I feel that “You should carry a pen with you at all times” is a fine example of male privilege.
I feel that “You should carry a pen with you at all times” is a fine example of male privilege.
Or reading them, either.
Amen. I need to remember this more.
#pirates of the caribbean was kind of a formative influence #so here’s the thing #after years of chasing curses and hearts and fountains; losing the pearl and winning her back and losing her again #after rum enough to drown his sins and sorrows both#captain jack sparrow wakes up one morning and he’s immortal #just like that #no deals with calypso (he hasn’t been able to find her since the brethren court broke her chains) no desperate double-dealing #one morning he just…stops #stops aging stops dying #he gets the seas forever—except #except #the edges of the map are closing in #the lure of undiscovered treasures is waning and merchant ships are becoming better defended #the day that the East India Company takes Shipwreck Island; Jack feels a great chapter in the world’s history close #(he flees to the Barbary coast with the rest of his ilk; but the romance has gone out of it—the is too much desperation #too much hunger too much blood to it nowadays #the age of the swashbuckler won’t live out the decade) #I imagine this thing he’s chased all his life would crumble through his hands as he bounced from ship to ship #he never gets used to the square rigging on the clippers; though they lead to some good work running tea from china #but the first time he sees a steamship he nearly walks off the dock out of shock #of all the ways sailing would have changed; who thought you’d get rid of the /sails/ #(he swears he’s never getting on one of those monstrosities; let alone sailing on one) #(he manages to hold out until 1893 when the longing for the sea overwhelms him and he decides that even #that ghastly smog and the humming of the engines can be endured) #sometimes he’ll see calypso out of the corner of his eye—leaning on the deck railing; darting alongside the ship with the dolphins #(someone in the early 20th century tells him they’re not fish and he nearly busts a gut laughing) #he wears a hundred names and a hundred looks; cuts his hair short or grows it long #calls himself american; spanish; english (british); caribbean #he has two dozen different copies of Stevenson’s Treasure Island—it reminds him of something gone and half-forgotten #and in 1920 when Seitz comes out with Pirate Gold; Captain Jack Sparrow is in the first row (x)
And then in the future, everything changes. He’s been through it all, of course-watched humanity rediscover the heavens above them, watched them begin to wonder what’s out there. He cheered with the rest of the world when they landed on the moon, cheered as if he’d found Isla de la Muerta all over again, because there was something new. New treasure, a new horizon. But then they stop going, stop exploring, and he goes back to riding tankers across the rising seas. So he’s surprised when one day he wakes up from a night with his bottle of rum (his truest companion), and hears that there’s colonies on Mars now, and they need ships to supply them. He spends the next decade crafting new identities, learning all he can to qualify for the job, and after several tries (and even more faked deaths-this immortality thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in the age of the inerasable digital self) he gets it. The ships go nearly constantly now, the needs of the terraforming project creating an unbroken line of vessels from Mars to Earth and back again. “Show me that horizon,” he whispers to himself, his personal prayer of thanksgiving, each time they leave orbit, because the worlds, the stars are in motion and it’s never the same, with nearly three years for a round trip the ports are always different, even if they keep the old names. And finally one trip something goes wrong with the reactor, they’re too low on power and have to deploy the backups, and Jack (Lucky Jack, they call him, for he survives too many things he shouldn’t but science has yet to accept that maybe some things weren’t old wives’ tales after all) goes out for the spacewalk to bring up the solar panels. And as they rise, geometric patterns black against the sun’s glare, he’s struck by a powerful sense of déjà vu, because it’s all here-wind and sails, a ship beneath his feet and stars above his head, horizon in all directions. He wonders, for a moment, if the reason he’s still here is because the universe wanted a witness, to mourn the end of one age of exploration, and rejoice in the birth of the next.
History time!: Castillo de San Marcos (The Florida Fight Continues)
"Castillo de San Marcos" is Spanish for "We made this one out of stone, motherfuckers," because Spaniards back in the day were pretty dope at naming things and totally didn’t just slap a saint’s name on everything and call it a day. Ahem.
Anyway, Castillo de San Marcos really should have been Castillo de We No Longer Have to Care If You Assholes Have Cannons, but it wasn’t, probably because life isn’t always fair and/or colonial bullshit was fraught enough that nobody really made a habit of getting fancy with names. It’s just like “Who paid for those ships? Name it after them, idgaf.” or “Name it after whoever we saw when we all ‘accidentally’ ate jimson weed again and had that vision. Pretty sure that counts as a sign.”
