Return of the Sea Battle

Avast!

A month ’tis a long time to be abroad upon the waves but shore hoves into view just in time to hear news to give an old buccaneer great heart. And it is a welcome lift, for a heavy gloom has fallen upon the crew and upon their Captain most of all.

Our long voyage was intended to secure a goodly portion of our treasure stash by digging up and then reburying the many, many stout teak chests within which they had been hid.

As any Pirate knows, a treasure chest, well buried with a map on cured goat’s skin is key to the safe keeping of hard-earned booty and plunder. So it was with cries of rage and¬† misery that we found the whole archipelago of palm fronded islands upon which we had buried our chests had sunk without trace- erased by the rising tide. Curse you Lubbers, and your warming of the Waves!

So it is with pleasure that we return to find that another tide has turned. Tis many’s the year since Ireland has seen a good Sea Battle. Foul weather and fell fortune kept many’s the would-be sea invader from Ireland’s shores.

Protected by the Lubber’s greatest weapon against Piracy, the Royal Navy, sea dogs have had ne’re a part to play in the history of the nation.

Until now, Ireland has fought its battles between various splinters of Lubberism. But from today the Briney Deep is a battle ground again. Lubberist Mining companies and fisherfolk (natural allies of the Pirate classes) have stood fast against each other until one blinked.

Tho tis clear that this is only one battle of a war which may become the catalyst for a fuller Pirate/Lubber revolution. History can only go one way.

Yo Ho Ho!

Book Learnin’ and Other Sorry Lubbery

Yarr, tis a life of litera-sea for me

Y'arr, tis a life of litera-sea for me

Avast mizzensplicers!

The latest outbreak of landlubbery and Deppian falsity at Shiver me Cedars takes the form of a banal shopping list of buiks whose names are horrid to soil-fearing buccaneers on every wave. Frantic questions reverberate among the luxurious upholsteries of their indolent, land-locked lounge. “Whither this list?”, they ask, “My own glorious intellect is reflected in its conventional solemnities and (what we pirates reck a great deal worse) ponderous levities, yet I ken not its opaque theme, its sine qua nonce!”. Aye, well the pirates ken.

The list hath two o’erweening characteristics. The first – that each entry on the list has been made into a worthy and tedious film or television extravaganza to lull flaccid lubbers into conformity with spurious universal “truths” and “values”. Pah! True pirates know that lubbers are but cattle for their masters. The second (more despicable) characteristic of this exhaustively tedious list is that nary a one of its obvious, conformist tomes takes as its subject the salty ecstasy of the lives of true pirates who ply the several seas their wonders to perform. Not even Watership Down!

And yet, with never a trace of irony and preening with the shy immodesty of the triumphant child receiving a plastic trophy for victory in the annual egg and spoon race, World be Storm and his grass-loving acolytes make passive-aggressive demands for our applause. “O look!”, they yelp “We have been so good! We have read so many!” Ha! We pirates waited for them all to come out on video and can faithfully report that verily did they suck upon the big one.

Pirates recognise the obsequious embrace of Leavisite diktats when they see it. How old FR must be a-cackling in his grave, the final bolt-hole of all lubbers, six-feet down in the foetid earth where no soothing susurrus of seatide lapping hath e’er been heard! The lubbers report with unmanly earnest that they have diligently attended to this opprobrious list, this ersatz “canon”, and kept the lubber faith by leavening it only with vapid popular entertainments.

Y’arr, we pirates see how they fall upon their Hobbit and their Hitchhiker in bathetic gratitude for the licensed chortles to be found therein. Why a Hobbit is the very embodiment of everything true pirates abominate, with its furry feet and its wretched penchant for burrowing into the heinous mould; its eschewment of precipitous rigging and the call of the crow’s nest. A Hobbit sniffs carefully amid subterranean clays. With deep draughts, a pirate fills his barrel-like chest with the crusty vapours of good sea air. Aye!

Well, pirates can diligently attend to cannon of their own, and are not backward about unleashing a broadside of honest grape on a snivelling pack of unworthy dogs. A pirate wears his (or her) learning lightly, not on his (or her) sleeve like some darling little cub scout on whose geansa√≠ mummykins has sewn a rash of merit badges as long as the yardarm on a Spanish Mano’war. A pirate is apprenticed to old Neptune his self. He is a child of such educational theorists as Britton and Rosenblatt who prioritised the authentic experience of the individual and the subjective responses of the learner over the passive reception of universal ‘truths’ from approved literary historical texts.

