Saturday, October 25, 2008


Longtime pirate enthusiasts, the 17th-century historical re-enactors who take their hobby seriously, find themselves sharing festival grounds with legions of would-be Captain Jack Sparrows dressed, more or less, in accordance with the big-screen version.

Are they pretend pretend pirates? Traditionalists tend to view this new family-friendly theme thing with a sort of dismissive acceptance.

At the Ojai Pirate Faire in California last month, a crew of pirate history zealots disarmed an unwitting Jack Sparrow, put him in a stockade and demanded a ransom of two harlots (a blonde and a redhead), Ms. Lampe said.

Uh, hello. You are both groups of people pretending to be pirates. Some do take it pretty damn seriously though:

Like Civil War re-enactors, many of these latter-day pirates pursue historical authenticity — down to their home-sewn underwear, pistol ribands and molded tricorn hats. Some have even hired blacksmiths to reproduce halberd axes from photographs. They can discuss their exploits without breaking character.

Maybe the serious pirates should cut the insouciant pirates a break. I mean, unless the serious reenacters are actually raping and pillaging, then they are posers too. It is a simple matter of the level of poseosity. But the Jack Sparrow pirates at least acknowledge that they are just playing fucking dress up.

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