I’m not quite sure why every method for dealing with modern-day pirates stems from the “kinder, gentler” school of self-defense, but the latest gem is lasers that produce an “irritating” effect when aimed at the eyes. Shiver me timbers, yo.
Brad Cooper – the very same bloke that crafted the current Bilgemunky.com masthead (yes, that glorious piece of art at the top of your screen right now, unless you’re reading this through an RSS reader, in which case you’re missing half the fun, you silly lubber) – has penned the cover of the latest issue of No Quarter Given. The cover story is a collection of thoughts from throughout the pirate community regarding the recent Somalian pirate incidents, and how it has affected the public’s perception of pirate reenactors and enthusiasts. Personally, I think the violence in Somalia means we should all abandon our piratey interests and instead find some untainted “good-guys” to promote, such as knights in shining armor. Oh wait, I guess the crusades were somewhat questionable. Ok, let’s glorify ancient rome… or maybe not, what with all the gladiators and torture. Old west? Uh oh, indian slaughter. Indians? Nope, they were pretty mean too at times. Geez, who ever thought that history would be so complicated and full of gray areas? I guess so long as we’re not glorifying Jack the Ripper or Nazis, maybe people just need to LIGHTEN UP.
OK, so this clearly falls into modern Somalian-style piracy, which we don’t really cover here. But it also falls into pop culture since it’s a pirate move. And it involves Samuel Jackson, so it clearly falls into the “awesome” territory.
Fine, I admit that the only reason I’m posting this is so that I can make a joke about Jackson yelling, “I’m sick and tired of these <monkey-freaking> pirates on this <monkey-freaking> plane!!!”
Since the very beginning of Bilgemunky.com, I’ve mostly ignored any news regarding modern pirates. I freely admit that my love of historical pirates is selective – frock coats good, rape bad. Rum, flintlocks, cutlasses, ships, pirate hats all good, actual cold-blooded murder or torture bad. Of course, being as the 1700’s were harsh times, and you could easily make the case that pirates of the day were in many ways no better or worse than the very governments they fought against, and that sailing merchants often created an environment so cruel that it left their crew little choice but to go on the account – this only further enables the easy glamorization of historical (and fictional) old-timey pirates. Continue reading
Oh my, it’s just so beautiful. I want one, and then I want a boat, and then I want pirates to try and board so that I can use the damned thing.
Pirates of the Great Salt Lake has been a long, long time coming. The film was actually completed some years ago, but due to the realities of distribution it’s been tied up until just these past few months. This has resulted in no shortage of anticipation from within the pirate community – a group that’s been eagerly awaiting its chance to finally see a film that is for, and more or less about them (or at least, folks sort of like them.)
Being an independent film, Salt Lake understandably lacks the Hollywood polish. For the most part this isn’t a problem as it remains plenty slick on its own merits. It does have two moments of weakness, though – both of which regrettably occur within the first few minutes, and risk audiences prematurely dismissing the movie before it truly begins. The first incident is during a flashback from generations past in which a demonic pirate is seen – it’s relatively silly and reminiscent of a B slasher film. Not that B slasher films are all bad, but this movie is smarter than that. The second incident is when the protagonists, Kirk and Flint, find their first victims – a catamaran with two ladies and some muscle-bound dude. In a film full of great acting, these three extras are amongst the worst imaginable, and look entirely lost for what to do, save for when they look like they’re trying not to laugh. It’s sad because these two events lower the bar of the film, and some viewers may have difficulty recovering in time to get full enjoyment from all that follows. Continue reading
OK, so in my daily search for pirate news I’m stumbling across several stories I just don’t care about. Therefore, I won’t post them. If you really, really want to read every story about pirates, do your own Google search. It’s not hard.
What you won’t read here: Continue reading
OK, get this. The author is hanging out on the beach one day and talks to a stranger who mentions how pirates once built their own kingdoms in Madagascar. The author then decides to go check it out for himself, but rather than fly or rent a ship he mooches, finesses, and bribes his way one island at a time, meeting the strangest assortment of folks along the way.
This man is my hero. Continue reading
If you read only one happy-go-lucky account of whale slaughter this year…
Gus Openshaw is just your average joe, seeking to make a life with his wife and new son. When his plans are thwarted by an angry whale (who swallows his family whole, along with Gus’s right arm), Gus must find a way to make that all-too-common transition from humble catfood cannery worker into whale hunting avenger. This is easier said than done, especially considering that in these kinder, gentler days whale killing is generally frowned upon. One is certain to become entangled in all sorts of legal fiascos. But that’s only the beginning – mutinous crews, renegade princesses, foreign navies, discount arms dealers, and (of course) pirates all serve to make Gus’ adventures a sight more interesting than he’d like. Continue reading
Bravo Two Sierra is quite the change of pace from the usual pirate book. The story is completely modern and – like most modern piracy – it completely lacks the romantic panache that makes historical piracy so much fun. But that’s not to say this book isn’t entertaining. Indeed, more than anything I enjoyed the language. It reminded me of reading Treasure Island, except instead of words like “belay” and “scupper,” author Stephen R. Gagin has inundated his work with modern nautical terminology. Phrases such as “1MC” and “sea and anchor detail” abound, phrases frighteningly familiar from my navy days. Indeed, it was Gagin’s persistence in sharing the details of modern shipboard life that made this book most worthwhile. Continue reading