An Imminent Threat

There is an imminent threat facing our culture and indeed the very fabric of our lives. Is it global warming? Nope. Terrorism? Nuh-uh. Uncompromising Bipartisanism? Fuhgeddaboudit!

If Twitter is to be believed, and honestly…why wouldn’t it be, then the most imminent threat facing us today is the “spoiler.” Thousands abandoned social media in the days following the release of Star Wars VII in an effort to avoid being “spoiled.” I myself got vain threats of what would happen if I, who saw the movie on Thursday, were to spoil a single plot point or character arc. When new episodes of television air, people live tweet the show (myself included) causing others to run from all forms media till after watching. A single hashtag can blow up the delicate balance of a viewer’s enjoyment.

WARNING THERE ARE POP CULTURE SPOILERS AHEAD….TREAD CAREFULLY!! (see what I did there!!)

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I, myself, am a spoiler activist. I fight those who would attempt to spoil for another the crucial moments of a film as momentus as Star Wars!!! I actively delete comments in any thread I have control over that would attempt to do damage to another’s virgin ears. I am a champion of anyone who hasn’t seen a show or a movie yet but has interest in one day watching. I gingerly probe “Did you watch Game of Thrones last night” before blurting out “JON SNOW IS DEAD????” I blog with care, always making sure to warn of impending spoilers so no one is caught unawares. And yes, I do live tweet, but always using a hashtag so that it can easily be muted by anyone not watching the newest episode of Arrow in real time.

But not everyone cares so much about saving people from spoilers as I do. And I ask why? Why would you want to take the joy from another human being? Why would you want to watch the light go out of their eyes when you tell them that Bruce Willis was dead the whole time?? Do you also walk up to small children and tell them that Darth Vader is Luke’s father??

It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world we live in, gentle reader. And I urge you to take a stand against the spoilers of the world. They will not prevail. If you’re interested in doing more to protect the unspoiled and thus bring balance to our very universe, here are some simple steps to take.

Step 1. Check Before You Wreck

Asking a few simple questions around the water cooler, the morning after a big show premier or episode, can help you gauge whether or not people were able to catch it. Try saying “Hey guys, did anyone watch that Sherlock Christmas Episode last night? Or try this “Yo, office friends, where my Whovians at?” (Ok don’t try that one. That one will get you beat up and possibly fired.) But you see where I’m going with this. Checking first will show your friends and colleagues that you care about them. That you don’t want them to be spoiled and further more, that you are indeed a friend to the unspoiled everywhere.

Step 2. Fire a Warning Shot 

Bloggers, tweeters, and the social media savvy have a responsibility to give fair warning before blurting out something like “SOYLENT GREEN IS MADE OUT OF PEOPLE.” or “THERE IS NO TYLER DURDEN!!” (Though if you haven’t seen Fight Club by now…shame upon your house.) A simple “Spoiler Alert” will give everyone the chance to abandon ship before reading something they aren’t ready to read. And isn’t that what life is all about in the end? Protecting the innocent. Saving hearts and minds everywhere from exciting and unforseen plot twists?

Step 3. Simply Keep It Shut

No one knows the excitement of discovering those twists and turns that surprising television shows and movies have to offer our minds, like I do. I watch so many shows I can hardly keep up. And I’ve now officially seen Star Wars The Force Awakens in theaters 6 times, so yeah…I like movies too. But when all else fails and people aren’t watching what you’re watching you have two options. You can just go ahead and burn the bridges or you can simply keep your mouth shut. It’s the hardest thing to do when all you want is chat to about your favorite characters, couples, etc. I mean…I came late to the Game of Thrones party so I knew that Ned was gonna lose his head. (rhyming doesn’t make it hurt any less.) But I knew there were even later comers than me. And did I run up and tell them what was to come? No. I let them find out and find their own ways to mourn. That is the right of every human being on this planet. Don’t take that away.!!

Don't Spoil It - Blog Post Nerd in the City

So…what can you do if you want to talk about plot points and spoilers without ruining the lives of your fellow man. I have the answers for you!

1. Facebook Groups are Your Friends

Or rather, Facebook groups can be a place where you can talk openly with your friends. In the wake of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, all I wanted to do was talk about Rey’s suspected parentage, Luke’s appearance and of course, Han’s death. But I also didn’t want to spoil. So a few of my nerdy pals started a group where we have been chatting in private about all turn of events ever since. And it has been wonderful. A safe place. A haven. A place where we could continue to protect those who haven’t seen. Because we care!

2. Real Life Still Exists

I know we live in a virtual world these days. I’m only able to communicate with most of my dearest friends over the phone, chat and social media. But I assure you, the real life sit down still exists. Phone a friend and take them to lunch so you know that you are speaking to someone who won’t be offended by your spoilers. Though it might be courteous to make a general announcement in the restaurant so those sitting around you aren’t in any danger.

3. Journaling Helps

My blog has long been a source of comfort and relief in the wake of a devastating series finale or a movie release like Star Wars. And again, as long as you give fair warning, then all that is said becomes fair game. And others who are in the same boat as you are can feel free to connect. You may even make a new friend. Isn’t that what life is all about? Making new friends because of shared commonality!

We’re all nerds! Everyone on this planet. Don’t let anyone tell you different. So choose to protect your fellow nerd. Go forth and don’t spoil it!!!

