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View Full Version : Thomas the Tank Engine...evil?



kborsden
01-12-2010, 07:23 AM
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234547/Thomas-The-Tank-Engine-branded-right-wing-conservative-demeaning-women.html

Please refer to the above article -

WHAT??

What is the world coming to? My brother, who is autistic, is facinated with thomas. In fact, the over dramatised facial expression, bright colours and slow, methodical, semi-monotone narrative alway seem to enthrall him, in a way that I as his brother never have been able to draw his attention - he refers often in conversation to lessons of conduct and behaviour he has learnt from the show, good lessons that have opened him up to social codes and attitudes, and behaviours and manners to which he feels he should act around others - making him thus less socially awkward and closed off. Progress, some might say, positive progress...

It seems that things must always hold fault, especially those things that bring most cheer. I grew up with Thomas (without the CGI) and I don't act like a mysogenist - I adore women. I'm not a pedantic, scrutinising, over critical and dominating father because of the Fat Controller - and Percy's sharply toned, and sorry to say it, camp, whistle has not made me a gay-basher. Nor do I believe that class is an issue among those willing to better themselves and further their station - we can all be really useful engines.

Some people can't see further than their nose is long...middle-class plonkers looking for uber-liberised parasitic engagements to further facilitate their pompous grip that slips ever further each day - magic talking engines in a world of eternal beauty are inherently 'Hitler Jeugend' type insemination of nazi propoganda...watch out carebears, your next!

Silver King
01-12-2010, 07:41 AM
Isn't Thomas the Tank Engine a giant cock disguised as a train that penetrates the minds of our youth like a real locomotive plunging and steaming through a dark tunnel?

No?

Oh, sorry. I must be mistaken.

AryaT92
01-12-2010, 07:41 AM
I grew up with Thomas as well and find this a bit ridiculous.

semilargeintestine
01-12-2010, 07:45 AM
I didn't find it particularly entertaining when I was younger, but I found it hilarious that Ringo and George Carlin both had runs on the show. I don't see what the article is saying either though.

Ridiculous.

AryaT92
01-12-2010, 07:48 AM
Someone really took their time analyzing it though, I wonder if they truly believe it is sexist or if they were just trying to nitpick.

kborsden
01-12-2010, 07:24 PM
...the Fat Controller's wife, and an accident prone lorry....
and you guys are just now thinking that maybe they might be sexist?
...but if you never thought that Thomas had sexist tendencies, then you don't know many women...

Aren't you also just focussing on one point in particular though? There are many stereotypical POVs embedded in the textiles of Thomas and Friends' undertones, as much today as ever before. Yes, female characters are few, but the engines are mainly 'unisex' - especially the diesel engines, modern character definitions that display race and creed divides - but also in the younger engines, who are mischievous and jealous - or the older more experienced engines who are as spiteful as their youthful counterparts are zealous. However the construct of the tale unfolds, the moral is always of a similar tone and thread: treat others as you would like to be treated; use your ears before your hands; by hard work and effort we can all prove useful and important - most importantly though is that we all have a job and purpose, whatever that may be. I understand that this 'learned professional' has obviously taken the time to deconstruct and analyse this programme over several hours (a process that would have numbed the brains of most), but her view is obscured by post-feminist reactionism - the glass ceiling is a long way from cracking and most people today think the role of women equal enough - but for some, it will never be enough and taking things to such extremeties as to dissect an era old children's programme and derive from it what she has is rediculous and the only purpose I can see is to stir the controversy spoon and open discussion - fauwning and pushing, whipping a long dead donkey. Granted, that has happened to a degree, but not in the direction I belioeve was the initial intention...there is little agreement, more annoyance.

As for the post about Thomas being a giant cock...grow up, get a clue. If that's your idea of mature banter why not type 'boobies' into google and have a really good laugh.

ad_lucem
01-12-2010, 07:30 PM
www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234547/Thomas-The-Tank-Engine-branded-right-wing-conservative-demeaning-women.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234547/Thomas-The-Tank-Engine-branded-right-wing-conservative-demeaning-women.html)

Please refer to the above article -

WHAT??

What is the world coming to? My brother, who is autistic, is facinated with thomas. In fact, the over dramatised facial expression, bright colours and slow, methodical, semi-monotone narrative alway seem to enthrall him, in a way that I as his brother never have been able to draw his attention - he refers often in conversation to lessons of conduct and behaviour he has learnt from the show, good lessons that have opened him up to social codes and attitudes, and behaviours and manners to which he feels he should act around others - making him thus less socially awkward and closed off. Progress, some might say, positive progress...

It seems that things must always hold fault, especially those things that bring most cheer. I grew up with Thomas (without the CGI) and I don't act like a mysogenist - I adore women. I'm not a pedantic, scrutinising, over critical and dominating father because of the Fat Controller - and Percy's sharply toned, and sorry to say it, camp, whistle has not made me a gay-basher. Nor do I believe that class is an issue among those willing to better themselves and further their station - we can all be really useful engines.

