Hopefully you’re aware its Friday…late Friday…. and I may or may not be a little (2 days) late with this post. Which is ironic since this is my “penalty” post for being late last time. But hey I had to go to a stupid family reunion in hell, I mean Arizona. Within the first 24 hours I had a sunburn and 3 bug bites… but I’ll talk more about this another time.
Heather and I decided that when one of us are late, the other gets to choose that person’s topic. Since my last post was late she chose this post to be about pirates. JOKES ON HER! I freaking love pirates. There is no punishment here, pirates were already on my list of topics to write about it. Now, though this is not directly about Pirates of the Caribbean, BET there are some references and maybe a little paragraph about it? So… DISCLAIMER: I WILL BE REFERENCING THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN SERIES/FRANCHISE. THIS INCLUDES UP TO DATE ALL 5 FILMS.
As you can guess from the title. It’s a pirates life for me. I don’t know why, I don’t know how. But I’m obsessed with pirates. I love them. Maybe it was when I went to Disneyland the very first time and really enjoyed the ride. Maybe it was when I saw the film. Possibly could be from the movie Hook, or a story book. But dirty, grimy, greedy Pirates travelling around the world without a care, stealing shiny, pretty things sounded like a good time. Now I know a lot of pirates also did a lot of awful things and life for them was pretty awful. But hey, the glamorized version sounds pretty good to me.
Let’s talk about some real life Pirates. From the buccaneering era there are a few notorious pirates I’d like to mention.
- The Barbarossa Brothers. Maybe the Disney movie isn’t all that inaccurate. These brothers Aruj and Hizir collected many riches by capturing European vessels in the Mediterranean Sea. They began targeting the Spanish around the time Aruj lost an arm to them in battle. By 1516 the Ottoman sultan had practically put Aruj in charge of the entire Barbary Coast, which Hizir took over two years later when Aruj died. Hizir spent the rest of his days fighting Christian enemies, including a “Holy League” fleet specifically formed by the pope to eradicate him. Okay so the movie is pretty inaccurate. They did get Barbarossa dying right-ish though. Fun Fact: Barbarossy mean “Red Beard” in Italian.
- Sir Francis Drake. Queen Elizabeth I nicknamed him, “my pirate.” He was licensed by the English government to attack the Spanish ships. However, his most famous voyage took place in 1577 to 1580, when he became the first English captain to circumnavigate the globe. During this voyage he lost four of his five ships, executed a subordinate for allegedly plotting a mutiny, raided countless Spanish ports and captured a Spanish vessel loaded with treasure. Queen Elizabeth was so happy, she knighted him upon his return. Eight years later, he helped defeat the Spanish Armada. I don’t know man. He kind of sounds like a fake pirate to me. He was working with the British the whole time. I mean sure there was still killing some people, stealing some things. But it was sanctioned, and he was knighted for it. Fake pirate.
- L’Olonnais. A fake pirate as well since he was ‘state-sponsored.’ He is also known as Jean-David Nau. The only interesting things I found about him: His excessive cruelty, he would hack his victims to pieces bit by bit, or squeeze a cord around their necks until their eyes popped out. Supposedly he once even cut out a man’s heart and took a bite because he suspected they were betraying him. Karma came back to haunt him in 1688 when he was captured and eaten by cannibals. Cool way to die.
- Henry Morgan. Yea, yea Captain Morgan Spiced Rum was named after him. He was pretty cool. Even pulled off some brutal raids. One time locking a town’s inhabitants in a church while they raided the town. Another time he used priests, women and the mayor as human shields in Porto Bello, Panama. He once was briefly arrested in 1672, though he ended up serving as acting governor of Jamaica in 1678. Then again in 1680 to 1682, during which time the Jamaican legislature passed an anti piracy law. Morgan even assisted in pirate prosecution.
- Edward Teach (AKA Blackbeard) intimidated his enemies by coiling smoking fuses into his long braided beard, and strapping multiple pistols and daggers to his chest. Trying to look like a real badass. November of 1717 he commandeered a French slave ship, renaming it Queen Anne’s Revenge, refitting it with 40 guns. He once blockaded the port of Charleston, SC with all that firepower. Until the town’s residents agreed to the demands of a large chest of medicine. After laying low in North Carolina for a few months, Blackbeard was killed in battle with the British Navy. The stories say he received 20 stab wounds and 5 gunshot wounds before finally succumbing. The Golden Age of Piracy lasted only a few more years. Guess Blackbeard was the last true pirate…
- Madame Cheng. In 1805 her husband Cheng Yih, formed what quickly became the largest pirate confederation in history. After his death when Madame Cheng took over, it only grew. At its peak, she oversaw an estimated 1,800 ships and 70,000 men. All with the help of Cheung Po Tsai, the adopted son of her husband and her lover. (I wonder how Cheng Yih died… ) She demanded protection money from coastal communities, attacked ships in the South China Sea, and once even kidnapped British sailors. Later taking a pardon in 1810, when Chinese authorities began cracking down on piracy. She lived out her golden years running a large opium smuggling operation.
Okay, so maybe the life of a pirate isn’t quite like Pirates of the Caribbean. In fact, David Moore curator of nautical archaeology at the North Carolina Amritime Museum in Beaufort, basically a pirate expert, talked about it when the first movie came out. Interviewed in an article for National Geographic News by Stefan Lovgren in 2003, he said, “Life at sea was hard and dangerous, and interspersed with life-threatening storms or battles. There was no air conditioning, ice for cocktails, or clean sheets aboard the typical pirate ship.” You know what is funny, that I’ve never thought about until now? Moor said, “The reason many of them became famous was because they were captured and tried before an Admiralty court many of these court proceedings were published, and these pirates’ exploits became legendary. But it’s the ones who did not get caught who were the most successful in my book.” I agree… Unless they are pulling a Captain Morgan governing a city.
Okay, Pirates of the Caribbean. Now there is a lot of stuff I could just go on and on about when it comes to the movie. However there is one particular deleted scene I’d like to mention. Here it is:
Pretty great right? I wish this wasn’t taken out. And you know what? It would even line up with the most recent movie. Jack became Captain Jack after Salazar killed his captain and Jack was given the reigns and the compass. Then he later turned into a fake pirate (for doing legal things.. because, lame), getting hired by the East India Trading Company and liberating slaves getting marked as a pirate. But I would be okay with him being a fake pirate. I’m not sure where I’m going with this tiny rant, except they should go back in time and not delete this scene. Thanks.
Alright, I’ll stop my pirate parade. Here’s a link to my favorite song from the movies (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNRjt4rCymM). Drink up me hearties yo ho.