The true pirate is not fit for the drab and silent bookroom; he devils for the sea, he is indentured to lived experience. He is in the world, his intercourse is wide, he has known argosies of language from a thousand coasts. He sails proudly and with open heart among privateers, wenches and cabinboys of all nations; he is not some pair of ragged claws scuttling along the floors of silent seas, a (rather damp) copy of The Hobbit clutched twixt his timid pincers.

Y’arr this tragic list is a reflection of the bourgeois tyranny of the Lubber education system with its pirate-disdained emphasis on the attainment of good marks rather than the value of knowledge for its practical use in the governance of a tight ship or the artful running through of an adolescent midshipman bedecked in the gilt livery of the English Queen. Why it calls to mind the despair of the Lubber’s own Chief Education Examiner (whose heart secretly belongs to piracy) who owned himself down on this sort of thing. “It is unfortunate” quoth he, “to witness the syllabus being edited down to a minimum exam-focused path, featuring a very short list of too familiar texts to the detriment of the student’s broader education”.

The pirates note with interest the contribution of Chekov Feeney to this orgy of Lubber self-congratulation. Mr. Feeney refuses to believe that any buik of which he disapproves could possibly have been enjoyed by anyone else. Mr. Feeney does not like any buik which smacks of bourgeois introspection and Mr. Feeney refuses to accept that any buik he does not like has merit. Mr. Feeney is on the right track. We pirates also sneer at the timid witterings of the bourgeoisie. Mr. Feeney, however, is an Indymedian, which, like a Hobbit, is a sub-species of Lubber, and the only thing he likes is social realism about French coalminers, who are anathema to pirates in every way. Mr. Feeney thinks that the only good buik is a social realist buik about social realist lubbery. This is wrong, wrong, wrong. The only good buik is a buik about Pirates!

Let the Lubbers cleave to Leavis and the rest. Let them stick like barnacles to approved texts handed down by their betters, texts which privilege the Lubber experience to the detriment of experiences which are deemed “other”. The world of decent piracy is not the only one which finds no reflection in their wretched lists, but it is the only one that matters. And yet, in a moment of rare tenderness, we pirates wonder how many other benighted souls have strained to hear responses sung in their own registers? Does anyone know? Does anyone care? Not the Lubbers!

Scorn them lads! Run away to sea! Join us on the ocean waves! Drink to the devil and have done with the rest, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!

I love you all,

Sincerely,

Captain Mendelbaum.

On Being Sent a Bum Steer

Arrgh!

‘Tis mighty strange and portentous tidings I bring ye today. For, while we have been out to sea this last month and more, the seas were so becalmed that I did believe that I would have naught to tell in the taverns on our return to port.

All changed on our very first night in port. We had sailed in, as is our habit, under cover of an overcast night sky, keeping the Black Jack hidden even from the light of the moon.

The first mate was sent ashore, to confirm that the bumbling but deadly fleet of Admiral Sodot of the Royal Navy had not captured the port. ‘Twas close to midnight when the Cabin Boy did knock on my Cabin Door to tell me that the Watch needed me above decks. I had been a-soaking my wooden teeth in brandy, to kill the worms. But I had to cram my mouth with them as I went, for I knew that if the Mate had returned with fell news we would have to weigh anchor at once.

But above decks, the Mate wasn’t to be seen. Instead, walking up the gangplank was a long-horned steer. Pirates are masters of the sea, but less sure of the Landlubber ways of livestock. I approached with cutlass drawn, my eyes carefully watching the points of those horns for any sign of treachery.

It was the Cabin Boy who first saw the writing. Branded across the side of the the cow-

PIRATES. HISTORY HAS COME TO CLAIM YOU. THE SEA HAS NO PLACE ON THE PEOPLE’S RANGE –

THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY COMMUNISTS

That final piece carried on around onto the far side of the cow.

The steer is even now cooking in pieces below decks and the men are looking forward to a change from hard tack and rum and lime mixers. But I am troubled this night.

Avast!

Wench Swap demonstrates superiority of Piracy

Avast!

There are few things more important to a Pirate then the knowledge that he will have the right kind of Wench in harbour. So it is with great interest that I hear tell of some manner of Dumb-Show or Play-Act wherein this truth was best demonstrated.

Once again, the Piratical Tide of History washes Lubbers away, leaving only the Salty Dogs of the Sea.

Piracy Triumphs Over Landlubbers

Ahoy Shipmates!

‘Tis a fine day for the Pirating Classes as the Landlubber Great Powers have seen their beloved Treaty, signed in the Port ‘o Lisbon holed below the water by the unconsciously Piratey people of Ireland.

