Thursday, August 14, 2008
Thomas the Tank Engine: Card Carrying Commie
Our two year old loves Thomas and we spend the better part of each day steeped in Thomas trains, tracks, books, videos and songs. Have you ever watched a Thomas video or read a Thomas book? You should, they are pretty eye-opening. One of the pervasive themes of Thomas material is usefulness. Many of the episodes end with Sir Topham Hatt declaring, "Thomas, you are a very useful engine!" One of my older children pointed out how utilitarian and communistic this message can be. The trains spend many episodes worrying about being "scrapped" for not being useful. If that message doesn't get across, I'm sure our little ones will pick up wonderful virtues such as the envy, spitefulness, trickery, vengefulness, and discrimination that occurs between the "steamies" and "diesels". I know, it's a children's series for toddlers and preschoolers for pity's sake. Baby Wingnut should grow out of the Thomas stage in a couple years, so I guess I won't worry until he starts quoting Marx; but seriously, he and Special K have begun singing with british accents and it's beginning to gall me.