Archive for the 'Johnny Depp' Category

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 geansaí 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.

The Pirates’ Flag Is Deepest Black

Y’arr!

Ye join me as I run ahead of a brisk sou’ wester from Maracaibo Bay to Santa Marta. The sky is clear blue, the sails are full, and above me and me crew of lusty seamen flies the Jolly Roger, proud emblem of all that is piratey. Long has this flag flown o’er the ships of buccaneer and pirate alike, the skull symbolising the death’s head that is the fate of all who cross us, and the bones symbolising bones or something.

But news has reached me that in England, the skull and cross’d bones has lost the power it once had to strike fear into the heart of lanlubbers and lily-livered merchant seafarers alike. I’ve learned that that a buccaneer in Surrey has incurred the ferocious wrath of the Royal Navy, or Mole Valley County Council or some other such lanlubbin’ scum, for his flyin’ of the dread black jack. It seems the navy sent this pirate comrade an ultimatum to strike his colours or suffer the consequences, and he, a proud man, insisted on flying the Jolly Roger from his “house”, which I take to be some class of land-based boat. I shiver to think that even now he is most likely being keel-hauled for his offence.

Distressin’ as this news is, it is sadly typical of the low esteem in which pirates are now held. In the glory days of piratin’, the 1970’s, we felt that lanlubbin’ as a political system was on it’s last legs, and that the people would any moment come to see the rightness of the pirate analysis and flock to the true buccaneer alternative. In those days, you’d fly a false flag from your ship, the flag of a nation perchance, and trick into your rogueish crew honest men (pthooh!) who thought they were signin’ on for king and country (two things no pirate has any time for). By the time they learned we were pirates, t’was too late, they were one of us. Y’arr, but we did it for their own good. T’were nought but false consciousness we were riddin’ them of, much as you’d careen a hull to rid it of barnacles.

Still flying the false flag, we’d lure in other craft a’seas, then when prey drifted too close, run up the true pirate colours and chase after the HMS Mole Valley Council or whatever it’s name might be. Usually the sight alone of the Jolly Roger would be enough to strike fear into the hearts of the civil servants aboard, and the sloop, brigantine, or local government administrative body would be taken without a shot fired. You’d pillage all they had a’board, and by nightfall be in Cartagena to sell a’market the treasury tags and staples thereby obtain’d. Nowadays though, the power of the flag has waned, through years of dilution by Johnny Depp and his new piracy. But the day will come when the pirate flag will again bring terror to all who behold it. History demands it. We at the IPR will be to the fore of the project that makes sure of’t. And if we can’t manage that, we’ll write at great length about it, for there’s little else for an old pirate to be a-doin’.

All together now me hearties, “We’ll keep the black jack flying here!”

Every Captain for Himself!

Ship Ahoy!

‘Tis often said the life o’ a pirate cap’n is a lonely and perplexin’ calling. Sure as saltwater and shiver’d timbers there’s the joy of the treasure-lust and the pleasure of pillaging dubloons from the broken hulls of the boats of the land lubbin’ merchants. The antics of the Dread Pirate Johnny Depp *pthooh* have tainted those pleasures for me however. Recently, when the wind was howlin’ in the yard arm, and the seas are high and whippin’ around the gun’al, l’il Tim our plucky cabin boy looked up at me with his hopeful eyes and asks “Cap’n, we’ll ride this storm out won’t we? We’ll make the shelter of Tortuga ‘fore long?”

I felt as gutted as a catfish a landlubber’s sea legs, for ’twas looking dicey for me ship, the Gangrenous Gull, as the crew were a scurvy lot but short handed with it. Even the tall pirates were short handed. ‘Twas difficult to steer a straight course while trying to compell boarders and get our pirate booty from the hold of the merchant ships. ‘Twas harder still for ship’s cook to fire cannon shot from our 12 pounders on the starb’d side while cooking the grub up in the galley. In me heart I sensed mutiny was not far off.

When we reached the locality of Tortuga and dropped anchor, I gave thought to forming a confederation with the other piratical bucanneers in these here parts. Sure as cuttlefish and canaries it seemed that an alliance under a shared flag was the only way we could properly counter the evil of New Pirates and the various Landlubbin’ confederacies that New Piracy was dipping its wick in. Some form of alliance where we could bring the most vicious and cut throat and skillful of our respective crews together on one boat to wreak havoc on the Main, while the less skilled spent time a-practicin’ their pirating on smaller ships. Yes indeed, this was what I thought was needed. The Confederation of Unified Pirates, Pillagers And Traitrous Evaders of Authority… CUPPATEA.

