Though the October polls that predicted a great showing for the Pirate Party in the Icelandic elections turned out to be wrong, that election did end with a deeply divided parliament that has been unable to find enough common ground upon which to form a new government. Read the rest
Last April, the Icelandic government nearly toppled when Parliament was dissolved, after the Panama Papers revealed that Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson was laundering money with Mossack Fonseca -- only fear of the popular groundswell for the Pirate Party drove the establishment to keep the government limping along -- until now. Read the rest
With the Icelandic Pirates crushing it in the polls and set to form the next government of a sovereign, carbon-neutral, strategically located nation, it's worth asking how a party whose two issues -- internet freedom and copyright reform -- are wonky, minority interests rose to prominence. Read the rest
Iceland's elections are publicly funded, with funds awarded based on polls of the electorate; the Pirates have consistently polled higher than any other party, and the incumbent coalition (whose parties are polling in the single digits) has been scrambling to avoid a general election after the Panama Papers revealed that he had secret offshore accounts that benefited from his bailout of Iceland's planet-destroying banks. Read the rest
After storming out of an interview where he was questioned about his ownership of an offshore company implicated in the Icelandic banking scandal, Iceland's Prime Minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, has said he will not resign (he did apologize for doing a bad job on the interview). Read the rest
Simon writes, "With just 3 days to run, this Kickstarter to make 'Beep Beep Yarr!' a fantastic, pirate-themed programming book for kids needs your support to graduate." Read the rest
Protonmail is a Swiss pro-privacy email provider that offers end-to-end encyption to its customers. When the Swiss government proposed the Nachrichtendienstgesetzt -- a bill to create a "mini NSA" with the power to effect warrantless mass surveillance, including hacking residents' computers -- the company called on its users and supporters to petition the government for a referendum on the law. Read the rest
For several months in 1986-87, Network 21 was a pirate television station in the UK that broadcasted coverage of avant-garde art and fringe culture for 30 minutes every Friday evening. The fantastic content included the likes of: Warhol films, a post-punk fashion show by the BodyMap label (above), interviews with Sonic Youth (video below), Derek Jarman, and Genesis P-Orridge, a William S. Burroughs reading, and concert footage by the likes of Diamanda Galas and Einstürzende Neubauten. Sigue Sigue Sputnik's album "Flaunt It" included an advertisement for the station.
Raided more than once, Network 21's goal was to see the UK government use a "similar approach to TV as has been afforded to radio, for the BBC and ITV to release their monopoly on frequencies and make some available to the community."
More background here: Network 21 (Wikipedia)
"Hello, you're watching Dish Network's Pirate TV Channel."
Apparently only viewers with unauthorized access to Dish Network would see the "Pirate TV" channel that consisted of this message, looping forever.
Below, a version from around 2009: "Hello, you're watching Dish Network. Did you know you're a satellite pirate?"
Mark CK researched doctor's journals and writings from the 17th and 18th centuries while working on a book about pirate surgeons and reports back with a guide to writing in the style of the day, which involves a lot of bad Latin, irregular spelling, and extra letters used as emphasis. Read the rest
The Littlest Pirate King is David B and Pierre Mac Orlan's 2008 kids' comic about a living child who is adopted by the damned pirate crew of the Flying Dutchman, who sink to the bottom of the sea every day at dawn, and rise every night at dusk to murder and terrorize and try as best as they can to smash their cursed ship to smithereens and end their eternal damnation.
At first, the crew spares the baby so that they can raise him to adolescence before murdering him and making his ghost into their cabin-boy, but they quickly become sentimentally attached to him, and can't bear to kill him. In the end, they send him back to the land of the living -- a strange place he fears and loathes -- and leave him howling and abandoned on shore, begging them to kill him and make him undead like his friends.
So, it's a little grim.
But it's also gorgeous. The seas of Littlest Pirate King are filled with monsters and huge fish and wrecks and strangeness of all sorts. Each page is more gorgeous than the last, and the fantasy sequences in which the dead pirates parody the land of the living for their boy are perfect in their monstrosity. (just page through the image-search for some previews)
If you liked the premise of Neil Gaiman's award-winning Graveyard Book, you're sure to love this, but be aware that it's much a darker and sadder story than Gaiman's. Read the rest
$110 gets you a set of Beyond Bedding's Treasure Cove Pirate bedding -- comforter, shams, and a collection of appliques. It's markketed as "Children's Bedding," but a) it comes in queen size, and b) grownups make better pirates than kids do. As IO9's Annalee Newitz says, "Basically you can turn every object in your immediate vicinity into something aaaaaaarrrguably more awesome."