Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Blogger: Movie Trailers Are Not Spoilers!

And other reasons why humanity is fit for extinction

Just a couple of days ago a friend of mine told me to avoid a movie trailer because it has "a lot of spoilers" and at that point MY MIND F*CKING SNAPPED. Here is the thing: I do not care what somebody puts in a movie trailer, that is there deliberately to get you interested in the movie! IT IS NOT A SPOILER. Because the definition of spoiler, like many other words that people keep using incorrectly, has changed for the worst. Yes, a person might choose to not watch a trailer, that is fine, that is a personal choice to enjoy a movie in a different way, and getting interested through... I don't know, actors, a single scene in a talk show or if it is an adaptation or just the poster seen at a bus stop. But wishing to have a different experience versus defining that anything that has some of the content of the thing you wish to see as a "spoiler" is simply stupid. It's stupid!

And this is getting out of hand... have you tried watching interviews with actors from the MCU or Game of Thrones? It's terrible! They are not allowed to answer any question. Jude Law has gone so far as to say in every interview that Marvel is going to kill him, and it might seem silly, or actually, too much, but I think he is right to point out how f*cking out of hand this whole situation has gotten. Only The Late Show with Stephen Colbert figured out a way to brush off the awkwardness: they read out made up theories and at least get their guest to laugh with them, as well as the audience. I can even understand protecting the creator's ideas, but we are NEVER talking about spoilers from the angle of the creator, but that of the audience. The emphasis is on the viewers pleasure, and should it be? I for one do not think that the customer is always right...

The researcher that I am, I decided to really get my point across, so let us look at the dictionary definition of spoiler, it is letter c. that we are dealing with: A published piece of information that divulges a surprise, such as a plot twist in a movie.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. 

If you took the time to read the other definitions, I'm sure you learned something new and also noticed that a spoiler does not stand for "movie trailer". It comes from the verb "to spoil", as in, to ruin something or to become expired (e.g. in the sense of food). So one can spoil something for you: and if you use it as such, you and me have no issues. But... if we are sitting next to each other and you tell me that somebody dies on the show in the next 10 minutes, well, then you really HAVE ruined it for me. That is a spoiler delivered at the worst moment as well. For me, the worst spoilers are not even memes or people discussing issues, it is gossip magazines. I remember when one of my favorite characters died in a drama and I was behind because I like to binge watch it, and the next day there was an article entitled "What is next for XY actress?" and I just... WHAT?!! That is a f*cking spoiler. That is telling me that in a simple drama about country singers somebody is gonna die and that is major, because it is not a show were people die often. If anything, I hate gossip sites, and if I decide to not watch something from week to week, if I do not take the precautions to not find out things soon enough, than that is my fault. As a result I have unsubscribed from those pages and channels, or muted those twitter accounts, that give me too much when I know in advance that I cannot be up to date.

Now, I do like the "no spoiler" zones, when it comes to Star Wars of Marvel movies - really anything major and Disney in the past years. And I like it because the way these scripts are written is quite unusual and they contain far more twists (again, creator vs. audience). So much so that they design trailers to get us interested but also mislead us. I was highly amused when people got upset over 2 minutes of Star Wars teaser (!!!!!!!, not even a stupid trailer, a TEASER meant to genuinely TEASE you. Another word I suggest you look up in the dictionary!), when they know very well how much the movie company loves giving us false images. But it did not spoil anything. Because of the many twists, I understand that the writers want everyone to experience it first-hand, and that means that they care for their project. I can only show respect, but would like to also remind here everyone that it is also them who are involved in the making of trailers and I trust them to give me something that I can digest without ruining my stomach. I remember that it was Adam Drive, playing Kylo Ren, who said that he wished Episode VIII had no trailer whatsoever before the release. And even if right now this idea seems impossible, really, when you think about the size of that franchise... I'm sure they would have reached almost the same amount of viewers without a teaser or a trailer. Who knows? Maybe that is the direction in which we are going.

