Mighty Lumberjack
Lumberjacks being portrayed as badass in fiction


(permanent link) added: 2012-04-17 18:44:39 sponsor: nman (last reply: 2012-04-30 07:25:58)

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"In a period of industrial development and modernization in urban areas, logging remained a traditional business in which the workers exhibited pride in their craft, their physical strength and masculinity, and guarded their individualism. Their camps were a bastion of the traditional workplace as they defied modern rationalized management, and built a culture around masculinity."

Lumberjacks are commonly used to represent strength, man's dominance over nature, and the idea that axes are pretty cool. In fiction they tend to be Badass, often to the point of Testosterone Poisoning.

Because people will expect a lumberjack to be manly, they are almost always men. They tend to dress like a stereotypical 19th century Paul Bunyan type with a flannel shirt, rugged outdoorsman look, a Badass Beard, and large muscles developed from years of swinging an axe. The much rarer female lumberjack will either be a Butch Lesbian and Played for Laughs, or look exactly like a normal girl wielding a giant axe, with her lumberjack heritage used to Hand Wave her insane Super Strength.

Examples

Advertising
  • The Brawny Paper Towel company tries to link this trope to the strength of their product by making their mascot a giant lumberjack.
Film Literature
  • The God Box by Barry B. Longyear, features a female lumberjack (who happens to be a fifteen-foot tall giantess).
Live-Action TV
  • Full House: One character spent some time hosting a children's television show and invited a second character to join it. The latter man scoffed at the idea, thinking it below him, till he was offered a role whose manliness satisfied him: "Lumberjack Jess."
  • Malcolm in the Middle played with this for a while, with Francis and his friend from military school believing they would be able to run off to Alaska and become these relatively easily.
  • Flirted with and then subverted in the Monty Python Lumberjack Sketch. The singer dreams of being a lumberjack ... and Camp Gay at the same time.
Music
  • The Haircut Song by Ray Stevens is about a variety of haircuts Stevens has recieved from insane barbers. Whenever he feeling intimidated by a barber and is asked what he does for a living, his immediate response is "I'm a logger!":
    Now a lot of people would be intimidated in a situation like this...I was not. I am what I am, play my piano, and sing my little songs. I looked him right in the eye and I said, I'm a logger - just up from Coos Bay, Oregon. Been toppin' trees - quite possibly the toughest man in the entire world.
Oral Tradition
  • Paul Bunyan is the Ur Example, having originated in Canada in the early 19th century. There are many myths surrounding him, the most famous of which is that the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota were formed by him and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, as they walked around in a blizzard.
    • It's worth noting that most of the Paul Bunyan myth, including everything about Paul being a giant with a giant pet ox, was actually the invention of a 20th century copywriter who spun Paul Bunyan into a mascot for a logging company.
Video Games
  • Kingdom of Loathing: In Little Canadia, the player can encounter lumberjacks, lumberjills, and lumberjuans. The lumberjack supervisor carries two double-sides axes.
  • In Princess Maker 2, being a lumberjack increases your strength, which increases your attack power, which means if you do it enough, you'll be be killing enemies in one hit.
  • Presea Combatir is a female lumberjack from Tales of Symphonia. She looks about twelve years old but carries an axe bigger than some of your other party members.
  • In the computer "card" game Urban Rivals, the first boss card you get in your collection is a lumberjack. He starts looking like the stereotype and hulks out when levelling up. Also adds bonus damage to the whole team.
Webcomics
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, lumberjacking makes people susceptible to Paul Bunyan's Disease, which causes those it affects to turn into a giant lumberjack who is "enraged at how many trees still stand within his vicinity."
Western Animation
  • In the The Simpsons episode "The Blunder Years" Marge becomes infatuated with the lumberjack that is the mascot for a brand of paper towels.
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