Neil Armstrong has left the building, not that I'm going to talk about him behind his back. The thought was just occurring to me that we can put a man on the moon (people used to love to say that when they were about to let you know something that had them both really pissed off and very disappointed), but we're still plagued by pirates. And I'm not talking about 21st century information pirates or audio/video pirates. I wish I could say it was even roguish elements roaming the high seas aboard black market Russian battleships and some sneaky submarines. None of that would be true, though.
I don't know whether the classic pirates like Blackbeard and Anne Bonney would be impressed with their ingenuity or aghast, but most of the pirate action I've been hearing about off the African coasts seems to be perpetrated by small squads of guys in small motorboats. They're driven off by fancy piloting of larger target vessels and sometimes by fire hoses, but that just makes it all the more surprising to me how successful they are the rest of the time. These brigands are capturing big cargos and holding crews for ransom in defiance of the miltary efforts of several countries.
Rather than continuing to expend resources on failing to stop pirates, though, I think some television producers need to jump in and create new reality shows. We've got lots of tough guys out there who I imagine would need little encouragement to hop into fast boats with big guns to go deep sea hunting. Throw in prize money on top of that and let the competition begin!
Lost Boys: East Africa Lost Boys: West Africa Lost Boys: China Sea
I think our friends at Disney have a lock on "Pirates of the Caribbean", but I'll know there are pirates to hunt down there, too. Pirate hunting would have to be more watchable than "The Bachelor" and wouldn't have to manufacture action like "Survivor". It could easily rival the danger of "Deadliest Catch" or "Ice Road Truckers" and freelance pirate hunting could even make world travel a bit safer. Let's face it, the pirate industry has survived for so long that if more isn't done about it, ships are going to be running into them the next time we send people off to the moon or Mars. Obviously, we don't want that, so let's do it for Neil and all those other pioneers--those who've been and have yet to be. Throw some tough guys at the problem.
I don't know how the pirates will react to being hunted, but I expect it will make for some great ratings.