Every so often the Guardian disappears up its own arse. It's like that line from the Godfather from Peter Clemenza: "These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood. Been ten years since the last one."
For the Guardian, these sorts of things happen every five days or so. Maybe 10. And today's is a corker.
Tracey Van Slyke writes of her refusal to allow her children any enjoyment in life without subjecting them to her own white, post-colonial guilt:
"...these trains perform tasks dictated by their imperious, little white boss, Sir Topham Hatt (also known as The Fat Controller), whose attire of a top hat, tuxedo and big round belly is just a little too obvious. Basically, he's the Monopoly dictator of their funky little island. Hatt orders the trains to do everything from hauling freight to carrying passengers to running whatever random errand he wants done, whenever he wants it done – regardless of their pre-existing schedules.
She of course means "boss" or "employer" or something along those lines. But calling the Fat Controller and imperial dictator is a little spicier isn't it? Plus who believes in "bosses" anyway? It's 2014. Isn't the whole world a commune yet? She continues...
"(For the record, all the "villains" on Thomas and Friends are the dirty diesel engines. I'd like to think there was a good environmental message in there, but 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.)"
Actually it is almost impossible to make that leap, yet Van Slyke manages it anyway, quickly forgetting that the show is about steam engines, and that light vs dark in terms of good and evil is a notion that far predates the Equality Commission.
Next from the loony left: Why LOST was racist. Why little black dresses are racist. And why Conclave is racist. Oh wait... They've done that one already.
But jokes aside there's a pretty serious outcome from this Van Slyke article that I want some answers to.
By exposing her children to this endless twaddle (remember, the above is only the stuff she feels comfortable publishing) the author is projecting her bizarro notions of class, race, work, and of course the must have guilt burden of the season: the environment, onto her unassuming and likely uncaring kids.
Why should children be lumbered with the distressing political correctness of their parents in lieu of a guilt free, enjoyable childhood?
They shouldn't be. It is a mild yet damaging form of child abuse. And Van Slyke and the Guardian are encouraging if not demanding it.