My friend, Ludger, enthusiastically invited us to his pirate event in Red Hook Brooklyn. I told him we didn't really mean for our schooner to end out looking like a pirate ship. She just turned out that way after spending so many days on the high seas. I wasn't sure if we'd fit in. Ludger, who was dressed like a pirate himself, jumped off of his custom pirate chopped up leather covered motorcycle and said,
Pirates help lift the veil and reveal the foolish nature of the power elite. They mock the rich and their gluttonous and power hungry structures. It was not the son and daughter of a king or an emperor who holds one of the world's greatest achievements. It was you and Soanya who achieved glory on the sea beyond comprehension. This is something that is beyond their reach in purchasing power and even authority. We pirates know that we are truly bigger than they. This is global maritime history, fantasy entertainment, a family fun program, old theatrical entertainment to help children dream again. Dreams foster innovators, inventors, explorers, builders, and healers.
Soanya and I looked at each other. How could we say no to such a character? We agreed to bring the schooner and some pirate friends.
We were invited to take part in the Brooklyn Pirate Festival this past weekend. The schooner Anne was a fine rendition of a pirate ship being that it was the only boat that looked traditional with its wooden masts in a bay lined with huge freighter ships, work barges, and tugboats to service them. Reid, Darshen, and I put on pirate costumes and walked around checking out the scene. There were all kinds of pirates, but the most popular by far were Jack Sparrow look-alikes. He seemed to have replaced the usual Blackbeard and Captain Hooks of yesterday.
What is it about pirates that have captured the imagination of the masses? Is it their lawlessness? Mockery of society? Their cursing and bad grammar? Their tattered costumes complete with an assortment of blades carried with a "black heart"? We romanticize characters who thumb their nose at the establishment when they are on TV and in our virtual world, but pirates in the real world cause people real fear because they are infamous for their violent acts and often get away with them. During the 1000 Days voyage, we received many emails from concerned fans asking whether we saw pirates and were we afraid of running into them. We never went anywhere near pirate territories and never saw them even in the distance. However, Reid did have a run-in with pirates on the Amazon over thirty years ago which he survived. So they do exist in this day and age. The question we might ask is if the real characters are so despicable why do we love the pretenders so much?