit -- It's a lovely thought, and nice place to start. Savvy?

Thanks again, Cap'n Sparrow, for getting me to think outside the box. A trait of any good pirate.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me. Aaaaargh!


Blogger enigma4ever said...

Yar Matey- I would swab them der decks with ya anyday....and boy I could think of a few that NEED to walk that der Plank...and yar , maybe some flogging is in order as well...oh, hell let the Friggin Mutiny begin and let it begin soon Bucaneers....Now pass me the Rumm Lassie and shut the friggin Parrot up I will have to give it a peg leg ( hmm, or was it a patch?)

5:30 PM  
Blogger enigma4ever said...

hehe great post....well worth the wait...and atleast the Seattle PD didn't go apeshit ( WTO style) or blow up a Salad Shooter ( the other great Belltown Terra moment..)

5:32 PM  
Blogger meldonna said...

We do love our scoundrels...for good reason. I liked the way Bill Murray put it in "Stripes":

~~Our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts.~~

I think a Real American is proud of whatever culture(s) they come from, and only happy when truth and fairness wins. That's why we love our Constitution.

That's why, from the raw infantry Army recruit to all public officials, the oath contains upholding the Constitution. A document of fairness based on truth.

And that's why we need to root out all those who water down the basics, by sweetly using their own tools...

...and a few bad eggs. Thrown. Yo ho.

sign me a member of the happily unwashed

1:14 AM  
Blogger spadoman said...

I was a Pirate in a former life.

My name is Jack Spadlow, really, I believe Sparrow might have stole his name by trying to live vicariously through my former lifetime. ( I did a lot of raping and pillaging).

I had a pirate canoe some years back. I'll post pictures some day.

Avast Ye matey, Let Freedom Ring!

5:30 AM  
Blogger meldonna said...

Spadster! Good to see ya...

Apparently Sparrow "borrowed" your name as well as Keith Richards' makeup and wardrobe. The attitude seems to be a mix of Jimmy Buffett, Jim Rockford, Vince Vega, and a dash of Paul Lynde. There's a lot going on there!

I'm looking forward to seeing that canoe...

7:31 PM  

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