Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum

Yo Ho Ho and a Bottle of Rum. This is an article from Modern Drunkard Magazine on the alcoholic adventures of the pirates of the Caribbean. While I am a bit loathe to blog an article from such a source, it is surprisingly good and gives a decent account of pirate drinking culture.

From the site:

Pirates.

The word conjures images that have been with us for centuries: a white skull and cross-bones on a flag of black silk; a parrot on the captain’s shoulder; buried treasure; daggers clenched in teeth; walking the plank; eye patches; black-bellied schooners roving free under a Caribbean moon. Pirates were outlaws, carousers and two-fisted warriors, epically lusting after life. They drank with a gusto that was truly magnificent. Their intoxicated exploits are a vital part of our shared Drunkard History. And while they weren’t always pretty, in thought or in deed, pirates were and remain symbolic of our desire to live our lives according to nothing but our personal desires. They lived, killed and died by a very simple ethos: No Quarter Asked, and None Given.

What we understand about pirates, the stereotypical picture in our heads, is a blend of fact and fancy, coming to us in equal parts from literature, the movies, and the reality of their lives.

Daniel Defoe set the stage, from the literary end, with his novels Robinson Crusoe and Captain Singleton, as well as the nominally non-fiction tome The Four Years Voyages of Captain George Roberts, a lengthy account of Roberts’ adventures while a prisoner of the dreaded pirate Edward Low, which is now believed to have been wholly invented by Defoe. Defoe’s descriptions of pirates and life aboard a sailing vessel are surprisingly factual, though he is done one better by Robert Louis Stevenson in his classic novel Treasure Island.

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