July 06, 2005



For some reason, around this time of year one's thoughts invariably turn to pirates. For the six year old, they're these Pyrates (note: for a less animated version, click here. For me, it's The Devil's Anarchy, which feeds off contemporaneous accounts and documents about a pair of pirates and tries to recreate what pirates were actually up to: Were they plunderers and pillagers, or did their revolt, their egalitarian social organization (captains commanded only in battle; crews were democratic otherwise, for example), their abhorrence of violence (much better to threaten than to actually have to fight), signify something else? The preface tells us that the work's author, Stephen Snelders, shows us "[the] pirate as libertarian hero, [the] pirate as symbolic focus for anti-Capitalís desire."

I'm not far along to say, but the book does have a nicely bizarre mix of Marxist and Libertarian theology...

Posted by Ideofact at July 6, 2005 02:22 AM

With respect to piracy, I was surprised when I found this site:


I have no idea how valid their claims are for the history of the Jolly Roger. The story they give has shades of the conspiratorial, especially with the claims of connections between the Knights Templar (originators of the skull-and-crossbones motif), the Freemasons, and the royal families of England and Scotland.

Piracy does have a strange attraction. Kind of like the lawlessness of Robin Hood--a villain who was morally equal to (or better than) the law-men.

I don't quite know what to make of that idea.

Posted by: karrde at July 11, 2005 03:20 PM