What’s a pirate’s favorite letter?

I’ve struggled each day to make time to post, and it has eluded me for almost a month, but I just can’t not post on Talk Like a Pirate Day.  Even now, I’m supposed to be reading “Custom of the Country,” which has no pirates.  Even “The Buccanneers” has no actual buccaneering.  Early 20th century American lit needs an infusion of cutthroats, the way Pride and Prejudice and Lincoln have been recently reimagined.  For models, I suggest the following 5 Disney pirates:

#5  Blackbeard

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Admittedly, I don’t remember this movie well, except that the special effects gave me the willies and it was mostly funny, and I had a crush on Dean Jones from when I saw him in The Ugly Dachshund.    That is really all I ask of a pirate movie.  The bloody captain’s slapstick replaces cut-throating, so he almost doesn’t make the cut, but I have to include a pirate who can get down on the field and pom-pom like a man.

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#4 Long John Silver

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No one ever accused a pirate of being loyal.  But, he has to make up for his misdeeds with doses of coolness, and Long John’s got extra suave tucked up his sleeves.  When Treasure Planet took one-legged man and turned him into cyborg with swiss-army arm and built-in laser sights, the grumpy old coot got a lot scarier.  Disney has had other Mr. Silvers, as well, but this one embodies more than just the gold-seeking.  He’s in love with the open space and the freedom of a man to make for himself.  

“You got to take the helm and chart your own course. Stick to it, no matter the squalls! And when the time comes you get the chance to really test the cut of your sails, and show what you’re made of! “

Running a very close 5.69, just booting him off the list, is Tim Curry’s Long John Silver, though.

#3  Hook

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Again, there are so many to choose from, but the Disney original has to be the best in this case.   Peter Pan had a special place in Walt’s heart because he played Peter in an elementary school play.  He gave Hook all the best elements of authority, wickedness, and ludicrousness that children see in adults.  I think Edith Wharton’s Bertha Dorset can be recast as Captain Hook.

#2 Barbossa

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Jack actually makes a pretty rotten pirate.  He looses his boat to a mutiny.  He dies.  He comes back to life and gives up immortality and a life on the sea, supposedly for freedom, but mostly out of an act of goodness.  His nemesis, on the other hand, is cunning and cruel, and would gut ye with a sword once he’s tired of talking with ye.  Elizabeth Swan (That’s King Elizabeth Swan, thank you) also was a contender for the list, but she got rid of the rum.  No true pirate would do that.

 

#1 Zarina

We haven’t even seen the movie yet, but she gets off-the-chart awesome points for being a pirate and a fairy.  

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