Pirates of the Digital Age
Captain Redbeard Longshanks stood at the front of the room with a glimmer of triumph in his eyes. Seated at the table in front of him was his rag-tag pirate crew, huddled around a single laptop computer.
“Arrg!,” offered First Mate Dollar McChickenbeard. “Not to be soundin’ mutinous, Cap’n, but why are we meeting at yer apartment as opposed to the pirate ship?”
Captain Longshanks smiled slightly at the inquiry. He knew this would be coming.
“Because me neighbor Janet don’t password protect her wi-fi signal,” he countered swiftly, a perry and a thrust. “If you would direct yer attention to the glowin’ box infront of ya...”
Poop-deck swabber Long John “The Death Itch” Pennypound directed his attention to the foreign machinery in front of him, retrieving a pocket telescope from his dirty pirate shirt. He squinted through the eyepiece, but found no treasure at the end of its scope. Just a bunch of fuzzy blue lines.
“Put away yer spyglass, Long John,” ordered Captain Longshanks with a hint of annoyance. “Ya won’t be needin’ it no more. From now on, we’re committin’ intranet piracy! Yarrrr!!”
McChickenbeard and Long John echoed the triumphant “Yarrr!” back at their Captain, although Long John was clearly confused. He fingered his spyglass nostalgically.
“But Cap’n,” he began. “What about all the pillagin’ and plunderin’ that we used to commit out on the open seas? The cannon battles and the mermaids and the skull islands!”
“Those were the old ways, me bucko. Times have changed,” instructed Captain Longshanks. “Now they got their finger-printin’ kits and the C.S.I.s. Arrrr!”
“This is lame,” said Sarah Mulligan, standing up at the back of the room with a hooded sweatshirt pulled over her eyes. “I could have been out shoplifting some golf clubs or toilet plungers with the time I’ve wasted here.”
Dollar McChickenbeard, who had not noticed Sarah because she was sitting in the blind-spot of his eyepatch, stood suddenly with great intent, wobbling on his peg-leg.
“What’s a teenage wench doin’ in our pirate crew,” he bellowed at the Captain.
“It’s a new millennium of piracy, McChickenbread. The lass stays.”
“You guys are some sorry pirates,” said Sarah and crossed her arms over her chest. “I thought we were going to be getting on some Stone Cold Pirate crime. But you guys are weak sauce, and I’m outta here.” Captain Longshanks could take no more.
“Now wait just a minute, young lady. Captain Redbeard Longshanks may not know a lot of things, but I knows piratin’! Arrrrg!” Captain Longshanks drew a slash in the air with the hand that would have been his hook hand if he had one, to emphasize his point. Sarah blew a bubble and popped it with her teeth.
“Alright crew, now open your intranet browser,” began the Captain confidently.
“Me whats,” asked Long John in a husky pirate brogue.
“Shiver me timbers, Long John! It’s the blue icon on yer desktop!”
Long John pulled out a cutlass and began probing the computer screen with it’s tip. Just when Captain Longshanks thought he could take no more, Sarah’s patience expired first, as she stepped forward to correct the situation – double-clicking on the internet browser icon.
“Next,” boomed the Captain, “you’re goin’ to install a BitTorrent download client. I prefers me uTorrent, but Azereus will do tha trick...”
“Can we steal our download client,” asked McChickenbeard hopefully.
“No,” said the Captain. “They be free of chaaarrrrrrge.”
“Well, I’m plunderin’ mine.”
“Do whatever makes you happy, McChickenbeard,” leveled the Captain, his headache growing by the mico-second. “After installin’ yer download client, you will scour the Seven Seas of Google for torrent files. Select a file, download it, then open the torrent in your download client. Then ya be piratin’ in no time, Yaarrrr!”
“Cap’n,” asked Long John, scatching his head. “What’d ya say to do after I opens me intranet browser?”
“Arrrg, Long John! Yer killin’ me here!”
“I guess I just don’t get the piratin’ appeal,” said Dollar McChickenbeard, boisterously challenging the Captain. “What are we doin’ here?”
“Lookin’ fer things to plunder, me matey! Like direct-to-video ‘American Pie’ sequels, or Soulja Boy’s newest musical effort.”
“So stuff that we wouldn’t pay fer in a million years?”
“Yarrr, that’s the ticket!”
“I’m just not convinced it’s pirate work,” said McChickenbeard firmly.
“Me either,” said Sarah while aimlessly burning a book of matches.
“But we’re infringin’ on copyrights! Yeearrrr!” The Captain made another hookless hand-slice through the air.
“But I don’t feel very villainous about it,” continued McChickenbeard. “It’s like a library card, ya know? If I borrow a book and read it, just because it’s free don’t make it a piratical thing to do.”
“You want piratical,” asked a red-faced Captain. “How ‘bout all the countless victims we ravage with one click of the mouse? The best boys, the gaffers, the set-builders and make-up artists! The money we don’t contribute would have otherwise lined their treasure chests!”
“Not necessarily true, Cap’n,” said McChickenbeard, holding his ground. “If ya belonged to the Netflix or Blockbuster Total Access programs, where you pay a flat monthly fee fer unlimited movie rentals, ya wouldn’t be payin’ the gaffer directly to see his movie then either. And that’s a legal thing to do.”
Captain Redbeard Longshanks furrowed his brow, wondering how his pirate logic could be so easily defeated. Sarah stood up suddenly, punched Long John in the face and stole his pirate hat. She exited.
“Hey, she stole my hat,” Long John exclaimed, looking around for help.Tags: pirates, bittorrent, soulja boys newest musical effort