Thomas the Capitalist Stooge: Professor Finds Dark Messages in Children’s Series

Professor Shauna Wilton and colleagues at the Department of Social Sciences Research at the University of Alberta have made a disturbing discovery: Thomas the Tank Engine appears to be a vehicle used to implant a “conservative political ideology” in our children. This is the liberal version of the campaign against Purple Teletubby Tinky Winky by Jerry Falwell as sending hidden gay messages. The professor, however, may find proletarian values in another railway, the London underground: here.

Wilton found that the Thomas the Tank Engine series teaches children what she views as a conservative agenda, including a world that “punishes individual initiative, opposes critique and change, and relegates females to supportive roles.”

She found that “storylines in several episodes that divided the characters into different social classes and punished those who tried to gain individual power . . . Any change is seen as disrupting the natural order of things.” Worse yet, “of 49 main characters listed in the show, only eight were female, reflecting a general trend among children’s programming.” She warned that “[w]e tend to think of children’s TV shows as neutral and safe, but they still carry messages. Eventually these children will attain full political citizenship, and the opinions and world outlook they develop now, partially influenced by shows like Thomas and Friends, are part of that process.”

What is particularly shocking is that the voices used to advance this conservative messaging is Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin. If you play episodes backwards, you can clearly hear Baldwin saying “Support Sarah Palin, Support Sarah Palin.”

It all comes down to Sir Topham Hatt, the capitalist icon of the film who runs the hard-working trains like enslaved laborers filling his pockets with his dirty oil-soaked money. Rise, worker tank engines unite, and throw off the yoke of Sir Topham Hatt and his capitalist oil-suckers! You have nothing to lose but your brake chains!

For the full story, click here.

39 thoughts on “Thomas the Capitalist Stooge: Professor Finds Dark Messages in Children’s Series”

  1. PS: I always did think it was strange that Sir Topham Hat always said “You have caused confusion and delay” EVERY SINGLE TIME…THE EXACT WAY EVERY SINGLE TIME….” ooh! scary!”

  2. Oh my goodness! I love Thomas the Train but This was only helping my suspicions about Thomas. My little Bro says that Thomas is his ‘Hero’. When I get home, I will rewind and turn up the volume. I must see this. It’s crazy, yet possible.

  3. ^
    Look, I don’t know if you really are smacking down Twinkies playing internet psychologist; but how does being fat connect with Fascism OTHER than the stereotype of authoritative figures being fat?
    Find another lead, this one doesn’t have much ground.
    More importantly, why would anybody supporting fascism go out of their way to base the authoritative figure on stereotypical personalities? Or always bring them into the plot whenever they’re eating, or doing something that is easy for the audience to mock?

  4. The original English version of Thomas (also shown here in Australia) doesn’t have Sir Topham Hat, he’s actually called The Fat Controller! Definitely smacks of fascism 😉

  5. Wtf…Thomas is a show about trains with personalities…trains are popular among little ones and the lack of females may be due to the fact that a man wrote it for his SON.Teletubbies is a show that makes no sense at all. Curious George is a troublesome monkey who loves the man in the yellow hat. Sesame street and blues clues are excellent ways of teaching fundamentals, and to really dig this deep in to children’s shows is ridiculous. Growing up on these kid shows never hindered my thinking. If all that is stated about these shows were true, then why am I not like any of the described “brainwashed” above, as I watched these shows as a kid? Look at Disney for instance. Watching the classics now, I notice the adult humor. As a kid, it goes right over your head, because a child’s mind is innocent. They’re not thinking “that Tinkie Winkie is so gay or has gay behavior” or “that George is definitely like a black guy” or “Sir Tohppum Hat is a greedy old bastard who is slave working those trains for dirty money.” Be honest- a child is thinking “I wonder what’s in Tinkie Winkie’s bag.” “George is being mischievous again.” “I hope Thomas can help out in time. Look out for that track!” Seriously.

  6. It’s not capitalism being espoused in the series, but rather fascism. You must please the ruler, obey the ruler, be useful to the ruler. Capitalism would be if all the trains were competing against each other.

