Eric: On the Cusp of the Fool
As near as I can tell, at least looking at social networking sites, absolutely no one likes April Fool's Day.
This seems odd to me, especially in the era of GenX hitting their forties, because if there's one thing my Generation and those that followed us love? It's shit for kids.
Seriously, man. We're the ones who made Spider-Man a monumentally successful movie franchise. We're the ones who moved Cartoon Network out of the business of making cartoons for children and into the business of manufacturing pop culture. We're the ones who keep Boomerang in business, especially after 7 pm. We're the ones who were rabid about collecting plastic toys that changed from robot to car and back until it hit the point that it too became a successful movie franchise. (And on the heels of it, we have ourselves a G.I. Joe movie coming out too. And it's not starring the Joes from the Baby Boom and it's not starring the poor Sigma Sixers who came after us.)
Oh, we call it "irony," or we demand that "comics aren't just for kids," or we tell people that Superman S's in sparkle-pink (I'm sorry, Supergirl S's, as if Supergirl ever wore sparkle-pink in her four-color life) is a fashion statement. But part of the reason Easter and Halloween are growing in our culture is that Gen-Xers and those who follow don't stop celebrating them when they graduate from college. We want our Christmas Stockings. We eat Count Chocula and watch Scooby Doo on Saturdays. We love shit that's for kids, and we're (officially) not ashamed of it.
But we fucking hate April Fool's Day. Which is so weird to me because it's the absolute pinnacle of "shit for kids." April Fool's Day is the last refuge of 9 year olds, because the 19-49 year olds don't want it. Because they fucking hate April Fool's Day.
We talk for days leading up to April Fool's Day about how much we fucking hate April Fool's Day. We talk about how annoyed we are that when we get up and stumble over to our computers on 1-April that "it's international don't believe anything you see on the Internet day." On April Fool's Day, Gen-X and the Internet Age put on their crotchety old man pants and declare themselves to be entirely too grown up to enjoy people making fun of themselves and of us.
Which is the cusp of it. No matter how ridiculous we get in our love of things from our youth (seriously -- the chief complaint about Watchmen wasn't that it took liberties with the source material, it's that it didn't take enough liberties with the source material and one of the most revered comic book series of the last six years was All-Star Superman, which seemed pretty pedestrian to me, particularly after Moore did it eight times better in Supreme, but because Morrison aped the more ridiculous -- and cool -- elements of the Silver Age Superman instead of declaring Superman too cool to have enemies with a square planet it's being held up as seminal and groundbreaking) we have absolutely no sense of humor about ourselves. None. No matter how good a prank is, "you got me" is never said cheerfully. It's said behind clenched teeth as we fake being a good sport and secretly plan how to kill the fucker with a car.
So, we're buzz-kills about this one, because we don't like to be made fun of. We're okay with other people looking stupid -- Jon Stewart, Matt Groening, Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Steven Colbert, Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green and put near everything else we do like comes from mocking other people -- but we don't like to look stupid. We laugh at the depiction of a hopeless nerd on Robot Chicken so long as that depiction is so broad and so unrealistic that we can pretend we're not the ones being laughed at. We laugh when someone looks like a fucking moron, so long as that someone isn't us.
And the heart of April Fool's Day -- the absolute point of it -- is that it makes fun of us. It says "hah! You bought this hoax! HAH HAH!" And we have to grit our teeth and mutter "yeah, you got me." And as stated above, we then plan vehicular murder. No one likes April Fool's Day.
Except, of course, for kids. Kids love it, because they're just young enough to not give a shit about looking stupid.
And the thing that gets me, beyond everything else, is that's exactly what we're looking for. We're looking for that essence, that moment in time, that part of ourselves who didn't give a shit about looking stupid, they just wanted to have a good time. When we read a comic book on the bus, we do so ironically or we do so defiantly, or we change the entire comic book industry to be more mature all in an effort to legitimize the act of reading a comic book on the bus, because deep down we just want to read comic books but we don't want to look stupid while we're doing it. We go to things like BotCon or Anime conventions or SF Cons or one of the various ComiCons in part because they're a good time, and in part because once we walk through those doors we don't look stupid liking what we like. It's safe. And the one thing that pisses us off is the television crew that shows up and films us, because we know we're going to have Stormtroopers, chicks in slave Leia costumes and unshaven fat guys dressed as Sailor Moon on the evening news, and the one thing we can't stand is that makes us look stupid.
