Oh Yes, Mr. Marketer, We are ALL Afraid Our Kids Will Be Snatched

From My Mailbox:

Dear Blogger: We’ve all seen or heard of the hit movie “Taken” starring the beloved Liam Neeson, where his daughter is kidnapped upon arrival to Europe without a single trace as to where she might have disappeared. Ever since, this movie has given nightmares to parents and travelers alike who can’t anticipate whether they might be the next to be snatched up. What if travelers could be tracked internationally and have access to a phone with an international data plan at their fingertips?

Darned if that wasn’t EXACTLY the question I was asking myself: What if MY child suffers the exact same fate as the kid in an action movie? For that very same reason I am not letting them go to any island where they are cloning dinosaurs for a theme park, and there is NO WAY I am letting them befriend any half-humans from the future. Sorry, I can’t anticipate whether my kid might be the next victim! Thank GOD some company understands this pressing concern and has been kind enough to come up with a solution I can keep at my fingertips.

Because if this can happen to the beloved Liam Neeson, WHO, among us, is safe? – L

Liam Neeson's fictional child was snatched so MINE must be next!

Liam Neeson’s fictional child was snatched so MINE must be next!


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52 Responses to Oh Yes, Mr. Marketer, We are ALL Afraid Our Kids Will Be Snatched

  1. Shelly Stow November 22, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    LOL; enjoyed your irony very much. However, this particular device, or whatever it is, is just a small slice in the pie of the huge, huge sex offender industry, an industry that rakes in many millions for many people.

  2. Warren November 22, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    Loved the movie, as he played his part so well. But see I don’t worry about my daughters being “Taken” because if they are gone too long, I walk over to the Ops console on the bridge of my starship, and use sensors to locate them. Then if need be, I order the transporter chief to beam them up. It’s all so easy.

  3. Warren November 22, 2013 at 8:42 am #

    Sorry got to go load my dog into my Trans Am, call my buddy in his Peterbilt, and get to Texarkana, pick up a truck load of Coors, and get back in 28 hours. Busy day.

  4. pentamom November 22, 2013 at 9:01 am #

    But how can I protect my kids from being pursued by demonic figures after being left apparently innocuous pieces of jewelry by charming but slightly addled older relatives? What product do you have to sell me to protect us from THAT, hmmmmm??????? You’re falling down on the job, Protective Industry!

  5. Uly November 22, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    I think the no visiting Jurassic Park rule is quite sensible, actually. The place will kill their grades in science, it’s not even accurate!

  6. Lara November 22, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I’d never let my child participate in a fight to the death with 23 other children, including boys who could be much larger than she is.

  7. BL November 22, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    And to think this guy once portrayed such fearless men as Michael Collins and Rob Roy Macgregor.

  8. Michelle H November 22, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Yeah I’m not really concerned about this. Especially since the girls invited random-guy-in-the-airport-they-met-for-2-minutes to the place where they were staying. Shouldn’t the question be how to make sure to teach common sense to people instead? Even knowing that the majority of people are nice, I still wouldn’t do this.

  9. Suzanne Lucas November 22, 2013 at 10:09 am #

    See, it’s more problematic for me, because my kids go to Hogwarts and they don’t allow me to visit. I lost my invisibility cloak (put that thing down in the wrong spot, and you’ll never find it again!). I need someone to come out with a little wizard/witch tracking device!

    Where is Graco when I need them?

  10. Brenna November 22, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I’m less worried about my kids getting snatched (we travel to Europe so rarely) than I am about those darned possessed board games. I mean, how can I possibly let them play Candyland after what happened to those kids who played Jumanji? And that other space game, whose name currently escapes me? Really, think about it. If they got sucked into Candyland, they might become obese!! Of course, maybe they could somehow slide-slip into Chutes and Ladders, so at least they’d get some exercise climbing. Then again, everyone knows that slides are nothing but death traps, so maybe I ought to throw away most of the game cupboard…

  11. Sandy November 22, 2013 at 10:40 am #

    If we’re going to model off fiction, I tend to think my kids being kidnapped will be more like “Red Chief’s Ransom”, which I find comforting. I think any parent who reads that story will stop worrying about their kids being snatched.

  12. Suzanne November 22, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    I love it when marketing firms don’t bother to consider the blog they are trying to get to hawk their products too. Did you send them a photo of Wil Wheaton collating papers (http://thebloggess.com/heres-a-picture-of-wil-wheaton-collating-papers/) I bet they did a search for parenting blogs and now their product is being made fun of on line. Nice work!

