opinion

An Open Letter to Modern Day Pirates

Kayden Kross

You’re not cool. Admittedly this is a weak opening, and more of an understatement than anything, but you’re not. Piracy has never been cool. But there was a time when it was manly, back when men were so dirty that Hollywood still thinks they wore black eyeliner, and scurvy was a very real risk, and there were swords, and missing limbs. There was danger and intrigue. You pirates today have none of these things.

Granted, the world has really cracked down on the likelihood of piracy in real life (RL) ever being a successful venture again, and, let’s face it, no one wants to live in Somalia, but taking your craft to the internet is a new low. You’ve changed the game, see. When your ancestors stole ships and buried treasure there was a wealth to be gained, and a fair amount of notoriety, and that rebel freedom. They stood for something. And it sucks that these things came at the risk of having your neck snapped in a noose or being marooned somewhere, and if you managed to avoid those things, probably going blind and insane from the late stages of a lifelong case of syphilis, but real life has consequences. You modern day pirates are pussies, hiding behind your computer screens and outside of jurisdiction, speaking some foreign language, or pretending to, in your mother’s offshore basement that maybe isn’t offshore at all (it’s very piratey of you not to have a known address), wiping grease stains off your unbearded faces with cease and desist letters and probably showering regularly and missing the symbolic irony of how completely out of touch you are with your pirate roots.

And I’d maybe understand it if you were rolling in gold coins and required large suited bodyguards with tiny earpieces to protect your pirate interests, but you’re not, because you’re not even really monetizing it. Pirates never did get the monetization thing down. That’s why they raped and pillaged and kept it simple. Then they waltzed off with tangible goods, and it didn’t matter that they didn’t really invest in much, because when they ran out of goods they could rape and pillage some more. But what are you waltzing off with? Increased broadband usage? Some redirected traffic? This is nothing. You don’t even instill fear.

But you do annoy the fuck out of us content owners left standing with our thumbs up our butts wondering why all of our profits are being siphoned off if they’re not being siphoned into some other account, maybe a nice Swiss one, or maybe into a virtual treasure chest. Maybe Paypal. Something exciting. It’s like you’re taking the gold and throwing it in the ocean. Don’t throw away the fucking gold, man. You’re doing it all wrong. And I have to wonder about your social standing, with all that time you have to throw into keeping your tube sites up for the measly return of a few advertising dollars, if that. Pirates should be fierce.

But my real problem with your habit of throwing the gold all over the place is now the rest of us are standing around with the remaining gold that we worked so hard for and you’ve rendered it worthless. That’s the worst pillaging strategy I’ve ever heard of. And here’s the kicker, pirate — we didn’t actually work that hard for it back in the day. You know some solo sites pulled down six figures? Monthly. You could have been in on that! But instead you chose to pull an entire industry into a race to the bottom. And what’s your little tubesite bringing in for all that time and effort you’re expending screwing everyone over? But I don’t think you’re dumb and shortsighted. I’m sure you’re a rational pirate making rational decisions, and if that’s the case, then you’re aware that you’re bringing down an entire industry and hurting your own ability to rape and pillage in the future. And if you continue to engage in this pirate behavior with clear knowledge of the consequences then you are doing this on purpose. So if you’re not dumb and shortsighted, then maybe you’re not a pirate at all. Maybe you really just hate porn. Maybe you’re a moral vigilante using backdoor methods to hollow us out and turning a few bucks in the process is just a perk. That’s smart, if despicable. Cal OSHA’s got nothing on you.

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