But then me parrot, Malvolio, piped up that I’d clear forgot that a ship can only have one cap’n and that in an alliance like that I’d soon have to be watching astern for devious malcontents eager to have away with me. As sure as herring and heartbreak such scurvy knaves a-plenty can be found in the company of Pirate Cap’ns. ‘Tis a minimum requirement for the job.

Malvolio reminded me of the great upheaval that occured in years past when the Cap’n and crew of the Yellow Rose persuaded the proud pirateers of the Red Flower to sail under common flag. That was in the days when the Dread Pirate BarbdeRossa was at the helm of the Yellow Rose (long before he decided to become all mercantile and respectable as a landlubber). Indeed Malvolio was right, for ’twas with the ruthlessness and cunning of BarbdeRossa and his firstmate, the Bald Architect (the blacksheep son of a proud merchant family was he) that the crew of the Yellow Rose eventually seized control of the Red Flower and began to sail it on a new course and the evil creed of New Piracy.

He was right o’ course was me parrot. Such a plan would result in in-fightin’ and backstabbin’ as each Cap’n tried to be the Cap’n del tutti Cap’ns as they say in Mediterranian parts. Either that or such an enterprise would inevitably drift towards the scurvy horror of New Piracy and abandon all our traditions of Teak chests buried 10 paces south of a crewman’s body and general piratical pillaging and nautical naughtiness.

So I shot Malvolio and swore off the run ration for a day to banish the humors from me that cause me to think crazy; Timmy the Cabin Boy enjoyed the ‘chicken’ dinner that our scurvy Cook made him.

arrrrh… ’tis a ruthless life as a Pirate Cap’n. But Malvolio knew too much.

Full Sail Ahead!

Pirate Or Not?

As any true Pirate will tell’ ee, there’s more to piratin’ than accessories. You have to give yourself over entirely to the Buccaneerin’ Life, an there’s nothing that gets me temper up more than seeing some class o’poltroon swaggerin’ about telling all and sundry he’s a pirate, when I know in me heart he’s never taken a cannon volley athwartships, nor steered a ship through the Sargasso Sea, that treacherous graveyard of sea-craft. But that’s me – I be a true sea-dog, and won’t be fooled by trifles. But what of ye, me readers, young folk sympathetic to the Pirate cause, but lacking in sea-farin’ expertise? Never fear, for each week, I’ll be teaching ye how to look beyond the number of parrots a feller may have on his shoulder, and determine, using in-depth pirate analysis, if he be a true Pirate or merely a follower o’ the accursed Johnny Depp.

Pirate Joyce

Now, at first glance, this feller seems as Piratey as “Calico” Jack Rackham ever was. But there’s more to it than the eye-patch. Let’s look closer, and soon X will mark the spot where we’ll dig up a chest full o’truth.

Pirate

  • Kicked out of home country in disgrace
  • Trouble with the law
  • Travelled around Europe
  • Has many a rowdy tavern named after him.

Not Pirate

  • Pirates hate literary modernism. We be romantics, aye.
  • Mean to his mother. Pirates love our mothers, usually have their names tattooed on us.
  • Beard far too small.
  • Buried in Switzerland, a filthy stinkin’ landlocked country.

Conclusion: Not A Pirate

This feller may have occasionally donned the raiments of a pirate, but he had no true salt in his blood.

Join me each week as I ask “Pirate Or Not?” Next Week, Heidi Klum!

Pirates dot ie – Insane in the Mainsail

Splice the Mizzen ye scurvy dogs!

All true buccaneers of the Main will know that the good ship Pirates dot ie, which sails under the terrible black flag of Capatin Cochranebeard, lately came under withering fire from the cannon of a landlubber Mano’war. Cochranebeard is as salty a dog as any man-jack of the Main and ’twas perhaps no great shame that he put out as much sail as his masts would hold and made for the New World like a wench for a dubloon of Spanish Gold. No great shame, aya, but no show of master seamanship neither.

