Thursday, August 02, 2007


Which is, of course, Popeye the Sailor Man’s mantra. Copped from the veriest Lord of Hosts, I’ll point out, for as it sayeth in Exodus,
Moses said to God, “Behold, when I come to the Children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your forefathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His Name?’ - what shall I say to them?” The Lord answered Moses, “I AM THAT I AM.” And He said, “So shall you say to the Children of Israel: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:13-14)
Velociman points out in a recent post that the old Fleischer Studios Popeye cartoons are (finally!) available on high quality DVD. Huzzah!

This is excellent news to those of us who had to suffer with cheap, poorly-rendered DVD versions of the old Fleischer ’toons. Sure, you could get ’em for a buck apiece, but they were hardly worth watching due to the muddy image transfers and the nonexistent sound quality. With the new DVD’s, you’ll be able to hear every sotto voce comment that Popeye mumbles, and you’ll be able to admire the amazing sophistication and beauty of Fleischer’s background designs. Do not confuse these with the latter-day color Popeye cartoons produced under the Paramount Studios imprimatur (the “sucky Popeyes”). These are gems of the cartoon-makers art.

By a strange coincidence, I find myself reading the first of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin seafaring novels. These novels are also great favorites, by the bye, of Velociman hizzownself: Considering that V-Man has actual experience sailing on a triple-masted vessel, it only makes sense. Not to mention his affinity for works of literature involving Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash.

Now, there’s a combination of characters to reckon with. Popeye and Captain Jack Aubrey. “I’m strong to the finich, ’cause I eats me salt pork and hardtack.”

When you spend some time reading O’Brian’s work, you find yourself immersed in a world of unfamiliar terms. But I’m getting the hang of it. Pretty soon, I may essay a few posts in the style of the Aubrey-Maturin canon. Lookee:

“Step lively there! Set the stuns’l and queef the mizzen topgallant! Bring the fo’ard guns to bear...load canister and chain...aim abaft the spanker! Mr. Dillon, we need six bletchley hawsers, all outfitted with cunt-splices. Afore six bells, if you please! Now, Mr. Dax, would you be so kind as to join me at dinner for a joint of mutton and some Spotted Dick? Pass me the grog!”

OK, OK, it’s early yet. I’m just dipping a tentative toe into this fascinating world, halfway through the first book in a series of twenty-one. But the O’Brian Canon has a devoted following, so there must be something to it. I just need to be careful...

Master and Velocimander

...’cause there’s no point in becoming obsessed, now, is there?

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