As premieres near, promos, previews and leaks prompt debate about what things constitute spoilers. Wikipedia's definition: 'any piece of information regarding any part of a given media that a potential consumer would not want to know beforehand.' Those of us who don't like spoilers have loads to say about what we'd like to avoid. Others point out that protecting folks from spoilers is tricky. Stepping aside from that conflict, let's look into what avoiding spoilers is really about.

To avoid spoilers is to save attention instead of paying it. The spoiler-averse adhere to the notion that 'the play's the thing' – advance, peripheral media ain't the play. Of course, artists and their representatives have a right to promote their work in advance and it's music to their ears when a buzz develops around such promotions. Naught wrong with that.

Still, no one actually owes attention to anything connected with a show before they've seen it: not even the slightest thumbs-up or sad emoji from someone who's gone ahead. Show me a person avoiding a show's spoilers and I'll show you a pledged member of its upcoming audience. Such folk neither want nor need anything in advance.

Enjoy plays your way, just play nice in the run-up. No one who's playing nice is looking for scoop kudos or shifting responsibility onto others.

Photo: Paramount Theatre, Oakland, California  /  PJF 2004