When You Don’t Mind Spoilers
by Travis Hedge Coke
I am physically weird. I have cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, nerve damage, a deviated septum, a reconstructed cheek, hormonal imbalance, attention deficit, arthritis, and two bum legs. “Put simply, a (hyperactive) boy who repeatedly bangs on his desk will be noticed before the (inattentive) girl who twirls her hair while staring out the window,” stays with me lately. A quote from Maureen Connolly for the magazine, ADDitude. To put it another way, “Why don’t you have your wife who thinks she’s a chicken cured?” Answer: “We need the eggs.”
When I do not feel one way or the other about being exposed to spoilers, or by missing episodes or issues of a serial story, by early cancellation, missing a program, or skipping a movie, or stopping something partway in and never going back to it, I could be that way because of my physical and mental disabilities. I might be that way because I know other people need the eggs. Maybe, it is just because I grew up poor, and missed a lot of intermediary issues of comics runs and seeing every weekly new episode of any show while it was first broadcasting was just unlikely.
I feel bad for other people when a series or run is canceled. I feel bad for the talent, making the thing, and for the fans who will grieve its loss. I do not mind that there will be no future releases.
If someone gives an example of time and asks, “Feel old now?” I never do.
If I relax at all, I feel like I am floating. I cannot walk across a room without heavy medication and a cane, except in a crab-like shambling awkwardness, but sitting, lying down, if I relax, I float. When I wake from sleep, I have no sense of up and down, no memory of orientation to where I fell asleep. I have been jumping from sleep, muttering or shouting, “Where the hell am I?” and “The hell is going on,” much to the dismay of other people in the room, the bed, on the floor with me, sitting in the airplane, et cetera.
I think – without being a doctor, an expert, or in any way qualified – that those two things – the ease with which I lose spatial relations and my dispassion for clocking time – are related. And, I think those are related to, if not a root to my lack of concern with spoilers and early cancelations.
Nitpicking what is socially-motivated, what behavior is motivated by neurology or physiology, preferences that are genetic, trained, happenstance, spiritual, divinely-inspired, is uncertain ground. Your reactions to having a television serial spoiled is as uniquely you as your tendency in selecting ice cream flavors or brands. Whether you check parent’s guides for violence or sex content before you get too far into a movie or you default to two scoops and no more.
Who is to say if taking pride in being poor, in how poorness is lived, is from a genetic inclination, a societal frame. I have written before about the effects reading Cloak and Dagger comics had on me, especially during homelessness in my childhood. I told people I lost my traction or ability to put on pressure with a hand or foot for a couple years before a doctor pointed out to me I was really just avoiding the resulting pain.
We worry too much about cause and effect, but because we so often misinterpret scenarios.
Worrying about spoilers seems, to me, to come around most intensely in people who also hate late reveals or pistol shot openings. In media res was their doomsday and that passed.
You have to feel an anxiousness about in media res. When a story starts ab ovo, somebody seeded the egg. Groundwork was laid with the egg.
I do not care what came before, but I care less if all the groundwork is shown on-page. I have no interest in eighty pages of world-building, in movies which stop to tell us everything twice, thrice, five ten times’ the charm. I get bored with explanatory prose when it is too earnestly meant or pedantic. Marvel Saga amuses me more than the Grand Design summaries, in part because Saga would skip what did not fit and Grand Design comics tend to throw in the neighbor’s kitchen sink along with everything in their own apartment. Sega and Nintendo in-jokes amuse me no more than casual racism or pink uniforms on the girls.
I do not care how much hatch and cross-hatch can be put into a panel.
I like the shapes of things.
Whether an image feels painful to me, like when a zipper is cinched too tight across a bust or pelvis, means more to me than whether an image is in perspective or shades realistically.
I like the shapes of things.