Perhaps, It is not for us to fight another pirate’s private war against the landlubbers. Well, perhaps… And some villainous landlubbers might even hold that pirates knows next to nothing about maritime tactics and the subtle doctrines of Naval combat. They might point to pirates being somewhat intemperate in their engagements. They might speak of a tendency to go in with all guns blazing, the wheel on the foc’sle spinning wildly in the hands of a 13 year-old cabin boy. Well, what of’t? Do we not often carry the day? After a fashion? In our own minds? And what is more important to a pirate than the life of the mind, the imagination running free; the great adventure on the high seas of the brain?!

So, I feel perfectly at liberty to hold that by first engaging with the enemy on the enemy’s terms and then by erratically cutting out for the New World, Captain Cochranebeard has ruined piracy for all pirates forever. It is to be doubted that piracy in Ireland will ever recover from this blow. Piracy was only starting to recover from the baleful effects of Johnny Depp and the New Piracy, only just beginning to shake off the deadening hand of the armchair pirates. But look at it now. It is as tattered as the grapeshot-blasted Jolly Rodger on Cochranebeard’s mast.

I mean, would you argue for the self-regulation of piracy after this?!

I didn’t think so.

Glug, glug, ye one-eyed, parrot-loving bastards!

Blackbeard in Dublin Skirmish

Splice the mainsail, me hearties!

Word reaches me, here in me cabin, a few miles north o’ Tortuga, that me old’ rival in piracy, Blackbeard De Rossa got the wrong end of some young scamp’s cannon last night in the fair port o’ Dublin. Perhaps a little in-depth pirate analysis might help explain what happened:

The Great Lanlubbin’ Powers o’ Europe had some class of parley in the port o’ Lisbon some months ago. Though I spend most of me time a’seas, I know its in me own interest to keep an eye on the doin’s o’ the Great Powers, for those doin’s can have a grave effect on the livelihood of a pirate such as meself. It seems the lanlubbin’ powers have carved up the land and the seas amongst themselves. When I’m not plunderin’ and spendin’ pieces of eight on tavern wenches, I do a little smugglin’; mostly rum, tobaccy and sugar. Well now it seems the world is changed, for with this here internal free market, there just ain’t no margin in the smuggling game anymore. Well, I’m too old a salt to change, but I have to say it galls me that one I thought a worthy rival and sometimes ally on the high seas, Blackbeard, has fallen among the New Pirates.

This man, once feared on each of the Seven Seas, has taken the gold coins and fancy raiment o’ the New Pirates and their leader, the dread Johnny Depp. These New Pirates are no sea-dogs, but lackeys o’ the Great Lanlubbin’ Powers. Pirates-turned-Pirate Hunters, it’s these New Pirates who are now sailin’ all over Europe, enforcin’ this new treaty. Blackbeard has grown so comfortable and portly in Brussels (a filthy lanlubbin’ town if ever there was one) that I’ll wager he’s forgotten what its even like to feel the spray o’ the sea. So when he docked in Dublin last night, it’s no wonder he didn’t know what to expect. Oh I’ll warrant that he thought he was safe, so close to the frigate Liberty, another fine pirate ship fallen into the hands of Johnny Depp. But dammit if a young knave with the right kind o’ stuff in him didn’t sail alongsides and launch a broadside at him. Now, I’ve shared to many mugs o’ grog with Blackbeard to wish him ill, but it just goes to show that there are still a few of the right kind of pirates around, and if the New Pirates keep to their alliance with the Lanlubbin’ powers, they might yet have to flee the grape shot o’ the true pirates. We here at the IPR will be around, ye can be sure, to talk about it all at very great length.

Lash the mizzen!

Pirates with Two Eyepatches

Arr Me Hearties!

As my fellow Captain has shown using lengths of coloured blue rope, the crew of the good ship Ireland are overwhelmingly Piratey. And yet we do be facing the mystery- why do Pirates have less influence than Landlubbers, propped up as they are by the curish New Pirates?

I tell ‘ee this and no more need I say-many of our fellow Pirates are unaware of their true nature. Surrounded on all sides by Landlubber media which denies them a voice as surely as a parrot under a blanket, they do not see the Pirate in themselves.

It must be one of the finest tasks of the Irish Pirate Review to free these poor souls from the darkness- to take off at least one eyepatch so they may realise their Pirate destiny in monocular glory.

Yo! Ho! Ho!


Photo Credit

Arrh! The Photo above be available for us to be using though Creative Commons by missy_1074 from Flickr. We thankee!
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