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Spoil this! An op-ed about spoilers

More and more these days, as the amount of critics and material to be critiqued raises along side the ability of social media to spread ANY word quickly, there is a large emphasis on the avoidance of 'spoilers', or the expressing of a plot-point or fact about a story to someone who has yet to experience it via the actual work or the story itself.

I know what some of you are already thinking; the reason people prefer to evade certain pieces of information is so that the watcher or reader or audience member gets to absorb the information as the artist(s) or writer(s) had intended (i.e. without prior knowledge). Which would make sense, if it were not for the fact that, odds are, when a story is spoiled for you, it's not being done by the artist or writer themselves. Rather, some blog or online third party is the one giving you their take on someone else's work.

Besides the fact that statistically spoilers don't actually spoil anything and there's been other material by writers on this subject, like Jonah Lehrer's article in WIRED that came out after the "Harry Potter" spoiling fiasco or Joyce Eng's article about people circumventing "Mad Men" spoilers religiously to name a few, there's a slightly more nuanced explanation for why everyone seems to avoid figuring out how something ends before they go through the entire experience that came to me yesterday.

Team USA defeated Ghana in their first group-stage match at the World Cup on Monday, which I had planned on DVRing due to a prior obligation, however, I happened upon a bar that evening and caught just the slightest of glimpses of a TV in a far corner or saw the final 2-1 score. Disappointed, I went to my sanctuary like I planned to and watched the entire 90 minutes of the match anyway. But even with the unwanted knowledge I had, it was still one of the most breath-taking sporting events I've seen in years.

How does this apply to works of art? Glad you asked. I firmly am a proponent of the sentiment, "a picture is worth a thousand words". And if one holds that to be true, in order for someone to spoil something enough for me to not want to experience it for myself would be an exhausting process for all involved. Call me crazy, but if a drunk friend slurring to you the ending of the season finale of "Game of Thrones" or the next installment of "The Hunger Games" makes you not want to watch either of those, then I don't think you cared all that much about the actual stories in the first place.

Another issue is fear. There are people who only absorb the horror genre of any type of art. These things, whether it be a film or a TV show or a novel, are built on the audience not knowing what happens at the end, also know as fear of the unknown. This fear is the lynch pin of all works or horror or suspense or anything even related to those concepts. They all involve a mixture of fear and expectation. If you don't expect something, you're much more likely to be frightened by literally anything.

I supposed I'm not motivated by fear when it comes to the art I consume, so the petty nature of facetiously die-hard fans to shun any and all knowledge of something before fraternizing with the work of art itself says a lot more about them as a viewers and as people then the "bad seeds" who would rather talk about something than equivocate real ideas at the behest of 'spoilergens' (those who ward off spoilers at all costs [trademark]).

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