The Badass of the Week.

Ninjas or Pirates?

Last night I received the following e-mail, and decided to try and settle this age-old nerd argument once and for all with a brief explanation of my stance on the subject.

Amazing Ben-

You've probably gotten a lot of emails like these, but I've noticed that you tend to mention the badassitude of ninjas a lot in various places on the site.  However, you also talk about how awesome pirates are, and have inducted several well-known pirates (Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake) into the Hall of Badassitude.  So my question to you is, where do you stand on this whole Pirates vs. Ninjas debate?

Your avid fan,


Many people approach this debate by looking at things logically, like rational people.  Flintlock muskets and cannon are more effective than shuriken and smoke bombs, indicating that the pirates would have an advantage in ranged warfare, but katana are deadlier than cutlasses, and martial arts skills give the ninjas an edge up close.  Ninjas are experts at stealth and deception, pirates are generally bigger and more straightforward.  Ninjas have the edge in flying and stabbing, pirates excel at sailing and hacking.  These are all legitimate, accurate hypotheses that unfortunately solve nothing.  The debate usually ends up with both parties resigning themselves to the belief that the ninja would win if he had the element of surprise or in close-quarters combat, while the pirate would win a straight-up fight to the death, especially if he had plenty of space to work in.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.  The definitive answer to this ago-old query lies in the application of the Law of Inverse Ninja Strength, which states that, "the strength of any one ninja is inversely proportional to the number of ally ninja able to assist the original ninja."

You see, if motherfucking Snake Eyes wanted to single-handedly take out an entire fleet of pirate ships, all of the cannons and rifles in the British Empire wouldn't be able to stop him.  He'd be smoke bombing, teleporting all over the place, deflecting musket balls with his sword, breaking cannons with shurikens, running across the water, leaping off of crows' nests and spilling pirate guts all over the deck.  It would be a fucking massacre.  However, if you take an entire pirate ship filled with those black ninjas you see in flicks like American Ninja and have it sail up against a pirate ship, and you'd see the exact opposite happen.  Those pirates would kick the ever-loving shit out of the ninjas, sink their vessel, plunder their hold, and drink all their fucking Sake.

Meditate upon this:  You know it to be true.  Even the most badassed of all the pirates wouldn't be able to get far without his trusty crew of scurvy bastards, especially since it takes at least twenty people to sail a sloop or sack a town or whatever.  As the numbers of pirates increase, their power grows.  As the number of ninjas increase, their strength decreases, probably because they get in each other's way or sap each other's awesomeness or something.  Together, they represent the Ultimate Duality of Badassitude.

And that's your answer.


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