Friday, November 4, 2011

Booty: More Myths Debunked

The good folks at Cracked have once again put curser to word processing program to write about Triple P’s favorite subject, pirates and privateers. This time the title is “6 Absurd Pirate Myths Everyone Believes Thanks to Movies” and once again they’ve hit the mark. The addition of “Absurd” in the title is a very nice touch.

The myths taken on include standbys frequently discussed here: pirates weren’t much for burying treasure and that chest o’ booty spilling over with pieces of eight and pearls was a rare prize indeed, for instance. The authors, Eric Yosomono and Drew Miller, also delve into some more recently debated issues such as pirates talking like “movie pirates” and, that Mythbusters favorite, pirates really didn’t wear those eye patches to cover empty eye sockets but in fact to be ready for dim light below decks in boarding situations. That one is probably bogus on both counts given that A) looking scary was a bonus if you were a pirate, B) pirates avoided hostile boarding whenever possible and C) pirates wearing eye patches isn’t much mentioned in the first hand literature (neither Exquemelin nor Johnson/Defoe speak to the practice at all). But hey, it’s a theory.

My personal favorite among the six listed is “Sailors Became Pirates to Live a Life of Crime”. As the Brethren are well aware, “a pirate’s life for me” spoke more to “I’m sick of authority” than “how much rape and pillage can I get in on a good day”. Sure, there’s a sociopath in every crowd but for the most part pirates and privateers had more of the entrepreneur than the savage horde spirit about them.

Well done once again, Cracked; you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one.

Finally, on a completely different and rather self-satisfied note, Triple P has been endorsed on the sidebar of one of my favorite author’s websites. Benerson Little, whose books are a staple of research around here, notes Triple P is a “good blog on pirates and privateers”. I’ll just call that a ringing endorsement from a former Navy SEAL who is also a talented researcher and author, elite swordsman and expert on pre-20th century firearms. And oh look, Mr. Little has a new book on the way debunking pirate myths. Serendipitous? I’ll let the Brethren decide.

Header: Fredric March as Jean Laffite in The Buccaneer (there are at least 25 odd myths in this movie alone)


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! Who would have thought that we could learn so much from

I've based my life on Cracked's teachings, btw...

And props and congrats to you on the endorsement from Mr. Little. Clearly he is not only knowledgable and talented, but he has excellent taste in blogs as well.

Pauline said...

Hey, Cracked does a pretty good job in the research department. It's rare to read one of their history articles and find it lacking. Plus: funny.

Munin said...

Congratulations on your endorsement. There's quite a few other cool links in that list. You're in good company.

Pauline said...

Thank you indeed, my friend. And right you are; I could spend the whole day clicking around the web with that list alone.