Jay & Miles X-Plain the X-Men

HAWK TALK – Pirates

This would usually be a skip week, but the world is still being a jerk, so we made you a bonus, entirely unedited, and almost entirely off-topic episode. This time, Jay and guest hawk Tea Fougner talked about pirates.

You can find Tea at @teaberryblue on pretty much all of the social medias!


  1. I’ve never really been into pirates. More of a vikingphile. There’s certainly a connection, seaborne warrior types, but it’s never grabbed me.

    However, pirate *music* is completely different. Big fan of Alestorm. I could probably recite the whole of Keelhauled at a moment’s notice, plus annotations about the narrator being a massive hypocrite. But it’s such a catchy tune! I also like Ye Banished Privateers and Swashbuckle. Tea, you have any thoughts on the musical movement?

    There’s probably something to be written about historical eras that get mythologised and glamorised. I mean, once the pirates went away, the wild west was on the rise, plus the Victorian era over in Britain. That gave way to gangsters, then WWII. You could extend it backwards to take in the glory of Rome, the vikings, and Robin Hood. I’m not the scholarly type, but if anyone else wants to have a go, or knows if this has already been done, I’d love to read it.

  2. Pirates have never really been my thing either, though I can appreciate the aesthetic.

    I do think you’re more likely to find pirate parrots rather than hawks in animation. The first one that springs to mind would be the parrot based Captain Celaeno from the My Little Pony movie (voiced by Zoe Saldana)

    Muppet Treasure Island gave Tim Curry’s Long John Silver a lobster named Bad Polly perched on his shoulder (and both John AND Polly looked baffled when Jim comments that they thought he’d have a parrot). Sam the Eagle playing Mr Arrow is more hawk-like, but would be offended and appalled at the notion he was a pirate.

    Also mention should be made of the entirely non-hawk or parrot like Captain Gavin Capacitor, known as the Crimson Binome and captain of the Saucy Mare and leader of his crew of software pirates in ReBoot. (voiced by the late British blues singer Long John Baldry).

    Growing up in the UK in the 70’s we had the books and cartoon of “Captain Pugwash” about Captain Horatio Pugwash, a rather ineffective pirate who sails the high seas on “The Black Pig”, assisted by cabin boy Tom, pirate crew Willy and Barnabas, and Master Mate. His mortal enemy is Cut-Throat Jake, captain of the Flying Dustman, who is much more vicious, though just as ineffective (this being kids books and teatime TV). (There is a longstanding urban myth that the characters had names rife with sexual innuendo, which were completely untrue, but even made it into an article in a national newspaper, at which point the author sued the newspaper for damages (as he made a small income in his retirement working on reading programs at children’s schools, and this sort of press led to cancellations) and won. If you want to find out more you can google the names yourself as I don’t want to be responsible for the website being sued!

    Plus of course, Red Rackham from the Tintin books, though his presence is dairly minor.

    Oh, and as for the Golden Hind replica not being used for piracy (yet), give Brexit a couple more years, we might be at it again!

    The Clown Registry also leads on to the infamous painted egg registry whereby a professional clown defines their specific personal make-up design on an eggshell. There’s also the official Clown Code of Ethics, which is a lot tougher and more admirable than many, but I suspect we’re drifting off topic here., apart from the fact that really TOUGH clowns paint their faces on hawk egg-shells. (Okay, it’s a “fact” I just made, but it sounds really cool, no?)

  3. Oh, and as for the Golden Hind replica not being used for piracy (yet), give Brexit a couple more years, we might be at it again!

    “In remarks today, Ursula von der Leyen criticized the British government, saying that dying the sea red with the blood of victims and drinking vast quantities of rum while sitting upon a pile of looted doubloons were ‘not compatible with the agreements to which they had signed up.’”

    1. On the other hand, hunting down Boris Johnson on the high seas might be just what Angela Merkel would be looking forward to once she steps down as Chancellor.

      It’s a surprisingly easy image to conjure up, isn’t it? 🙂

  4. Having drunk many times in the Llandoger Trow, supposed model for the Admiral Benbow and where Daniel Defoe is supposed to have met Alexander Selkirk, I was always going to weigh in on this. So is Mervyn Peake’s drawing of Long John Silver sexy or what? I know he drew him several times, but if you’ve seen it, you know which one I mean.
    I was hoping you’d discuss One Piece. I think it must be the most successful pirate comic ever. It would be wonderful to find out I’m wrong and there’s a more successful pirate comic, just because that would reveal some greater aspect of the comics world to me. The slow reveal of the horror and injustice of how the world of One Piece is ruled and run is good story-telling and it surprised me to discover it’s not only absurdist shonen hi-jinks, executed with spirit. The queer presentation is problematic: they all look like they’re from a production of the Rocky Horror Picture show. Admittedly, so do several characters who I couldn’t guess the sexuality of. Most of them are also powerful, effective and aligned with the revolutionaries seeking to overthrow the world government. So if you ever come back to the subject of pirates, please make a little time to read 1000+ chapters. Cheers!

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