I hate International Talk Like A Pirate Day so much it makes my brain want to explode.
No, really. I fucking hate it. ITLAP Day is like the equivalent of day camp for people who no longer attend day camp. You remember day camp, right? And you got there, and found a few people you knew already, and that was fine – you could read, or play soccer, or just hang out and talk about how awesome Transformers were.
But inevitably that never happened. What happened instead is that you and those kids you already knew were trooped into the auditorium/gymnasium of whatever public school was hosting the day camp, and the head counsellor – mentally counting up both his meagre salary and his far more important hours of public service, already dreaming of his future at whatever appropriate university would lead him to future riches – told you about all the fun games you were going to play. Emphasis on going to. You are at daycamp, and you will perform the determined activities.
ITLAP Day is like that, except somehow they have made this tedious “fun” drudgery voluntary. It’s a horrible social exercise, a co-opting of imagination and wonder into groupthink. “Hey,” says the crowd, “do you want to be zany and wild? Be zany and wild in exactly the way we are being zany and wild!” The astute observer will note that this completely removes any chance of being zany and wild, because it co-opts originality into conformity. (See also: zombie walks, flash mobs, memes as punchlines, et cetera.)
It’s also not cool, and that bugs the shit out of me. I am of course talking about original cool here, wherein the most important component thereof is the total lack of fear of appearing ridiculous. (Chow Yun-Fat is cool because he is willing to look like a horse’s ass in an awesome gunfight action sequence every so often; Arnold Schwarzenegger is not because he only ever is the butt of jokes when he’s in a comedy.) If you’re in a crowd of people all acting the same, the opportunity to look ridiculous is greatly lessened, and so thus is the opportunity to be really cool. Cool is a highwire, and it’s something that isn’t necessary to get by in life, of course, but it is a wonderful thing to occasionally be, and the truly sad thing about Pirate Day and the like is that they offer the illusion of cool without offering the substance.
In conclusion: I really fucking hate International Talk Like A Goddamn Pirate Day.