As a pastor, maybe I shouldn't admit this, but there have been
many times in my life when I imitated Bluto, or found myself thinking of him
as I was in particular situations, or applied positive lessons and insights I
gained from him.
I did say POSITIVE lessons and insights! True, you can learn what not
to do by watching Bluto and the other guys (see the Handsome Samson, Why Bluto Is An Idiot,
and Popeye's Worst
Nightmare pages), but they actually have some redeeming qualities in
certain areas that one would do well to copy.
Olive Oyl, like all women, wants
to be wooed, not bossed. When the guys remember this, they start to
win her. Also, Bluto and the others are very attentive to
Olive. Popeye is often losing Olive because his attention seems to
wander and he focuses on the cool stunts he's doing, or on something
happening near him, etc. The other guys concentrate on their goal and
go for it. Popeye also often seems set on what HE wants to do and
what HE thinks is fun. Bluto and the other guys are more willing to
share Olive's interests and to make sure she is having a good time.
(Men, don't MAKE your dates go to Monster Truck Rallies!)
the guys in the cartoons don't buy into the "Real men never show their
feelings" philosophy that causes so many wives to show up in my
counseling room complaining, "He never tells me anything!"
Instead, the cartoon males are as transparent as glass when it comes to
Olive Oyl. I let my wife know what's on my mind and make sure I tell
her I love her and appreciate her often. Bluto and the guys also
showed me that passion can be glorious and, in the proper context, you
should let yourself get swept away in it. (Actually, the biblical
book The Song Of Solomon a.k.a. The Song Of Songs, said it first.)
And when it comes to physical displays/expressions of affection, Bluto and
the guys showed me, at their best minus the self-centeredness, bullying, etc.,
that women respond to creativity, determination, and a mixture of strength
and tenderness. And yes, strong men can be tender!
I can hear you all choking and
saying, "Monogamy? Faithfulness? Bluto?" While it's true
that Bluto and the other guys are the poster boys for "Instant
Gratification" and "No date is successful if it doesn't end in a
make-out session," for the most part, I always viewed them as pushing
a relationship along faster than was proper, but it was a relationship they
were pursuing, not just a one night stand. Other long-time viewers of
the cartoons have told me that they felt the same thing. Part of this
might be due to the fact that our brains were trying to make sense of the
tension we felt while watching the cartoons. If a guy is just going to
spend an evening flirting or necking with Olive, what's the big deal?
However, if the guy wants to win Olive's heart and is taking her away from
Popeye - Yipes!!! But part of it is in the cartoons themselves.
Pierre, the pirate captain (Popeye And The Pirates) and the sheik (A
Wolf In Sheik's Clothing) propose marriage to her. Mr. Crusoe and
the cave man obviously want mates (The Island
Man). The fakir tells Olive to "stick with him" (The
Fistic Mystic), as does the zookeeper (Pitchin' Woo At The Zoo).
Bluto proposes to Olive Oyl and takes her to the Justice Of The Peace in Nearly Weds.
Speaking of Bluto, in many cartoons, he, Popeye, and Olive Oyl are depicted
as living in the same town and knowing each other well, being involved in
an on-going love triangle. Bluto keeps trying to win Olive. He
doesn't give up and go find another girl. In his own crude and imperfect
way, he loves her! Following the example of the cartoons (and the
Bible and the married couples I grew up with), I always believed that
physical affection was to be reserved for relationships, and that a goal in
life was to find a wife, not to see how many girls one could
"have" or string along.
The villains nearly always get
further using thought, planning, and psychology than they do using
force. And anyone who thinks a pastor doesn't need to play politics
and can just command and demand has obviously never served on any church
committee. To get a church moving in the direction I think it should go, I
have to exhort, cajole, compliment, enter the other people's world and
share their dreams, and show them that I can help them fulfill their dreams
(much like the guys do when they are successfully wooing Olive Oyl before
the climax of the cartoons).
Bluto, Pierre, the lifeguard,
etc. are all big guys, but often they are quite attractive. This is
good news for me because I'm a big guy. Their attractiveness has as
much to do with their attitude, bearing, enthusiasm, and attentiveness as
it has to do with their looks. And regarding their looks, I've often
been inspired to go back to the gym thinking, "I want to look more
like Bluto, or The Hulk, or Thor." And I have the genetic body
type that responds well to weight training and weight lifting.