  13. pentamom November 22, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    BL, I don’t think Neeson has any connection to this silliness, they just invoked his name. And don’t forget Qui Gonn and Aslan.

    Which reminds me — does the tracking device work in Narnia? If not, not worthy my money.

  14. lollipoplover November 22, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    We live in fear of our children receiving dolls for birthday presents only to find out beloved doll is possessed with the soul of a serial killer.

  15. Coasterfreak November 22, 2013 at 11:23 am #

    We recently took a trip to Galveston Island with our 14 year old son and his best friend. Now, normally we’re very Free Range, and we did let them walk to the amusement pier by themselves and back to the hotel by themselves later (because my wife and I weren’t done riding the rides yet), BUT – I did warn them very sternly not to go into the ocean, because I saw Jaws and Piranha, and I know what can happen to people who swim in the ocean! Then I remembered that I’ve also seen Blood Beach, and the people who died at the beach in that movie never even made it to the water, so I forbid them from even going onto the beach. They must have followed my orders because they are still alive today.

    I considered not letting them go to the hotel alone, because hey, I’ve seen The Shining, but then I thought maybe I was getting ridiculous.

  16. Gina November 22, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    My daughters are NOT permitted to date werewolves or vampires. And they cannot live in a Georgetown townhouse, lest they become possessed. Other than that, I am totally free range.

  17. Nicole November 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Excellent comments! I do think we have to worry more about the reality of Hunger Games from the powers that be than our kid being taken. Considering it happened to Liam Neeson not once, but twice, well, that’s just bad planning.

  18. Papilio November 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    Hahaha, I love it when you go all sarky on nonsense like this 😀
    That movie was broadcasted on tv here this very week, and when I saw the announcement my first thought was ‘Yawn – ANOTHER cliché American movie about some normal everyday dad who turns into a superhero after his daughter/wife/both is/are kidnapped/raped/murdered/combination.’

    I suppose I’d never let my future kids travel to the USA. I know this particular movie was set in Europe, but all the other possible misery (aliens, giant monsters, zombies, dinosaur erupting vulcanoes – not to mention all those pedophiles on every street corner!) happens over there! :O

  19. LTMG November 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Marketeers using scare tactics instead of facts are despicable. Yes, sex and fear both sell. That doesn’t mean it’s right.

  20. Gary November 22, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    body count in taken was WAY low.

  21. Marni November 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    The OP was good, but these comments ROCK!

  22. lollipoplover November 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    “Ever since, this movie has given nightmares to parents and travelers alike who can’t anticipate whether they might be the next to be snatched up.”

    I had the same experience after seeing Jaws. I saw it first in the backseat of a Chevelle convertible. My sister had to babysit me and she also had a date so she took me to the Drive-in. I was 5 and didn’t go in the ocean that whole summer. My whole family sang the DA-DUM-DA-DUM theme song from the movie, just to tease me.

    I still shudder when I see shadows in the ocean while swimming or news reports of shark attacks or sightings. I know they are exceedingly rare, just like stranger abductions (though I’ve never seen Taken and love Liam). Honestly, On a European vacation, I’d be more worried about my son picking up a hooker at a Can-Can show (National Lampoons)than having them abducted like in Taken. Truth.

  23. Hels November 22, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    And how do I know that my kids would turn out to be like the kids in “Taken” and not like the Children of the Corn or the Omen or the Ring or any other killer kid movie, huh? Maybe we should instead just kill off all the kids now. After all, you never know which one will grow up to become a psycho sadistic murdered, better not risk it!

  24. Havva November 22, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    Dumb as it is to use fiction to promote your ‘solution’ to your own fear mongering. Marketers: if you are going to do it, get your movie facts straight.

    They say: “What if travelers could be tracked internationally and have access to a phone with an international data plan at their fingertips?”

    Well… the girl in “Taken” was talking to her dad on a cell phone with an international data plan. Dad knew exactly where she was and got to hear her screams the moment she was “taken.” I don’t imagine real kidnappers letting a victim take her phone along any more than these fictional ones did. So unless the cell phone lets you leap through it like a transporter after a quick stop to the Matrix gun arsenal, I don’t see how this would protect you against having your kid kidnapped while in a different country.

  25. delurking November 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    I am worried about my kids being taken by people who I don’t know. So I have developed a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like them.

  26. Gina November 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm #

    WAIT!!! Does this mean that when the wind changes I will magically be able to hire a nanny with a bottomless carpetbag and a beautiful singing voice?

