…that when I write a thing on my blog talking about how I feel about a thing, I’m on my blog, talking about how I feel about a thing.
I say this because earlier today I wrote a post that was mostly just how I feel about spoilers. It concluded:
It’s true that I’ll only see a movie the first time once, but I also generally only see movies on the big screen once. If I want to get the most out of that opportunity, I believe I’m best served in most cases by having read a fairly detailed plot summary. I don’t want to know all the twists. I don’t want to know all the jokes. I don’t want to know all the background details.
But I want to know the story, in the same way that an ancient Greek crowding around a poet singing on the street corner would know of the rage of Achilles.
I feel like that’s pretty clear that I’m talking about me there, and that I’m not speaking in absolutes in any sense of the word. E.g., “I believe I’m best served in most cases by having read a fairly detailed plot summary.” There’s no value judgment attached. No exhortation towards others. Not even an invitation to join me.
I guess I can see people reading the middle part, where I wonder if the anti-spoiler part of geek culture isn’t related to what I call the “Canon Keeper” part of culture, as being prescriptive. Perhaps I should have spelled out more explicitly that I don’t see the link as being what you might call inherent or direct. That is, I didn’t say, “The only reason anybody could think they don’t want spoilers is they approach canon like this way, and that’s wrong.” I wondered if there’s a link, at the cultural level.
And to explain what I mean by that: even after I started actively seeking out spoilers for some things, I still felt… weird about that. Like I was doing it wrong. I would sometimes be apologetic about the fact that I’d spoiled myself, or downplayed the extent to which I did it… because Everybody Knows That’s Not How You Do It, right?
If the post had a larger point, it wasn’t “Look at me, I made the correct choice, don’t you wish you were more like me?”, it was, “This is where I am right now on this. This is why.”
The weird thing is that even though the criticism of it cropped up on the Tumblr cross-post, I have a feeling that it wouldn’t have happened… or wouldn’t have been so pointed… if I’d made the post on Tumblr to begin with. If my critics see this over there, they might take exception to that, and it’s certainly not something we could prove one way or the other without being able to peer into adjacent alternate realities… but I feel like maybe people read a more prescriptive air into things they see as an “article” on an external site rather than a “post” on a personal blogging platform.
Well, this is still a personal blog. The name in the address bar is mine. The posts here aren’t pieces for some clickbaity online magazine. I’m not sitting here dispensing the wisdom of Solomon when I’m talking about my life, even if I do have a weird philosophical aside in the middle of a post.
The next time I notice that kind of snark in the Tumblr notes, I’ll probably ignore it. I certainly won’t make a policy of responding to it every time. And I’m not going to change how I blog.