TalesOfTheSevenSeas

What lured you to pyracy?

245 posts in this topic

Great tales gentlemen!

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I'm not sure to be honest, first I was interested interested in trains all the way, then out of nowhere, I found myself surrounded by, and part of the Brethren of the Coast.

My current theory is seeing a trailor for Cutthroat Island when I was verry young, and thinking how epic it looked, and that's what did it.

I honestly think I could be re-incarnated from a pirate, and I've been trying to place the pirate based on personality, and exploits, without much success. IDK maybe if I really wanna look into this, a past life regression would do it.

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Bacon. It's not really the reason, but I get to eat a surprising amount of bacon at events, so it eclipses whatever reason came before.

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Pyrate bacon!

7884885-pirate-pig.jpg

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We have an existing thread for this question. In fact, if no one objects, I'd like to combine them so that all the answers are in one place.

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Aye Mission..thanx mate..was fun to read one of my first post and reflect..

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Well...it's a combination of things for me and kind of tied in to that quote something about "every normal man must tempted to spit on his hands, hoist a black flag and begin slitting throats"...

First is my love of the PoTC movies, that's what drew me in. The second part is kind of a reaction to stress... kind of when people start messing with me. It's like I hear this voice that gradually gets more insistant... it's like... "nnnnnnnnn.......errrrrrrrrrrrrr.......aaaarrrrrrrrrr........ YAAAAAARRRRRRRR.... HOIST THE COLORS"!

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A natural extension of sewing, wearing funny clothes and doing other things.

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Making fellow grad students walk the plank, for example?

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No no. We were much more "honor among thieves" and exemplary teamwork. Now, my students on the other...

A few years ago I ran into one of my students working at a Renaissance Festival. He was a week or so late on several assignments, so I opted to take him to task for it in renaissance festival style by setting the kings guard on him. He had no idea what was happening and apparently didn't recognize me in my costume. It wasn't until the charges were read out and physics was mentioned that he put it all together. :D

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I'm a writer and director of nonfiction TV, and some years back I came across the story of Anne Bonny and Mary Read -- possibly in Sara Lorimar's "Booty." That started me researching the pirates of the 1714-1724 period. What kept my interest was what I'd never really known growing up: the democracy practiced on board pirate ships, along with the accident insurance provided -- in stark contrast to the British Navy policies of the time. Also, it seems that while the first anti-slavery sentiments may have arisen among the Quakers, the pirates of the West Indies (or some of them) were a close second. The fact that the "good guys" were protecting the growing slave trade is something that I only recently cottoned on to, joke intended...The moral turpitude of the time is breathtaking. Also of interest was the fact that, while some pirates were truly people to avoid at all costs (I don't see a lot of L'Ollonais re-enactors), folks like Blackbeard never actually killed anybody (except for that final battle which was, after all, a battle...) So it's all quite interesting, and I actually think that the Johnny Depp notion of the pirates as early rock & rollers obscures some of the truly radical anti-authoritarian aspects of the brethren of the coast. Some of this, and probably not enough, is in the serio-comic novel I finally wrote on my original inspirations, Bonny and Read: "The Legendary Adventures of the Pirate Queens," which you can find at the following link...

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=the+legendary+adventures+of+the+pirate+queens

So that's what got me started...And who knows where it'll lead?

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Welcome!

I wouldn't go into Twill if I were you unless you want a lot of your beloved ideas on who the pirates were badly sullied. History is rarely as clearly cut as some authors would try to make it. ;) (We were jusssst talking about their involvement in slavery in one of the threads...)

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Been reenacting for 40 years, everything from WWII Commando to 15th Century handgonner. Most of what I've done has been irregular, ranger, or spec forces types. When I got involved with 18th century reenacting I was surprised and disappointed to find out how they really don't like the non mainstream, or lower end of society, impressions. Just way too uptight and prissy, putting all those founding fathers and mothers up on a pedestal. So, being the contrary bugger that I am, I decided that it was neccesary to show them the part of society that they refused to admit existed. Now, being an authenticist from wayback, I wasn't going to do it hollywood style, but to show them reality, more reality than most of them ever wanted to see. I've evolved a bit since then, and moved back from 18th century to 17th, doing the impression as one of Morgan's gunners. And got hooked, completely. I still do other time periods, but my piratical ventures, as a gunner for Morgan, or, in an earlier incarnation, a gunner for Drake and Clifford, are really what I like to do best.

