I Think I Can't

When I first saw Thomas the Tank Engine on Shining Time Station, I immediately thought, "Why is this show ripping off The Little Engine That Could?" The beloved children's story was my favorite, after all, and Thomas seemed a poor substitute, even if they somehow landed George Carlin to co-star in the show. Turns out Thomas' roots go back almost as far as The Little Engine, but the Tank Engine originated on the other side of the pond in England. Unfortunately our Little Engine never spun off a hit children's series, though a toy line based on the American classic did benefit when lead was discovered in the paint of Thomas toys several years ago. But kids these days don't know what lead is and couldn't find China on a map if they tried, content instead to worship shallow celebrities like Thomas and his friend Bob the Builder. So feel free to take the rugrats to see Thomas Live! A Circus Comes to Town 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Nokia Theatre, but don't come whining to us with letters about the economy and the poor work ethic of American youth, because you will only be feeding the coal-fired, Chinese lead-lined engine of the marketing beast. Tickets are $15 to $45. Visit ticketmaster.com.
Tue., June 2, 6:30 p.m., 2009
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Noah W. Bailey
Contact: Noah W. Bailey

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