Saturday, April 23, 2016

Auto eroticism, part 2: the Popeye connection




As a kid, I am sure I saw this Popeye cartoon (called Service with a Guile, a title no kid would ever understand) repeatedly. I remember thinking the car in it looked a little strange. It wasn't contemporary, not for 1963 anyway. More like 1943. (Today, this is the kind of car I have a major Jones for.)




I don't know what the animators were thinking here. Even as a kid, this cartoon made me a little uneasy. Something decidedly tumescent was happening to this tire as it slowly overinflated while Olive kept - hmmm. Rubbing it and rubbing it. And - 

This is a wartime Popeye, and one of the ways you can tell is that they've glammed Olive up a little bit. She has nicer shoes, for one thing, with high heels, and a more shapely ass. She ain't no pinup girl, she won't give Betty Grable a run for her money, but hey, this is for the kiddies. And that turban! Hubba-hubba.




(Pre-War Olive. Compare and contrast.)




Not only is the car's scrotum about to explode, the fender now has an erection. Can't help it, that's just what I see. Popeye is in a state of panic through all this.




Now HERE is where it gets interesting.  There are these two gigantic red globular "things" that keep expanding and expanding, with this horn-like thing in the middle, and then there are more red bulges coming up behind them with sort of fleshlike creases in them, and then the whole thing stretches and stretches (with a sort of weirdly sensual, tonguelike effect not unlike the Rolling Stones emblem) until you can SEE through it - and there's even a sort of creaking noise for hard-core rubber fetishists - and - 




OMG. The explosion blows them all backwards through a wall, so that they land in different sets of clothing on a clothesline: Popeye is a baby, Bluto is wearing an enticing bustier, and Olive - what the hell does Olive have on, anyway? It sure isn't very sexy. At least she still has her fetish heels on. All these things, now that I look at it, are designed to be humiliating in one way or another. Long red underwear on a woman trying desperately to be a World War II pin-up girl. Bluto, the essence of manhood, in a corset and a bra. And Popeye. . . the Spinachmeister, reduced to helpless infancy.

I can see now why this cartoon disturbed me: it's plain weird, is what it is, and the more I look at that tire blowing up the more uncomfortable I get.



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