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Gay Rapists of The Caribbean
The Lies that Bind Us: Part One
© 2013 James LaFond
On Cultural Narrative
How does fiction; novels, comics, movies and TV affect our narrative?
First, what is our ‘narrative’?
Our ‘narrative’ is our shared story, the agreed-upon version of those past events that budded into our parent’s values, which we accept as justifying our current political position, economic affluence, and moral authority. A way to more cynically quantify our ‘narrative’ would be to refer to it as ‘our agreed upon river of self-justifying bullshit.’
Much brain sweat is shed by various academics arguing over ‘the narrative’. A good example of the conscious manipulation of the collective narrative of a society can be seen in the use of gender in advertising in America. Since the 1950s the woman has been the target of more advertising than the man because she has tended to manage household finance. So, since before I was born, the lady of the house has been depicted in TV advertising as being a better qualified maker of purchasing decisions, in order to make her feel more comfortable with making the decision the advertiser has just suggested.
As women have closed the income gap over the intervening decades advertising has focused on, and favored, them to the extent of typically depicting her male counterpart as a foolish idiot. The current crop of dichotomously whining ‘masculine’ intellectuals tend to blame our present masculinity crisis on such ‘feminist’ warping of the narrative. Personally I think the current empty American ball-sack is simply a product of our culture of advertisement-driven materialism. Look guys, a real man deals with a feminist by getting her addicted to coital orgasms, not by working overtime to buy her some more junk. Let her buy the junk—she’s better qualified.
This is the first in a series of my own crackpotology investigations into how writers of novels, comics, and TV and movie screenplays influence and—all too often—abide by, our common narrative; only rarely daring to paddle upstream against our river of self-justifying bullshit.
The Novelist Who Almost Hit The Jackpot Twice
Steven Pressfield is my favorite historical novelist. He labored long and hard at becoming a successful novelist and finally had his book The Legend of Bagger Vance made into a movie starring Mat Damon and Will Smith. With over seven critically acclaimed books to his credit Steven has sold many tens of thousands of copies. However, his fee for the Bagger Vance movie probably surpasses all of those royalties.
Steven’s most influential novel was Gates of Fire, about the famous stand of the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. In this novel Steven describes all of the aspects of becoming and being a Spartan warrior, including those things that totally sucked about it. A couple years later some guy made a graphic novel, obviously inspired by Steven’s book, which was made into the movie 300. The comic and the movie were a huge hit, because they left out all of the shitty aspects of being a Spartan. Hence our ‘narrative’ does not preserve the authenticity that Mister Pressfield busted his authorial balls to infuse into Gates of Fire, but rather features flying masked Persian Ninjas, lecherous Newt Gingrich-with-warts mutant ephors, and rhino cavalry.
Steven has a series of articles on his blog where he coaches less experienced writers in the craft. He is a great guy, and wants those writers that he has inspired to have their own success. He recently wrote an article on ‘artifice’. His point was that historical accuracy and authenticity have no bearing on book sales and, more likely than not, will kill book sales and quash a movie deal. The example he used was Disney World’s theme park attraction, Pirates of the Caribbean. He explains how the theme park presents only those aspects of pirating that would appeal to a young boy, rather than such actual pirate experiences as humping gear through a malarial swamp.
The man was speaking from experience. You see, any time a writer goes against the commonly accepted ‘narrative’ his readers, viewers, listeners fall off in droves.
I recently had some of my novelettes reviewed by an editor, who reminded me that, though ‘skilled story-telling invoking an otherworldly feel’ my work would alienate gay, female, and black readers. The complaints cited one lead character [based on a real life outlaw biker] who held negative views of gay men and was a sexist pig. There was also the fact that one of my black characters used a version of the n-word. I pointed out that that is the most common word used by black teenage boys. Never-the-less, black characters in fiction may not use that word without alienating black readers. Likewise bikers may not be misogynistic jerks, and homosexuals may never be depicted as villains. That is one example of how I have completely taken myself off the map where three demographics are concerned for the sake of authenticity.
Gay Rapists of The Caribbean
So, how would I, the not-to-be-read pirate novelist, adapt Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction to a novel?
I know it should be a screenplay. But I don’t write screenplays.
Well first off, pirates were largely gay. The most successful pirate captain [his name slips my mind but he won numerous battles and was eventually killed off the coast of Africa] was so adored by his male lover that when he was killed, his butt-buddy sunk his body to the bottom with chains so that the British could not desecrate the body.
Gay pirates?
Look, fighting men cooped up far from home without access to women tend to go ‘prison gay’, just like our modern penitentiary inmates, who are in actual fact the modern counterparts of the pirates. Indeed I recently saw a man in Essex Maryland, a large bearded, tattooed freak of a biker, wearing a shirt that proclaimed, “I’m not gay. I’m Prison gay!”
How would you like to be hauling on an anchor cable in front of that guy three months out from the nearest whorehouse?
It is a fact that more men in the U.S. are raped every year than women. And it's not the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders or The Hooters Girls that are doing all of the raping.
Many of these pirates had escaped from the British navy, who had kidnapped them as boys, where upon they were immediately raped by older sailors, who only saw women on a seasonal basis at best. In fact Winston Churchill famously quipped that the British navy had been kept together by “rum, buggery [anal sex] and the lash [beatings].”
A very specific parallel to this practice occurred in the mid 1970s in Angola, when a neighboring African nation who had pledged military assistance emptied its prisons and sent the inmates across the border where they promptly set up house and kidnapped local boys for sex. Even now, this very year, United Nations ‘peacekeepers’ are raping five year old boys in Liberia as a matter of course, to avoid contracting AIDS from the local hookers.
As late as the 1930s, travelling author and artist Richard A. Loederer noted that a Cuban captain kept boys on board for companionship, as did crew members. The vast majority of the evidence points to the real pirates of the Caribbean being a fraternity of violent bisexual criminals, with access to so few women that there were not enough to satisfy the needs of the officers let alone the crew. In fact, the most successful pirate officer was reputedly homosexual. Personally, the idea of sharing a hammock with Black Beard [he was like the third most successful pirate] with his ZZ Top as a heavy-metal-devil beard, ranks up there on my not-to-do list with being Ike Ibeabuchi’s cellmate.
I would write Gay Rapists of The Caribbean from the point of view of a boy who joins the pirates and then has to use his wits to maintain his virginity by identifying, and making himself valuable to, those dominant heterosexual pirates who might protect him, until he eventually grows to adulthood and uses his interpersonal skills to command a ship. This would only rank as a personal humanistic triumph; not resulting in the saving of a world or anything so grand as kissing a queen’s hand, so would therefore be of little interest to the general public.
Also, another boy—at least—would have to fall prey to buggery to illustrate the peril our hero was in. This would cast a gay or bisexual man as a villain, and would therefore render it unsalable for adaptation as a movie script.
Likewise, since a significant minority of pirates were black [as many as 30% on many crews] and only 10% of Americans are black, and since pirates are criminals, and since I—being a jerk—would depict these realities, the NAACP would likely boycott any movie depicting free blacks as criminals in the age of plantation slavery as being racist.
The ‘narrative’ of a nation or a people is a tacitly agreed upon lie, and this sacred lie, this well of confidence-buoying ignorance, must be preserved if you are to sell your script to a member of the Hollywood Propaganda Ministry.
Disclaimer
No gay men, underprivileged self-loan providers, or ‘People of African Ascent’ were lashed, had their rum ration withheld, or were buggered by this author, during the writing of this article.
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