Sunday, September 16, 2007

This week's column
Take a walk on the pirate side

Even centuries after their heyday, it’s hard not to appreciate the appeal of pirates. After all, who can’t relate to roving bands of felons who, according to Wikipedia, “ate poorly, did not become fabulously wealthy, and died young.” (Keeping in mind, of course, that everything on Wikipedia is made up.) Also, they’re among the few brands of criminals who actually had their own flag, so you knew when they were coming. Nobody ever said they were bright.

My own personal exposure to pirates is limited to my role in my high school’s production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” in which I played the pirates’ nemesis, Major-General Stanley. But even though I knew it was only a play, I couldn’t help but feel an affinity to all the real-life 19th century major-generals whom pirates tried to murder while singing snappy Gilbert and Sullivan librettos. (In their defense, if I had to listen to all those verses of “I am the Very Model of a Modern Major General,” I would have wanted to kill me too.)

I bring all this up because this is a busy time of year for fake pirates. First, Sept. 19 is “Talk Like a Pirate Day,” the day on which we’re encouraged to walk around saying “ye” instead of “you” and creating contractions that would make William Safire blush (or, say, “turn red’r th’n a buck’t o’ chum”).

For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.

1 comment:

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