Monday, July 16, 2007

Comments

Most of the comments on this thread refer to Dear Marriott International and its companion post Definition of Obscenity.

On Friday 7/20/2007 at 12:22 AM, Marriott International wrote:

Dear R. Gary Shapiro,

Thank you for contacting Marriott.  We appreciate your input and value the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Your comments about the movie selections available to our guests are well taken.  We regret any discomfort that you may have experienced as a result of the availability of this type of entertainment in our rooms.  Please be aware that all guests have the option to block these selections while still allowing for the enjoyment of other in-room entertainment options.

We realize that every aspect of your stay is important.  Your observations help us in the pursuit of our goal to provide you with an excellent experience.

If we can be of further assistance, we invite you to reply to this email.

Thank you for choosing Marriott.

Regards,
Karen Lee
Marriott Internet Customer Care

This boilerplate response to my complaint about in-room pornography doesn't even contain the word "pornography."  The first step in eliminating the pornography will be getting Marriott to acknowledge its existence in their rooms.

10 comments:

Bookslinger said...

It's too long. I didn't even finish reading it. Need to shorten it.

R. Gary said...

I can't argue with you about its length.  I'm of the opinion, however, that if your name were Marriott and you were selling pornography, you might be worried that someone else would read it and I'm sort of thinking that would make you want to know what it says.  Anyway, it was first written more than sixteen years ago and I haven't figured out a good way to shorten it.  But I'm open to suggestions.

Bookslinger said...

In order to get this new blog on the search engines, I'd suggest linking to here _from_ your other blog, which is already in the search engines. (Put the link in a new post "above the cut".) The SE's tend to follow links on pages that they already index.

Also, submit it at www.google.com , click "About" and follow links to submit a site.

Also, submit to www.yahoo.com , click "suggest a site" at bottom of main page.

re: how to shorten.

1. State the problem. Don't get too detailed, as I'm sure Brother Marriott is quite aware of the pornography problem in the church and in our society.

2. State your opinions and preferences.

3. State you will vote with your feet/dollars.

4. Make a polite call to action. Specify exactly what it is you want from them.

5. Avoid being judgemental. There are many other parties and stockholders involved who have a say in the video entertainment contracts at Marriott hotels.

Remember, your bishop and everyone above him in his chain-of-command in the church has the right to ask you to start confessing your own sins after you enumerate the alleged sins of others.

6. Suggest intermediate steps. Likely steps will be waiting until current contracts expire with licensees/franchisees, and with video entertainment providers, in order that new agreements/contracts be negotiated so that porn isn't included. Just go after the X rated videos, not the R. With r-rated movies shown in every movie theater in the US, there's no chance of getting those removed from hotel rooms.

7. Encourage others to vote with their feet/dollars and make their opinions heard. I can almost guarantee you that corporate big-wigs will totally ignore a few letters and emails. If you actually get thousands of _written_ hard-copy letters, and 10's of thousands of emails to be sent to them, then you might get noticed.

R. Gary said...

Bookslinger,

For the time being, this blog doesn't exist on Blogger's listings, no pings are being sent out, and there is no syndication (site feed).  In short, this is not yet a public blog.  I'm in test mode and your comments are appreciated.

R. Gary said...

Bookslinger said:  "Just go after the X rated videos, not the R. With r-rated movies shown in every movie theater in the US, there's no chance of getting those removed from hotel rooms."

I was told during the 1980s that there was no chance of getting R-rated fiction removed from Deseret Book, but it's gone.  It wasn't a lot of letters, but modesty and chastity that finally won out.

The length of my post lies not in enumerating others' sins, but in helping others understand exactly what pornography is.  I believe they sell it only because they don't think it's pornography.

R. Gary said...

Bookslinger said: "I'm sure Brother Marriott is quite aware of the pornography problem in the church and in our society."

I'm not sure Marriott even understands what pornography is.  Unless the district attorney goes after it, Marriott seems to think it is something less than pornography (whatever that is).

R. Gary said...

Bookslinger said:  "I can almost guarantee you that corporate big-wigs will totally ignore a few letters and emails."

You are correct.

In the case of Deseret Book, there was a lot of behind the scenes discussion.  I only had specific knowledge of a small part of it and participated in even less (although my wife and I did enjoy a lengthy meeting with the Utah North Area Presidency to talk about it).  But again, it wasn't the sheer force of public pressure but the gospel principles of modesty and chastity that finally prevailed.

Bookslinger said...

I suppose it's possible that Bill Marriott hasn't seen one of the "non rated" movies that are shown in the hotels bearing his name. It could be that he just thinks the "non-rated" movies are the equivalent of a "hard R" rating.

To be accurate, I haven't seen them either. I've never stayed at a Marriott, and I've never ordered or watched a PPV movie in a hotel or motel. I'm too cheap.

Perhaps another tack, in addition to getting other people to voice their opinions to Marriott Corp., is to convince Bill Marriott to actually watch some of the "adult fare" that is sold in the hotels bearing his name.

But I do have a question. How far should this be carried? Should Marriott stop selling liquor in their hotels? What about other LDS members who own businesses? Would you ask all LDS grocery store owners to remove beer and wine from their grocery stores and convenience stores? Should LDS-owned grocery stores and convenience stores close on Sunday?

R. Gary said...

Bookslinger said:  "It could be that he just thinks the  ' non-rated '  movies are the equivalent of a  ' hard R '  rating."

Again, I agree with you.  That is what he might be thinking.

Bookslinger said:  "Perhaps another tack [would be] to convince Bill Marriott to actually watch some of the  ' adult fare '  that is sold in the hotels bearing his name."

I find it hard to believe that nobody in the corporate leadership has watched any of the adult fare.  Given a correct understanding of what constitutes pornography (from a Christian perspective), he wouldn't have to watch it himself, he could just discuss it with someone who has watched it.  But again, the underlying problem is the fact that they don't seem to know how to recognize pornography.  They seem to think it's something else, something inappropriate but "tolerable."

R. Gary said...

Regarding alcohol and closing on Sunday, etc., I'd prefer to save that discussion for another day.  The question here is "when will Marriott International stop selling pornography?"