Saturday, August 16, 2008

On a serious note...

I'd like to interrupt the regularly scheduled post of light-hearted banter to share a bit of information that is disturbing yet unfortunately true.

Last Thursday I attended a baby shower at my church and a friend of mine (Becky, my Sunday school teacher) told a group of us about a kid's CD-ROM she gets in the mail for her children. You may have heard of it or even be a member, it's called Publix Preschool Pals.
It a free club for preschool-aged children that you sign up for at your local Publix (if you have a local Publix, I don't, wish I did). Once you join, they send you little things in the mail every so often, like newsletters, birthday cards, and a CD-ROM. She went on to say that her kids have always loved being a part of it. Well, the newest CD-ROM arrived in the mail the other day and she didn't think much about it, just tossed it onto the kitchen counter. Her mother came over to watch the kids while she went to work. When she got home that day, her mother asked, "What's the deal with that Publix Preschool Pal CD? There's pornography on it."

Becky didn't know what she meant and figured her mom had just misunderstood something. "Pornography? What do you mean? Breastfeeding or something?" she asked.

"No, there is definitely real pornography on that thing. You need to take it back to your room and see for yourself."

Becky said that she took it back to her room and put it into the computer and was absolutely shocked at what she saw. She said it started out with the normal Preschool Pal animations and then a few seconds later a small square appeared in the center of the screen and slowly kept enlarging until it filled up the entire screen. It was definitely pornography. She said it was extremely graphic. Now, this is in no way trying to bash Publix, because whenever I am anywhere near a Publix, I definitely shop there. I love their stores. And I am assuming that this is just some sicko that wanted to pull a disgusting prank.

Of course Becky and her husband are enraged, as any of us would be. Think about it, most parents (even the best of parents) will put in a video for their children and walk out of the room for a bit, assuming they're watching an appropriate show or movie. Becky, nor anyone else, would have ever had thought that a pornographic movie would appear in the middle of her children's video. The question is, did this happen to only her CD or did it affect a whole batch? Needless to say, she's contacted Publix, and is getting in touch with "the right people" to try to solve this issue.

This is disturbing and shocking, but unfortunately with the way our world is, it's very real. It's something we all need to be aware of and take precautions. Who would have ever thought we'd need to watch our children's preschool-aged CD's/DVD's all the way through before allowing them to view them just to make sure there wasn't porno on it?!

Hearing her tell this story really upset me and the more I thought about it, the more I felt like I should really write a post about it. If you have anyone you know that may be a member of this otherwise reputable club for preschoolers, feel free to pass this information along. It's something to keep in the back of our minds (or maybe even the front) because it could happen to any company's videos, this time it just happened to be Publix.

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