  7. What I find funny is the comment about Alec Baldwin supposedly supporting Sarah Palin when episodes are played backwards. Baldwin is a registered Democrat and no supporter of Palin or the conservative conglomerate.

  8. Thomas was intended for the son of a father. Nobody pricks Barbie or simler brands for lack of males. Nobody pricks brands like Hot Wheels because they arn’t marketed for women. Most women who complain about it tend to have backgrounds where they were abused or treated sexsist. It’s just being an asshole. Being a male attacked by females is no different from being attacked by males. Perhaps those women need to relive whatever tramatised them since they didn’t learn.

    This hag’s studys weren’t correct, as there are more female engines and rolling stock in the Thomas world, the stupid bitch just limited herself to 20 episodes.
    Any dead fucker including that “Sally” who reject Thomas for selfish reasons, being that they don’t like it can respond to ME.
    And I don’t think you want to.
    And Jen, if I told you that My little Pony is sexsist on account of little male horses, you’d probblay belive me.

  9. As an aside, if neither of you have seen the Fishburne/Brannaugh version of “Othello”? I cannot suggest it enough. It may be the best Othello/Iago pairing I’ve ever seen. Much better than Olivier’s version.

  10. “I see Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Laurence Fishburn, Wesley Snipes”

    I stand corrected and forgive me for overstating my case. My thoughts were running to black characters in sit coms and black hosts of certain reality shows. You supplied me with excellent examples though of actors who shun stereotypes, but see the background (street)
    characters of the excellent “Training Day” with Denzel Washington and you get a hint of what I’m talking about. I’ve known black gang members, drug addicts and street people and they bear little relationship to what I see portrayed on the silver screen.

  11. Mike:

    I see Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, Laurence Fishburn, Wesley Snipes, and other black actors and think I always get my money’s worth when I go to see one of their movies.

    I love their movies and their acting styles, maybe I don’t see the subtle stereotypes or are not looking for them. They seem to portray real people with universal wants, needs and desires.

  12. Byron,
    I think I’ve gotten to know your style well enough to know that was a joke. What advantage my age gives me when talking about racism is that I can remember a time when racism was out in the open, as well as other bigotry. THe real problem with “political correctness” is that it buries historical context. There are many born near or after the Civil Rights movement who can’t understand why Black people are still “so sensitive” and that is because of their age they lack the historical context. The “political correctness” part relates commercially (see many beer commercials), in the arts and in the speech of many politicians. Strom Thurmond was a straight-on son of a bitch racist bastard and yet as the years passed Republican’s honored him. Having worked with and been friends with a high percentage of black people in my life, I am in constant amazement of how they are portrayed in TV and the movies. Those I’ve known, from all social and financial classes, shows me that what we still see are stereotypes, though slightly more subtle.

  13. Mike:

    I was joking about George being a metaphor for the market. When I was a kid I just thought George was a monkey, I honestly never thought about it in the terms you describe above until now.

    But then I am younger than you, so I would not have had those images as a reference.

  14. “Can you please explain to me how curious George is racist? I used to love curious George as a young child.”

    Curious George is a monkey and that has been a stereotype for black men in cartoons since the 20’s. The man in yellow, his “keeper” and the voice of reason is white. George’s adventures may come our right but it is always through luck, rather than innate talent on Georges part. Plus due to his “curiousity,” really stupidity, all the plots of the cartoons are put in motion by George’s ineptitude. Back to my first reference of monkeys representing black men in cartoons, those I remember from my childhood when they were still showing kids 20’s and 30’s cartoon films, represented black people as looking like monkeys, that looked curiously like George.

  15. Byron,

    I have no idea what Mike would say, but I’m guessing just take what you said, replace “free market” with “native peoples” and “Government” with “white folks trying to civilize them by removing their native cultures”

    It’s a pretty good fit either way actually, depending on your persuasion. Which would lead me to think if anything the stories are about the creative spirit vs. social inertia.

Comments are closed.