Monday, April 1, 2019

April Fools' Day Just Isn't That Fun Anymore

I used to like April Fools' Day... it was a fun day for harmless pranks and goofy hoaxes. I remember one year when I was still in high school, the storied WLIR morning crew reported on a minor earthquake which hit Long Island. Throughout the morning, they were reporting anomalous occurrences, a preponderance of flannel shirts and muscle cars throughout the region... as I listened, it dawned on me that the joke was that this earthquake had caused the Nassau/Suffolk county line to shift west a few miles, rendering part of Nassau County more 'Suffolky'. It was a great prank, confusing as hell at first, but a nice slow-burn which a discerning listener could figure out.

The premise of April Fools' Day is a subversion of the expected order- unexpected happenstance, uncharacteristic behaviors from individuals. It was a day predicated on falsehood, a break from the quotidian expectations that underpin our lives. These days, though, with the constant parade of falsehoods, distortions, and calumnies that inundate us, it's just not that fun. April Fools' Day used to be the one day of the year when 'alternative facts' were acceptable, now falsehoods have swamped our accepted consensus reality... maybe now it can be the one day when people are expected to adhere to, as the guys in Depeche Mode put it, a policy of truth:

And I'm not fooling...


StringOnAStick said...


Ali Redford said...

What StringOnAStick says. I used to love 4/1, and did lots of fun things that never hurt people, just made them laugh. This year, no spirit. I had no idea why, just thought I "grew up" (at 58 yo!) But, this explains it beautifully.