The more you know…

… the more you should probably keep your damn mouth shut.

NOTE: While this doesn’t technically contain spoilers for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, if you haven’t read the book (but plan to), you might want to skip this entry for the time being.

Thankfully, I’d already finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince before spoilers were thrown at me. Last week, a mean-spirited, inconsiderate ass dropped a major spoiler in the comments on one of Eric Burns’ entries at Websnark, a site devoted largely to web comic commentary. There was no chance for the unwary reader to avoid it; Eric’s original post had nothing to do with Harry Potter whatsoever. Thankfully, Eric picked up on the spoiler and quickly added a spoiler warning to his original post. The aforementioned mean-spirited, inconsiderate ass then decided it would be cute to print up t-shirts with the spoiler on them and sell them on his website (and linked to the site as his “apology”), elevating his status from mean-spirited, inconsiderate ass to my nominee for 2005 Fuckwad of the Year. If he wins, he’ll share the honor with the individual who claimed that their intention was to wear the t-shirt on the subway in New York City and watch with glee as the book was spoiled for dozens of children.

Today, two co-workers were discussing (rather loudly and knowing full well that there were two people within earshot who hadn’t read the book) Half-Blood Prince and made mention of an event in the book. Oh, they didn’t spell out the particulars (the who, the when, and the where), but they mentioned it, nonetheless. When I advised them that it was a spoiler, they defended themselves by saying that it was common knowledge well before the book was released.

Guess what. They were wrong. I knew nothing about Half-Blood Prince before it was released. I don’t read MuggleNet or any other Potter-related website. In fact, the only thing I knew before I listened to the audiobook was the title. I also learned, browsing the Internet while listening to the book and ripping the CDs to my computer, that people were mighty pissed about something that happened. I made a deduction based on the level of anger a couple of people had expressed, and it turns out I was right.

The two people at work who haven’t yet finished the book, like me, hadn’t heard any of the rumors about it. They don’t read MuggleNet. They don’t frequent Harry Potter chatrooms or visit Potter-related websites, either.

What I fail to understand is why the people discussing the book find this so hard to believe. Surely if they’ve heard something about the new Harry Potter book, then everyone has heard it, right? Even after I assured them that I hadn’t heard that “rumor” beforehand, they continued to declare that everyone must have known about it.

Look, I realize that such information is freely available, but the fact that you’ve seen something on the Internet once, twice or two dozen times does not mean that everyone on the face of the planet with access to the Internet has seen it. There is a segment of the population that doesn’t seek out these tidbits as a matter of course. There is also a segment of the population that makes a point of avoiding these tidbits.

Simply put, it’s not nice to spoil things like Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for those who have not had the opportunity to read (or watch) them yet. Not everyone has the time and means to buy and read a book (or watch a movie) immediately after it is released. And those things that you think “everyone” knows? They don’t. So be considerate of those around you when you’re discussing these things. Or I’ll kick you in the nuts.

P.S. To the guy who blabbed the ending of Secret Window to his boyfriend in Blockbuster so everyone in the damn store could hear: I would have kicked you in the nuts, but I was wearing my sandals at the time and didn’t want to get any of your unpleasant nut-juice on my toes.

P.P.S. To the guy who blabbed the “twist” of The Sixth Sense before I’d had a chance to see it: Your nuts are safe, but only because you’d swing by and drive me to work when Laura and I only had one car and the weather was too nasty for walking or bike-riding.

P.P.P.S. To all you jerks who cover up spoiling Titanic by calling yourselves “historians”: The boat looked fake and the movie dragged on way too long. Plus, James Cameron (though I do love many of his films) is a momumental asshole. So you’re forgiven.

14 thoughts on “The more you know…”

  1. I see no reason at this point to hold back. Tell us what you really think.

    Unfortunately, there are more people all the time who like to spoil things for others. Whether by bad judgement, lack of manners, an extreme deficit in common sense or just mean spirit they live to burst your bubble. Maybe it gives them a power rush.

    Some of the responsibility falls on the parents.

    I’d better quit before I get off on a rant here…

    P.S. Haven’t seen The Titanic yet. I’ve got a general idea as to the movies ending though.

  2. “P.S. Haven’t seen The Titanic yet. I’ve got a general idea as to the movies ending though.”