Hawkyns

Hawkyns, you must have done 18c wayyy long ago, as I've been doing it for over 25 years and it's been full of grimy camp followers, grubby cooks, kept women and various scandalous folk. ;) We've had references surface for mistresses belonging to pillars of the community, illegitimate children, thieves, runaways, bad debts, indentured servants kicked out and left on the stoop to die of exposure, etc. And people portraying variations of many of these aspects. One of the guys wants to portray a hanging (he is a professional making props for major TV shows) but historic sites don't really want to go there. Really, the limitations on how far things go to portray the lower ends of society are mostly limited by historic sites and their managers, promoting family friendly edutainment. Although Lord Foppington's crew has made memorable appearances as The Wormleys, including one at Mt. Vernon that was hysterical. Now that is a sample of the lower orders not to be missed :D

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I started hanging out around Pirates way back in the 80's, when an ex decided that he wanted to start holding Pirate Feasts and I found magic in that. It was sort of a spin-off of the English Civil War stuff many of us were doing at the time. Then I started volunteering and working at a historic site on the water, which was established in the late 17C and thrived through the early part of the 18C. Read Pirates of the Chesapeake while there and something kind of clicked into place. I don't actually reenact as a pirate, more like someone who would know pirates and interact with them as part of a coastal community. Pretty much as I do now. ;)

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Welcome!

I wouldn't go into Twill if I were you unless you want a lot of your beloved ideas on who the pirates were badly sullied. History is rarely as clearly cut as some authors would try to make it. ;) (We were jusssst talking about their involvement in slavery in one of the threads...)

It's a question of degree, though. Even though if pirates caught a "cargo" of slaves they'd likely sell them rather than, say, return them safely to the shores of Cameroon, battling African slave traders upon landing and sending everyone home with a gift bag and a "Sorry fer the inconvenience" note, there was still a chance (a chance, mind you) for better treatment; and even if "Libertatia" was a hoax or fantasy, the notion of a radical commonality must have had some kernel of reality among some...Certainly if you had a middle-class Englishman in 1715 with two sons, one of whom went a-pirating and one of whom built up a thriving business in the slave trade, you know which one he'd be ashamed of.

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The criminal. Looked at through the prism of history, he'd be right. For better or worse, what is considered morally repugnant today was not so at that time. (Which doesn't make it right, but you have to be careful not to judge the past through the lens of the present unless you just want to fool yourself.)

Besides, we have many examples of pirates selling slaves and even one of them (Bart Roberts) burning a ship full of 80 slaves rather than have to go through the bother of dealing with them. At their core, they were criminals, not rock stars.

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[]

Hawkyns, you must have done 18c wayyy long ago, as I've been doing it for over 25 years and it's been full of grimy camp followers, grubby cooks, kept women and various scandalous folk. ;)

Depends what circuit you are on, I guess. Up here across the Hudson, they take the whole New England puritan heritage very seriously. BB, and CL events are pretty straightforward. If there are any shenanigans going on, it's in the Brit camp. The American camp will be quiet by 10pm, church service Sunday morning, no floggings or camp punishments, no sports in camp, etc. Very rare to see any disturbance at all.

Hawkyns

Master Gunner.

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The criminal. Looked at through the prism of history, he'd be right. For better or worse, what is considered morally repugnant today was not so at that time. (Which doesn't make it right, but you have to be careful not to judge the past through the lens of the present unless you just want to fool yourself.)

Besides, we have many examples of pirates selling slaves and even one of them (Bart Roberts) burning a ship full of 80 slaves rather than have to go through the bother of dealing with them. At their core, they were criminals, not rock stars.

AB-SO-LUTELY! :) And Roberts was a true horror -- unlike some others. I couldn't have written about Calico Jack and his crew if they'd actually left a trail of blood across the Caribbean. Because there's no record of Rackam killing anybody, I could deal with him. Most literary or cinematic pirates that I've come across did their worst pirating off-screen. ("Treasure Island," for example.) In "Captain Blood," the innocent blood spilled by Errol Flynn is never shown and only tangentally referred to. (An early example of the modern hero for whom many ill deeds may be excused by the reader if he feels bad about them.) And is there any actual piracy in any of the POTC films? I can't think of any. The depredations of the first film are, first of all, committed by cursed living skeletons, but aside from that, the whole idea is to RETURN the gold.

I've never been a big fan of rock stars either, actually -- but, never-the-by, the 1715-1724 period became interesting to me when I learned that it wasn't just cops and robbers on the high seas, but a tangled situation with economic and moral conflicts.

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I always was fascinated with the ocean when I was a kid and I learned to really appreciate liberty and freedom at a very young age. When I found out that pirates were some of the first democracies who had black, white, indian, etc. crew all of which had an equal vote, I was hooked. I also like the anti-authority aspect of it. When these men and women didn't want to be slaves to an empire any more, they went out on their own and made their own rules. I know that modern fiction has softened their image a lot. Most pirates were no angels..... But who is?

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