Monday, January 17, 2005

First of all, do not click on the link if you care to preserve any of the element of surprise when going to see the upcoming new Star Wars film. Personally, I don't give a rat's ass about Star Wars anymore.
But I post this to rant a little about a really big pet peeve of mine. Spoilers. If you're trying to write a critique of a film or play and you indulge in spoilers, you are a poor critic and that's all there is to it. It's the hallmark of bad criticism. If you have to resort to revealing important surprises or plot points that the film depends on the audience's lack of foreknowledge to get the desired reaction, you should refrain from talking about it at all until you've acheived the intelligence and coherence of mind where you don't have to.
I've seen a lot of it in the past year with bloggers, which I understand. One of my favorite writers did it on her blog with The Peacekeeper Wars and I forgave her. She isn't a dramatic critc and it's on a blog. Blogs are the place to write a big sloppy pile of the inside of your head. You still shouldn't have to use spoilers. I don't do it on my blog (and I daresay she'd rip me a new one if I did it with one of her books.) But I'd say it's forgivable because a blog is a little like having some knuckleknob at your lunch break say, "Dude, you know that guy in The Crying Game? Well.."
It happens.
But it worries me when the mainstream writing establishment, news sources, journalists which is where dramatic criticism came from decides to hire a bunch of nitwits who indulge in spoilers to keep from having to actually think a review out. I know, I'm bemoaning the dumbing down of America, the MTV uber alles, and all which intellectuals have bemoaned for, well, centuries. I just hate to see people make Alexander Woollcott spin in his grave (even though he was cremated.)
Granted, this is a dumb actor talking in an interview. But the freakin' article, in italics, warns you of the spoiler in tiny type just above twice as big, bold type where the actual spoiler occurs! Good Christ, people! America's most trusted source for ruining things for people. That's what they should call it.
I'm not usually one who tells people what they should or shouldn't do. If you've read my stuff for any length you should know that. But I'll say this. Don't be a dumbass. Don't use spoilers.
Thanks.

http://www.cnn.com/2005/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/17/people.jackson.ap/index.html




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