Semantic Shenanigans Episode 5 – Spoiled Passengers

Semantic Shenanigans Episode 5 – Spoiled Passengers

Spoiler passengers? Stay tuned!

Semantic Shenanigans Episode 5 - Spoiled Passengers

Spoiled Passengers is ready to download here.

Social Stuff


Shanna continues to mourn the loss of Carrie Fisher. She and her dissertation advisor are discussing the possibility of collaborating on an academic paper about Carrie as a public intellectual and her impact on communication and mental illness awareness.


Janet continues to edit The Real Hub of the Universe. She is also editing her 2015 NaNoWriMo novel (The Enigman Cave) for querying.

Carrie Fisher

First of all, we discussed Carrie Fisher, the writer and public intellectual. She raised awareness for those who suffer mental illness, particularly bipolar disorder. Carrie also spoke out against ageism and sexism in Hollywood and from critical fans. She commanded (and her memorial still does!) a strong Twitter following of young people. And most of them seem to be women (“Sass Factories”). Furthermore, they look to her for inspiration in dealing with their own mental illnesses, body image issues, etc., or just plain life.

A #justCarrie memorial was held on Twitter on January 1. People shared tweets, photos, and stories, etc. They discussed what Carrie meant to them. So search the hashtag to see what people shared.

People continue to use #justCarrie for various reasons, including:

  • Things that remind us of her
  • Things about her that inspire us
  • and Things uniquely Carrie

In addition, we drew a line from Debbie Reynolds’s character in Singin’ in the Rain, to Marlo Thomas in That Girl. And then to Mary Tyler Moore, to Carrie, and then to Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver’s character in the Alien franchise). These character types have changed as women have grown in agency and media reflected that. Because Carrie was far more than a princess.

Legal News

So Axanar settled their case and the Seuss case got rolling. Hence, lawyers filed a number of documents on PACER. We have blog posts on most of them.

CBS/Paramount v. Axanar

First of all, a ton of media covered this case. So here is merely a sampling of the articles.

Janet also looked at:

Also, these significant mainstream media articles:

Janet blogged about this case, with:

So the most important developments concerned the ruling on summary judgment, the order to exclude evidence, and the settlement itself. And we sincerely hope everyone sticks to the settlement agreement and the matter remains closed. Because this case meant a lot of blogging! Janet blogged about Axanar a good 40 times. And a lot more that copyright infringement happens when the law and fandom collide.

Seuss v. Gerrold, et al

In addition, Janet blogged about the Seuss case. Also, guess who the plaintiff cited in their response to the defense motion to dismiss? You get three guesses, and they all come up: Axanar! So her blogs are here:

Since this one is just getting started, more will follow. Or, as with all lawsuits, it could settle.

Spoiler Culture

So, what do you think of spoilers? Neither of us really care much about them. However, a lot of other folks do.

Where Do Spoilers Come From?

Per the Slate article, the term “spoiler” has roots in the King James Bible, and it apparently means “destroyer”. However, the term came into contemporary usage with Spock’s death in The Wrath of Khan, and then later with X-Files fandom. And rather obviously, you can blame the speed of technology. Because nowadays we have a myriad of viewing choices. And these include the convenience of TiVo/DVR, streaming and binge watching. Plus the rise and continued existence of Internet communities. Slate says:

But in this case culture is just a sign of larger conditions, a sign, most of all, of the way technology transforms our sense of time. Spoilophobia, then, follows from a simultaneous experience of acceleration and feeling of deceleration: Our culture seems to be moving faster than ever while we find ourselves struggling to keep up. The spoilers we dread are dispatches from a future that’s already here, a future that will be past by the time it arrives.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

We go into more depth on the show, so please be sure to listen. In addition, here are Shanna’s final thoughts:

  • Being unnecessarily defensive about spoilers starts to operate like emotional blackmail
    • Why is your comfort and enjoyment more important than those who are trying to have a discussion?
  • Take responsibility for yourself and understand that the world doesn’t stop for you.
    • That said, don’t be a jerk about it if you know something that the other person doesn’t – be kind
    • On the other hand, don’t expect people to not talk about a show or a film for months or years. It isn’t fair and its harmful to healthy criticism.
    • Stop catastrophizing – will your life go on? Probably. If you get spoiled, make the best of it and don’t always assume the other person was trying to be a jerk.

Finally, you can check out our sources here:

Is “The Passengers” as Problematic as Audiences Say?

What do we mean by ‘spoiled passengers’? The film Passengers seems to have any number of issues, and it does dovetail with our discussion of spoiler culture. Can you watch the film even if you know the ending? Why not? Films arise from more than plot. Set dressing, acting chops, wardrobe, makeup, lighting, and editing, along with writing, all play important roles.

Also, Janet hasn’t even seen the film but had it figured out from the trailers.

So, what’s all the fuss? For viewers, the concept of Jim awakening Aurora meant he had, essentially, given her a death sentence. However, the story gives him the opportunity to do the right thing, and he makes the attempt. Much like we saw in our discussion with Emmy Marshall about Days of our Lives, readers and viewers love a redemption arc. And Passengers has one. Yet that still might not excuse Jim’s initial bad deed.

So, what do you think?

We referenced these articles:

In addition, when we discussed social isolation, we talked about these articles:

So how do you, as a fan, react to spoilers, or to the Passengers film? Tell us in the comments, if you like. Or send us a note!

Thank you!

Thanks for listening! Our show would not be possible without the help, kindness, and generosity of some truly wonderful people. First of all, we would like to thank Busy Little Beaver Productions and more specifically the G & T Show for giving us this great opportunity. We would also like to thank our music providers, Cerys and Kailani of Invocation Array. Thank you, ladies!

So our biggest thanks go to sound engineer extraordinaire, Michael Medeiros, and his niece, Katie, our announcer girl. Yes, we have the only announcer who has to take a break and study fractions and the times tables.

Furthermore, we would also like to thank our families for instilling in us our curious and creative impulses, and for encouraging us in all we do.

Finally, thank you, our audience. Because you’re why we are here. We do this for you.

Our Next Show

We will look at historical figures in fan fiction and fiction. Because Janet’s 2016 novel covers real Boston Brahmins from the 19th century, the topic hits home. And we will also follow Days of Our Lives as the show changes with new writing.

Finally, please send us a note if you like!

Busy Little Beaver Productions and The G & T Show

While you’re here, please check out our parent show and the links to our sister shows.

Invocation Array

Thank you SO much, Cerys and Kailani!

Mike & Announcer Girl Katie

And Mike is a published author, too! Please check out his work. It’s just wonderful.

Janet Gershen-Siegel

Jespah (Janet Gershen-Siegel) has been a fan of Star Trek since probably the first set of reruns of The Original Series. She has an eclectic background, including an undergraduate degree in Philosophy, a JD (she practiced insurance defense law for a few years in New York and is a lot happier since she retired from that in 1990), and a MS in Interactive Media, which is a real-live social media degree. Along the way, she has about a decade and a half of data analysis work under her belt and currently works as a blog coordinator for a high-end wedding blog and also as a blogger for hire (topics include diverse subjects like ad retargeting but also the nursing job market), and has a shingle out to work on social media presence, with a focus on independent authors as she is also a published science fiction author. Plus, she has been a community manager for a large Q & A website since 2002, which is before that existed as a job title. She was raised on Long Island so, when she is riled up, the accent gallops back out and she can sound like Fran Drescher with a law degree. She lives in Boston with her husband of over 30 years and more computers than they need. She can always be bribed with pie.

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