Why We Need Spoiler Alerts...
Since entertainment began; since William Shakespeare penned Henry VI in 1589; since Thespis of Icaria was decorated for tragedy in 534 BC; and since Neanderthal Man began retelling epic escapades of pre-chivalrous sexist torment, there have been spoilers. And where there are spoilers there must be, for the sake of all sanity: spoiler alerts.
The spoiler alert is an indispensable tool in modern society. As fundamental as the fire alarm and as requisite as the civil defense siren, it does little to prevent the midnight charring of your children or the annihilation of a nation's population, but what it does do is defend against the digestion of material detrimental to the outcome of dramatic fiction. See? Vital.
The term "spoiler" was coined during the Internet's adolescence, becoming increasingly common over the years. Netiquette requires that spoilers are avoided but recognizes this isn't always practical; for this, we have the spoiler alert. When it's not possible to convey the information you wish without using spoilers, one must alert readers to the advancing dangers.
Here's an internet example of the kind of spoiler-induced conflict improper use can cause:
Although most civilized people uphold the law, not everyone is playing by the rules. The internet is the domain of both spoiler and alert. But what happens when spoilers outgrow their habitat and begin infesting every innocent medium we have? When spoilers appear in magazines, on TV? Or worse, when they inhabit our minds and are manifested through the very words we speak?!?
Sadly this is not just a problem, but the single largest issue facing humanity today. It seems that it's becomes acceptable to spoil something provided it has sufficiently aged. Many of the greatest twists in cinematic history were apparent to me long before I'd seen them. I knew of Luke Skywalker's patriarchal heritage long before I had seen Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, I knew of Dr. Malcolm Crowe's clinical status long before I had seen Sixth Sense, and although I've yet to see The Usual Suspects, unfortunately I already know the identity of Keyser Söze. Needless to say, I've avoided any coverage of Catfish like the plague.Continued on the next page