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Off track? British blogger sees world's ills in Thomas the Tank Engine

There's an insidious force barreling down the tracks toward children everywhere, threatening to turn toddlers into colonizing racists, according to a British blogger who is warning parents of the dangers of ... Thomas the Tank Engine.

Tracy Van Slyke recently let off steam in The Guardian earlier this month, blasting the hit TV series and toy franchise for a litany of sins including sexism, classism, imperialism and racism. The mother of a toddler, Van Slyke believes she saw enough “subversive messages” in the show to make her turn it off for good. And while parents and children who value the lessons of the talking locomotive who holds court on the mythical island of Sodor inspired by the Railway Series of books by British minister William Awdry and his son, Van Slyke sees an evil plot befitting of money-grubbing railroad barons of old.
“If you look through the steam rising up from the coal-powered train stacks, you realize that the pretty puffs of smoke are concealing some pretty twisted, anachronistic messages,” Van Slyke chugged. “When the good engines pump out white smoke and the bad engines pump out black smoke — and they are all pumping out smoke — it’s not hard to make the leap into the race territory.”

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