Saturday, October 1, 2011
A Non-Disney Perspective - Real Pirates
So in my last post A Look At Pirate's Lair On Tom Sawyer's Island we took a look at kids running around a pirate themed island, enjoying themselves as they imagine themselves as swashbucklers of old. Way back in June, I posted an entry (A Pirate's Life For Me) that sang my praises for the Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, easily my favorite ride in either park. Yep, Disneyland and its legions of fans owe a lot to the bygone era of pirating.
But it needs to always be remembered that the view of pirates that Disneyland presents is very much romanticized and not historical at all. Trust me, NOT meeting the likes of Blackbeard or Captain Morgan would be a very good thing. The glory days of pirating and privateering ran from about 1600 to the early 1700's. It essentially ended because it was outlawed in all countries and with the growth of Naval powers, pirates didn't stand a chance. But let's not forget that pirates really were murderers, thieves, cut-throats, and drunkards, and if they weren't killed in some kind of pirate raid, the ravages of some disease probably cut their lives well short of normal lifespans for that day and time. If you take the old pirate expression to "draw and quarter" and apply its real meaning, well the detail wouldn't be for the squeamish. A pirate really didn't care about what stood between him and his treasure, even if it meant women and children.
So Disney's view of "Pirates" needs to have a certain degree of perspective. It certainly was an exciting and colorful time in history but the color was often blood red and no amount of political correctness will ever escape that.