But I do find that the "no spoiler" zone should either extend to EVERYTHING or NOTHING. And it should be lifted after a week, because yes, there are different movie release dates all over the world, but the Internet has crushed that already years ago. It was that same friend of mine that said "Avoid the internet in the next couple of days" and I just laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed... you get it. The best way to do it is really, to include a "please do not ruin this for others" image at the beginning, or having a member of the cast telling you directly, like they do on stage in London in Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap: "it opened in London's West End in 1952, and has been running continuously since then. The longest running West End show, it has by far the longest initial run of any play in history, with its 25,000th performance taking place on 18 November 2012. The play has a twist ending, which the audience are traditionally asked not to reveal after leaving the theatre." My brother has seen it and he has not revealed it! ... and if it does cover everything, then please gossip sites, shut up for a week. Nobody is buying you anyway... I might be interested in an interview if it did not ruin completely my expectations.

Speaking of, there are some UNREASONABLE amounts of expectations from people. My girlfriend for example hates it when I reveal feelings to her about anything, and she always calls them spoilers... I understand that her anxiety about something overwhelms and her expectations get higher, and that is fine; do I agree that she should call that a spoiler? Oh f*ck no. Not even a little bit. She is like those who don't watch trailers because they wish to have a pure experience, but many of those know that their way of viewing/reading/listening to things is unlike the norm, so they do not force their views on others. And those who do don't make it that far.

Here I would like to note, that I did know two "spoilers" from Avengers: Endgame before seeing it, and it did not ruin it for me. I started watching Game of Thrones after the fourth season came out, knew who dies, did not ruin it for me (the show was bad already. Knowing things made no difference). I watched Avengers: Infinity War a month later, having seen every single meme and I can tell you that without knowing the context THEY DID NOT SPOIL ANYTHING. You as the one who knows the meaning behind them, you might fear that they reveal too much, but memes build on the unspoken common knowledge that we share as a society, so if you are not in on the joke, it cannot ruin things for you. Yes, look up meme in the dictionary as well, if we are here already... (you know what, I'll give you the link, you lazy ass!) Also, if somebody tells you a twist in a movie that came out 10 years ago, you are forbidden from telling them they spoiled it: it's been ten years dude... you are the only one to be blamed here. On top of that, I might know how something ends, but I do not have any idea on how we got there, so your approach to spoilers might just be your own fault....

In other news on our society... 
Gorillas pose for selfie with DR Congo anti-poaching unit
Do you know what fake news are? They are not lies, or misleading informations, but the truth that you do not want to admit as such. Do people use it that way, no, not in 90% of the cases. And do you know that a selfie is a picture you take of yourself, usually, with your own phone? Because many use it only to refer to pictures containing people. And the latter example is included in the Oxford dictionary so you just have no excuse anymore to not know what a selfie is!
Does this sound like the stupid rumblings of a millennial? Well, it isn't. Look at my world now: I had to spend 13 years in school to learn about the history of the people so I would not be doomed to repeat it, so I would not profit for other's misfortune, so I would not become racist, fascist or a nazi and then I look up and the world is governed by all three. Yes, blame our smart phones baby boomers, I do agree with you for one, as it is the gadget that gives me the information on the current political wave in the world AND IT IS F*CKING DEPRESSING. But then comes the news of an anti-poacher taking a selfie with gorillas and at least I smile a little bit.

Here I am, allowing myself the frill to write a stupid post about the dictionary definition of spoilers, and many do not have this one simple luxury. So where did it all go wrong? Well, people believe that "politics" is to blame for everything while, I can tell you, that politics is just another word in the dictionary. It is not to be blamed for the people who seek to use it to gain power. The people are the problem, not politics, and it is also people, not twists in movies, and it is also people making the memes not the idea of a meme! ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?

So here I am, surrounded by all this bad news and yet I am hopeful: I know that the democrats will come to power one day in the United States, which will lead again by good example around the world, that will then yield better politician and the rise of solutions to problems on a global scale. I am hopeful, that as long as there is freedom of press, we might not be able to stop the rise to power of some terrible figures, but will be able to be loud and clear about the fact that we don't agree. I have faith that many will learn that politics is just the key to something much bigger. I am confident that not all need to go extinct for us to live in a better world, but some things have taken a turn for the worst and I just don't see the way out (have you seen this article for example: "Man fired over handshake with Muslim student", yeah... depressing).
We are the makers and creators of the very things that make us miserable, and you might not recycle, you might got to vote, you might always leave the light on in the bathroom, you might stand in front of a movie theatre and yell Avengers spoilers to people (real story, by the way...), and you might not even pay your taxes ... but you can at least open a f*cking dictionary to see if you are using a word correctly. 

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