Fuck that noise. Fuck it in the ear. I like silver age comics. I don't like them ironically. I don't like them nostalgically. I don't like recontextualizing them for my adult sensibilities. I don't like them because "they're not just for kids." I like them for what they are, on their own merits, because I enjoy super heroes fighting supervillains. I like them. I enjoy reading about the Levitz era Legion, or the Wolfeman/Perez Teen Titans, or the Claremont/Austin X-Men. I enjoy reading about Steve Rogers dressing up as Captain America and fighting Nazis while defending the rights of minorities and challenging us to be better people. I enjoy reading about Billy Batson saying his magic word and becoming the quintessential good guy without feeling like we have to make him, his sister and his disabled best friend suffer unimaginable torments to make them 'edgy.' I like it.
When I watch Super Friends on TV, I watch it because I fucking like Super Friends. I don't need to redress it or dismiss it or make jokes about it to enjoy watching Superman get shaken by Solomon Grundy or Sinestro trick Green Lantern into moving the planet Earth closer to the sun and then forgetting to fix it. Yeah, I know it's dopy if I pretend to be an adult when I watch it. But I like it on its own merits.
Yeah, I enjoyed Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law, but I also enjoy Birdman and the Galaxy Trio. I like this shit because I like this shit.
And I like April Fool's Day.
Let me say that more obnoxiously.
I like April Fool's Day!
I like it when people are clever. I like it when they take the time and effort to build something well, even if the purpose is to make me look credulous. I like when David Willis ends Shortpacked, launches 'Ultimate Roomies,' and redesigns his entire website based on the new strip. And works really hard to sell that fact. I think it's hysterical and I think it shows a great sense of self deprecation on his part and I think it shows a lot of time and effort to, in the end, celebrate a day where the world is whatever the fuck we want to make of it, and if we buy the hoax, even for a second, that's okay because god damn it, it's April Fool's Day. And it depresses me that in the Webcomics World, what was once a day of joy and anarchy (and for many years a day when artists would trade strips and try to do each others' jobs) has become a day when people solemnly declare that they're not going to be having any pranks or shenanigans, because they know that people hate that.
One of the comments to Willis's tour de force performance on his blog? "And so the worst fucking day of the year begins."
Jesus fuck, man. Get over it. It's April Fool's Day. Enjoy it for what it is. Read the epic saga of Cadie. Try to buy some Squeeze Bacon or just wince at the thought of it. Get excited for the Groundhog Day musical. Have some fun with it.
And if you can't, stop being a fucking buzzkill because you're terrified of looking stupid. If you just can't get in touch with your inner seven year old enough to just enjoy what this is, don't actively try to ruin it for everyone else. If nothing else? Because the only way to really look stupid on April Fool's Day is to preemptively try not to look stupid on April Fool's Day.
Seriously. Your declarations and your bubble-bursting? Is the ultimate victory of anyone who ever fooled you. They managed to take a thirty-second joke no one will ever remember and change your fucking life with it. You not only were 'gotten?' You never stopped being gotten, and everyone knows it because you keep telling them.
Now that's comedy.
Posted by Eric Burns-White at April 1, 2009 11:03 AM
My nine year old -- who has a hard time not taking people at face value -- was leery of April 1. Happily, it's a half-day, and also, she managed to participate with her friends: they told the teacher none of them had done their homework. The teacher said that she was going to tell everyone it was the first day of summer vacation.
It's hard to get a good April Fool's that takes people in without being cruel.
Comment from: Morgan Wick posted at April 1, 2009 1:17 PM
It's not just fear of looking stupid, it's fear of getting shit-scared out of their pants. How do you think gullible Shortpacked fans who can't stand Roomies are feeling?
Comment from: Rick Griffin posted at April 1, 2009 1:25 PM
I remember enjoying April Fool's Day when I was nine. Of course, you see, the worst prank we managed to pull on each other was 'There's an alligator on your head! Haha made you look' but you are comparing it to pranks that are more on the level of your mom kneeling down to you and going 'Your father and I are getting a divorce.' And I'm not even exaggerating.
Man I wants me some squeeze bacon. That sounds so awesome, like vegemite only for Americans.
Comment from: Stephen Granade posted at April 1, 2009 1:30 PM
The main reason I dislike April Fools' Day on the internet is because most of the jokes and pranks aren't very good. And, sure, any single one taken in isolation isn't that big of a deal, but on this one day there's a torrent of them. You have your standard "we're shutting the site down!" jokes and "we're changing what we do; now we're all about dancing llamas!" jokes, and most aren't executed well at all. For every CADIE or the Guardian announcing that they're switching to Twitter, you get news blogs trying to be funny and failing.
