Resistance is Useless!


As you may know a recent Fast Return committed an act that outraged and fumigated a regular reader and nearly blinded another. Outraged because apparently this is Zeus Blog’s ‘form’, this blog’s offence – ‘spoiling’ a detail of an upcoming story, as happened back in 2007. Actually the blinding thing is a bit of a worry because we apparently nearly did for the same reader’s vision back then, too. But flippancy aside, we’re back to the subject of fan etiquette and the reality of spoilers. Last week TV reviewer Fiona Rae commented on her very occasional Public Address blog, saying of the just-screened Lost finale:

Next week, the internet will not be safe.

The fact of the matter is, spoilers are a modern reality, and we have to live with them. Its not even that they exist and can be easily avoided – they are an essential part of fandom embedded in gossip, pub chat, emails, magazine articles, covers and illustrations, TV listings and of course internet bulletin boards. To make matters worse, we’re really not that good on the self-control stakes here; is it because part of our makeup is an attraction to bragger’s rights that means knowledge of That Which Is To Be gives Those Who Saw It Coming something extra to crow over? When Who fandom’s Big Daddy Ian Levine dropped in a distinct mal mot about this year’s series finale on Gallifrey Base a month or so back amidst a discussion on (of all things) the recolourisation of The Mind of Evil it finally hit me that some people for good or ill have no self control, and in fact Nowhere Is Safe.

And that’s nowhere – GallifreyBase generously has a spoiler-free board for discussion of the new series, but you’ll still find subject lines in the form of questions about this year’s finale, and as the above example shows, even the non-TV boards are not free of rumour-mongering or indeed speculation which, frankly, can be just as dangerous as actual spoilers.

So what’s to be done?

The obvious answer is for one to disengage from fandom – at least online fandom, but be wary of the online realms of non-fans or indeed online non-fan realms which increasingly seem to have a publish-and-be-damned approach to spoilers. News headlines on the Web, screen and page are constructed to tease and draw the attention – ‘entertainment’ editors don’t think as we do – stay well clear! And of course idle chatter and overheard conversations in public spaces – potentially disastrous. A hermit might be able to cope with the new paradigm of an attempted spoiler-free life, but that’s about it. Fandom: you’re in, spoilers and all, or you’re out. And Zeus Blog very much intends to be in.

But we’ll be playing safer from here on. Promise.


4 Responses to “Resistance is Useless!”

  1. Thad Ritchards Says:

    What? The Mind of Evil is being recolourised! Noooo! I now know too much! Damn you! Damn you all!

  2. the_other_dave Says:

    Coment re: the banner – “Coo, asn’t Ermionie let ‘erself go…”

    But on to the content: Yes, I know we shouldn’t, but dammit Zeus Blog is sooo damned tasty, you just can’t help yourself. And Fast Return being in essence a (everso-good opinion driven) review, you just don’t expect it to be looking forward and enjoying the cake so much.

    I think part of the problem in this instance is that the actual ******* already shown in various trailers etc look sod all like the originals. Even before reading the write up in question I had seen them, but in my head had written them off as this season’s “obligitory stupid greenfaced monster” (Re:Slitheen, Absorbaloff, Chantho, Vinvocci etc), it wasn’t the fact we didn’t know they were there, we just hadn’t realised what they were.

    It is a bit of a weird situation really. However the little pull down note to read-on used here, and on the other correspondant’s blog is at least a courtersy to those of us with our fingers in our ears….

    …. what?…… No, I can’t hear you… I’ve got my fingers in my…. oh sod it, please yourselves.

    One of the advantages of living on the other side of the planet, having children and generally being cut off from reality in general is that, if you choose to, and exercise a bit of self control, you can get away with relative spoiler free-ness (I can happily avoid Facebook till the weekend to get the full surprises out of LOST – I just have a sinking suspicion it may not be worth it).

    The trick is not to “hermetically” seal yourself in. You rapidly run out of air unless you punch a few holes in the box. Those holes are generally places you can go to to discuss, read, enjoy “safely”. This doesn’t have to be a blanket ban, but as evidenced by the editorial adjustment to the last Fast Return, “playing safer” is not only feasable, but also relatively striaght-forward to accomplish, AND very much appreciated. (this is why I have about three stops on my Dr Who related internet trawl, and why this is one of them and the likes of Gallifrey Base aint).

    As for my eyes, I could go all Sheldon Cooper and point out that can “almost” blind me as many times as you would care too, but you only have to get it right twice, although it could also explain my rather myopic view on the subject.

    As for fumigated (!?), I hope that was the other guy (there was annother guy), although my house does carry the faint wiff of nappy….

  3. Peter A Says:

    Sheldon Cooper… I remember Big Bang Theory, before TVNZ put all the scheduling up the fritz and due to abovementioned parental duties and schedules I could never watch it ever again!!

  4. Al Says:

    We live in beautiful and perfectly positioned New Zealand, as far from the Entertainment empires of Hollywood and, er Cardiff as it’s possible to be.
    Back in 1977 we had to wait the better part of year (or did it just feel that way?) to get Star Wars. In the sparkling, far-flung future of 2010 a mere month or so can feel just as long for new Who. I’m drifting. My point is, ummm…
    if anyone can find a way of not hearing or reading something about a series Fnarg story before it actually gets screened here then they really are, as Peter suggests, a hermit. Without an internet connection. Or a DWM subscription. Or even a parent who reads News of the World. Dave appears to differ, I’ll be interested to hear if you manage this successfully or not, over the next few weeks. Good luck to you, sir!

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