Working from home means getting more than one’s fair share of telemarketing calls, even after that glorious day about a year ago when the family registered for the National Do Not Call list. Still, it was mildly intriguing last week to get a call from The Dove Foundation—a nonprofit focused on distributing content that fits its vision of family entertainment. The friendly, male, prerecorded voice of the foundation wanted to know how I, the mother of the house, really felt about the content of Hollywood films. (The truth is, I don’t spend much time thinking about it, but I wanted to know where this whole thing was leading, especially once the voice started talking about “the influence of the media”—I’m a sucker for that line every time.)
The voice then asked me if I wanted to hear from a second group called Feature Films for Families, and even as the telemarketee inside me was screaming “No!”, the blogger in me was saying, “Yes!”
Two days later, the phone rang again—it was a pre-recorded woman’s voice this time, from Feature Films for Families. She asked if I knew that Disney spent hundreds of millions of dollars to promote Finding Nemo and then continued, “Unfortunately, we don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars to spend”—and chuckled slightly. I got to thinking, was there really a great moral dilemma I should have noticed in Finding Nemo? Should I have been more concerned that every last fish in the movie was buck naked?
It was all a lead-in to the pitch that I could order two movies, one titled No More Baths and the other called The Paper Brigade, for $12.99, part of a library of “value-building content” that, according to the organization’s Web site, also includes Ponderosa. I declined, because, among other things, it’s so damn easy to hang up on a recording. And then I wondered what fine print deep within the Do Not Call list lets foundations telemarket movies.
—Posted By Catharine P. Taylor