Friday, August 2, 2013

Spoiler Alert! Hitler Didn't Win World War II!

Sorry. Sorry, sorry if I spoiled it for you.

But it's the way of the world these days. With the advent of the intronets, it's becoming increasingly impossible to avoid spoilers. Some folks regard spoilers as something to be savored, even though it's a somewhat contradictory term. I mean, no one relishes spoiled food, right? Except for maybe "stinky tofu." Less said about that, the better.

I think it's an art form to avoid spoilers. Especially how I like to "binge-watch" TV shows. My wife and I just finished season #3 of Game Of Thrones. Miraculously, I avoided finding out what happened at the "Red Wedding." And it was a true OMG moment. I knew something was coming, just had no idea how devastating it would be. And it was all the better for it.

That was a rare incident. For God's sake, I suffered through two seasons of The Killing, only to have it spoiled before the killer's unveiling.

Spoilers are funny. Seems to me the definition of a spoiler is becoming more subjective.

Recently I was on a movie-buff forum. Someone lobbed out the negatively loaded question, "Hey, what popular movie can you not stand?" Immediately, I fired back, "Titanic. I couldn't wait for that damn ship to go down (too many 'King Of The World' proclamations and all that)."

One guy's response? "Post a spoiler alert! Not everyone knows how 'Titanic' ends."

Huh. I was stymied. Really? So...a fact of life (not the show with Tootie and the gang, but, you know, real life) is now considered a "spoiler?"

I'm reminded of several years ago when I was in the evil corporate world. An artist I was managing--sweet, young, eager, college-educated--couldn't understand why I thought it was an important historical moment when President Obama was elected.

"Because he's the first black president in the history of the United States."

With a blank look, she said, "But what about that Martin Luther guy?"

Suppose I should have prefaced it all with a "spoiler alert."


  1. I liked Titanic. I was teaching a unit on dealing with disaster to seventh graders when it came out. We read Bob Ballard's book. The movie was historically accurate, down to the lifeboat with the broken pulley and the ship's officer who shoots himself. Too bad it had to have that made-up mushy stuff in it, but it was a real historical fiction corker to watch for me and my classes. But Hitler didn't WIN? Why is Germany so wealthy? And where did Dick Cheney come from?

    1. Michael, sorry I spoiled World War II for you. In all fairness, I did give a spoiler alert in the title, though. (I still hate "Titanic." Unpopular opinion time: If they ever make a Broadway musical out of "E.T.," I think Leonardo DiCaprio would make a stellar choice for he lead role. Just compare those triangular heads!).

      Still trying to figure out Dick Cheney. When you find out "why," let me know. Just drop a spoiler warning for others.