For most of America by April 28, 2019 at 10:30pm, they will have either watched Avengers: Endgame or Game of Thrones or both. If you hadn’t you will have logged on social media and been spoiled by memes and reactions from either. Or you been under a rock. It’s hard to avoid spoilers when we carry around “the water cooler” in our pockets every day. I’m in the middle when it comes to spoilers; I hate being spoiled and try not to spoil things for others but there’s also a sense of entitlement in “don’t talk about this huge pop culture thing because I plan on getting around to it eventually, and I can’t just log off for an extended period of time.” I’d make an exception for movies or if someone explicitly asks not to spoil it, or they’re literally in the middle of indulging. When it comes to live TV it’s different; it’d be like not discussing the Super Bowl until Tuesday so everyone can have a chance to watch. But we live in a self important social media age and so everyone likes to believe the world revolves around their schedule. (Okay, maybe I’m not so in the middle).
Narratively speaking, good storytelling is about the journey not the destination. If the only thing that’s interesting about the story IS the twist then that is just poor writing (Yes Sixth Sense, I’m looking at you.) If you only read a book or watched a movie to just know what happened, you’d read the last chapter, watch the last 10 minutes, and never revisit anything. I watched Game of Thrones a little late, I know there was a jaw dropping Red Wedding episode and people really was excited when Joffrey died. I knew they was coming, I didn’t know when and when they did I was just as surprised as I would’ve been otherwise. Oh, spoiler alert. (Also, I feel like announcing the spoiler alert is almost daring the person to be spoiled, anyway). While I can appreciate suspense and surpises, it’s not wholly necessary for my enjoyment. I actually had Endgame spoiled for me, I didn’t realize I was spoiled until it actually happened in the movie at which point I made a note to block that person. On principle. But it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the film.
But that’s just me. For the masses, I would say most people don’t want to be spoiled (even if studies show that being spoiled has no affect on the overall experience but hey) and so there’s the spoiler commandments:
- Always lead with “did you see/watch _________” before just blurting a reaction or posting a meme in the groupchat.
- The theater bathroom is not the place to discuss the movie; piss, wash your hands and go
- It’s only a spoiler if you believe it.
- No one cares, California. Just log off. Eastern Standard Time, ho
- If they tell you where they are, or you’re rewatching with someone who hasn’t seen it yet, don’t “oooh oooh this part coming up tho”, shut up
- Talking about what happened in the source material is still spoiling
- Use hashtags and spell them correctly for people who want to mute
- It’s not a spoiler if you’re like a season behind
- Reality shows and biopics don’t count
- If it’s a leak…don’t you fucking dare.
- Don’t be a dick about it.
I don’t entirely believe that Stevie Wonder is blind. I won’t go so far as to say I believe the moon landing was fake, but I can kinda see how someone doesn’t really believe that shit. (They had live footage from the damn moon in every household in 1969 but I can’t keep a WiFi signal in a plane flying over middle America in 2019). I believe there’s other life in the universe and they know Earth is trash. I don’t believe the government killed Nipsey Hussle because he was making a documentary about Dr Sebi curing AIDS and cancer with Herbs de Provence and alkaline water. (Even while Sebi himself died an old man and his “trial” he won 30 years ago was over him practicing medicine without a license and technically he was an herbalist and was not giving medical treatment) What’s been most troubling in the time since his death is that for some people his death will forever be intertwined with Sebi’s. Nipsey Hussle meant too much to be killed in his own hood by some dude with hurt feelings. Although there’s been thousands of cases of misunderstandings and perceived disrespect leading to untimely deaths. Nipsey was too big for this. Nipsey’s death hurts because he was one who was doing things right, he was literally hope, shot down. And that’s a pill that’s too hard to swallow. Senseless gun violence? Really? Nah, it had to be the government.
While others have mocked those who believe Nipsey’s death was a conspiracy, I can’t bring myself to fully. Because well, I’m a black man in America. I would never put it past the government to do shady shit and then gaslight us, because well they have a documented history of doing shady (Tuskegee, Eugenics, Black Wallstreet, COINTELPRO, crack, the Ferguson deaths, redlining, gerrymandering, police brutality) and then gaslighting us. Regardless if conspiracy A or B is real, the anxiety and fear black people have in this country is. Perhaps too often “woke” is ridiculed and dismissed as paranoid and irrational, when in reality we all are subject confirmation bias and give more weight to evidence that supports what we already believe. Nipsey himself believed his documentary would put him in the cross hairs of some powerful people. And so some of fans believe the same. But sometimes you have to take a step back and look at facts as presented and it appears this was just an avoidable tragedy.
There’s also proportionality bias and those who can’t process major events not having major causes. Those are the ones where even I tap out. 9/11, Sandy Hook, JFK assassination, these can’t just be things that just…happened, there HAS to be more to the story. And so you end up in a YouTube rabbithole trying to make sense of it all. And that’s just a little too tin foil hat for me to even try to unpack. Even as we live in a real time information age, people are probably more likely to believe conspiracies than to do research to disprove. Which is how we end up with flat Earthers, anti vaxxers, Trump voters. 2 out of 3 are damaging society as a whole (I mean flat Earthers are grossly misinformed, but I guess it isn’t hurting anyone) and we’re left wondering should we try and educate or just let them be “woke”, over there. Who’s to say they aren’t the ones who are right and desperately want us to see the light. (Well, again we live in an information age some shit is easily disproven). I guess all you can do is do your own research, form your own opinions and for the love of God don’t believe shit you see in a meme on Facebook.
RIP Nipsey Hussle.