The NRA goes after Thomas the Tank Engine

Discussion in 'Politics' started by billvon, Sep 14, 2018 at 8:13 PM.

  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, you read that right. It's not a piece of Borowitz satire or a piece from the Onion. The NRA is really attacking Thomas the Tank Engine.

    For those of you without small children, Thomas the Tank Engine is a series based on an animated character who works on a railroad on the mythical island of Sodor, which looks a lot like England. He has a bunch of friends who are also engines who work with him - Percy, James, Emily - and other friends like Harold the helicopter and Cranky the crane. Occasionally they come across engines from outside Sodor, like Hiro, an old broken down Mikado-class engine from Japan, or the Logging Locos, three irresponsible narrowgauge engines from the US, or Ashima, a tank engine from India there for a railway show.

    The early shows were mostly just scenes filmed on an extensive train layout. Now there are books, poorly animated specials and movies using modern computer graphics.

    So far so good. (And BTW the Internet is a great tool for parents with small kids who have a million questions. "What kind of locomotive is Dash? Why can't he run on regular rails? How do switches work on narrow rails? Do they have those in the US?")

    But now the NRA is OUTRAGED!!!1!!!1 that they have a new character - Nia from Africa. From their TV channel:

    "This is horrible. That's where it gets really strange to me. Am I to understand this entire time that Thomas and his trains were white? Because they all have gray faces. How do you bring ethnic diversity? I mean, they had to paint what I guess they thought was some sort of African pattern on the side of Nia's engine."

    And to drive the point home, they photoshopped a picture of Thomas and his friends wearing KKK hoods.

    Do these people really have nothing better to do than to manufacture racist outrage over a children's TV show?
     
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  3. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    In the books I've seen, Thomas is bright blue. All the trains are non-skin colours,and all of their faces, including the Asian ones, are grey.
    Those guys must be really desperate to deflect blame for something onto somebody - anybody - else.
     
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  5. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    NRA-TV, folks, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I don't quite understand what the NRA is upset about.

    We're talking about train engines here, aren't we? What would train "race" even look like, anyway? Different classes of engine? Different manufacturers?

    But let's assume, for some reason, that all the original engines were "white". And now an African engine is being introduced. So, what's the problem? Minority representation is bad?

    Or are they worried that maybe Thomas and his friends were never "white" to start with? Maybe the whole show is multiculturalism in the closet. Or something.

    And what has any of this got to do with guns?
     
  8. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    They should have Vladimir Lenin's combat train make a guest appearance, it'll split the NRA right down the middle.
     
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  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    Foreigners in general seem to underestimate American racism.
    The NRA is upset about "liberals".
    Quite a bit of the gun rights stuff is rooted in racism, and the threat posed by black people and brown people. This goes back through slavery, and Jim Crow, to the present day. The foolish "multiculturalism" of liberals, associated as it is with books and reading and education and the like, overlooks this threat. The NRA does not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018 at 8:55 AM
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  10. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    They have found their red flag, so the gun makers are happy.
     
  11. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Didn't anyone tell them that Great Britain is another country?
     
  12. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Well, it used to be an American colony!
     
  13. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Ah. I have been experiencing memory lapses.
     
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    That would make it worse - liberals imposing foreign multicultural values on American children.
     
  15. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Imposing? More cultural colonialism, like bread pudding and ring-around-the-rosie?
     
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

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    And handgun restrictions, animal rights, government run health care, mass transit, communism, soccer, etc.
     
  17. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Soccer took hold of the children. The rest, not so much. We'll keep trying.
     
  18. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, Britgate stads revealed.
     
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Well, they seemed to be fine with Japanese and Indian engines. But a black engine - that they could not abide. (And yes, even the fact that they decided an engine with exactly the same face color was "black" is absurd.)

    I think there are two factors that led them to their level of outrage:

    1) The NRA is composed mainly of angry old white men. One of the things they are often angry about is loss of privilege. These are people who grew up in the 1950's through the 1970's. And even if someone back then was a complete failure they could think "well, at least I'm not black" - and thus there would be places/jobs/situations/schools open to them that were not open to blacks. In other words, white privilege protected them to some degree from both their own faults, and allowed them to feel superior to _someone._ Losing that status makes them angry.

    2) The NRA has found itself opposed to blacks because of the epidemic here of unarmed black men being shot by cops. The NRA sees this as a threat to gun ownership, because guns get part of the blame for that. You can see this in their PR material on shootings - unarmed black men who are killed "should have been armed" and armed black men who are killed "should have been more careful." Nothing along the lines of "cops should not shoot unarmed black men." (The NRA has sided with Trump against the football player protests for example.)

    So I think they see a black character on Thomas the Tank Engine as a bad precedent to set, because children will then see African engines as just another sort of engine, and that may extend to them seeing blacks as just another sort of person. And that's an outcome that both the NRA and the old white men who make up their base does not want to see.



    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/a...catch-22-for-black-men-shot-by-police/570124/
     
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  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Just to clarify the history, these were all originally BOOKS, written by an Anglican clergymen, the Rev W Audrey, who was keen on steam engines, as quite a lot of people who should get out more were at that time (1940s).

    We all had these books as kids - it's part of being English. Thomas was just one character among many. James was the first one I got to know, not Thomas.

    Then the marketers got hold of it and started treating it as a "franchise", for which purpose they needed a "personality". So they chose Thomas the Tank Engine for that - and now we have cartoons, merchandise and all manner of spinoff junk.

    From what you say, it seems as if the PC brigade has got hold of it and deemed it necessary to give the children a lecture on cultural and racial differences, into the bargain. I rather hate this sort of axe-grinding, moralising propaganda being inserted into simple stories about railway engines. But there we are. I belong to an era in which one could just have a story, without scrutinising it for opportunities to "send a message".

    But I do find it funny the NRA has been content to see all of this happening............ until we get a black face!

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  21. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

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    Heavens forbid if Peppa Pig were to make friends with a black rhino.
     
  22. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

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    Whatever the NRA is, it no way qualifies as part of what even its more hardened opponents could call "the PC brigade"!
    This is just American right-wingnuts accusing liberals of what they themselves are guilty of. They always do this.
    You can pretty much tell what the right has been up to by the charges they level at their opposition.
     
  23. Gawdzilla Sama Valued Senior Member

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    Concur with Jeeves. NRA is a bastion of bigotry. They complain about "PC" because it doesn't allow them to insult everybody they want to insult.
     

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