September 19, 2002

FInd Ye Some BOOTY

Category: Humor — Biella @ 11:29 am

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, Matey.

It is National Talk Like a Pirate Day! So, do it, take the risk and have a teeny adventure for the day. If someone pisses you off, tell them to talk a walk on a plank, give someone you love a bearrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr hug with an extra Large YARRRRRRRRRRRRR, and if you live in San Francisco, go to the wonderful, amazing, truly great 826 Valencia Pirate store which is not only a fantabulous pirate store but primarily a space for tutoring kids for writing. You see, the pirate store is like this “front”, this means for another ends, and well, it is also just plain fun. Why not have a pirate store as well as a tutoring program in the space? Why not think out of the box every once in a while ye matey?

I went there yesterday for the second time and I think it has to be one of my favorite places in San Francisco even after I put my hands in the “guts” drawer which was entirely HORRIBLE smelling. So, that is about the only thing that I would not recommend. But otherwise it is a fantastic little store filled with little fun treasures from pirate stockings, books, lard, whips, maps, bottles, keys, and the list goes on.

But the store is not cool because it is filled with all this cool stuff but because it is precisely not a store, well at least a conventional one. I am not sure how well I can articulate this with three hours of sleep (I was so excited about National Talk Like a Pirate Day that I could not fall asleep. All Right, that is a lie but sometimes pirates just need to fib a bit) but I think the fact that the the store is not really a store but a means for something else and a place for fun, captures what it is about pirates that is so compelling and interesting. I really don’t know much about the history of pirates except what I learned in high school (about Sir Francis Drake taking over the island of Puerto Rico for like three days until all his mateys got sick so they booked out of there) and what I heard about modern day pirates while I lived aboard a ship when I was 18 but let me tell you, I have thought So Much about what the ideas of pirates represents on the seas and otherwise (that is like software pirates). It is almost embarrassing to admit that I spend hours thinking about the concept of piracy but well, you all now know my dirty secret.

You see, the first thing about pirates is that they never are what they seem. There is a perception tagged onto pirates whether it is of the high seas or the supposed software pirate kinds that is based more out fear, misconception, and battles over the meaning, of well BOOTY!!!! You know stuff, and who has the right to access it among many other things. I think one could write like a whole book on what the cultural fear of pirates has to say about the society that is generating the misconceptions and fears but that is like my 4th book :)

What I love about the pirate store is that just like with the cultural image of the pirate, the store is not what it seems to be. I mean, there is not even a sign and looking at it from the street, onewould have no idea that there is this, well, this treasure. You sort of gotta know from word of mouth which is such a powerful means of communication that this wonderful little and outrageous spot exists and when you discover it, it is like finding a large pot of booty. You feel special which is unusual for a store. It is a front for something else even if the store is still a pretty darn cool thing in its own right. The store and its booty helps to fund writing programs, which are all about unleashing creativity and freedom in kids something, (that is freedom and creativity), that at least in Biella’s Imaginary is something heck, that I do associate with piratery. I mean, at least I associate it with life on a ship where one has this amazing freedom of roaming the planet always open to experience new adventures. Despite the confines of a vessel, there is the openness of the sea that lends itself to a certain form of adventure. The writing program gives access to a certain type of freedom and creativity that I think the pirate concept captures so very nicely. I think it is no accident that there a pirate store was chosen as a front for something else.

Ok, I am going to have to finish this later but believe me there is a lot more to say on this topic.

So for now. I will just have to say Bye me fine readers. I will tell more adventure stories Lateeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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