But Chris! You just did a pirate! Yeah yeah yeah, shaddap! Hook doesn’t count as a pirate; he was the Pedobear with a prosthesis chasing little kids. But today’s masterful meanie, now he changes the game. So welcome, boys and girls, to the second installment of our 3-part Saturday! If you ain’t catch it (and yes, my grammar sucks), Barbossa is our sadistic subject.
Once upon a time, back when slavery was still legal and quality dental care was the “wave of the future,” a group of opportunists in a flagging economy decided to make their fortunes “redistributing” the goods moving from North America to Europe in the transatlantic trade. Like how that sounds huh? What can I say, it’s election season—I can spin anything. “Opportunists” is a stretch. So is redistribution. These were criminals hijacking shit in boats. These were pirates.
Long before Johnny Depp made them cool, I was a fan of pirates. I liked the boats, the eyepatches, the swords, saying Arggh! I thought Jerry Seinfled in that puffy shirt was funny. Even my Facebook page is in pirate. So I was a little excited when I saw Pirates of the Caribbean the first time. And what do I get? Pirates that are cursed and can’t die and WALK ON THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN!! What?
Okay lemme back up. Everybody’s all “Jack Sparrow is awesome,” right? Jack Sparrow sucks as a pirate—he is amazing as a criminal. Got his ship taken in EVERY movie, sunk in the last one, is captured in every single movie, had two mutinies. Jack Sparrow sucks as a pirate. Barbossa, though, led a mutiny, actually stranded Jack on a desert island with one bullet, and stole a casket of Aztec gold. And this is BEFORE the movie starts.
Then he gets better. Fine, they got the curse, right? Can’t die, right? So he has to go across the seven seas to reclaim the gold. And he does it for damn near 20 years. And he does it in style! When the pirates show up at Port Royale, they just bomb the fort and walk on into the town. There is no planning phase or hand-wringing—Barbossa makes it happen. Like Megatron.
But then my man can’t die. He spends the bulk of the first movie immortal and when the curse is finally lifted and he gets shot, Barbossa is resurrected at the end of Dead Man’s Chest. And where is he going? To Davy Jones’ locker to get Jack Sparrow. He knows the way to the end of the world. You’re talking about a man, a pirate, who literally steals life from death. He knows his way around immortality and purgatory but can’t find a decent dental plan to save his life. That’s pretty impressive for a pirate.
Hector’s awesome (we’re on a first name basis now—we’re BFFs) because he commits. For all the hoopla around Jack Sparrow and the multiple attempts on his life, Barbossa’s the only one to actually put a sword through him. And made him walk the plank. Twice. And his shit is solely about apples.
I’m not a fan for what happened to him in On Stranger Tides—I felt like they took a pretty awesome character and toned him down so he wouldn’t make Blackbeard look like a chump. Watch the other movies: Barbossa’s a pimp with a monkey on his shoulder and hat with a feather in it.
And that’s my word! And that puts me back on schedule! Take that!
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