Pirates and being gay for Johnny Depp

May 3, 2006

I love pirates, or at least pirate history, as modern day pirates don’t necessarily strike me as very cool (Come on, gas powered boats and AK-47’s? Poseurs.) and I’m also one of the many straight men out there officially gay for Johnny Depp (butt pirate), so why does the trailer for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie look like total shit to me? Davey Jones and his crew, of locker fame, are angry and appear to want to kill Captain Sparrow in the next movie, causing all sorts of chaos. Sounds OK, you say to yourself. The catch is that Davey Jones is a walking, talking squid in a pirate outfit and his mates are hammer head sharks and crustaceans or something. See for yourself. “Oooh, ooh, and now,what I want in the next scene, is the squidfaced Davey Jones playing a piano with his tentacles! Ooooh, they’ll love it!” The fuck? Who, why, where…and again, why?

Can’t we just have a movie about real pirates drunkenly attacking each other, boarding merchant ships, shooting Red Coats, destroying things for the sake of destruction, that kind of stuff? That would be just fine. That’s all we need. Think of the original POTC ride in Disneyland when you were a kid. Yeah, that! But with bloodshed! It’s not like the genre is prone to failure, as there aren’t any recent pirate movies out there. All of the classic pirate movies are from years and years ago, like Treasure Island, and they are just that — classics.

I loved the first POTC movie for about the first 30 minutes. Depp is a rum guzzling swashbuckler, yadda yadda, can’t really beat that. But the ghosts and computer graphics came out of nowhere and just ruined my day. I want a gritty, realistic, gore-filled swashbuckler, like Braveheart or Troy but on the high seas. The best I have right now is Master and Commander, and that isn’t about pirates at all, it’s just about boats blowing the shit out of each other in the 1800’s. Somebody somewhere is slacking big time, that’s all I have to say.

Since the movies nowadays are lackluster, every now and again I’ll pick up the book The Buccaneers of America and pick through it for some carnage. It was actually written by a Dutch buccaneer in the 1600’s, and there are some interesting things about their lifestyle in there that I didn’t know about (thanks to Hollywood, who refuses to teach me through the wonder that is the cinema), like how Buccaneers abided by a certain code for divying up captured goods. Those who were injured were compensated for their losses based on the specific injuries they received while attacking ships or towns. A code of honor based solely on whether or not you got a limb hacked off. Yes! From the book itself:

Then came the agreed awards for the wounded, who might have lost a limb or suffered other injuries. They would be compensated as follows: for the loss of a right arm, 600 pieces of eight or six slaves; for a left arm, 500 pieces of eight or five slaves in compensations. The loss of a right leg also brought 500 pieces of eight or five slaves in ceompensation; a left leg, 400 or four slaves; an eye, 100 or one slave, and the same award was made for the loss of a finger. If a man lost the use of an arm, he would get as much as if it had been cut off, and a severe internal injury which meant the victim had to have a pipe inserted in his body would earn him 500 pieces of eight or five slaces in recompense. These amounts having first been withdrawn from the capital, the rest of the prize would be divided into as many portions as men on the ship.

Not to question the pirates, who probably knew what they were doing, but wouldn’t an eye be worth about the same as an arm? You’re telling me if I lost an eye and the guy next to me lost a pinky, we’d get the same amount of slaves? That blows! I suppose they figured that you’d look really cool with an eye patch, so more money wasn’t necessary. Now, you might ask, “What would your average now-fingerless pirate do with all of his money?” Why, he would head into port and waste it all on whores and booze. The next day he would find himself penniless and he would then be forced to raid another ship with his buddies. I wonder if there were any pirates that actually planned for their futures and saved any money to buy a house and some slaves? Probably not. Again, I give you a paragraph from The Buccaneers of America:

For that is the way with these buccaneers — whenever they have got hold of something, they don’t keep it for long. They are busy dicing, whoring, and drinking so long as they have anything to spend. Some of them will get through a good two or three thousand pieces of eight in a day — and the next day not have a shirt to their back. I have seen a man in Jamaica give 500 pieces of eight to a whore, just to see her naked. Yes, and many other impieties.

My own master often used to buy a butt of wine and set it in the middle of the street with the barrel-head knocked in, and stand barring the way. Every passer-by had to drink with him, or he’d have shot them dead with a gun he kept handy. Once he bought a cask of butter and threw the stuff at everyone who came by, bedaubing their clothes or their head, whatever he best could reach.

That’s how cool pirates are. Really fucking cool. Straight gangsta. There should be no debate about this, Hollywood. Peter Jackson, I’m looking at you, dude. If you can drop a billion or whatever on Lord of the Rings and King Kong, you can make a good pirate movie about making strangers drink with you and then pouring butter on them. Get on it.

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2 Responses to “Pirates and being gay for Johnny Depp”

  1. DBW Says:

    I too have a thing for Mr Depp, but my feet are firmly planted on the hetero side of things. Ive admired his work ever since 21 Jump Street and hes turned into a mighty fine, if not odd, little actor. He pretty much kicks ass in every movie hes in.
    When I sent you the trailer yesterday I was going to tell you pretty much the same thing you said. Hes a damn octopus! And not only that, but I saw the figures today at work and hes an octopus with a giant crab/lobster claw for a left hand. And the piano scene? What the Hell is that? To me it was like they had a meeting and said “Hey, we got a few million dollars floating around, lets blow it on some random, out of place, stupid cgi.” Dumb. As for the rest of the crew, it IS a Disney movie so I can understand the weird characters, but it doesnt mean I have to like them. With the exception of that, I thought the trailer was pretty cool and Ill end up going to see the movie and buying it on dvd… I mean Blu-Ray.

  2. Drew Says:

    I guess you just have to look at it as a weird Disney movie with a semi-pirate theme instead of looking at it as a pirate movie. Sad.

    And face it, you’re gay for Johnny Depp too.


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