Pirates The New Monkeys?
During a recent visit with a friend, he mentioned that he
had heard that "pirates are the new monkeys." The comment
struck me as odd since I have long been a fan of monkeys and
just couldn't believe that pirates had overtaken them in terms
of popularity. The comment rattled around in my head for a
few days and finally reached a point where I had to find out
if it was true.
The first thing I did was try to gather some statistical
data to prove or disprove the claim, but how can such a
thing be measured? A Googlewar seemed like a fair place
to start. Googlewar.com compares two words or phrases against
each other in terms of how often each appears on a webpage.
Look at the results:
easily beat monkeys by two to one but the results are hardly
definitive. Next I hit the streets with a survey. I asked
seven people the following question: "Monkeys or pirates?"
Four of them replied "pirates" and three of them replied "monkeys."
Googlewar had a much larger margin between the two than the
survey had, which made little sense. One possible explanation
was this exit poll from one of the survey participants:
you hard-hitting analysis...
Monkeys or pirates?
Citizen: totally pirates
Citizen: eye patches win over prehensile tails
GoodsonChat: Interesting. I totally would have pegged you
for a monkey vote.
Citizen: monkey was my gut feeling
GoodsonChat: Thought so
Citizen: but after several seconds of thought, totally pirates
Ah ha! This supports the theory I've had since I first
heard the rumor that pirates had become the new monkeys.
The recent surge in pirate popularity was just a fad. Notice
that the citizen's gut reaction when asked to compare the
two was monkey. It's only after consideration that pirates
get the vote.
It's easy to see why pirates have recently stepped into
the spotlight and forced monkeys down the ladder. Pirates
have had big box office success with blockbusters like Pirates
of the Caribbean (which actually had a monkey) and Dodgeball
(which actually had Ben Stiller), while monkeys haven't
had a hit since 12 Monkeys. In fact, movies with
monkeys in them more often than not bomb. Dunston Checks
In, Monkey Shines, Monkey Trouble, Monkeybone, Mighty Joe
Young and the remake of Planet of the Apes were
all box office failures. Even the films that have had box
office success often portray monkeys as evil (Wizard
of Oz, King Kong) or as disease carriers (Outbreak).
Pirates have had their ups (The Princess Bride, The
Goonies) and downs (Cutthroat Island, Pirates!)
in film. Even though pirates by nature are ruthless, thieving
scoundrels, their lifestyle is often romanticized in our
culture. When was the last time you saw a romance novel
with a dashing young monkey on the cover?
pirates definitely have the advantage when it comes to penetrating
our culture due to our left-leaning pirate-biased media,
but let's see how the two compare in other aspects of our
how the media insults monkeys?
Monkeys can learn sign language, while most pirates barely
speak English (in defense of pirates, it is very difficult
to make the letter "K" when you have a hook for a hand.)
The greatest video game with a monkey in it is Donkey
Kong (just pretend he's a monkey and not an ape for argument's
sake.) The greatest game starring a pirate was LucasArts
Curse of Monkey Island. Obviously pirates couldn't
carry the weight of the franchise by themselves and monkeys
had to be added. Winner: Monkeys.
The Monkees were a pretty good 60s band and had
their own TV show. There has never been a successful band
or TV show called The Pirates, unless you count Duran
Duran, which often dressed as if they were pirates. Really,
really lame pirates. Winner: Monkeys
Academy Award Winning Actress Glenn Close has played both
a monkey (in Disney's Tarzan) and a pirate (in Hook).
Winner: No one.
You might think that in a fight the sword wielding pirate
would have the advantage but I would argue that the monkey
is not only faster and more agile, but far less intoxicated.
Winner: Draw with slight advantage to the monkey.
Great pirate name: Long John Silver. Great monkey name:
Bonzo. Winner: Pirates.
The worst thing a monkey would ever do to you is throw
poop at you. Pirates will plunder your booty. A plundered
booty is totally unacceptable and often only corrected with
surgery. Winner: Monkeys.
Monkeys clean each other. Pirates never bathe. While rumor
has it that pirates do sometimes exfoliate, it's just a
rumor, not a fact and therefore doesn't count. Winner: Monkeys.
Did NASA send
a pirate into space? No. They sent a monkey.
Can't we all just get along? The word
"monkey" is better than the word "pirate" Monkey has a
hard "k" in it which any comedian will tell you is comedy
gold. "A monkey walks into a bar" will always result in
a funnier joke than "A pirate walks into a bar."
a whole new meaning to the word "poopdeck."
has a pronounced "e" sound at the end, like squeegee and
Frisbee. As a word, the best thing you can say about "pirate"
is that it has "pie" in it. While pie is a delicious dessert,
pirates themselves are not know for eating pie, but rather
drinking grog, which is quite nasty.
away the media hype and propaganda about pirates, it's
clear that monkeys are far superior to their buccaneer
brethren. I predict the pirate fad that we Americans are
currently wrapped up in will pass in time and monkeys
will reclaim their rightful throne, from which they will