Guest Blog Post – Spoiler alert

By Brian Shea

[Editor’s Note: Courtney Enlow is taking the week off, so today we bring you a special guest column from Brian Shea.]

I love when two of my favorite things come together – peanut butter and jelly, chicken wings and beer, television and the Internet. That last one has brought good and bad things lately.

The good part involves my discovery of Hulu. Now, I can giggle along with Jon Stewart or catch an old episode of one of my favorite shows whenever I want. It’s one of the things that make America great.
Just like the ability to talk about your favorite shows with all kinds of people online. I love the ability to connect that way, whether it’s with other fans or with people involved with the show who have a blog.

This brings me to the downside, however. Sometimes people take things a little too seriously.
I popped in to one of my favorite blogs a couple of weeks ago after a particularly funny episode of The Office. I really wanted to share my thoughts on what happened and where the plot might lead in future episodes.

Then I made a terrible mistake. Well, I didn’t think it was a terrible mistake, but the guy who runs the blog and some of his readers certainly thought so. I talked about the previews. You know, the little teaser at the end of the show which gets you excited for next week. That, apparently, ruins things for everyone.

My comment got deleted because it included “spoilers.” In case you haven’t run across any hyper-sensitive people lately, “spoilers” are information about future events in a TV show or movie or even a book.

I can kind of understand if you gave away the ending to The Sixth Sense to someone waiting to see the flick or shouted out the name of the person who dies in that one Harry Potter book before people have a chance to read it.

But the notion of spoilers has seemed to run amok, and I personally think it’s playing a role in the downfall of civilization. I mean, what is going on in this world when you can’t discuss something you saw on TV at a web site dedicated to discussing things you saw on TV?

My problem with people worried about “spoilers” is that they are, well, spoiled. If people want to live in a bubble and never find out any information ahead of time, I don’t see why the rest of us have to change our behavior to make them happy.

Like the recent uproar about how a pirated copy of the Wolverine movie has ended up on the Internet. Tragic, huh?

Who cares about the housing crisis or pirates in Africa when movies are available on the Internet before they hit the theater? Especially when it is a comic book movie. People have gone too far this time.

Do you realize that because some people will get a chance to watch the flick without having to pay $10 a ticket and either $12 for a medium popcorn and soda or $13 for a large popcorn and soda, which means the gross for this release might only be in the low $100 million range instead of inching towards $150 million?

Do people have no respect anymore when they deny movie executives that extra $10 or $20 million? Don’t they know this will cause the difference between a medium and large at the theater to go up to $2?

Okay, okay … I hear you and understand that stealing is a bad thing. But I think some of the reaction I have seen goes a little bit too far. The person who did this really deserves the title of “loser” more than “hardcore criminal.”

If you don’t want to know what happens in this movie ahead of time, don’t download it. If you somehow do find out what happens – which is kind of a silly thing to worry about since I am sure almost all of the plot points have been discussed – just go to the movies, sit back and enjoy the show.

Isn’t that what movies are for anyway? I get that the movie studios make a lot of money off these things because the people who like them can go a little overboard, but I don’t know why that has to turn every aspect of the project into a critical national story. A guy put an unfinished copy of the movie online. That hardly means he should be shot, as one movie executive suggested.
We’ve overcome worse. Like that one time when people found out ahead of time which character died in one of those Harry Potter books.

Yeah, those were dark days. I don’t know how we survived.

Brian Shea used to write for HoboTrashcan, but like Gladys Knight, he left us Pips behind to write for his own site, Regular Guy Column.

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