Day of the diesels

The first order of business for any satirical piece is that it be, in at least one sense of the word, funny. So Jessica Roake scores poorly for her send-up of Thomas the Tank Engine as an apologia for British imperialism, though I have to give her points for effort:

I’m overeducated and understimulated, with shelves full of long-ignored critical-theory books, trained in the reading of “texts” through Marxist, feminist, and postmodern perspectives. It’s no wonder that the dormant critical theorist within me awakens when faced with the coded wonderland of children’s programming. Hitchcock is well-covered territory, but Thomas and Friends presents a minefield of untapped deconstructing opportunities!

The smartest thing she ever did, arguably, was to ignore those critical-theory books, but you know, some memories simply refuse to be erased.

(Via Zilla of the Resistance.)





1 comment

  1. Mark »

    3 August 2011 · 10:31 am

    Having read the entire Thomas canon to a train-loving child, there’s no denying the Rev. W. Awdry had an agenda. The books are terribly paternalistic (which is fine, since they’re for, you know, children), but Rev. Awdry sometimes lapsed into unmistakable political allegory. My favorite was the story of Bulgy (get it? Bolshy?) the Bus, who disparaged railways and vowed that they’d someday be made obsolete by roads. He lied and tricked passengers into riding him instead of the trains, but when things went bad, he was disgraced and was converted to a henhouse.

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