Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pluggers: Why Are Most of Them Fat?

I read this comic all the time in our local newspaper.

Here is how Pluggers describes itself:

"Pluggers are the hard-working people the world depends on. They represent the 80 percent of humanity who unceremoniously keep plugging along, balancing work, play and family life. Pluggers encounter and conquer obstacles in their lives, but they always have a positive attitude and a good sense of humor. They're the people who work hard for what they get. Even if they're struggling, they are optimistic about life."

I guess by whoever draw this comic I would be personally considered a a PLUGGER, in that Pluggers seem to denote the ordinary non-heeled working class people of America who live in small towns [well I used to live in a nice small town] and who "plug" along day by day. In my case, there are no kids or grand kids or job and the Pluggers comic strip seems to be time warped back to the 50 and 60s, when a school bus driver or waitress could still afford to buy a house and the grand kids lived right down the street instead of in California. In that way the comic strip to me, anyhow seems to be a version of a world that is already gone or fast disappearing couple with a few other concerns.

Course one question regarding the Pluggers, is why are SO MANY OF THEM FAT?
One running theme for all the Pluggers is their obesity...which seems to grow worse year by year.
Male pluggers especially face obesity levels that seem to top 400lbs plus in the cartoon world. I suppose this reflects the growing obesity in America and especially for the working class folks, that the comic strip artist wants to portray. It is something that is VERY emphasized in the comic over and over....

I would say the number of fat cartoon characters as represented by the animals runs at at least 80%. What is ironic is while the Pluggers are shown taking their rest time seriously, they are also showing to be a hard working lot. The comic does have a few humorous moments and things to relate to, with people sending in suggestions, but to me it almost seems to MOCK the people who are of more humble means. I told a friend, why does that comic strip seem to be almost written by people who see normal working class people of America as dumb bumblers who are fat by choice? In fact it seems to put forth lots of fat jokes to the extreme. It definitely brings up interesting fat class issues, where poor equals fat in America.

Then I found this...

"Crude Caricatures:A Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist goes slumming"

"If you visit the cartoon's elaborate Web site -- do pluggers have elaborate Web sites? -- you learn that "Pluggers" was not created by some working class hack, but by nothing less than a committee. Reading the site's voluminous
background information, you learn that "Pluggers" was conceived in 1993 by a
group of five middle-aged men, none of whom seems to have much in common with
the proletariat they seek to depict. One is a successful entrepreneur. One is a
TV sitcom writer. Another is the "former CEO of a major American company."
MacNelly, who prepped at Phillips Academy, is the well-off, Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, who lives in the "rolling hills" of Virginia and collects antique cars. These people are Pluggers?"

The "Pluggers are fat" theme is never ending...

1 comment:

  1. Well, "Pluggers" in the comic do come in all shapes and sizes... from rail-thin to supersize -- but yes, fat pluggers do show up a lot. After all, hard-working people come in lots of sizes, especially among truck drivers and other sedentary workers. (Besides, fat jokes are way too easy for the readers to come up with.)