Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Carlson, et al. Score MMajor TriuMMph in the Culture Wars

July 4, 1776. April 9, 1865. June 6, 1944. Some of the most triumphant days of American history. And now they can be joined by January 23, 2023. Because that is the day that Major Assh... er Major General Tucker Carlson and the forces of righteousness defeated the evil that is... woke M&M's.

For those who do not know, commercials for M&M's candies have featured, for many years, six animated "spokescandies." Here's what they used to look like:

There are six of them--orange, 
red, yellow, green, blue, and brown; green and brown are wearing high heels and the others are wearing tennis shoes

Several weeks ago, the Mars/M&M company unveiled a redesign:

Same colors in the same order; the
only really noticeable difference is that green is now wearing tennis shoes

If you are struggling to see the differences—and we certainly wouldn't blame you—the biggest one is that green is now wearing tennis shoes instead of high heels, and is ostensibly more feminist. The company made some other changes, which were expressed much more clearly in the press releases than they are in the art; the "female" candies were set to become more prominent in commercials, a purple M&M was added in honor of "inclusivity," and the "personalities" of the candies were altered a bit. For example, orange was made more anxious, in an effort to capture the neurodiversity of modern society.

You might think nobody could possibly care about something so minor. And if so, you would be wrong. Fox entertainer Tucker Carlson blew a gasket on his program:

Bet you didn't think M&Ms were pushing intolerance, but they were, they've been changed. You're seeing those changes on the screen. The green M&M, you will notice, is no longer wearing sexy boots. Now she's wearing sensible sneakers. Why the change? Well according to M&Ms, "We all win when we see more women in leading roles."

The other big change is that the brown M&M has "transitioned from high stilettos to lower block heels," also less sexy. That's progress. M&Ms will not be satisfied until every last cartoon character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous. Until the moment you wouldn't want to have a drink with any one of them. That's the goal. When you are totally turned off, we've achieved equity. They've won.

Forgive us for asking, but does Tucker Carlson—um, how should we put this?—gratify himself to bags of cheap candy? It certainly seems that way. And he was far from the only right-winger to flip his lid. To take another example, entertainer Ben Shapiro went on a rant on his podcast that included, for example, this observation: "So women, do you feel represented now because of the green, purple and brown M&Ms on the M&M package that you are guzzling down lonely in your apartment with your wine and your cat?" Ol' Benny certainly helps illustrate that the problem of sexism has totally been solved, and therefore there's no need to try to move things forward with some representation.

In any event, the blowback grew loud enough the Mars/M&M company announced yesterday that they would be temporarily suspending the use of their spokescandies, and that for the foreseeable future, commercials for the brand would feature comedian and actor Maya Rudolph. It may just have occurred to the corporate bigwigs that the Super Bowl is a few weeks away, and that the manufactured controversy will add a little extra buzz to any ads they might run.

We rarely take the bait when it comes to these right-wing commentators and their ongoing efforts to be outrageous. For example, we entirely ignored all the nonsense about gas stoves last week. But this was just so absurd, to the point of being surreal, that we just had to take note of it. And we must give a begrudging tip of the cap to Tucker Carlson; he clearly has a genius for this sort of thing. We never, ever, ever would have guessed that anyone could be brought to a frothing-at-the-mouth state by the question of whether the green M&M is wearing heels or tennis shoes. Yet, many of his viewers were. And hoo boy, who knows what Tucker, Benny, et al., will do if ever Snap, Crackle and/or Pop come out as trans. That could be a whole month's worth of programs right there. For now, we look forward to the songs and the epic poems that will undoubtedly be composed in honor of the Great M&M War. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates