South Park Goes Pirating


Categorie: Africa, Naval, Piracy |


You know the American public discourse on Somali piracy has bottomed out when the animated show South Park features the most balanced treatment of piracy on TV. While supposedly legitimate pundits call for land invasions and summary executions to wipe out seaborne “terrorists,” in last Wednesday’s episode South Park called piracy for what it is: the result of two decades of humanitarian disaster.

The episode got a lot of details right, from the design of a pirated French yacht to the look of Somalia and its pirates. The only gaffes were forgivable ones:

* South Park has pirates operating out of Mogadishu, but most are, in fact, based much further north, in Puntland

* The episode’s pirates want just a few thousand Euros for several American hostages; in reality, that many Americans would fetch a price in the millions of dollars

(Art: Comedy Central)


2 Responses to “South Park Goes Pirating”

  1. [...] Related: Coast Guard Issues Counter-Piracy Rules A Negotiated End to Somali Piracy? Navy Prison Ship Dodges Pirate Revenge World Politics Review: Amateurish Foot Soldiers Belie Sophisticated Piracy Networks Piracy War’s Unusual Friends, Tragic Victims NATO General: Piracy Legal Challenge “Complex” Google, Radio Mix for Pirate Early Warning Pirates Smarter, More Dangerous, More Numerous South Park Goes Pirating Coast Guard’s Legal War on Pirates No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI Leave a comment Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong> [...]

  2. [...] The writers did their homework. The cartoon pirates speak flawless Somali, so the producers must have hired expats to voice them. Mogadishu looks right, an urban junkyard of crisscrossing telephone wire and sad-looking palm trees. All the tools of the pirate trade are accounted for: AK-47s, ammunition belts, an aging fishing boat strapped to a “Yamoha” motor. (Others have pointed out minor errata — the show bases the pirates in Mogadishu, not Puntland as they really are, and the 5,000-euro ransom for the kids probably lowballs real-life pirates by a couple of decimal places.) [...]

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