It's hard to get a good April Fool's that takes people in without being cruel.
The vast majority of all humor is cruel. The vast, vast majority. As Mel Brooks said: "Tragedy is when I get a hangnail. Comedy is when you fall into a sewer and die."
The major difference between April Fool's Day and every other humor-laden day is this time, the joke is on you. Sometimes transparently, and sometimes not-so, but the butt of the humor is the reader, the listener, or the recipient.
Someone who laughs at a guy slipping on the banana peel looks pretty mean when they get upset because they're the ones on the ground.
How do you think gullible Shortpacked fans who can't stand Roomies are feeling?
Scared, and panicked, and then ridiculous for buying into a major strip-changing event on April Fool's Day. I know. I've done it. I've felt that way.
And then I got over it and laughed. Because seriously, it's April Fool's Day.
you are comparing it to pranks that are more on the level of your mom kneeling down to you and going 'Your father and I are getting a divorce.' And I'm not even exaggerating.
So by derivation, all situation comedies are bad because some situation comedies are mean?
I submit that the vast majority of internet April Fool's Pranks are on the level of Cadie or Squeeze Bacon. Some are uninspired or dull. Some are transparently mean. But on the whole, most are kind of fun.
Google's Cadie. City of Heroes announcing Golden Age. Squeeze Bacon. Tor.com announcing they're now going to be TÖRdötCÖM. These things aren't a mother telling their child they're getting a divorce. And equating those two things doesn't protect a child from a mean mother, it means the people purveying harmless funny are made to feel bad for doing it.
Comment from: The Gneech posted at April 1, 2009 1:52 PM
You're just kidding about this, aren't you?
...actually, I'm 21 and I like April Fool's Day, because it's an opportunity to be creative. Haven't played any pranks myself, but that's because this is my busy class day and I don't get to see anyone.
However, I certainly know of plenty non-mean April Fool's pranks--first in my mind being the fact that one of my classmates persuaded me and the other students in our computer science class to keep straight, serious faces and nod agreeably as she delivered the first two minutes of her tech presentation in Hindi to our baffled professor.
I've never liked April Fools day, not even when I was nine.
The vast majority of all humor is cruel. The vast, vast majority.
People say that a lot. It doesn't make it true. Humor is basically about incongruity, not cruelty. I hate cruelty-based humor, and yet there are plenty of things I find funny.
What I object to about April Fools is that it's all about putting out misinformation, and there is plenty of that floating around as it is. I have to walk around every day with "Is this person lying to me?" screens up; I dislike having to divert all engine power to those screens one day a year.
So yeah. Screw April Fools day.
People say that a lot. It doesn't make it true. Humor is basically about incongruity, not cruelty.
But it's not actually funny unless the incongruity is disruptive, 9 times out of 10. You may hate mean humor, but that doesn't mean that the jokes you do like don't have centerpieces who look foolish, or flustered, or uncomfortable, or confused, or otherwise had their circumstances disrupted. There is a butt to the joke. That may be as obvious as Jerry hitting Tom in the head with a fireplace poker, or as subtle as a Restoration Comedy pointing out a miscommunication that led to class discomfort, but the essence of humor is human reaction, and human reaction, most of the time, is fueled by essential conflict. Otherwise, it's Itchy and Scratchy sitting on a porch drinking lemonade.
What I object to about April Fools is that it's all about putting out misinformation, and there is plenty of that floating around as it is.
Sorry, but that's ridiculous. Putting out a hoax on a day known for hoaxes is not "putting out misinformation," any more than Norad tracking Santa's Reindeer on Christmas Eve is perpetuating a fraud. Is there a day out of the year where you have to open with 'is this bullshit?' Yeah, there is. It's called every The major difference between 1-April and all the others? Is most of the time the bullshit is meant to be seen through and laughed at.
I don't like April Fool's Day on the internet because I disagree with the assertion that the vast majority of internet April Fool's Pranks are on the level of Cadie or Squeeze Bacon. The ones we remember and share with others are (my personal favourite is Bethesda having a 50% off sale on Elder Scrolls: Oblivion downloadable content for the next week EXCEPT for the infamous horse armour, which they doubled the price of instead); but too many of them are just a waste of time - as much as I love TÖRdötCÖM and their ebook policy, they've got a couple of posts there that I just think are dumb.
