Category Archives: Popeye

Tucker Carlson and “masculine” smoking, part 2

©Herrmann + Starke 2004

Amanda Marcotte, a blogger over at Raw Story, wrote this really hilarious column about Tucker Carlson’s recent assertion that somehow smoking is “masculine.”

What sparked Carlson’s bizarre comments was a “test run” of a new CGI cartoon of Popeye with no corncob pipe. Now, keep in mind, this was a “test run,” so it’s entirely possible that Popeye’s pipe will be added later (and equally possible they made a conscious decision to remove his pipe). Anyway, Carlson and some other Fox News dweeb had some ridiculous meltdown over it that this was somehow all the fault of liberals “wussifying” our culture by stamping out smoking. Carlson said something to the effect that liberals would rather have birth control pills in cartoons than tobacco because liberals are terrified of tobacco (Gee, not because it kills 400,000 Americans a year or anything, Carlson.).

One thing I would like to point out to Carlson, something I didn’t think of off the bat — so smoking makes you more masculine, huh? Well, Tucker, one of the myriad side effects of cigarette smoking, you douche, is MALE IMPOTENCE! That doesn’t exactly make you more masculine.






Anyway, Marcotte, who often writes about women’s issues, had this to say about Tucker Carlson’s nonsense:

So advertising tobacco to 4th graders is good and advertising the pill to them is bad.  Is it because the pill is bad for you and tobacco is good for you? Well, no. I mean, tobacco causes cancer, normally understood as a negative thing, whereas the pill prevents unintended pregnancy, which is normally understood as a positive thing (except in the eyes of misogynists, a not insignificant number of Americans, sadly).

Marcotte adds:

One of the hosts pointed out, you know, that maybe it’s actually a responsible thing to not glamorize smoking tobacco for little kids. You know, because cancer. ““No child has ever smoked a pipe because of Popeye,” Carlson replied.

So, let’s follow here: Somehow Carlson believes that images of contraception (which no one, I repeat no one, is actually putting in a Popeye cartoon) onscreen could poison children’s minds, but somehow images of tobacco wouldn’t work that way. Because manly man man man don’t ask questions it’s all about the manly man he-man man stuff.

Carlson and Fox News dweeb Clayton Morris also complained that the new Wonder Woman is wearing pants rather than a tight little leotard. Carlson somehow claimed that this was an “Islamic” point because liberals (I guess) want to keep women covered up.

Marcotte writes:

Okay, so let’s follow here. Contraception is bad, because it might give kids the idea that sex is okay. However, putting pants on Wonder Woman is bad because we need to be teaching kids that sex is okay.

Just kidding, it’s not a contradiction. It makes perfect sense if you employ the double standard. Contraception is bad because it makes women believe that sex is okay, and women should always feel ashamed and dirty about wanting to have sex. But Wonder Woman is obliged to always be wearing short shorts because men need to be told, every second of every day, that their sexual desires are gallant, important, and so critical that they can never be ignored or set aside for even a second.


Tucker Carlson is peeved that the new Popeye has no pipe — smoking is “masculine”

new and old popeye

Fox News dweeb Tucker Carlson continues to, well, be a irrelevant right-wing dweeb.

Carlson on a Fox News segment, complained that the new CGI Popeye no longer has his telltale corncob pipe in his mouth, that liberals are “wussifying” Popeye by taking away his pipe.

Carlson adds:

 “Nothing is scarier to a modern liberal than tobacco. If Popeye were driving around giving the morning after [birth control] pill to fourth graders, that would be totally fine.”

That just leaves me …. WT…F? … what does birth control have to do with Popeye?


Carlson, you twit, if liberals are scared of tobacco, it’s maybe because they’ve watched their parents, partners and other loved ones die of lung cancer, COPD or the other myriad of diseases that tobacco causes. Yeah, liberals are afraid of tobacco — they’re also afraid of drunken drivers. It’s called COMMON SENSE.

OK, I don’t have a strong opinion about Popeye’s corncob pipe, but Carlson, wake up. This isn’t about political correctness.  Times change. 60 years ago, it was common for cartoons to show Daffy Duck getting shot point blank with a shotgun, and then simply readjusting his bill and wiping off the gunpowder — dimwit. Do you have cartoons today showing people getting blasted point blank in the face with a shotgun? NO. Why? Because it’s a stupid thing to depict and enough stupid people with little kids leave loaded guns lying around their homes that it might give kids the idea that it would be funny to shoot their little brother in the face with a gun. So, cartoon makers have bought a clue that it isn’t cool to depict “harmless” gunplay in cartoons anymore.

The same thing about Popeye. I mean, if they had left the pipe, I would have been fine with it, but I’m also fine with removing it because it’s aimed at small kids — not you or your bizarre ideas of liberals and smoking being cool. Ultimately, Popeye isn’t about his pipe, he’s about his canned spinach. In any case, it’s just a stupid thing to feign outrage about and typical of Fox to go mining for things to feign outrage over.

Carlson goes on to make the asinine statement that somehow:

 “… smoking a pipe, a symbol of freedom and masculinity in America itself, the reason this country exists, tobacco, that’s like, ‘Oh, that’s outrageous. That’s a major sin.’”

Wrong on so many levels. A) smoking a symbol of freedom and masculinity? Ask anyone attempting to quit cigarettes if they feel “free.” Ask anyone with smokers’ hack at 5 a.m. or any smoker getting the shakes on a long flight because they haven’t had a cigarette in 8 hours if they feel “free.”

Gable and Bogart

B) Masculine? Who are the best examples of Hollywood’s Golden era of  “masculinity” and smoking? Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. Bogart made smoking cool. He also died at age 57 of esophagus cancer. Gable made smoking look suave. He died of a heart attack at 59. (I would love to post a photo of Bogart’s last year alive, but you know what, there aren’t any. He didn’t allow any photos to be taken of him while he was dying from cancer.)

C) Tobacco made America? Tobacco made the South … sort  of. So did cotton, but what really made the South wasn’t tobacco or cotton, it was slaves. What made America? The railroads did. Industry did. The oil industry did. Henry Ford did. Tobacco was never big north of Kentucky or west of Arkansas. It made a handful of people filthy rich … and killed millions in the process.