Thomas the Tank Engine, Fascist


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/28/thomas-the-tank-engine-fascis.html


#2

As one commenter writes, “What moral lesson are kids supposed to learn from this? Do as you’re told or you will be entombed forever in the darkness to die?”

Fear will keep the local children in line. Fear of this train station.


#3

The Isle of Sodor is a kind of joke - there is the Isle of Man and there was a bishop of Sodor and Man. The Manx government has some independence from the rest of the UK, which for many years was used to be the last part of the UK to retain corporal punishment in the criminal justice system.


#4

I suggested this back in July

I have to take issue with the conclusion that Sodor is a communist state.

It’s The Other Railway that is the socialist nationalised British Railways. Also, I remember there being fear and anger at the possibility that the engines would be replaced by diesel or electric engines who would pull their carriages (who were all female back when I read the books last). The few diesel and electric engines that are on Sodor are treated as a lower class than the steam engines.

So, we have an island where there is propaganda causing a strong hatred of socialism, and a belief that immigrants will come to take their jobs and women. Sodor is clearly a fascist regime, not a communist one.

Sorry, Thomas and Friends are all Nazis.

I’ll be back later to destroy another treasured childhood memory.

I’m happy to see someone expand on it.


#5

For British history completists:

Sodor being sort of Norwegian for Southern Isles, i.e. the Hebrides as opposed to the Northern Isles, the Orkneys and Shetland Islands.


#6

Thomas is far worse than fascism. Search Shed 17 on YouTube…if you don’t mind horror that puts silly mainstream horror like It to shame.


#7

It is honest about fascism in one sense: not only do the railroads not run on time, but life on Sodor is a constant stream of trainwrecks.


#8

If you want a vision of the future, imagine a driver wheel rolling over an anthropomorphic engine face, forever.


#9

Sodor = Súðreyjar

ð should be pronounced as th, but the English can be trusted to mangle any language. See also Hjaltland becoming Ȝetland, then Zetland before finally becoming Shetland.


#10

This story needs a “Not the Onion” tag.

Anyone who seriously thinks that this show is fascist is not likely to be heeded when and if they accuse Trump of being a fascist.


#11

Can’t disagree there.


#12

Don’t try to rise above your station?


#13

Never forget, kids, Mr. Conductor really wants you to question authority.

image


#14

When my son was a little guy he was obsessed with trains. But thankfully he absolutely hated all the Thomas stuff.


#15

Well, in that case can we have your libertarian critique of the show?

I’d genuinely be interested.


#16

Do you have to ask? Sir Topham Hatt is a railroad tycoon, the male British version of Dagny Taggart.


#17

Is that you, Angry Old-Testament God?


#18

Thank you! Thomas scares the piss out of me in the same way some people are afraid of clowns. Now I feel justified.


#19

I for one welcome our deformed, steam-cyborg overlords.


#20

Also, I can’t look at Thomas anymore without hearing “c’mon motherfuckers, c’mon motherfuckers.” Thanks Rob.