Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I love pirates and pirate movies. Pirate flags are pretty cool too. My grandparents were Danish so perhaps that makes me a pirate since viking is code for pirate. Pirates, like outlaw cowboys of American were often former cival war soldiers who quit the army or were thrown out over a battle of ethics, honor or terms of engagement or on the losing team. Pirates and outlaws always seem to have such great biographies.

So, it will be no surprise that I went opening weekend to Johnny Depp's new pirate movie. I've been twice. Love pirates!

I am not going to give a movie review at this time except to say it's a great bit of fun. Instead I want to quote a section from The Ape and the Sushi Master by Frans De Waal.. If you are going to see Pirates of the Carribean, this will just enhance your enjoyment a little more...without revealing anything about the story.

Music historians have found it hard to accept that one of the most idolized Western composers, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, could have arranged a solemn ceremony, with veiled, hymn-singing mourners, and a special poem by the composer himself, for the burial of a bird. could it be that, since Mozart's father had died the same week, the funeral was related to this family tragedy instead? This conjecture hardly explains, though, why on this sad occasion, on June 4, 1787, the great composer's recital began with these lines:

A starling bird rests here,
a fool whom I held dear.
Who in his prime still,
swallowed death's bitter pill.

Anyone familiar with the European starling, Sturmus vulgaris, knows how apt this description is (the German word for "fool" in Mozart's poem is Narr, also means "jester" or "clown"). The same ordinary bird is now common in the United States because a different kind of fools released over one hundred of them in New York's Central Park in the 1890's as part of an effort to introduce the entire avian cast of the Shakespearean theater. With several hundred million starlings now blackening the skies across the North American continent, the amount of agricultural havoc created by this well-intended decision has been immeasurable.

Starlings are clowns, and no one knows this better than the people who have raised these overactive birds at home. They imitate all kinds of sounds made by other animals, people, and objects such as telephones, rattling keys, and clinking dishes. In the households of academics, they have been known to pick up phrases, such as "basic research" and "I think you're right," which they use at inopportune moments, resulting in amusing commentaries. One bird had a custom of landing on a shoulder while uttering "Basic research, it's true, I think you're righ." Another bird, squirming while being held for treatment of its feet, screeched "I have a question!"

When you see the movie sequel to Pirates you'll be glad you read this post.


1 comment:

Suzy Snow said...

I can't wait to see that movie! I'm a huge Depp fan and I'm glad that you didn't reveal anything about it.

Thought I would pay you a visit...sorry haven't been around much! Cheers!