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The Wisdom of Popeye

Popeye the Sailor
King Features Syndicate, Inc.


“I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam!” Those immortal words were issued by none other than Popeye the Sailor in his debut cartoon in 1933. Popeye was always one of my favorite cartoon characters growing up, though by today’s standards he’s not as flashy as a Transformer or as high-tech as Tron and doubt the guy would even make it onto kid’s TV today. Popeye had tattoos, a sweetheart that didn’t look like a Barbie doll, he smoked, had a moocher for a friend and he got beat up on by a bully. Popeye was more than that though:

  • Popeye had principles. If someone else’s beliefs didn’t jive with his, he was fine with that as long as they weren’t a bully or hurt someone.
  • Popeye was charitable. He gave to those who asked or friends in need.
  • Popeye had an innate sense of right and wrong and a passion to defend what was right.
  • Popeye didn’t go looking for trouble, but when it found him, watch out!
  • Popeye didn’t win every fight, but in the end he prevailed by downing a can of spinach.

I thought of Popeye today when I was confronted by someone who disapproved of my take on politics.  He was angry that I had said anything at all.

I can understand this guy’s frustration. We live in a time where instead of just reporting, those we trust with our news editorialize every comment and inject their own personal political ideology.  By contrast though, mine is not a ‘news’ show, therefore I’m  liable to spout off over just about anything. I’m not a politician, economist or rocket scientist, I’m just a guy with a radio show and an opinion, so there may arise a time when, by an attempt at satyrical humor, I offend you. I apologize in advance. I’m kind of like the Dos Equis guy, “I don’t always comment on politics, but when I do it’s because someone said something really stupid.” However, to those who feel the need to be nasty or threaten anyone for exercising that right, I say, ‘That sound you are hearing, is me opening a can of something”.

Watch Popeye’s first cartoon:

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Watch Robin William’s adaptation of Popeye:

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