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!

Yikes.

**

2 comments:

nothinghypothetical.com 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? :)