The first order of business is the business of spoilers. (Warning: There are spoilers, kinda, for Les Misérables behind the cut. There are also spoilers, kinda, for The Sixth Sense, if you haven’t seen that either. Please go to the comments with your opinions on how you wish spoilers to be treated in the future.)

Let’s open with a story. I was having a discussion around 1998 about the musical Les Misérables and how the death of Fantine had me get choked up every time. Someone at the table got upset because, hey, spoilers! Well, I took the attitude that the book was released in 1862, the musical came out in 1980, and the most recent version of the movie came out a couple of months before and we were *WELL* past the statute of limitations when it came to discussion of characters that die in the first half.

Now, I’m a “feel free to spoil it for me, if I can’t enjoy it knowing the ending, it’s likely to irritate me that the director has spent the last two hours tricking me by the time I get to the parking lot” kinda guy… on the other hand, there are people out there who are so touchy about spoilers that they don’t even want to know if a particular film has spoilers because then they’ll start thinking about the spoilers and maybe they’ll guess the end when, if they didn’t know that it had a spoiler, they wouldn’t have! Like the Sixth Sense! If you know it has a huge twist ending, you might spoil the movie yourself!

Now, I think that the latter is a hair excessive and I don’t think that I can particularly cater to people that sensitive… with that said, however, I do want to provide a reasonable level of spoiler protection.

I’m thinking that something like this very post would work. I have an opening paragraph that says “we’re going to be talking about a particular video game/movie/book/tv show after the cut and it may have spoilers, beware” and then you can read (or not) the post as appropriate… but I don’t know that I can protect against spoilers in the comments.

Which brings me to rot13. Do we want to really protect folks and offer two levels of spoiler protection? We can make sweeping statements about the game/movie/book/show but if we really want to come out and say something like “Fantine dies in the first half of the play!”, we go to http://www.rot13.com/ and paste in that sentence, then copy and paste “Snagvar qvrf va gur svefg unys bs gur cynl!” into the post or our comments?

How do you guys feel about spoilers? How would you prefer me to deal with them?


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com


  1. If you’re going to blog about popular media/culture, you’re going to be giving spoilers.

    I’m of the mind that “beware, spoilers after the jump” is as far as you need go. Protection against spoilers in the comments isn’t important: anyone who gets that far in reading about whatever should either have already consumed the media so they have something to say about it, or not care if it’s a little predigested for ’em. Otherwise, why are they reading so far?

      • I tend to agree with you guys. But I’d like to avoid the whole “I can’t believe you said that The Wire took place in Baltimore!!!!” argument if it’s possible to avoid it.

        Seriously, the sensitive to spoilers aren’t like you or me.

  2. Well, there’s also the “hidden text” trick, in which the text is the same color as the background and the reader has to highlight to read it. But yeah, behind the cut is enough.

  3. I just watched an episode of Futurama which Netflix’s capsule summary spoiled. (Yrryn bayl unyyhpvangrq Self qrngu). What’s annoying is that the clues were there, and I would have enjoyed figuring it out myself.

    • So you click on the episode, it clicks through and says “In this episode, MAJOR PLOT POINT” next to a button that says WATCH NOW?

      I can see how that would be irritating. I will try not to do that… should I have major/middlin’/minor disclaimers? Like, this post contains middlin’ spoilers for Les Miz (somebody dies) and only the most minor of spoilers for Sixth Sense… and my newest post has what I’d consider major spoilers for Eternal Sunshine.

      Should I do something like that?

      I think I’m going to do something like that.

      • So you click on the episode, it clicks through and says “In this episode, MAJOR PLOT POINT” next to a button that says WATCH NOW?

        Rem acu tetigisti, as Jeeves used to say.

        • I’m not too proud to say that I rot13’ed “rem acu tetigisti” before I googled it.

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