Going On the Account: No, We Have Not Forgotten…   Yet…

Source: US Navy

There’s a piece in today’s Vice about the state of piracy in 2021.

As the novel Raging Gail came about just as the acts of piracy off the coast of Somalia were making the news, it’s appropriate that new developments be brought up here as they emerge.

If you’re asking, “Why should I know about something that doesn’t affect me?” well, that’s some of what Villalba’s story covers, how the actions pirates undertake tend to be localized. It’s the same way you can read a story about a mugging in Brooklyn from your home in Kansas City, Take-your-Pick, and wonder what it has to do with you.

The big reason why it does, it’s probably pointless to discuss. If by this time your empathy can’t extend that far out, there’s no reason to scream anymore. After the last few years seeing what egotism taken to the nth degree has gotten us, if after that you still can’t find it in you to care, then hell, nothing I’ve got’s going to work anyways.

Maybe the fact that we’re currently dealing with supply chain issues, however, may do the trick.

Consider this: When we romanticize the “Golden Age of Piracy,” we’re looking at a time in the late 17th-early 18th centuries when pirates were on everyone’s minds. What made them loom in our thoughts were how their actions were directly impacting the mercantilist economies of Europe. All the activities written about at the time and thereafter (including in the novel) were causing disruptions to the more developed Western economies of the time, and among the economic disruptions were the viability of colonies established in the New World. You can’t get goods from back home because your product is lost on the high seas, yeah, you pay attention.

Likewise, we’re in a good position to recall piracy now. With manufacturing processes in the post-globalization being rethought and re-thinking how we send and receive cargo (when it’s moving), what better time than now for an ambitious pirate to make a name for themselves? Considering how the Barbary pirates shifted from seizing vessels to using the threat of attacks to collect tribute based on their rep, holding a sea lane of three hostage becomes a golden opportunity for someone with lots of ambition and few morals…

And hey, if that doesn’t make you think about pirates, Our Flag Means Death looks like it might be a lot of fun…

Going On the Account: There’s a Good Reason to Be Afraid

This morning, we have one of the bigger Hey, wha…??!? moments of the year:

Today, the US Border is opening to travelers who must have proof of vaccination. This applies to everyone coming into the United States.

So, all foreigners visiting the US as of today must be vaccinated, with a few limited exceptions.

Just about all of them, easily in the high ninety percentiles, must be vaccinated.

To come to a country which as of this morning has only fifty-eight percent of its population fully vaccinated. At least two-thirds of us overall have had at least one dose, but that still means your odds are greater of being in the room with vaccinated people if everyone’s not from around here.

You can probably massage the odds if you choose your company based on their politics, but…

Must. Resist. Obvious. Comment.

Still, it’s a big “Time to pause and ask,” moment.

Hopefully, we will take a moment to do that, especially folks in the struggling hospitality industry, before people outside the US do it first and then ask, “Why bother?” before cancelling their trips here…