Thursday, 20 April 2017

Spoiler alert - Why do some people extract such unmitigated joy from ruining something you're into? A ReadItTorial

Massive Spoiler Alert. See what I did there?
I'll never forget where I was the first time I heard who Luke's father was in "The Empire Strikes Back" (watching "The Empire Strikes Back" in a cinema) or who killed Dumbledore in "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince" (Reading the book a couple of hours after it was released - oh and ack, sorry for spoiling if you hadn't realised Dumbledore dies - you see how hard all this is?)

Spoilers are completely irritating, but not really a modern phenomenon. There were always kids at school who would gleefully ruin books, movies or TV given half the chance. Back before the Internet you could just about get away with protecting yourself from potential spoilers but now it's almost impossible unless A) you manage to live a hermit's existence in the middle of nowhere with no internet, no smart devices, and ensuring your only friends are moss-covered rocks (and you can't even trust those blighters) or B) You ship aboard the next flight to Mars thus ensuring you'll be gleefully far from caring about the plot lines of your new obsession being ruined by someone with a huge flapping gob.

I've often mused what drives spoiler-folk to do what they do. Is it that childish "I saw it first before you" thing? Is it that they actually derive more pleasure ruining something for someone else than enjoying that thing in the first place? Or are some people just massive twerps who could do with being locked in a piano before said piano is rolled down a few hundred flights of stairs in a dilapidated old 1970s brutalist tower block?

Or all of the above.

Alas on the blog we have fallen down the hole of accidental spoilage before now and it's actually very difficult to write a children's book blog without venturing into spoiler territory from time to time (and yes, I've personally been taken to task by someone who claimed one of our reviews completely ruined their enjoyment of a children's book - serious business, though I apologised profusely to the point of offering to pay for their copy of the book as some sort of compensation - I think they realised how potentially embarrassing that would be before cashing up though, thankfully).

Proper intentional spoiling though, that's an entirely different game. I innocently stumbled across the huge great big spoilers for both recent Star Wars films purely by minding my own bloody business on Twitter - only to have some hilarious pee-stain on legs blurt out said spoilers on a completely unconnected thread. The only way to be sure is not to nuke the site from orbit, it's to render your Twitter (Facebook, Google plus - hah like anyone uses that any more) account completely unusable until you've gone out to a midnight showing of said movie / tv show / new game and witnessed the spectacle unsullied for yourself.

Worse recently - I'd managed to somehow avoid finding out a particular plot thread for a new TV series I was into, more by luck than judgement - only to have a sci fi and fantasy site spoil said plot line IN THE HEADLINE OF AN ARTICLE CALLED "WHY WE HATE SPOILERS". GAH!

I have a theory about spoilerfolk. I think they carry that line of behaviour over into every aspect of their lives.

They're the person parked over the line in the only parking space available in the busy car park.

They're the person driving at 45mph down the middle lane of the motorway.

They're person who waits till the warm weather before having a stinky bonfire on a summer's evening, stinking everyone's houses out or ruining the fresh clean smell of their washing. They never ever flush the loo in public conveniences. They do not understand the concept of queuing. They will use their damned phone wherever they like, particularly in the cinema or loudly on public transport - and yes, you bet your sweet little A that they own a pair of bluetooth speakers they'll pair with the thing so you can enjoy their taste in music whether you like it or not.

They always smoke in the non smoking section, play ball in the 'no ball games' area, park in disabled or parent spaces despite being neither. Rules? Rules are for zeebs, not for the king and queen of spoilerville.

In short, the sort of joyless butthole that really has no business being allowed anywhere near movies, TV shows or indeed excellent books.