Today's Popeye Appreciation Day around here. I rented some original cartoons from the 1930s so my kid could appreciate the mythological triad of The Sailorman, his fickle girlfriend Olive Oyl, and arch-nemesis Bluto. Alongside hungry, lazy Wimpy and mischievous Sweetpea, Popeye was our entryway to the surreal world of cartoon adulthood while we were growing up on syndicated television.
We had no idea why these characters looked and acted the way they did. We only knew that their world was stranger, more vibrant, and certainly funnier than most of what we encountered after walking out our door. Even in black and white. And the muttering--the never ending muttering. Popeye is a blueprint of good vs. evil and the powerful, wondrous qualities of green vegetables.