"SWANSON: Eldritch Tucker Carlson | Aamon Animations" Image: screencap.

‘Eldritch Tucker Carson’ Mirrors Lovecraftian Xenophobia in Modern Fox News

Call of cable news.

Animator Aamon Hawk doesn’t shy away from macabre animations that feature big names in politics like Joe Biden, Bernie Sander, and Donald Trump. They’ve even created work around professional trolls like Elon Musk, Joe Rogan, Charlie Kirk, Jordan Peterson, and Alex Jones. It was only a matter of time before Hawk featured someone in the mainstream news circuit, and this is it with Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson of the Swanson Dynasty, a.k.a. the most-watched cable news show, Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News.

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In Hawk’s April 8, 2022 upload featuring Tucker Carlson’s show, the caption reads, “Your normal American family sits down to watch normal American news.” The scene starts with a white couple in suburbia preparing to eat their Swanson Hungry Man microwave dinners. Trying to be polite to the grandfather, already enchanted by Tucker Carlson, they watch his show and start to transform into monsters—first by their actions of thinking immigrants are literally going to run up to their house and attack them, and then physically, their bodies transform.

No matter how bizarre it sounds, every line comes from actual segments on Carlson’s show, from pushing white supremacist replacement theory to crying about the green M&M. That last one, by the way, is the only one where the grandpa is fazed at all. This is equal parts unsurprising, terrifying, and funny—in a laugh-through-the-tears kind of way.

Lovecraft, through and through

While Hawk has channeled Lovecraftian elements in his animations before, this one works incredibly well. In his fiction, H.P. Lovecraft was so racist (like way more than his contemporaries) and xenophobic that he monsterized Black and brown people. Carlson crafts a narrative of fear of the unknown and the dehumanization of others today. News outlets overcorrecting would probably call this all “economic anxiety” rather than flat-out bigotry and deep-seated hate.

Another way Hawk channels Lovecraftian horror is the way the background changes as the humans become more anxious. The first thing you may notice is the music and the dramatic lighting, but the walls change, too.

In the beginning, the house is decorated with garish posters of Jimmy Fallon, an “I heart minions” image, a still from what I think is The Office, and images of the most recognizable, adorkable misogynist of the 2010s (Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory) saying his catchphrase, “Bazinga!” However, as the family becomes monsters, the posters on the walls change to gaudy decals of the Punisher logo infused with the racist Blue Lives Matter flag and a militaristic American flag. The “I heart minion” is now saluting in a cop uniform, and The Office image has changed into an image of Steven Crowder.

The main difference between Lovecraft’s work and Hawk’s video is that Hawk makes the racists the monsters, not their targets.

(via YouTube, image: screencap)

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Author
Alyssa Shotwell
(she/her) Award-winning artist and writer with professional experience and education in graphic design, art history, and museum studies. She began her career in journalism in October 2017 when she joined her student newspaper as the Online Editor. This resident of the yeeHaw land spends most of her time drawing, reading and playing the same handful of video games—even as the playtime on Steam reaches the quadruple digits. Currently playing: Baldur's Gate 3 & Oxygen Not Included.