Some people can't see further than their nose is long...middle-class plonkers looking for uber-liberised parasitic engagements to further facilitate their pompous grip that slips ever further each day - magic talking engines in a world of eternal beauty are inherently 'Hitler Jeugend' type insemination of nazi propoganda...watch out carebears, your next!

Product of their times, the way it goes, Thomas is still less sexist than the Disney Princess line (less racist, too, not discounting the new Token Princess...isn't it odd that the princess merchandise always features Belle, Cinderella, Aurora and Ariel...no Pocahantas or Jasmine...).

Not that I really care that much. Any sane parent exposes their child to a variety of stories and archetypes, works carefully to shape their character around values (for me this would be tolerance, respect for others, thinking outside the box, always looking for deeper explanations rather than taking what you're told at face value...etc).

A stupid cartoon isn't going to break that all down and send it to hell. If I felt that way, I wouldn't have read them the Chronicles of Narnia or Kipling or Robin Hood (which is stunningly wrong by modern standards) or Dickens or Jonathan Swift or Washington Irving or a whole host of other books that have non-PC elements because of the age during which the material was created. And you could chuck most Bible stories and mythologies and fairytales out of the line-up for sure...because there's some really messed up stuff if you think about it for too long.

My kids love the story the legend of the Giant's Causeway and Theseus and the Minotaur.

I find it's a good time for dialogue about the difference between today's standards and "back then". It's a good time to interject some history. I read them a Oliver Twist recently and it was a great time to discuss the history involved...


*shrug* Newspapers and blogs online or in print will always toss this garbage out to the masses. Mainly, because it pisses everyone off, it gets column inches filling otherwise blank space, and pissed off readers are more likely to read/discuss. It's just bad/sloppy, slack-jawed journalism at its finest.


As for kids w/ ASD and trains in general...my god, that's a love affair! We had a bunch of Thomas stuff and a train table but the boys had kind of given it up for other things. I had the kids help me clean it up to a "good as new state" and I freecycled it to a family w/ a boy diagnosed w/ ASD. The kid/family were thrilled.

Even if the whole Isle of Sodor wasn't worth anything more than the joy it brings to ASD kids, it would still be worth a lot in my opinion :)

KellyAssauer
01-12-2010, 08:21 PM
As for the post about Thomas being a giant cock...grow up, get a clue. If that's your idea of mature banter why not type 'boobies' into google and have a really good laugh.

That's our SK!

=)

Silver King
01-13-2010, 05:40 AM
...As for the post about Thomas being a giant cock...grow up, get a clue. If that's your idea of mature banter why not type 'boobies' into google and have a really good laugh.


That's our SK!

=)
Yep, our Assauer sums it up beautifully. And besides, since when was discussing giant phallic symbols considered immature banter? Perhaps next time I'll quote Freud or maybe even some of the earlier thinkers to help me sound more grown up.

Nah, not a chance! Like they say, what you see is what you get...

Adam
01-13-2010, 05:42 AM
Thomas and his friends used to scare the everliving crap out of me. Faces? On TRAINS?!?!

*Shudder*

dolores haze
01-13-2010, 05:45 AM
I always thought 'Thomas' was a reflection of Britain's class structure. E.g. the working class trains need to work hard, not complain, not kill each other, and, above all, obey the orders of upper class Sir Topham Hat. But that might just be me.

Adam
01-13-2010, 05:48 AM
I think some peeps are reading too much into a bunch of freaky ass looking trains designed to make children smile and clap their hands, possibly while giggling. ;)

dolores haze
01-13-2010, 06:01 AM
Lost your inner geek, Adz?

In other news, 'The Magic Roundabout' was really all about drugs and 'Captain Pugwash' was all about sex. But that might just be me.

Adam
01-13-2010, 06:03 AM
The inner geek is cranky tonight. It needs some sleep I think. ;)



In other news, 'The Magic Roundabout' was really all about drugs and 'Captain Pugwash' was all about sex. But that might just be me.

Pfft! :D

ad_lucem
01-13-2010, 06:06 AM
I think some peeps are reading too much into a bunch of freaky ass looking trains designed to make children smile and clap their hands, possibly while giggling. ;)

Could it really be so simple as that? I've always questioned Sir Topumhat's motives (we don't call him the fat controller in the US...we're sensitive about our weight issues...hehehe).

Also, what's up with the trains? Trains can't talk nor do they have faces! This must be witchcraft of some sort--worse than the likes of Harry Potter!

Naturally, Satan himself must be the inspiration for the whole world of Thomas and his fiends...I mean...friends.

The only way we'll ever know for sure is if someone at a university or religious think tank gets grant money to study it AND then the DailyMail (or Telegraph or any other news organization) finds itself with a slow news day in need of quick content to keep the masses looking....