5 Fandom Friday

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5 Fandom Deaths I’m Still Upset About

Fair warning! This post contains many spoilers because one cannot talk fandom deaths without actually mentioning who it is that died. So if you haven’t watched Doctor Who, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, LOST, The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones than don’t look. Don’t be spoiled. Go watch those shows and come back…see you in a few months or a few years if you aren’t that dedicated to getting through them all.

Thanks to The Nerdy Girlie and Super Space Chick for creating 5 Fandom Friday.

Here goes…

#1 – Amy and Rory from Doctor Who

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OK, so the fans knew this one was coming. Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill were set to leave the show. It was either die or stop time traveling all together and Amy Pond would never have quit her raggedy man if she could help it. So they died. Death by old age, so not a bad way to go. But to be ripped from your own timeline by a Weeping Angel…no thanks. This episode still causes major waterworks every time I watch it. I’ll never get over losing Amy and Rory!!

#2 – Tara from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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There are quite a few upsetting deaths on BtVS (I’m looking at you Joyce and Jenny.) Even Buffy herself bit the bullet, not once up twice. But Tara’s death still manages to shock and upset me the most. When you see that blood splatter on Willow’s crisp white peasant blouse…Tara’s blood. Tara who was sweet and innocent and Willow’s lobster. Torn away from the mortal coil by a gun shot to the chest. This one stings because it smacks of reality. In a fantastical world like Buffy, to have died from something so human as a gun shot…well, it just sucks. We live in a world where this is far too common. And Tara’s death still feels completely unjust. Warren deserved the flaying that he got, if you ask me!

#3 – Charlie from LOST

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DANG! Charlie!! This one stings every time I think about it. You LOST fans know the keen loss. The pain still smarts! I never saw this one coming. I guess I should have. By season 3, people were being picked off like flies. I guess I still thought the core cast (the ones I like most) would be safe. Of course, we’d come to find out that no one is truly safe on LOST and it is Charlie’s death that really taught us that lesson. The words “Not Penny’s Boat” still haunt me. Charlie went out saving lives. The perfect symmetry to how he entered our lives. He began as a selfish, drugged out rock star and truly became a fan favorite (or at least this fan’s favorite!)

#4 – Ned Stark from Game of Thrones

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I’m a GOT book reader. I’ve read books 1-4 so I knew it was coming, but it still didn’t prepare me for the sadness of losing the Stark patriarch. Ned Stark was a man of justice and integrity. He kept the monarch in line and his own family. Tough job, especially when you have Lannisters against you. He was domed from the beginning because on Game of Thrones, the just and the moral get punished.

To be fair, there are more shocking and more horrifying deaths on Game of Thrones (see: Rob Stark, Catelyn Stark, Jon Snow, Ygritte, Khal Drogo, Oberyn Martell, etc.) but it’s Ned’s death that sets the tone for the series in season 1. It’s Ned’s death that sets the Lannisters up for their reign of power and ultimate downfall. And it’s Ned Stark who could have stopped the evil from spreading through Westeros. We miss you, Ned! (Please stop killing Sean Bean off of things I like!)

#5 – Hershel from The Walking Dead

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The Walking Dead is another show where death is rampant and usual. It’s rarely surprising anymore (except if Darryl were to die… that would be shocking and surprising and completely upsetting…Don’t do that, AMC!) But I admit, Hershel’s death got me. I literally screamed when it happened. (That’s what happens when you watch TWD alone in your apartment with all the lights off.) Hershel was another example of someone who kept the balance. Being a good guy is a really tough business on TV. No one cared when Angela died or stupid Dale. It’s the good ones that truly rip the heart out. And Hershel’s death was my least favorite one (though Beth’s came pretty close.)

Honorable Mention – Tasha Yar from Star Trek: The Next Generation
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I want to give a shout out to one of the earliest fandom, TV deaths, Tasha Yar. Star Trek killed off Tasha way before it was cool to kill off characters. And no one saw that one coming because the internet wasn’t what it is today… or even a thing at all. So there were no rumors surrounding her upcoming death. Or fan theories about. She was an upstanding crew member who went on an away mission to a planet with a tar monster. She was taken by the tar monster…goodbye Tasha Yar.

If this post has left you feeling a little depressed and nostalgic for characters long gone, then definitely don’t go back and watch the happy times before they died. I tried that with season 1 of Game of Thrones…trust me, it only made things worse.

30 Days of Nerdy Hair – Day 28

Day 28: Eddard Stark from Game Of Thrones

Yes, Game of Thrones has ended for the season and any faithful watchers are probably still smarting from the events in that finale!! In an effort to remember the happy times, I went back and watched season 1 again. MISTAKE!!! Remember the happy times??? When was that? The first 20 minutes of episode 1 and then never again. There are many shocking, upsetting, unjust deaths on Game of Thrones. But none are quite like the death of Eddard “Ned” Stark. He is the Hand of the King, the just Lord of Winterfell, a father of 6 and a husband. His death sets events in motion that would change the course of the show and separate the beloved Stark family forever.  (Trust me, don’t go back and watch. It’s straight up depressing.)

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This was a really easy one! Some days you need a simpler hairstyle to get ya through the day. Ned Stark knew how to keep it simple. When you are Lord of Winterfell and have great responsibilities, then you really don’t need to be taking time to worry about your hair!

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