May 12, 2015

THEY DRIVE THE ANGLOSPHERE ECONOMY:

Just How Do 'Thomas & Friends' Drive Sodor's Economy? (Elizabeth Blair, 5/12/15, All Things Considered)

Is Sir Topham Hatt a robber baron or a paternalistic CEO? Are Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends part of a union? How does anyone make money on the Island of Sodor?

Turns out, these are some of the serious issues that have perplexed more than one grown-up forced to read or watch Thomas & Friends for the umpteenth time with their kids. On the 70th anniversary of the Railway Series, the books by Reverend Wilbert Awdry that spawned the shiny engines, we explore this elaborate train of thought.

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading or watching Thomas, here's the gist: The colorful trains have human faces and human names like Percy, James, Gordon and Thomas. They have a range of personalities, from "bossy boilers" to chug-chug cheerful. Regardless of their temperament, all of the engines want to please their boss, Sir Topham Hatt, or The Fat Controller, as he's also called. Hatt is all human. He likes iced buns and really "useful engines," and loathes "confusion and delay."

I first became interested in Sodor's economy when I overheard my husband tell my son, then five years old, that Sir Topham Hatt was "the embodiment of corporate malfeasance." My husband now admits the spontaneous remark was a "total exaggeration." Still, Sir Topham Hatt's authority is perplexing.

Posted by at May 12, 2015 8:05 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« THE BIG QUESTION IS WHETHER HE CAN WIN HIS JOB BACK: | Main | WINNING THE WAR ON WAGES: »