Though all of this dickishness can be wiped clean off the face of the Earth if people just did one tiny little thing before discussing spoilers ...
Always Ask If Someone Has Seen Something Before Saying Anything
This isn't a difficult idea, is it? Prefacing a spewing of fanboy love about a major pop cultural event with a simple question to make sure you aren't ruining it for someone should be a simple, intuitive social strategy. Yet it somehow bypassed millions of people. Really, this entire column could be the title of this entry over and over and over. That's all what it comes down to. It's being a person with a base level of empathy for someone else's experience, no matter how trivial it may seem because it's about a show or a movie or some other little artifact of ultimately frivolous entertainment.
People spend dozens, maybe even hundreds, of hours with the shows and movies and games and whatevers they love. They're waiting for the emotional payoffs along the way. It's what makes it all worthwhile. In this world, where there's rarely anything resembling closure or even sign of any forward momentum whatsoever, our entertainment serves as an outlet for the burning, pent-up desire to feel like something is happening. All of entertainment is one big payoff simulator we retreat to when that promotion seems so far off in the distance, or when your dating life is an endless pit of misery, or when social progress seems to have stagnated. A spoiler obliterates the payoffs that we can't get in real life. Prefacing a spoiler with a small, "Hey, did anyone watch the last episode of Blah Blah Blah?" preserves those satisfying moments. It encases them in bubble wrap, then places them in a titanium case filled with packing peanuts, and then wraps the whole thing in pillows.
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And then throws it in here to survive only on lifetime supplies of canned ravioli and spam.
All you've got to do to preserve someone else's fun is ask if they've seen it yet. That's it. If they say yes, continue with your spewing of spoilers. If not, well, it's simple, really: Shut the fuck up. Just shut the fuck up. Oh my God, just shut the fuck up.
Luis would like to remind you to shut the fuck up. Thank you. You can find him on Twitter and Tumblr.
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