But that's true of the Internet every day. There's going to be the content you like, and the content you think is just dumb, and more of the content you like is going to stick in your memory than the stuff you thought was dumb. That's the way the internet works.
And honestly? I have yet to see a painfully unfunny AFD post so far this year. I've seen some I think are funnier than others, but I can see the humor in everything from the Witchalok class on Wizards through to the shockingly brilliant Jo Walton review of Heinlein's The Stone Pillow. (Which, had I not already known about the Stone Pillow, would have totally gotten me.)
Now, the Stone Pillow post and the rebrand post are among the best of the lot, but does that make "Woman found who doesn't find Neil Gaiman attractive" or "Ann Rice admits to writing Jesus Christ fanfic" truly so much of a waste of time that it makes all of April Fool's Day on the Internet bad?" Setting aside, for the moment, the fact that I at least grinned at both posts?
No. No, it doesn't change the fact that Cadie, Squeeze Bacon, City of Heroes: The Golden Age, the beta of the new Livejournal Friends Page, Blizzard's annual festival of fun, and yes indeed the new Roomies were great. It just means that not every joke in every circumstance is going to make me laugh, as well as not every joke is going to be good.
I'll paraphrase something I said above: if one situation comedy is Hello, Larry, does that mean every situation comedy is bad? Or does that mean you remember and enjoy the sitcoms you actually liked instead?
I submit that the vast majority of internet April Fool's Pranks are on the level of Cadie or Squeeze Bacon.
Daaaaang. You got me there. Good one. Let me start the car.
But yeah, internet April Fool's pranks have a somewhat unfairly maligned reputation. Some of it is because poor fools are stuck living their lives as Strong Sad, seeing through every abusive prank but being unable to stop being victimized by them.
But some of it is because some web sites are really egregiously bad at this--stupid bad, not cruel bad. Slashdot, I'm looking at you! (Or at least I used to look at you before I grew up.) Posting all prominent April Fool's day pranks in one spot while mixing in little or no legitimate content only serves to ruin this sacred day--as soon as one gag fails to "get you", then none of them can get you, and the reader is stuck with a choice between playing Strong Sad or browsing elsewhere. I mean, geez, at least make me play "wait wait don't tell me" and try to figure out which ones are fake and which are real.
Good trickery is about subtlety, and subtlety is not always the internet's strong suit.
The biggest issue I have with April Fool's is just that most of what I see... isn't that funny.
I admire the effort David Willis put into the joke. I actually caught the LJ entry first and it did, for a moment, get me- and then I realised that three hours earlier it had become April. And it wasn't a bad joke - I kinda wish I'd found the strip in the centre of it funny, but it wasn't bad itself.
That said, most of those I've seen today have been... intensely meh. Which is a shame.
I've hit enough of things I've thought were bad today that for me, it has. Maybe I've had bad luck, or maybe I'm just tired and grumpy; I don't know. It's just that as sad as I would have been about missing the good stuff, it's outweighed by the annoyance of the bad stuff.
And I picked on TÖRdötCÖM because it is good, so the bad spots there were all the more memorable. And for the record - the tags on the TÖRdötCÖM Anne Rice post cracked me up. It is sites like gizmodo where the joke has just gone on way too long, particularly when it is being delivered to me via RSS feeds.
Comment from: Mr Myth posted at April 1, 2009 4:18 PM
I have to admit, getting this worked up and preachy over people getting worked up and preachy over April Fools is probably the best April Fool's joke I've seen all day. ;)
For myself, I'll appreciate the really clever ones (which are few and far between), give a nod to ones that are obvious but well-executed (such as Shortpacked/Roomies), and ignore the ones that are just plain bad.
I'll certainly recommend the same approach to others - this is the sort of thing that just isn't worth getting frustrated over - but the same goes for anyone getting upset over someone not enjoying the joke.
People say that a lot. It doesn't make it true. Humor is basically about incongruity, not cruelty. I hate cruelty-based humor, and yet there are plenty of things I find funny.
This. I gotta disagree that all jokes have butts. Puns and wordplay don't, for example (and no, you groaning in response doesn't make you it).
That said, I enjoy April Fool's day. I remember when the Magic website announced the Unhinged set on April 1st, and there were several weeks where people weren't sure if it was a real product or just another joke. Now that's funny.