Pirates, as all who have sailed the salty brine know in their bones, hate Great Powers of Landlubberism. They are a threat to all we hold dear, be it the importation of exotic birds to be trained to sit upon a man’s shoulder or the threats to a smuggler’s livelihood brought about by Free Trade.

So, we can but rejoice that their plans to further tighten their grip on the people of Europe have been shot down by a popular vote. But that is not why the Pirate way has proved itself the superior choice, as the inevitable flow of history tells us it always will. It is the foolish notion of asking the lubbering mass to give their opinion which bedivells the graspers of the Great Powers.

The Pirate way is to elect a Captain. But, once elected, a Pirate Captain stands alone upon the deck. I tell the scurvy dogs what they do and if’n they don’t why, I just clap them in arms. If they still won’t do what they’re told, why ’tis just a short walk along the plank.

The Landlubber Powers know that they must have their way. But, not Piratey enough to simply seize power, they try to slide and slip their plans past the their crews.

Why, with the weakness of their democratic method, they can only ever be second best to the Piratey way. And that is why tonight Pirates can once again stand tall. Knowing that the Landlubbers may, just for the moment, hold control of the Land and Air, it is the Swashbucklers of the Waves who will finally have the last laugh.

YO! HO! HO!

Who Dares to Speak of ’68?

Captain Morgan
Yarr!

In dark days such as this for the cause of Piracy and when the inevitable end of history in an all-Pirate society seems far away it is important to remember the great events of ’68. For a heady few months it seemed as though all the world was turning pirate- as though the end of history might come not with a whisper, but with a shouted sea-shanty of triumph!

For our younger readers, for whom those days are just tales told in hushed tones by their elders, it may be hard to believe how significant the events of 1668 seemed at the time.

Henry Morgan, one of the most famous priveteers of his day had set sail in command of a ship under the banner of an old sea salt by the name of Edward Mansfield. The were bound for the Carribean islands, then in the hands of the Spanish.

When the Spanish, a cruel and Popish race, had Manfield killed it was Henry Morgan who was chosen by the bucaneers as the new admiral. So successful was he in this post that he was sent by the Governor of Jamaica (an island then, as now, appreciative of the enterprise of Free Traders and makers of finest Pirate Rum) to take the town of Portobello on the coast of Panama.

Panama is a moist, unseemly country mostly known for the fine collection of malarial-based deaths which it offers. Nonetheless the ill-named town of Portobello was home to a fleet of ships scheming an attack on Jamaica. In the fateful year of 1668 Capt. Morgan sailed into Portobello and sacked the town.

Oh, glorious day that could see such sights in’t! Children left orphaned, woman huddled in the streets while their Landlubber menfolk were put to the sword. The streets ran wet with blood and rum as Captain Morgan and his Pirate fleet showed Panama and the world what a true Pirate victory over Landlubbers will look like.

Those who might argue that the great and self-evident benefits of a Pirate society could be achieved without the slaughter-housing of the innocent need only look at the events of ’68 to be shown up as the desultory incrementalists that they are.

Captain Morgan had no such doubts.
By ’71 his powers had grown further, and he fell upon Panama city itself, killing every soul within and making off with a hundred thousand-pound of booty (presumably in serried rows of stout teak chests).

Alas, this is where we Pirates who look to the inspiration of the events of ’68 and after must learn the lesson that the Landlubber powers will always seek to stab a true Pirate Captain in the back and push him off the end of a thin plank into Davy Jones’ Locker. The English, who had first paid for Captain Morgan to help them rid Jamacia of its dangerous Popish neighbors, became squeamish at the total victories he had won. It seems there were some Treaties which forbade the gutting and burning of innocent women and children.

The Captain escaped, as he argued that as a Pirate he knew naught of such Landlubber rules as this and returned to Jamaica, eventually becoming its Governor and ruling as a kind of Pirate King.

Despite this, he was never the same for his ordeal of being clapped in irons and shipped to the Court of the Landlubber English (a race which is well known for their droning tones and hatred of peg legs).

So the dreams of ’68 live on only in the hearts of Pirates today. But I think you’ll agree that they have much to teach us, or not teach us depending on how we read them. Certainly I wouldn’t dream of coming down either way, preferring long, rambling and ultimately pointless retreadings of fact.

Avast!

Wolves of The Sea!

Piracy’s Entrant in the Eurovision Shanty Contest

Arrgh!

In the coming Pirate Utopia, ’twill not be all hard tack and chaw. We’ll be free to revel in the free interchange of shanties across the Landlubber borders. To that end, we salute this year’s Pirate-based entry to the Eurovision Shanty Contest.

Yo-Ho-Ho!



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