I have never really understood the current fascination with pirates. Jack Sparrow and the other fictions of Hollywood aside, pirates have always been the enemy of civilization. They have always raped, pillaged, murdered, and sold captured people into slavery. From ancient times unto today, piracy is the way of the vicious. In other words, pirates are bad.
Dolphins, however, deserve the wonder of their human admirers. From the Greeks to the Californians, men have noted how splendidly remarkable these creatures are. They are intelligent, social, curious, and oddly helpful to human beings time and time again. Throughout the ages, people have recounted tales of dolphins’ assisting humans in crisis. I question the veracity of these stories, but I have read and watched several contemporary news accounts that follow the same pattern. This past Christmas, I saw a segment on Animal Planet about a surfer whose life was saved from a great white shark by dolphins. The surfer and numerous witnesses from nearby boats and the shore confirm the same story. I wonder why dolphins would bother. Of course, they are still wild animals, and there are other news accounts of dolphins’ biting stupid divers and tourists. Nonetheless, dolphins are pretty cool. In other words, dolphins are good.
So, we have pirates and dolphins; enter Chinese sailors. China View features a bizarre story about a multitude of dolphins that blocked Somali pirates from some Chinese merchant ships, thereby sparing the traders from the African savages—“Thousands of dolphins block Somali pirates.” I won’t bother passing judgment on the Chi Coms, but even the dolphins know that pirates are worse than Communists (or the industrialist pawns of plutocratic oligarchs who rule in the name of Mao). I therefore defer to Delphinidae wisdom.