I’m 29 years old, I don’t have any children and it has been many years since I’ve watched Thomas the Tank Engine. When I was growing up my TV diet included (but wasn’t limited to); Sharky & George, Super Ted, Fireman Sam, Inspector Gadget, Thunderbirds, Captain Planet, Animaniacs AND Thomas the Tank Engine.
The Guardian reached a low point during the Snowden saga, however, today they’ve gone one step too far. We have now observed ‘peak Guardian’. Comment is free has published a grossly offensive article named ‘Thomas the Tank Engine had to shut the hell up to save children everywhere‘. Amongst various complaints levelled within the article, include concerns about the big cheese Sir Topham Hatt;
Hatt orders the trains to do everything from hauling freight to carrying passengers to running whatever random errand he wants done, whenever he wants it done – regardless of their pre-existing schedules.
I hold no qualifications in journalism, I’ve never written for a national newspaper and I certainly do not – at this time – inhabit the Westminster bubble. Despite my lack of experience, the above complaint appears to be describing how I imagine most national paper editors to be. Better still, looking back at my previous service in the armed forces, it sounds like someone in charge doing their job!
Hatt has to scold one of them about being a “really useful engine”, because their sole utility in life is their ability to satisfy his whims.
To be blunt, they’re trains and Thomas the Tank Engine is a fictional show about trains on an island. It’s not as if Sir Topham, when running low on supplies of alcohol, would be able to ask Thomas to jump off the tracks and nip into the supermarket for sherry and pork pies
I imagine writing for a newspaper is very much the same. You can write what you want but an editor makes the final decision. An editor may appreciate an ability to unicycle whilst discussing middle eastern politics, yet, you’re paid to write and not doss about.
Well guess what? It’s not OK. You think a little boy watching Thomas is going to file away the lesson that pink is OK for boys? No, what kids remember is that James was laughed at, cruelly, over and over again, because he looked different and was clad in a “girly” pink color.
I oddly read the above quote and wondered if someone is not giving enough credit to the mental capacity of children. Shielding people from the outside world surely leaves them unprepared in later life.
Perhaps children may see the above lesson and realise not everyone in the world is nice and well-mannered. Furthermore, a child may recognise the suffering such abuse can cause and think ‘that’s horrible, I don’t want to end up like those nasty diesel engines‘.
…but when the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke – and they are all pumping out smoke – it’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory.)
During ‘pope idol‘ (voting for a new pope) smoke from burning papal ballot papers is black when a decision is yet to be made. The smoke only turns white after the successful selection of a new pope.
Should the Guardian therefore be inclined to commission a blog post about this horrid practice? Oh and for reference, it’s a steam & smoke mixture that comes out of Steam Engines, not just smoke.
And really, that theme song makes me scream. Thomas can just go bust my buffers.
Should we invade Canada because of Justin Bieber? Imprison people playing Christmas music in August? It could always be worse! When was the last time you listening to the Pingu theme? Heaven forbid you ever run into Thomas hanging with his home boy 50 cent.
This isn’t the first time Comment is free has published an article slating Thomas the Tank Engine, in 2012 “the sooner that blue bastard is carted off for scrap, the better for parents everywhere” made my blood boil. At the time I thought there were more important things than worrying about misguided delusions surrounding a fictional – yet loveable – ‘blue bastard‘ of a tank engine.
I may have let things slide in 2012, I won’t do the same now. Take your Guardian hands away from one of my childhood heroes!