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For piracy

“Aye,” said the voice into my cell phone ear, “I bae lookin’ for a mate named Aaron.”

I was asleep in the afternoon, and I wasn’t exactly expecting him to call anyway. I had enough for the column from hearsay alone, but this was a special treat. This was the Pirate Captain, himself, live in digital reception.

Last Monday and Tuesday, during their two-day Student Government voting period, North Carolina State University undergrads chose, with an overwhelming plurality of 44 percent, this man, this Pirate Captain, to be their president. I am not making this up. He dresses in full pirate regalia, speaks in a faux 18th century pirate accent, and come this week’s run-off election, will be the leader of State’s student body. Instead of having a platform he has a “plank” to spell out his proposals. They include “holding meetin’s open to all yae landlubbers,” increasing football ticket availability “to support our men on the field o’ the pigskin” and bringing back the “celebration fire on the campus fer when we’ve laid waste another crew.” Indeed, the Pirate Captain has campaigned on serious issues in a not-so-serious way. But is he going to win?

“Aye, I bae plannin’ to win.”

So what if he does? What will happen to State? A student, sophomore Christopher Sanchez, had this to say:

“Voting for someone who wants to rid the campus of scurvy dogs is not really an effective way of having student government.”

Oh yeah? Who cares? This is college, man, this is our one and only youth time. If a pirate, or, say, Emily Aviki, wins an election, the world will not end. In reality, nothing will happen anyway, bad or good. But look at the incredible plus side. You get to have a pirate, a noble criminal himself, a rebel against the system, as your leader. Effective ways of having student government be damned! Yeaaarg!

If there’s anything that this says to me, other than further revealing the depth of the pirate-phelia movement growing in our great land, is that we’ve got to stop taking things so seriously. Which is weirder to you: that one of our neighbors is willing to elect a Pirate (in the initial election, next-closest vote getter was a guy named Will Quick, with 21 percent) or that last Thursday our own paper editorialized in a barely readable, stuffy and overly mature manner the ways in which DSG can improve its election process? This “serious” thing is everywhere around here. I swear there are at least a couple columns every week exhorting everyone, other columnists in one case (!), to do better, try harder, soar farther and farther AND… it’s all BS!

So congratulations Jesse Longoria. You were the responsible choice. But even the Pirate Captain agrees with me that what happened to Emily Aviki “sounds silly.” Checking out his internet site (http://pirate.phora.net/), there are a whole mess of live links, available on election day, too! The Cap’n has been using the internet for this whole campaign, starting a thefacebook dot com group and posting a video ad online. Now, I don’t claim to be any expert on the whole DSG thing, but if there must be some change, like The Chronicle says, it should be in the direction of loosening up a little.

What is student government, after all? Is it just one more chance to pander to our parents, the proverbial sugar momma’s and daddies of the Board of Trustees? “Oh yeas, DSG, that sounds like a mighty fine suggestion. But, we’re going to do whatever we want anyway. Thank you so much for petitioning.” If that’s the way you want to roll, more power to you. All I’m saying is that it’s student government for a reason. It should be, <gasp>, fun! A pirate should be president from time to time, you know, to mix things up, blow a little fresh air around the room.

They say that history moves in cycles. Well, here we are again with a big, rich establishment that needs a clean pickin’. Maybe this is why so many people identify with pirates nowadays. The real congratulations goes to State for being the vanguard of a new social phenomenon; the people are ready for a pirate.

Yes, “State” and “vanguard” were just used in the same sentence.

Aaron Kirschenfeld is a Trinity sophomore. His column appears every third Monday.

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