What Be a Pirate’s Favorite Sauce for Cooked Fish?
Splice the mainbrace, me hearties! Today be TLAPD (for those of ye not connected to the acronym-loving geek culture, that refers to International Talk Like A Pirate Day). Why September 19? According to pirate lore, ’twas on that day that the ex-wife of Cap’n Slappy (one of the originators) was born, and this made it easy for the Cap’n to remember said date.
Although it was conceived in 1995, TLAPD didn’t get mainstream traction until 2002 when Dave Barry promoted it in his humor column. As far as I can tell, the “Pirate Convention” SNL sketch starring Peter Sarsgaard also played an important role in spreading this meme. While the SNL sketch is not mentioned on the TALPD Wikipedia article , I will resist the temptation to set off an edit war and just leave it to the true geek culture historians to swashbuckle it out on that. In the meantime, I’m still waiting for Google to make a holiday logo tribute for TLAPD. Come on, Google. Maybe next year?
On a pirate-related tangent, here’s a distant future prediction: In the 20th century we saw the creation, popularization and commercialization of an imagined “pirate aesthetic” — imagined because its just a cartoony collage of different “piraty” stuff from different places and periods in preceding centuries. I think the same thing will eventually happen with the “terrorist aesthetic” of the current global jihidists. There’s enough of a fashion and object fetish going on, with certain bandanas, head coverings, books, “suicide belts,” and so on being featured in the news/propaganda of these individuals and groups. One day in the distant future, maybe just maybe, it will all get mashed up and regurgitated into our kids’ holiday costumes and stories. Well, you could say technically it’s already happened in certain parts of the world, but that’s more of a deliberate brainwashing / cult-of-death thing. I’m talking about pure legend that is completely removed from its original political reality. Sea Pirates (that is, of the Olde English Empire variety) were the Jihadists of a bygone age. Once they became extinct, it became ok for their victims’ descendants to appropriate and celebrate the “pirate” aesthetic.