In other words...should be any day now :)

AuburnAssassin
01-13-2010, 06:08 AM
I love Thomas the Tank Engine but my oldest was scared to death by "Boulder" in one of the stories. Man, I about went to the poor house buying all those stupid little trains and tracks and what-nots. But I liked watching the shows and laying the tracks too.

Related story, I put an off the cuff reference to Thomas the Tank Engine in one of my novels and one of my beta readers had no clue as to who or what he was. But then again, I'm continually depressed at how many of my pop culture references have become stale with the 30 and under set.

kborsden
01-13-2010, 06:09 AM
...discussing giant phallic symbols...

Isn't a phallic symbol generally upright an vertical, symbolic of erectile function (which equalled fertility in the ancient and medieval mind, hence its import in modern use also)...a horizontal phallus would symbolise impotence and malfunctional, unimpressive genitalia and/or (sexual) prowess (or general all-round weakness as, again, the ancient and medieval mind would have interpreted it). To be momentarily Freudian, is it possibly a subconscious recognition, or projection perhaps that you read and note such from the engine?

BTW. I was being ironic in my previous post, since we are on a PC gone mad binge...sorry if it didn't come across as intended. Oh, ready your handbag!

kborsden
01-13-2010, 06:21 AM
...'Captain Pugwash' was all about sex. ..

'Roger the cabin boy'
'Seaman Stains'
'Master Bates'

You don't say!

I don't think that class came into it as much as we're thinking at this point. As I said earlier, stereotypes are constants of the series...but in what media are they not. It is only feeble minded people that see all stereotypes as negative (in fact a stereotype is only negative when it reinfoces a false truth), the stereotypical character gives the reader/viewer a particular impression of behaviour and direction. All characters start off as a particular stock being supposed to meet certain criteria. This is in any terminology a stereotype - the difference is that a GOOD writer laces in the depth and complexity later. It is the stereotype that allows the reader/viewer to relate, the depth that keeps the interest. With this being a show aimed mainly at very young children, characterisations will be shallow with the reason that moral code is of greater import. Nonetheless, none of the stereotypical characters inforce particualry skewed ideals or offensive uninformed beliefs - if we're to follow that track, Postman Pat, on the other hand, has some particulary odd stand points on Asian families, but that's a different thread.

Silver King
01-13-2010, 06:33 AM
Isn't a phallic symbol generally upright an vertical, symbolic of erectile function...
Yes. For further evidence, please study my avatar closely.


BTW. I was being ironic in my previous post, since we are on a PC gone mad binge...sorry if it didn't come across as intended. The "ironic" part escaped me, and still does, but that's all right. It's an interesting discussion you've offered, and I'm glad you chose to bring it up in this room.

rhymegirl
01-13-2010, 06:38 AM
Isn't Thomas the Tank Engine a giant cock disguised as a train that penetrates the minds of our youth like a real locomotive plunging and steaming through a dark tunnel?

No?

Oh, sorry. I must be mistaken.

You're awful. ;)

But that might make an interesting porn movie.

Silver King
01-13-2010, 06:42 AM
...But that might make an interesting porn movie.
If I had my way, such a film would be called, Thomas the Skank Engine.

ad_lucem
01-13-2010, 06:45 AM
If I had my way, such a film would be called, Thomas the Skank Engine.


Hmmm... could be wrong, but that sounds a little sexist to me...

Someone should do a study on that...

:rulez

:D

Silver King
01-13-2010, 06:54 AM
Hmmm... could be wrong, but that sounds a little sexist to me...
You're right. How about Thomas the Swank Engine instead? Might appeal more to the upper classes, where the real money is, you think?

AZ_Dawn
01-13-2010, 07:06 AM
Funny you guys should mention Evil Thomas. (http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/2009/11/show-offs.html) :evil

Seriously, did Wilson do this study on university time? Canada, dudes, you got ripped off!


Could it really be so simple as that? I've always questioned Sir Topumhat's motives (we don't call him the fat controller in the US...we're sensitive about our weight issues...hehehe).
The worst thing he ever did was union-busting. Douglas, now he's the one to watch out for; he killed a brake van, for Pete's sake! :eek: :D

dolores haze
01-13-2010, 07:15 AM
The worst thing he ever did was union-busting.

I rest my case.

Priene
01-13-2010, 07:26 AM
I always thought 'Thomas' was a reflection of Britain's class structure. E.g. the working class trains need to work hard, not complain, not kill each other, and, above all, obey the orders of upper class Sir Topham Hat. But that might just be me.

Exactly. Be a good boy, respect your betters, don't think for yourself, call the boss "Sir", cheer the King. And make sure you vote Tory, or we'll kick you out of your tied house. Personally, I hate the books.

(Don't remember them being sexist, though.)