Home > Lankville Action News: YES!, Opinions > OPINION: I’m Jolly Roger, and I’m Jolly Well Going to Rape and Pillage Along the Coast of Lankville this Spring

OPINION: I’m Jolly Roger, and I’m Jolly Well Going to Rape and Pillage Along the Coast of Lankville this Spring

2ba96638-8ddb-4936-8da2-1e2cfc746513Did you ever notice that no one ever uses the word “pillage” without appending said word to its cousin, “rape”? The Oxford English Dictionary defines “pillage” as “The action or an act of plundering, sacking, or looting a place, esp. in war; depredation, robbery. In early use also: extortion; unjust taxation or exaction (obs.).” “Rape,” meanwhile, can mean “The act of taking something by force; esp. the seizure of property by violent means; robbery, plundering. Also as a count noun: an instance of this, a robbery, a raid.” More commonly, in our modern usage, of course, it means “the act or crime, committed by a man, of forcing a woman to have sexual intercourse with him against her will, esp. by means of threats or violence. In later use more generally: the act of forced, non-consenting, or illegal sexual intercourse with another person; sexual violation or assault.”

Words matter. Their definitions matter, too.

I’m a married man myself. I don’t care for nonconsensual sexual intercourse; most of the year I live quietly with my wife and children, along with our two dogs, in a secluded cove in the Southern Exotic Islands. Occasionally I take the boys out and we throw the odd stone at a Caramel Dragon. That’s about the most exciting, and, from an ethical standpoint, questionable thing that we ever get up to at home.

But I’m a pirate. So when spring comes I don’t stand on ceremony, or engage in sophistry or euphemism. No pirate has ever gotten anywhere by shouting, as he jumps from the poop deck to the gangway and from the gangway to the gangplank, boarding his victims’ ship, “Avast ye! I’m here to extort you by unjust taxation!” So I rape. And I pillage. In that order.

You see, when I board that ship and set sail over the Lankville Straits to the Partial Icy Regions, and I catch sight of you through the “spyglass,” to me you are not a fellow citizen or sailing enthusiast enjoying the fine spring weather we enjoy in these parts, taking your ease on a boat or at the beach; you are a “landlubber,” a “scalawag,” a “picaroon”; depending on age and gender, you may also be a “strumpet” or a “wench.”

And you had better believe I will treat you as such.

Indeed, I’ll not be “hornswaggled” out of what’s rightfully mine. So you can expect lots of raping, and lots of pillaging. When that’s done, you can expect to “dance the hempen jig” and sleep in “Davy Jones’ locker.” That’s just the way it is. I didn’t invent these terms, and I didn’t make up the rules. When you’re at home, you don’t “pillage” the icebox (I hope!); you open it, select what you want, your cheese and bread and beverage, and then you close it again. I do, too.

But in spring, when the days get longer and my sails grow full with a nice warm breeze, well, then it’s a different story altogether: I’m jolly well going to rape and pillage. I’ll do it cheerfully, indiscriminately, and not without (I hope!) some kindness and humility. And if there’s time, I might even get in some plundering, too.

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