Sir Francis Drake, Vice Admiral Royal British Navy, was more than an English sea captain, privateer, navigator, slaver, and über-politician of the Elizabethan era, his hijinx and adventurous life were held high in the minds of most throughout the last – 20th- century, as England bathed in it’s former glory. So what – you may ask – does Drake have to do with a site that promotes blogging, social media and social networking? Good question, there are a couple of reasons Sir Francis sits on our front page. Drake has always been my second favorite adventurer, not so much for his adventuring, but for his standout use of a life. Drake landed himself at the center of Elizabethan England, a society that ran on nepotism, and through a single opportunity he managed to carve out an enviable life for himself, create several myths as well as become slightly revered. In every mans life there is one opportunity, do something with it, become someone, or not, the choice is yours.
At a time when “It’s not what you know, but who you know” dictated the cast of every man, Drake took what he had and invented for himself a stage filled with color and movement. He invested every resource at his avail to achieve his ends, and ended his life doing what he’d set out o do. My fascination for Sir Frances Drake was no doubt implanted by an Anglo-Saxon education, and it was one educator in that system that planted the seed for my admiration of Drake. One educator who rather than sell the rhetoric of a decaying empire, pointed out the life that Sir Frances had chosen. That by the way was the third point, the success of almost everything relies on one person seeing things from a slightly skewed angle, then doing something with that discovery. Thirty years after my favorite educator, who’d have known that a little franchise – Pirates of the Caribbean – would become such a monstrous success? . . . or that that “ it’s not what you know, but who you know” would become a global phenomena?
Clearly my favorite adventurer / discover was Vasco da Gama: Back to Drake, and more than four centuries after Drake went to his watery grave off Panama’s coast, archaeologists believe they have found two of the last ships he commanded. Read the rest of this entry »