I’m right crabby today – there are several things in the pirate world right now that boggle my mind and annoy my delicate sensitivities. My grumbles spawn from the goings-on of several different pirate events and crews, and seem to be too numerous to list without going mad. But I’d offer these three highlights for consideration:

  • If your 2008 pirate festival failed to manifest, and your 2009 festival is still claiming to be pending even though it’s scheduled for this very month, please don’t announce your 2010 festival and expect any excitement. (Shipwrecked Music Festival)
  • It’s awkward enough that every side-character in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies seems to now be a pirate VIP for all time, but giving this same “pirate star” treatment to someone from Transformers and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland??? Seriously??? (PyrateDaze)
  • And again, while Airship Pirates can proudly and safely cross between pirate and steampunk, this honor does not carry over to all steampunks, nor to all pirates. I doubt a steampunk event would care for a crew of Golden Age pirates showing up at their events to swill rum, nor should pirates be asked welcome a Victorian professor wearing a steam-powered jetpack. (seemingly everybody – and please note that I have no complaint at all about those who choose to enjoy piracy one weekend and steampunk the next – just please refrain from robbing each genre of its unique beauty by blending them into an unrecognizeable blob)

There’s more. Much more. But instead of griping on each and every thing that’s bothering me, and thereby risk pissing off everyone, I’ll instead shut up and watch Narwhals. Narwhals make everything better.

13 thoughts on “Narwhals…

  1. As long as we are running the risk of pissing people off, can someone give me a satisfactory answer to why there is any relationship between pirates and belly dancers? As in, why a pirate festival features belly dancers as entertainment. Again, nothing against them, but is there a relationship that I’m missing? They have shiny swag hanging from their bikini tops and hips — is there more to it than that?

  2. Red Bess,

    I think the only relationship (as you mentioned) is the fact that they are treasure from head to toe. From the gold coins to booty (wink), we pirates just can’t help but stare.

    Can I complain about them joining in? Nope. Part of me says
    “Well they are gypsies thus pirates of the land” and part of me says “duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuh” because I like shiny strippers.

  3. Thank you for starting this week with a chuckle. Narwals do make everything better!

  4. Not to fret Mate. I myself, and I’m sure quite a few other pirates as well, have been caught in full 18th century pirate regalia at a number of Renaissance Fares in my time (got the finger from a fairy once, the nervy li’l git) until more pirate events popped up to fulfill the need . I’m sure the genres will sort themselves out eventually.

  5. Perhaps you’re right, Amazon, although I’m worried that the opposite may occur and all the festivals will devolve into homogeonized “Fantasy Fests”.

    Indeed, I feel for the hardcore rennie – most any and all renn faires seem little more than “anything goes” fests, with harry potter wands for sale, fetishists and Klingons in attendance, and yes, plenty of pirates to go around (I myself have been guilty of this one, I confess.) But ultimately it’s not the attendees that bother me, but rather the vendors and entertainers that the festival chooses to promote – if a rennfaire offers a “pirates wharf” or “diagon alley”, then they can’t much complain when pirates and wizards attend, now can they?

  6. AYE AYE, I say truer words have never been spoken! And don’t forget the aliens and Captain Kirks! It gives me shivers! Let’s write to the Steampunk Societies and announce a two year “leniency” for attending Pirate Fests in their Mad Maestro rags. After that, it’s to the yardarms with ‘em!

  7. Now THAT made me laugh. Hrmmm, how’s this for a rough draft?

    Dear Steampunkers,

    We amongst the varied pirate brethrens recognize the beauty and value of your genre, and appreciate the struggles that a subculture must endure in its early years, often misunderstood and without a home. As such, we are pleased to open our doors to you on a temporary basis. For a period of not more than two years you may join our festivals, forums, and parties so long as they are of the non-historically accurate persuasion. During this time we hope you will pool your resources wisely, because when your time is up, it’s up, if you catch our drift.

    After the two year period, we would ask that you leave our shores to enjoy your prefered subculture on your own terms. Airship Pirates, being our much loved cousins, are welcome to remain behind, or to visit as often as they like. But it’s over the side with the rest of you lot.


    Every pirate what’s fit to call his or herself pirate

  8. *WILD APPLAUSE* It be BRILLIANT! Cuz brass JUST don’t bear up to a proper keelhaulin’! And THAT, mate, is how ya keep the events from double-dipping in the same place at the same time! It’s just off-putting to see steaming victorians hanging about in gibbets!

  9. I have one thing to add to the Steam Punk “Contract”:

    We expect the Steam Punkers to bring a fair tribute when attending Pirate Festivals in the form of RUM (the darker, the better).

    We pirates, in turn, when attending Victorian Steam-powered tea parties, will bring a lump of coal to fuel their sundry jet packs, air ships, submarines and cheese graters.

    Now I’m going to go watch Narwhals again. It makes me happy.

  10. HEAR HEAR! Agreed in full! I wholeheartedly support the leniency period, and the subsequent stringing-up-at-the-yardarm of all those non-piratical steampunkers who choose to infiltrate our events thereafter!

    I also wholeheartedly support NARWHALS!

  11. Gawd Dave keep yer head! Too much Narwhals have made ye silly! Rum for coal? Coal for rum? We start THAT up we’ll be so in love with each other we’ll never WANT to part! EVER!

  12. “*WILD APPLAUSE* It be BRILLIANT! Cuz brass JUST don’t bear up to a proper keelhaulin’! And THAT, mate, is how ya keep the events from double-dipping in the same place at the same time! It’s just off-putting to see steaming Victorians hanging about in gibbets!”

    Me thinks at least fer one event ye has it backwards…The event on the Queen Mary ( A Victorian era ship) and hiring the band Abney Park and coining it a “Pirate Convention” Sept. 19th Is an outta place venue for pirates. I am a hard core pirate at heart…See my Myspace profile aint glitter! However fer this one event I am going as an airship pirate. Eye am in the process of building my own weapons so beware mateys! Fear not says eye about the melting pot theory coming to fruition when it comes to different genres of cosplay becoming one world of confusion..It simply ain’t gonna happen unless you are at ComicCon. Steampunkers for the most part know their place and already have their own events…and Gatherings. That said Eye did see a few Steamypunks lost at NorCal and frankly because they stuck to a nautical theme, Eye was alright with it..
    I will cross over the line and stand on the side of Bilge p:) when it comes to a Steampunker showing up at a period pirate event like PiP with a vacuum cleaner strapped to his back. .That is unwanted even with a two year lease on life… Eye would say his papers were a forgery and so it would be befitting to have a pirate court for him that he be dealt with accordingly..

  13. Hrmm… something you said, Oderless, got me thinking that I might need to slightly modify my steampunk concern – it’s not the native steampunks that are at issue, but rather our own fellow pirates who’ve taken a mind to explore steampunk, but without the good sense to take it to steampunk appropriate venues.

    Unless anyone has noticed established steampunks infiltrating our events, which on reflection I have not, then I think the 2 year leniency joke might be misplaced as it’s our own fellow brethren at fault – and THEM we can smack upside the heads without delay, if need be 🙂

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