Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pirates! Arrr!

Ahoy, me mateys! Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so pepper you speech with plenty of nautical terms, as well as the all-purpose "Arrr!" Of course, piracy is serious stuff. The organizers of Talk Like a Pirate Day point out:
Let's get this straight. Real pirates were and are bad people and are in no way worthy of emulating.

We, on the other hand, are thinking of movie pirates, the pirates of books, myth and legend. Think Long John Silver in "Treasure Island." Pretend pirates.

But Talk Like a Pretend Pirate Like Long John Silver was just too long to catch on.

So when we urge you to TALK like a pirate, we don't mean you should ACT like a pirate. The Pirate Guys are solidly against pillaging, plundering and slaughtering like pirates.

The "classic" era of pirates in the Caribbean—Blackbeard, Henry Morgan (now remembered as a dashing man who advertises rum), et al.—lasted from the mid-1500s to about 1720. In recent years, the piratical action has been near the Horn of Africa and Southeast Asia. See this map (from the inside cover of D. R. Burgess, The World for Ransom: Piracy Is Terrorism, Terrorism Is Piracy (2010), G535 .B86 2010 at Classified Stacks). 

Significant Incidents of Piracy & Maritime Terrorism, 1961-2010
Our library has resources for studying either era:
  • Classic era:
    • The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates, by Peter T. Leeson, G535 .L44 2009 at Classified Stacks. Fascinating law and economics! Check out the publisher's webpage for the book: there's a funny video trailer. 
    • The Prize game: Lawful Looting on the High Seas in the Days of Fighting Sail, by Donald A. Petrie, KZ6610 .P48 1999 at Classified Stacks (this is privateering, not piracy)
  • Contemporary:
    • The Enemy of All: Piracy and the Law of Nations, by Daniel Heller-Roazen. HV6431 .H418 2009 at Classified Stacks; Publisher's page 
    • Piracy and Armed Robbery at Sea, by Robin Geiss KZ7212 .G45 2011 at Classified Stacks; publisher's page 
    • Piracy in a Legal Context: Prosecution of Pirates Operating off the Somali Coast, by Annemarie Middelburg, KZ7212 .M53 2011 at Classified Stacks publisher's page 
    • Terror on the High Seas: From Piracy to Strategic Challenge, by Yonah Alexander & Tyler B. Richardson, K5277 .T47 2009 v. 1 and v. 2 at Classified Stacks, publisher's page 

What's that? You're not really in the mood for serious stuff and you'd like to enjoy some unrealistic pirates from Hollywood? See Eric Mills, Collector's Guide to Pirate Movie DVDs, Naval History Magazine, April 2009. Includes two movie trailers. (Also two links to YouTube videos that have been removed. So it goes.)

All for now, mateys!

Graphics credits: map from book cited; book jackets from publishers' websites; pirate ducky from collection of C. Nyberg, scanned on one of the new scanners in the copy alcoves. (Have you tried the scanners? They're even better with books than with duckies!)

No comments: