A telemarketer called a few days ago. He was promoting a new organization and hoping to sell wholesome family films.
The idea was admirable. No one can argue, against the fact, that there are too many images of violence and “adult” subject matter available to children on prime time television. Soon enough, it became clear that he was reading a script.
It was a time, in my work day, when I was getting my day care charges ready to go home so I was distracted and rushed. My manners have always kept me from just hanging up, so I listened. I also always figure that the person,calling, is earning a living and deserves, at least, a few moments.
As I listened, he repeatedly said,” Studies show…” . Then, he started saying that Spongebob was an example of mindless broadcasting to be avoided because “Studies show, this is also a poor choice.”
He had my interest, at first. But frustrated from not being able to get a word in and the time constraints…after all, I was “on the job”… made me lose my patience. This is what I told him:
“I believe you are promoting a worthy cause and this call is your job, but when you have said repeatedly, “studies show” and have expected that you could convince me without telling me where the studies were conducted, who did them, and how many people were studied, suggest that you are the mindless one here or you believe that I am. I grew up watching the Three Stooges and never once was tempted to hit someone with a hammer. There is definitely too much violence on TV, sir. The greater problem, in my opinion, is the cultural break down of the American family. If you have any interest in the success of your organization, I suggest you change your speech and get real. I have no extra money to invest and I thank you for trying, good-bye.”
Now, I wonder, how many people are willing to believe the rhetoric “studies show” without pause? I don’t really want to know because it scares me too much to consider further.