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    Thursday, 3 July 2008


    There are many important questions that mankind has grappled with since we first laid an opposable thumb on a large enough stick to be able to effectively whack another person over the head. Questions such as, 'Why are we here?', 'Is there a God?' and 'Where the fuck did that sock/pen/set of keys go, I left them here two seconds ago?!' have boggled our minds and been the source of much philosophical debate.

    Today a new question dawned on me in what I like to call "My thinking sphere" -- the shower. The question was, 'Why do I want to read/hear spoilers about TV shows and films I'm looking forward to watching?' I'm sure this is a question that has plagued many of you for some time now. Let us delve together. If you have delving pants, now is the time my friend.

    I think we can safely say that there is one group of people above all others who love the spoiler - nerds or geeks. I can safely talk about this group of people without fear of retribution for three reasons:
    1) I'm a card carrying geek myself.
    2) I'm bigger than most of the geeks or nerds that I know. (Note: I'm not implying that I'm a better fighter, just that nerds are timid by nature)
    3) In the event of a bigger, angrier nerd actually trying to fight me, I'm just fit and fast enough to run away.

    So why do nerds such as myself spend hour after hour trawling the information stupor highway for news that is going to ruin the movie/TV show/book etc that they've been looking forward to seeing for days/weeks/months? Doesn't it ruin the experience, taking away the excitement of all the twists and turns to come?

    The only way I can really answer the question is to think about myself. Over the last two weeks, I have been a veritable spoiler fiend, hunting tenaciously for any and all spoilers for the two-part Doctor Who finale ending this week. Every time I find a new piece of news, my heart flutters excitedly, reaching a crescendo of rapid beats as I digest the tasty brain morsel and then, ten seconds later, it hits. Buyer's remorse.

    I feel kind of guilty and dirty that I've potentially ruined a sublime moment of entertainment for myself. I tell myself I won't do it again. I try to do something else. But the internet is right there, it's so inviting, it calls to me, yearns for me. I am compelled to look again. It's exactly the same problem I have with chocolate. So.... tasty.... can't stop eating...

    How can I keep doing it to myself? Why do I keep doing it? Here's what I've come up with:
    • I have a somewhat obsessive personality. If I find something I'm interested in, I want to know everything about it.
    • I like to complete what I start. No matter how bad a movie/book/TV show was, if I start it, I like to see it through to the end. I watched every episode of the new 'Bionic Woman' TV series for that very reason, so that should be a pretty good indication of my dedication to completeness.
    • I like to feel like a pop culture detective. I try to put together all of the pieces and finish the puzzle before I watch the show so that I can say, 'Ha! I KNEW that was going to happen!' These moments make me feel happy and happiness is good for you. (Yes, I am one of those annoying people who figures out the twist before you do and then gives you a knowingly wry yet piteous smile as you figure it out a few seconds after me)
    • I like to feel superior sometimes. There, I said it. I'll admit it. You should too, it'll make you feel better.

    At a guess, I'd say that most spoiler hounds pursue spoilers for any or all of the reasons above. In this crazy, messed up world in which we live, it's nice for the average nerdling to know something that others don't and who among us can fault them for it? Not I. I'm not about the judging (remember?)!

    A blog about spoilers wouldn't be complete without actually including spoilers of some kind. So here you go, the top five film moments* that would absolutely suck to have spoiled for you:
    5) The chick in 'The Crying Game' is actually a dude.
    4) The chick in 'Ace Ventura' is actually a dude. But luckily not in real life, because I found Sean Penn to be hot.
    3) 'Vanilla Sky' was aaaaall just a dream.
    2) Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's father.
    1) Bruce Willis is a ghost, you know the movie. Suck it if you haven't watched it yet.

    If I've just ruined any of these movies for you, I don't apologise. In fact, YOU should apologise to me. Your lack of trivial knowledge offends me. Stop wasting time and go immediately and begin living your life - watch these movies back to back, preferably with a large bucket of popcorn at your side.

    *Disclaimer: Okay, so this isn't a definitive list but it's pretty damn good for one I knocked up off the top of my head in under five minutes.

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