In the early 60's when I was 7-years old, I watched Popeye cartoons on TV after school.
Popeye's arch nemesis and rival for the attention of Olive Oyl was a bearded, aggressively masculine sailor named Bluto.
Bluto had huge shoulders and curvaceous pectoral muscles that were visible right through his sailor uniform. He would try to impress Olive and intimidate Popeye by flexing his huge biceps. This gave Olive palpitations and would send Popeye into a jealous rage.
The animators gave Bluto various roles like cowboy, lifeguard, lumberjack, and biker. These all made him a virile counterpoint to the wussy, spaghetti-armed Popeye.
In one cartoon I remember vividly, he was a circus strongman dressed in a black speedo and yellow tank-top. He made his muscles dance, bent steel bars, and lifted huge barbells as everyone in the crowd watched in awe.
When little goody-two-shoes Popeye ate his spinach and beat him to a pulp, it was a travesty that my young mind just couldn't comprehend! I tried to talk with my little friends about how cool Bluto was and how he deserved to win at least once in a while.
But they weren't having any of it. To them, Bluto was 'the bad guy' and that was that.
I swiftly learned to pretend that I liked Popeye better so that nobody would suspect that I was 'weird.'
Chazzy - Connecticut
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