    Laura and I saw it in the theater. Poor Laura had to use the bathroom about ten minutes before the end and missed having her heart wrenched.

  3. “The Voices in My Head” is a classic tune from Pat Godwin. And yes, they are required to tell you to stop taking your medication.

    “The voices in my head
    Said to stop my medication
    The voices in my head
    Said to jump the wall and run and buy a gun
    You know they’re always right
    So I won’t put up a fight
    With the voices in my head”

    More details/audio/lyrics available at his website patgodwin.com

    Poor Laura’s heart was in need of adjusting? Fascinating.

    I have not seen Secret Window, but considered it several times. Perhaps later this year, unless some weenie spoils it.

  4. I’ve never heard of this Pat Godwin fellow, but I have heard of The Bob & Tom show, on which he has apparently appeared multiple times.

    I’ve never actually listened to The Bob & Tom Show, either, though I understand that one or more of my siblings enjoy it.

  5. If you get a chance to listen to the show, let me warn you in advance. Tom is an ass. Spoiler? Perhaps. You would come to that conclusion anyway. My Favorite Canadian cannot stand the show. At all.

    They do host a large number of top shelf comics. Pat Godwin is a fave, and Greg Hahn, Drew Hastings, Tim Wilson(among others) all translate well onto radio.

    So… back to the original post. Was it the spoiler in general that touched a nerve, or because it involved young Mr Potter? It is interesting because it reveals a bit of, shall we say, Finnish temper? Mighty uncharacteristic of your typical posts.

    In fact, MFC and I were watching our wedding video last night, and you were one of the highlights, showing already at that age (16 years ago) the knack you have with words and humor. It also showed adaptability, especially when it was explained what you were to do with the garter you’d caught.

    OMG, we’ve been married half of your life. Doesn’t seem that long.

    P.S.
    People who actually do know more are renowned for keeping their gob shut. It is the ones who know little that love to project their ignorance.

  6. I’m not opposed to people discussing spoilers, so long as it is done in such a manner as to allow those who do not wish to participate in such discussions the opportunity to avoid them. This is true of spoilers in general, but I suppose it’s fair to say that it I’m a little more vehement about proper spoiler ettiquette when it comes to Harry Potter.

    For a series ostensibly geared towards children and young adults, Harry Potter has an extremely large audience of twenty- and thirty-somethings. While I didn’t get in on the ground floor with the series, I did become interested in Harry Potter sometime before the third book was released. They’re all very well-written and the degree to which J.K. Rowling has plotted out the course of Harry’s life is — to me, at least — nothing short of astounding. From one book to the next, the series is like an intricate, precisely-designed machine. As the story progresses, things just seem to click into place. Minor characters, events and relationships in early books return in later installments, and what once appeared insignificant is shown to be not only important, but absolutely integral to Harry’s tale.

    In the case of Harry Potter, spoiling the story is like drilling the mechanism out of a lock. Instead of each pin falling into precisely the proper position as the key is inserted, the springs and pins are mauled and mangled by the brute force of the bit. In the end, the door may be open, but the lock is ruined and the key useless.

  7. “Easy on the metaphors…”

    I’m gonna have to send you back to high school English. That was a simile (a comparison of two unlike things using “like” or “as”).

  8. I see, apparantly I do not fall into any HP fan category. As such, the most annoying thing to put up with are the book release parties at Barnes & Noble or Borders. Hundreds of the little ‘angels’ dressed as their favorite character eagerly awaiting midnight so they can be the first on the block to have the latest installment.

    Bah, humbug. Probably the younger siblings of those who wait in line for weeks to see Star Wars epIII (I think that’s right, lets see. Sixth movie produced, but the third of the first of the three trilogies.) Once again, nothing to do with spoilers but your explanation as to your distress gives the opportunity to digress. Somewhat.

    Mayhaps it is similar to TiVo-ing a sporting event, then catching the final score before viewing. Hard to get emotionally involved in the play-by-play when you know the outcome.

    KJwon may have a weather defense also. My noodle has gotten quite baked over the last weekend in KY and NW Ohio. I would imagine they had even more extereme weather in the Southeast. The poor lad’s probably suffering from sunstroke, go easy on him.

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