Pirates, what's not to love? OK, so there's the stealing, and the murdering, and probably the raping, but you know Johnny Depp was really cool in that film, and those hats and bandanas, and what about those treasure maps? (And yes, admittedly, it would be amazing to find a big X underneath a palm tree on a Caribbean island, that strangely no one else had spotted for 400 years).
Since becoming a parent though I've pondered on the nature of pirates quite a bit. Our culture is obsessed, and I mean absolutely obsessed with pushing the iconography of pirates to our very young children - if from the cradle girls are pushed into princesses and pink, then its equally true that boys are bombarded by pirates. Why is that?
And, while Pirates of the Caribbean et al are very entertaining, pirates really weren't that nice back in the day, and they're really not that nice now. I've already had to erm and ahhh through the inevitable 'Daddy, are there pirates still around today?' question, that obviously every young child will get around to. (Well, yes son, you see some people aren't very nice and they carry guns and take hostages. . . it's really not where you want to be five minutes before bedtime.) So, you know, can't we all just get back to firemen and builders as the indoctrination of choice for our young boys? At least they hopefully won't steal your boat if you get to meet them.
Maybe it's time for a 'pirates stink too' campaign. Don't tell either of my children I said that though. They'd make me walk the plank.