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WNIJ Perspectives
Perspectives are commentaries produced by and for WNIJ listeners, from a panel of regular contributors and guests. You're invited to comment on or respond to any Perspective on our Facebook page or through Twitter (@wnijnews), in keeping with our Discussion Policy. If you would like to submit your own Perspective for consideration, send us a script that will run about 90 seconds when read -- that's about 250 words -- and email it to NPR@niu.edu, with "Perspectives" in the subject line.

At Least Spoilers Are Taboo

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All around us, people decry the decline of civility in American discourse — why our Facebook feeds have become nothing more than electronic Speaker’s Corners.

Yet there is still one social taboo no American will cross. We don’t spoil the ends of movies. We’d rather talk in circles than tip off a stranger about Han Solo dying in “Rogue One.”

Far be it from me to suggest we’ve maybe gone too far, but in class recently I mentioned what happens in Ray Bradbury’s story, “All Summer in A Day” and the class raged at me. “Spoilers!” they shouted.

“It was published in 1954,” I said.

Dare I suggest plot is always the least interesting thing about any movie? If all you’re watching for is the big surprise, then it isn’t worth your time in the first place.

The “Sixth Sense” would have sucked if – spoiler -- you knew Bruce Willis was dead throughout the entire story. That’s why no one cares about the “Sixth Sense” any more. Other than one surprise, it wasn’t good.

Future generations will still enjoy “Sopranos” and “Breaking Bad” even if they know – spoilers -- both protagonists are gunned down in the final episodes, because those shows offered a multitude of pleasures for years.

So spoil away! If knowing a single plot point ruins a movie, what you’re really doing is saving someone from enduring bad art. When someone scolds you by yelling “spoiler,” answer back, “You’re welcome.”

I’m Dan Libman, and that’s my perspective.

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