… 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.