Going On The Account: Blogtober – To Partake Of The Parlay

Welcome to the fifth day of Blogtober, also known as “Sol-Mo-NaNoWriMo,” whether it’s appropriate or not.  It wouldn’t be the first question raised abut the naming choices made here; I had a few people take me aside and ask, “Did you look at the calender?  Why didn’t you call it Blogvember?”

To which I can only reply, “Ask the Boys in Marketing…”

Speaking of having a voice, tomorrow here in the US, we have a general election for president.  And supposedly, there are still a few people out there that have yet to make up their minds about how they are going to vote.

So, for those undecideds, as a service for all seven of you out there, let me suggest one way to consider the choices:  As though you were a pirate.

Now this may seem counter-intuitive, but remember that when the Europeans came to the New World (new to them, at least…),  that it was among the Brethren of the Coast that the first participatory governance structures were adopted, the “parlay,” where the crew would gather to decide the future of the crew.  Among the choices the crew would make would include who their captain would be, the executive to lead them in combat situations, who would otherwise abide by the articles of the ship as agreed to by the crew.

So by that metric, what you would look for would be someone you could rely upon if the situation got heavy, who would otherwise not be making the crew miserable.

After all, many pirates from that time had been sailors with established merchant crews before going on the account.  These vessels that they came from were ships who had masters aboard serving as tyrannical captains.  Many of these masters would retain the vast majority of the wealth the ship generated in trade, as opposed to a more equitable distribution of shares that most pirates could expect; some masters even kept their crew cruelly  impoverished, hoarding almost everything for themselves while leaving the remaining ninety-nine percent with nothing, to the point even of denying them any medicinal aid in the face of hardships.

In fact, one of the things to make a seaman go pirate was the lack of protection for the crew from the whims of the greedy captain, not having any say to keep the master of the ship from meting out any cruelties he would wish to.  And he could easily be cruel to any man under him (and conceivably quite cruel to any woman, had one been allowed to be aboard), and likely to allow to suffer any portion of the crew he wanted to see neglected.  Say, maybe, forty-seven percent of them…

So if you find yourself at parlay, hopefully directed to your polling place by your board of election, or short of that with assistance from the Voting Information Project, and you’re looking for some help in making up your mind, you could do worse than asking, “What would our pirate ancestors have done?”
Other than raid the strong box and run off with it to spend it all on rum and women, that is…


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