  27. Becky November 22, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    After watching Flightplan, I gave up on air travel because my child might vanish into thin air in a weird conspiracy to frame me for something!

  28. Merrick November 22, 2013 at 3:55 pm #

    I always use, perhaps overuse, the words FICTIONAL or IMAGINARY when someone brings up these sorts of “Examples” of why we should all live in fear.

    Yes, I should be afraid because it happened to an IMAGINARY child???

  29. Merrick November 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Pentamom – even if it did work in Narnia, it’d probably get wet when you fell into the picture of the Dawntreader.

  30. Ali November 22, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I recently rebuilt a protocol ‘droid for my children that stays with them AT ALL TIMES. This is just in case aliens snatch them up and they need a translator and a little comic relief. They named him C3P OH! Never can be too safe when aliens are knocking at your door.

  31. Michelle H November 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    I’m wondering how these kids are kept clean, I mean, according to Psycho somebody is trying to kill you in the shower.

  32. pentamom November 22, 2013 at 5:08 pm #

    Merrick — if it isn’t salt-waterproof, ain’t nobody got time for that.

    “Considering it happened to Liam Neeson not once, but twice, well, that’s just bad planning.”

    To lose one parent, Mr. Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. — Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest.

  33. pentamom November 22, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Now, now, Papilio, the giant monsters are mostly in Japan. And the regenerated dinosaurs were down in the Caribbean.

  34. Emily November 22, 2013 at 5:13 pm #

    Coasterfreak–I know you were being facetious, but honestly, if I lived near an amusement park that was on the beach (actually not so hypothetical in the summer here; there are tons of weekend festivals with midway rides down by the waterfront), then I’d probably make a beeline for the ocean, and completely ignore the midway. I know that that’s not EXACTLY germane to our topic of discussion, but roller coasters and midway rides like the Tilt-A-Whirl, and the pirate ship that swings upside down, and the Scrambler, the vertical drop ride, etc., are much “scarier” than a mundane activity like swimming in a lake or an ocean (freshwater beach where I am, but I lived near the ocean while I was in Australia), but the rides are deliberately designed to be safe, while swimming inherently carries the risk of drowning. Now, for me, that risk is fairly small, because I was raised with swimming lessons, but there’s almost NO risk of dying on most midway rides. I say “most,” because there were several stories in the news about people falling off the Swing of the Century ride at Canada’s Wonderland, years ago, but the fact remains that I’m NOT afraid of swimming (or water parks either–I’ll go down the tallest slide there), while I’m deathly afraid of midway rides, despite knowing rationally that the former is much more dangerous than the latter. Maybe it’s the same general principle with movies–someone writes a movie about something that COULD happen in real life (but that’s extremely unlikely), and deliberately try to make the movie scary, and people watch it and get scared that that’s going to happen in real life, when it’s really nothing more than good storytelling. I think that blurring the line between reality and fantasy like the producers of “Taken” did, is what creates that paranoia.

  35. Kelly November 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Ah, but where’s the closet lock to prevent the monsters from exploiting my kids screams/laughter for electricity? How can we let them get away with that??

  36. Elsie Kleeman November 22, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    This summer at a mom’s book club the movie Taken was brought up. Several mothers there said that they wanted their (currently three-year old) daughters to watch it so they could be prepared for bad things that happen in the real world. (I’m not sure whether they meant they want their daughters to watch it now, but I am guessing they meant in the future, but who knows.) I’ve never seen the movie and had no idea what it was about, so I didn’t say anything.

    When I got home I looked it up online. Wikipedia quoted several sources saying the film was “brainless,” “a Bond film on steroids,” that Neeson “uses a variety of martial skills to knock out more opponents than Mike Tyson and casually kill those he doesn’t KO,” contains a “string of unlikely coincidences,” and” can’t help being unintentionally silly at times.” All which led me to believe that this film is probably not firmly grounded and entrenched in reality. If we spend this much time worrying that what we see in the movies is real, we’ve got some serious problems.

  37. Papilio November 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

    @Pentamom: And if you loose three? :O 😛

    “the giant monsters are mostly in Japan. And the regenerated dinosaurs were down in the Caribbean.”

    Ah, thanks for the vacation tips.


  38. Steve Cournoyer November 22, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    I pity the poor dinosaur clones if my 2 kids landed on that island!

  39. Reziac November 22, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I was once run into by Liam Neeson. Could this be why I was abducted by aliens? Was it a contagious abduction cootie??

