Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Just as George Orwell predicted, we live in a modern era, and we live in an age of fear. Just as George Orwell did not predict, we adore Big Brother. We've recovered from the initial shock of personalized ads which pop up on every new website we visit, and have fallen in love with the convenience of cloud technology.

We have adapted. To Edward Snowden's chagrin, we don't care half as much about government eyes viewing our poor life decisions acted out on Skype, as we care about our teenage music purchases, which will continue to haunt us to the nursing home and beyond. We are terrified of every new change Facebook introduces. We worry about hackers taking over our Twitter accounts. And most of all, we are horrified by the daily challenges of attempting to avoid any and all spoilers. 

Spoilers is a word which used to mean what happened on last night's episode of Lost. But we are Americans, so we define things expansively and allow room for people of all definitions. Spoilers now mean pretty much whatever that has not been recorded in history books. So yes, you should know the ending of the movie of Argo, but for the love of all that is holy do not ruin the ending of 24. The insanity became clear as the 2014 Sochi Olympics began, and my newsfeed was taken over by crazed individuals threatening to defriend anyone who, carelessly or otherwise, spoiled the Olympics for them. 

How do you spoil the Olympics? It's a sporting event, which means the scores will be reported as they happen. Unlike live tweeting a television show, which is annoying for anyone who doesn't care about the show or wants to watch it later at their convenience, sports scores fall under the label of news. While the nitty gritty of what happened in last night's episode of the Walking Dead will not be reported on the front page of the New York Times, the results of the hockey game will. 

Scores are meant to be shared instantly, because they are considered to be news items. So demanding that the Olympics not be spoiled because Russia has the gall to ignore American time zones and the supremacy of the East Coast who is used to watching everything at their convenience is, quite simply, a first world problem. Does this mean we should all refrain from commenting on the next election's results so everyone can tune in to their television to watch the thrilling news commentary as the polling places begin to report? 

The internet is great, but it's turned into this hyper sensitive place where we all have to consider every tweet. Interestingly enough, these same people who demand to live in spoiler free zones spoiled the Olympics for me, since I watch them on demand the next day so I don't have to suffer through multiple commercials for McDonalds. People who demanded no spoilers for Sherlock spoiled it as soon as it aired, little caring that I couldn't watch it until at least the next day since I am part of the smart TV revolution which will eventually take over the world when one day everyone sees the error of their ways in conforming to the demands of weekly television schedules.

How to rectify this gaping hole in logic? Stop caring so much. Is knowing who will win the figure skating competition really going to destroy all enjoyment of the spins and jumps? Can you really expect people to not spoil the ending of Alias when the finale aired almost ten years ago? No, you can't. So calm down. 

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I dig the blog. George Orwell indeed!

I think I shall take a look around.