Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My God! Dr. Spock!

I don't know why, but I'm just a sucker for the old-fashioned family values in a motion picture.  But I'm not the only one; how else can you explain the success of Home Alone?  I know Kevin Smith thinks it was all a deal with the devil, but you gotta hand it to Chris Columbus: at least he knows a little something about entertainment.  As for Popeye, well, he seems to be going through a lean spell.  No spinach, no Bluto, no Olive... what's left?  Well, we got Popeye, Swee'Pea and Poopdeck Pappy.  And as Child Psykolojiky demonstrates, sometimes that's enough.
We start with an hilarious game of poker... it is poker, isn't it?  Poopdeck Pappy's clearly kicking Popeye's ass (note the large mountain of chips next to him), but Popeye manages to maintain his dignity, and Poopdeck Pappy manages to conceal at least two of the ways he's cheating.  But then, fate intervenes... I mean, Li'l Swee'Pea starts crying.  Time for a war of parenting philosophies.  Poopdeck opts for the "good lashing" route, but Popeye calms Swee'Pea down with a story... a mangled story about George Wash-linkin.  To cut to the chase, Swee'Pea is thrilled by the story.
Oh, I should probably mention that Popeye manages to mention the part about chopping down the cherry tree with an ax.  Personally, I think Sesame Street did it much better, don't you folks?  Then, Popeye gives Swee'Pea a tiny ax to play with.  Now that's about as liberal of parenting as you're going to get, on screen or off, isn't it, folks?  Swee'pea's first act with ax?  Well, he chops the floor out from under Poopdeck Pappy, and Poopdeck plummets to the basement in a mighty crash... smart kid!  "Who done that?" asks Poopdeck.  Swee'pea happily points to the ax and to himself.  But just before Poopdeck can strangle that brat, Popeye defers to the "Child Psykolojiky" book of the title's fame.  As you can see from the pic, except for any visually disabled readers out there, the book says "When a child does wrong but tells the truth, HE should be rewarded."  We'll just skip the part about "Also an explanation of what he has done that is wrong."  Boring stuff.  Popeye declares his intention to venture out into the world to bring back spices from India, and a reward for li'l honest Swee'pea, our 49th President.  Which leaves Pappy and Swee'pea alone together.  Time for chaos to reign!  Literally!
...of course, I learned about the Hesperus and its resulting wreck from The Ducksters, but anyway, to cut to the chase, good thing Popeye gets home in time before the whole house turns into the house of Helpmates or Flies Ain't Human.  Why, even the most hardcore safety-conscious NRA member has to like the part where Swee'pea ends up using a shotgun as a pogo stick.  I hate to spoil it, but Popeye believes Pappy when he says that it's all Swee'pea's fault.  Swee'pea takes Pappy's bitter lessons and uses them against him, and twists Pappy's arm behind Pappy's back until he screams "Uncle!" and the truth.  Popeye gives Swee'pea the reward ... which Swee'pea in turn hands to Pappy?!  Dayamn.  That's some Yoda-level $#+.  Well, it's basically the adult way of saying "Nyaah nyaah."  I'm more mature than you!  Nyaah nyaah.  God bless the dysfunctional Popeye family.

-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

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