This sucker was built on Matanzas Bay (that would be Murder Bay) in 1672. For those of you keeping track at home, that’s 107 years after Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Defender of Dibs, originally founded St. Augustine on the corpses of like a thousand murdered French dudes before going on to annoy several different native tribes and never, ever find his son (dude had a checkered history, is what I’m saying here). Oh, you might say, was this big stone fort to replace that fort? To which I would laugh and laugh and laugh because oh my god, the colonies did not roll that way.
This nice big stone fort was built after a hundred years of wooden forts getting burned to the fucking ground or bombarded into splinters. They didn’t even bother really improving on the original “Oh shit the French are coming to murder us immediately!” fortifications until Pirate/Knight Francis Drake sailed up and blew the shit out of them 23 years after the initial French-murder frenzy. It was like “Hey, should we maybe built a real fort instead of this weekend-project fort?” “Meh. It’s hot out, bro.” And even after that, they kept building wooden forts, which those crafty English bastards realized were, in fact, flammable, and could thus be destroyed fairly easily. They didn’t get the go-ahead to start a stone fort until 1668, and it was okayed by the queen regent in what’s come to be known as the “omg fine just stop asking me” budgetary maneuver.
I guess I should qualify that “was built in 1672” with a “well, it was started in 1672,” because it wasn’t actually finished until 1695, which is basically what happens when you have to import labor from Havana and let the base materials cure for a couple years before you can use them and also those English dickholes founded a settlement less than two days by ship from where you are and occasionally need to be set on fire (Charleston, you know what you did). Buuuuut, here’s the thing: it was worth it.
See, the Spanish built this motherfucker out of coquina, which is kind of like limestone, where it’s just like naturally occurring concrete. It’s soft to the point where you have to let it harden before you can build anything out of it, which would initially seem like a big no-go for a fort, right? Well, not so much, it turns out. In fact, it turns out that soft stone is the absolute tits when you’re building forts that English jerkoffs are going to make a habit of shooting cannons at. You shoot a cannonball at this stuff, it doesn’t get broken or punched through. It just absorbs the hit and then flicks you off for thinking that was going to work. Which is, incidentally, what the Spanish troops who took refuge inside it spent the next thousand years* doing every time English pirate/knights came sailing by yelling “We’re not having you over for tea!” and mooning them and thinking they were going to fuck up the fort again.
Like, because of the War of Spanish Succession (the queen regent could only do so much, guys), in 1702 (7 years after this thing opened for business), the English decided that what needed to happen was guys from Charleston capturing St. Augustine in the name of Queen Anne. You probably heard about this as the “Siege of St. Augustine” in ”Queen Anne’s War.”
It can also be described as “everybody piles into the fort and flips off the Carolinas for two months” followed by “the Carolinians have to burn their ships and walk home to avoid the Spanish fleet.” Like, the Carolinas had so little success here that they wrote to Jamaica begging for bigger guns. (Jamaica presumably read that and went “Oh, shit, son. Sounds like we’d better keep those things handy. You know Cuba’s like, right over there, right?”)
They failed so badly that the guy in charge of it was forced to resign because of how badly shit went for them.
They failed so badly that it caused riots in Charleston.
They didn’t even manage to properly burn the ships they had to leave behind. The Spanish managed to put almost half of them out. History does not speak to whether they were then repaired and sailed very slowly past Charleston while Spaniards hooted and dickwaved from the rigging, but I think we can safely assume they did.
Having eventually forgotten the lesson learned earlier, the British laid siege again in 1733, during the War of Jenkins’ Ear. No, really. I told you colonial kerfuffles had that distinct “how high was everybody during this” styling. Well, they were super-high.
Georgia being closer than Carolina, the guy trying to start shit this time was James Oglethorpe, Founder of Georgia, Eventual Leaver of Georgia, Because Georgia. Those of you familiar with the state’s more modern shenanigans will not be surprised to hear that James Oglethorpe showed up with a whopping seven ships, quickly realized that his guns weren’t big enough, tried starving the city into submission, and had to give up and go home when he accidentally also starved his own men into submission.
To prevent further misfortune at the hands of dudes who weren’t James Oglethorpe and consequently might actually bring enough food for themselves, the besiegers, to sit out a planned, known-in-advance siege, St. Augustine built Fort Matanzas (Fort Murder, just in case anybody thought they might be fucking around this time) to cover their ass as soon as James Oglethorpe slunk home.
*The US national park service remains unable to dislodge angry Spaniards to this day.**
**This footnote may or may not be accurate.
You know you’re singing it now.
Reblogging again because there are some new ones and put them together in one post.
those moments when straight people assume you’re one of them and you feel like a gay secret agent
it’s an ace case