Spoiler Alert: You Don’t Have to Care About Spoilers

My Weekend? Loads of fun, overall. Yes, I was in a wedding with a lot of setup time, and it was all outdoors, and the Tux neither fit me right, nor was in any way really comfortable, but I got to spend a good amount of time with a lot of cool folks I hadn’t seen in a while (Marcus and John are really awesome dudes who I wish I hung out with more frequently), I got to spend a good amount of time with the woman I love (including some dancing and a church sermon on Marriage, how timely, heh), and the wedding went off without any major hitches. So all in all, a great time was had!

I know you all want photos. I’ll share them when Kevin (the wedding photographer and also a really amazing friend) puts them on Flickr or something. Personally, I don’t get why you all wanna see my goofy butt wearing an ill-fitted tuxedo (I will never choose to do business with Al’s Formal Wear, by the way), but hopefully I can show you some with a certain extremely photogenic lovely lady as well.

Speaking of said photogenic lovely lady, her 2 alts have joined her main in the ranks of Alea Iacta Est. So, my guildmates, if you see Peusnerak, Palacia, or Faunni running around, say hi to her for me. Unless she’s on past 3 am server time, then you should yell at her to go to bed.

I’d like to take a moment to discuss my take on TV/Movie/Book/SomethingWithAStory Spoilers. I watched a discussion this morning on my Twitter feed about the Lost finale. Someone made a comment about one of the characters, and then someone followed it up with “OMG thanks for spoiling it! I’m still working on Season 1!” or something to that effect. The original person quickly apologized, and the discussion quieted down after that.

I do not understand this mindset of getting upset about other people telling you things that happened before you get to see/read/otherwise experience it yourself. I really don’t. People get really upset over this, claiming such outrageous things as “You ruined the whole thing for me!!”

How, precisely, was it ruined for you?? Is your entire enjoyment of said media so fragile that knowing something is coming beforehand will just shatter it completely, and now you hate it? Frankly, if it was so flimsy in the first place, you probably just had a favor done for you. Now you can go spend your time enjoying something else, something you can enjoy so much that no matter what you know going in to it, you will find enjoyment. I do not understand this mindset at all.

There are two things you get when you experience some form of media with a twist/plot point/something “spoilable”. You have the shock surprise of the revelation, and you have the artistry of how the revelation itself is revealed. For example, let’s take the TV series The Mentalist. The teaser for the Season 2 Finale has the main character, Patrick Jane, get kidnapped and supposedly brought before his recurring antagonist, the serial killer known only as “Red John”. Red John’s identity has been a mystery throughout all the series thus far. So, assuming that Red John’s identity will be revealed in this episode,  the shock surprise in this example would be Red John’s actual identity. The artistry around it would be how the identity is revealed, whether through some sort of clever interchange of dialogue, Jane reveals it, or perhaps Jane sees him off camera, and there is some sort of incredible camera angle change which slowly reveals the killer’s true face, that sort of thing.

It seems to me that most folks who are afraid of having things spoiled for them would seem to believe that both of those aspects MUST be seen together, either because some sort of mysterious “third feeling” is experienced only when both of them occur at the same time, or because without one, the other is diminished.

This makes zero sense to me, because it is my experience that neither of these is at all true. One plus one still equals two. Not zero, one, or even three, but still two. It is equally fulfilling either way, IF you are willing to believe that it is. My enjoyment of, say, Battlestar Galactica was in no way diminished by the face that I knew when Starbuck was going to die before I actually saw the episode when she did. I experienced the shock and surprise of the revelation when I read the episode summary online, and when I saw it, I enjoyed the brilliant acting, the special effects, the camera shots, and how they all came together to make a truly heartfelt and poignant scene. And, yes, I still felt really sad that Starbuck died. I knew it was going to happen. I even knew that she would be resurrected later on in the series. But I still felt sad. Why? Because everyone who worked on that show, the actors, the director, the cameramen, the special effects artists, did an incredible job of converying and passing on the emotions they presented to the audience. There really is no mystical extra feeling you gain from experiencing both the revelation and the artistry at the same time. And once you divorce yourself from that belief, you start to care less and less about avoiding spoilers. And you gain a whole lot of freedom from waiting, because you have the freedom to experience the shock of the revelation at any time and truly enjoy it.

Incidentally, nothing will make me angrier than wanting to know what happened in a Movie/TVshow/Book/etc. and someone I’m talking to about it refusing to tell me because “they don’t want to spoil it for me”. Because, you see, in reality, it’s impossible to “Spoil” it. Since I am divorced from this false notion that the revelation and the artistry must be experienced together, you are incapable of ruining my experience solely by bringing me the revelation before the artistry. You cannot do that yourself. The revelation itself might ruin the artistry, but that is not a fault of the seperation. It is the fault of the media creators for coming up with a stupid revelation. You bringing that to me seperate from the artistry is not going to change that. I will either hate it now, or later. Or if I think it’s really awesome, then I will enjoy it both now AND later. And I will experience the full enjoyment, just as you have.

So what say you all? Am I wrong? Is it truly not the same? And why not?? What’s so different it? It’s still a surprise, either way, right? Let me know your thoughts and perspective on this whole spoiler thing. I’ll see you all next time.


    • tanzenmitgott
    • May 24th, 2010

    Well, as far as spoilers go, i might read/see/find one but depending on my interest in the spoiled thing, i may or may not want to finish. If i found out today that in an episode of smallville, chloe dies, i may want to watch and see how it happens. However, as a general rule, i like the surprise of finding out that chloe dies while watching that show. Just sayin 🙂

  1. March 19th, 2012

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