(That first paragraph was supposed to be in quotes.)
(Oh, also: it was a real product.)
Comment from: Robert Hutchinson posted at April 1, 2009 8:50 PM
I'm not sure this is allowed, but I have no passionate opinions about April Fools' Day, one way or the other. I do tend to prefer the jokes where the point is not so much to fool the credulous as it is to just have some fun.
April fool's day on the internet is pretty hard to get worked up about.
I saw some good April fool pranks at school, but they were interleaved with acts of pure abuse, so my feelings about the day have been pretty negative for a long time.
Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at April 1, 2009 11:18 PM
Here're some datapoints for your curve: I'm forty-nine, I've never cared for April Fools Day (or practical jokes in general, no matter the day of the year), and I don't hesitate to read comic books on the bus if that's how I'm getting home.
However, if you're having a good time, more power to you.
Comment from: kirabug posted at April 1, 2009 11:51 PM
I'm 32 and I looooove most of the humor on the 'net on April fool's day. I think I got Rickrolled at least 100 times last April, and even when I knew it was coming I snickered. Google's moon view with the cheese a few years ago had me laughing.
There's crap all over the place to giggle at. Some green site was selling a tree hugging jacket complete with grommets in the sleeves so you could more easily handcuff yourself to a redwood. Someone was offering computers for dogs made of rawhide. You've got to smile a bit.
And it sure as heck beats the 33 4-ounce dixie cups stapled into a chain and filled with water which was left on my boss's desk -- or the digital photo album where pictures of a guy's kids were replaced with one of my co-workers making silly faces.
And even those were funnier than going to work, doing my job, and coming home.
April Fool's Day is the Bernie Bott's Everyflavor Beans of the calendar.
Leaving aside the whole "cantcha take a joke?" aspect of cruelty-based humor, AFD is like karaoke night. EVERYONE thinks they're funny, and tries to demonstrate it. But just like most of the people at the bar are tone-deaf, drunk and can't remember the words even with a teleprompter, most AFD prankers Just Aren't Funny. They confuse cruelty with humor, just because some humor is cruel. They confuse lies with jokes. They aim for the "gotcha" without considering that being "got" may not be funny for anyone but the hoaxer. And people who would shut up and not try to be funny most of the year will trot out variations of the same old crap every April 1st and use the internet to spread it all over the world.
Older people hate AFD not because we're afraid of being the butt of the joke (although that's certainly an element), it's because we're FUCKING TIRED OF IT. Eat enough crappy school cafeteria hamburgers and you'll go off hamburger period, even the good stuff. And AFD is an all-you-can-choke-down school cafeteria burger bar with maybe a few good patties hidden in the mess.
Comment from: RAC posted at April 2, 2009 11:54 PM
I almost didn't post this because I'm not sure I've thought it all the way through, but what the heck, I'll risk looking foolish.
April Fool's Day does make me a bit paranoid- I do hate looking stupid, but I'm perfectly aware that I really need to lighten the hell up, so it's something I try to rein in when I can. Especially on April 1st. On the subject of liking silver age superheroes unironically, I am 100% in agreement. And now that you bring it up, you make me think.
Pardon the tangent, but: other questions about the character's merits aside, do you think Jar Jar Binks gets the bile he does because he deprives Star Wars fans of that security blanket of faux-maturity that the Joseph Campbell n' Zen mysticism provided? Suddenly that's gone and we have to admit to ourselves and others that we like Star Wars because Star Wars is just fun, pulpy, silver age, Republic serial fun, and suddenly our toy collections and our fanfiction and all suddenly seem silly. Childish. The shame! The horror!
Jar Jar makes us shift in our seats uncomfortably because we realize he's goofy and kiddy and there's all these other people in the theater too, watching this, and to judge Star Wars is on some level to judge us and OH GOD I DON'T KNOW IF I'M ALLOWED TO ENJOY THIS OR NOT.
I think there's something to this.
Comment from: Paul Gadzikowski posted at April 3, 2009 2:32 PM
I think you've got a point, RAC. Jar-Jar has never bothered me, who've always known that Star Wars is for the right brain, not the left.
This brings up a question I have wondered about but have not heard answered: do the kids today enjoy the same stuff from the Cartoon Network, Qubo, Disney Channel, etc.? If you noticed, quite a bit of what is actually for children are live-action stuff versus actual animation. And frequently, it's filtered in an educational mindset, which often defeats the purpose of childrens' animation. (I do like Word Girl, oddly enough. It has educational moments, but it's done in a very campy way.)
