In recent history it has become fashionable to "be a pirate." However as i said in reference to someone who claimed to be a pirate once, "where is your boat?"
To find the modern day equivalent of a pirate one need only go to a restaurant and take a look into the kitchen. The individuals one finds in a kitchen will more closely resemble pirates than any jackass on the street with a jolly roger in his car window. How so you might ask? Well when we think of pirates what do we imagine? A group of swarthy individuals covered in tattoos running from the law with a serious drinking problem and a penchant for crime. In almost any kitchen you are almost guaranteed to find individuals with one or all of the prerequisites. For instance, in the kitchens I've worked in i have worked with; heavily tattooed people, ex cons, drug dealers, alcoholics, taggers, burglars. The dregs of society only one step removed from being homeless drug addicts on the street. Often times only one missed day of work is all that's keeping these individuals from falling down that last step.
What really seals the deal for these individuals being pirates is the nature of their employment. Historical pirates (despite their personal demons) managed to wake up everyday work together, work hard and keep the ship running and raise general havoc on the open seas. Kitchen people demonstrate the same behaviors. Kitchen people are often very angry individuals who hate their coworkers, hate their jobs, hate the customers. But still they come to work everyday, work long hours towards putting out food they will never eat. Legally speaking if you work for 8 hours you are federally guaranteed a half hour break (in the USA). Kitchen workers laugh at the idea of getting a half hour break. Our breaks are for as long as you can manage to get someone else to cover your station, which usually means as long as it takes to smoke a cigarette. Once you've seen it you know the kitchen smoke, no one smokes faster than a cook or a waiter/waitress. These people will smoke you under the table any day of the week.
Kitchen employees operate under hellish conditions for long hours risking life and limb. Next time you talk to someone who's spent any large amount of time working in a kitchen look at their hands and arms. They will be covered in burns and cuts. Some fresh, some old, but all worn with pride. Kitchen people are also a very tight knit group. Operating in close confines under high pressure day in and day out breeds a familial bond that extends beyond the workplace. Never start a fight with someone outside the kitchen they work in. You will immediately have a lot more people to deal with, none of whom have any qualms about putting you in the hospital. While it's not exactly a cutlass, most kitchen folk are rather skilled with knives.
So if you change boat for building, captain for chef, etc. You'll find that the people who have the most right to claim to be pirates in the modern world are the scurvy scum bags that handle every bit of food you eat when you go to a restaurant.
SuperMegaNodeFestQuest 2007. Shazam!