Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ontologically Conservative in an Annoying Way

All those children's books about young trains with personal agency...I think they are weirdly didactic, with a bias toward the status quo.

The little engines always end up learning this single lesson: Don't experiment! Stay on the tracks! Try nothing new!



2 comments: said...

There are many strangely questionable things in those stories. Not least of which is the outright meanness in most of the conversations between the characters. But more so, Sir-Mr-Hat-Guy only always validates them on the basis of their "usefulness". I can't think of a more horrible value to instill in children. It reminds me of Josef Pieper's critique of Communism's greatest lie. That your identity is as a worker.

s-p said...

Does anyone in the story ever ask where the tracks are going? :)