Thomas the Tank Engine and his primary-colored Friends have already been accused of being anti-Semetic, fascist, imperialistic, and sexist thugs, but now Forbes is jumping on the anti-Sodor bandwagon with accusations of crony capitalism:
There’s clearly a bit of cronyism on the Island of Sodor helping to line the pockets of Sir Topham Hatt. Although reference is frequently made to elected officials such as a Mayor, Sir Hatt seems to be in charge of virtually everything on the island. In addition to running his own railroad, he’s often in charge of projects – like building a Search and Rescue station in Misty Island Rescue - that should properly be the purview of government. Indeed, the Island of Sodor bears no small resemblance to Boss Hogg’s Hazzard County, with Hatt seeming to own most of the businesses around and able to get the government to back those industries.
As I have been sick this whole week, and my feverish mind has only allowed me to absorb orders without thought, I decided to watch some Thomas for myself. Lo and behold, a common refrain of the series is “usefulness before cleanliness.” In one randomly chosen episode, poor James (he’s the red one, not Percy, Percy’s green), is sitting there, covered in dirt, begging to be washed. And Sir Topham Hatt stares at him with his cruel, dead eyes, demanding more work before any sanitary measures are taken. Usefulness before cleanliness, indeed.
Although I guess a prevention of bathing isn’t the most sadistic thing Sir Hatt has ever done, as Cracked notes:
In the episode “Break Van,” Hatt has two twin engines, Donald and Douglas, compete against each other to determine which one he will send back to Scotland to be destroyed. In “The Sad Story of Henry,” when an engine refuses to go out of the tunnel because of the rain, Hatt actually gives orders to brick him alive in the tunnel.
No wonder why humanity is so messed up these days. And Republicans win elections.
Originally published 2/1/2013