    ….well, it’s partly true…. Back a few decades for several years I did bits and extras in Hollyweird. One of the shoots I worked was Darkman, starring you-know-who. So we’re doing the carnival scene, I’m doing the extras thing looking ‘natural’ off in the distance, and I’m facing away from the camera. Meanwhile Our Hero’s plastic face is melting and he doesn’t want the love interest to see that, so he runs off across the parking lot.. unable to see where he’s going, and SMACK into my unsuspecting backside. Hence my WTF?!! reaction is totally real!

    They did several more takes, but used that one in the final cut.

    So if I’m ever abducted, I’m blaming Liam Neeson. 😀

  40. fred schueler November 23, 2013 at 12:19 am #

    …maybe that’s where those spams come from of folks who have been robbed of their food and identification in Manila? Or at least these are related phenomena.

  41. bmjj2k November 23, 2013 at 12:28 am #

    The article talks about “parents and travelers alike who can’t anticipate whether they might be the next to be snatched up.”

    They can’t be the next since there was never a first!
    The movie is fiction! It never happened!

  42. Donna November 23, 2013 at 7:39 am #

    After seeing all the cruise ships in Samoa, my daughter really wants to go on a cruise but I’ve told her we can’t until the Caribbean takes care of its pirate problem.

  43. Papilio November 23, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Lenore: “Comments are funnier than (sigh) me!”

    That depends… We could always make more fun of you 😛
    Or maybe not.

  44. lollipoplover November 23, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Imagine if you went on that trip to Europe and horror of horrors you left one of your kids behind (hello, CPS) for a week. The abandoned child has to outsmart robbers and prevent himself from being killed and turn the house into a minefield of terrorizing obstacles. Kid proceeds to sadistically injure the bad guys and escapes on a zip line to his treehouse. Parents and travelers alike always worry about this pesky problem and should purchase an emergency anvil.

  45. Lola November 23, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    Didn’t watch the movie, sorry. But why would being separated from Voldemort be bad for any child?

  46. Papilio November 23, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    @Lola: Shared custody.

  47. pentamom November 25, 2013 at 8:33 am #

    Liam Neeson wasn’t Voldemort. That was Ralph Fiennes. Being forcibly separated from Aslan is a terrible thing, though.

  48. Aimee November 25, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    @Brenna – the space movie where the game turns real: Zathura!

    And don’t forget the Zombie Apocalypse. No place for kids, for sure.

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  50. An Invested Mom November 27, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    You people suck. 2,000 people go missing every day in this country, yet it’s all just a joke to you. You could really be doing a great service to help paranoid parents feel safer in this world, yet you guffaw at us and make fun of our *in many cases based on experiences* concerns. I was molested as a child and my sister was kidnapped. So in my experience, these scenarios are very real. Mocking people like me who have legitimate reasons for being perhaps overly-sensitive about our children’s safety only further antagonizes our fears and makes us even less trusting of other parents. I came here for some help opening up, and now just hate you. Thanks for all being such cold hearted and unsympathetic cohabitants in the world.

  51. C. S. P. Schofield November 27, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Invested Mon,

    Most of the 2000 people who disappear with such regularity either do it themselves or are part of a family dispute. A vanishingly small number are snatched by strangers. It does happen. Meteorites do strike people out of the blue sky, too. Both are too rare to plan for.

    As for making fun of a meme that equated an (very good) action movie with real life, please take three deep breaths and take a mental step back. TAKEN was a decent film, based on the Human Trafficking hysteria …. which was largely bushwa the last time it was prevalent (the White Slavery panic of the late Victorian era), and which seems likely to be bushwa now. We have no more cause to take it seriously and plan based on its plot than we have to take PACIFIC RIM seriously.

  52. An Invested Mom November 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Maybe you prefer to live in a bubble and maybe you have that luxury but human trafficking is a very real issue with an estimated 21 million people worldwide. Yes, you can get hit by a meteor, so does that mean we simply leave everything in life up to chance, regardless of what we know? As a late teen, I was encouraged for months to go “become a model” in Asia by some seemingly nice men but luckily folks warned me that trafficking does exist, as my “free range” (unprotecting) parents never informed me of any possibilities of that. I am a child of people like you who roll their eyes at any chance of bad things happening and accusations of paranoia. Had they not been so hung up on making others think they were so cool about everything, perhaps I wouldn’t have been molested by several different adults they trusted me with. Yes, it’s not all “strangers” but people we know such as doctors, priests, neighbors, family friends.. And those are very real scenarios rather you choose to bury your head in the sand or not. I sincerely hope for your children’s sake they never go through what I did because your ignorance is pathetic.