It's also very tailored. For instance, the shows on Disney Channel is deliberately made for girls, while the new Disney XD's shows is for boys. (Which doesn't explain why they kept Pucca, which I also love.) Nicktoons is better in just showing cartoons, but much of it is from Canada and England (where they take comedy seriously).
As for April Fools' Day, I hate it. Particularly after Wizards had an April Fools joke some time ago about developing 4th edition. Well, what do you know.
Comment from: Tangent posted at April 6, 2009 12:36 AM
To be honest? This year's April Fools webcomics were repetitive and bland. I mean, we've seen the lawsuit comics and the "sorry but I quit" comics and the "I'm changing the comic's format" and other such variations a half dozen times already.
What have we seen that is truly new and innovative?
When are we going to see imagination return to the April Fools strips? When will we see something interesting and fun once again? Sorry, but April Fools of 2009 was predictable and uninteresting. Maybe in 2010 they'll come up with something that'll make me sit up and take notice... but I rather doubt it. All the good jokes have already been done.
I'd missed the CoH "Golden Age" joke, but when I went to look, I only chuckled a bit -- it reminded me too much of Blizzard's 2008 announcement of "Molten Core", a console version of World of Warcraft.
Then I took a peek at their jokes from this year, including the introduction of the Terra-tron for Starcraft II.
They makes the good games, and they makes the good jokes, too.
I actually thought the Archivist was funnier, but that's just me.
Anyway...I wasn't really aware that adults cared this much about April Fool's Day--with the exception being most if not all of the teachers I know. I usually get a kick out of checking my favorites, seeing what's different and funny, but I got "pranked" one too many times in school to believe *anything* I see or hear on April 1st.
I have a theory that maybe April Fool's Day irritates "the internet community" so much for that very reason--we're so used to trusting certain websites, and having timely and correct information at our fingertips, that we can't do without that for a day. (Although honestly, as I think has been said already, a healthy dose of cynicism never hurt anyone, especially on the internet.)
Internet theory aside, I agree that April Fool's Day irritates so many adults because it's so dangerous to the ego--forget it's 4-1 just one year, and you'll go down in infamy amoung those who know you for "actually believing they were going to make the *wisp* the new race!".
((Whoo boy I hope any of that made sense--mornings and I don't get along too well these days...))
Yeah, I didn't find the Terra-tron funny at all. Blizzard's jokes last year were funny as hell. This joke just seems like they said "Throw pop-culture references at it, kids love those" without actually bothering to write any actual jokes.
But really, I have a hard time seeing why anyone gets worked up at all over April Fools. Just keep an eye on the calender, and if it says April 1st, then expect shenanigans. Take a day off from the internet if you have to.
You don't have to think April Fool's Day pranks are funny in the slightest, but like Eric said, frothing at the mouth about it makes you look rather dumb. Especially considering that this is the internet and participation in using the internet is completely and wholly voluntary.
y'know, I hate 'embarrasement' comedy, but at least i acknowledge that it's a personal issue (too many time's i've been the steve correl/don quixote etc. in any given sitaution and i have empathy, even for fictional characters), but april 1st just makes me sad.
take the geist announcement. I would play that game. it sounded fun. i'm sad it's not real because it sounded gonzo and nifty.
or pandaran express feature of WoW from, waht, 05. dude. chinese food ordered from the in game client and delivered? yes please.
jar jar binks is a bad character because he was flat and not nearly entertaining enough to be a stick gathering pesant (a la r2 & c3po). i take martial arts with alot of kids and not a single one of them likes jar jar either.
also, i don't bleive in joseph campbell, i just love star wars because of the pulp actiony ness of it, not for some bupkis mythic journey.
I am very fond of April Fool's Day--great memories of Dad telling us that our nose had turned green or that we had dribbled toothpaste down our shirts. One of the problems with April Fool's Day is that if you remember it, you are always on the lookout for the great gag--was that story on NPR real or a joke? (my daughter, your niece Hilary, was devastated when she heard the story on whale farming, which of course I knew was an April Fool's joke because I was on the lookout for it.)
Unfortunately, the best jokes do tend to be cruel--again on those who are not on the lookout for the joke. Four years ago, when Dave and I were dating about a month, I emailed him and told him that I was moving back to Colorado because I was tired of shoveling snow and the girls needed to be closer to their Dad. He was not on the lookout for a joke, so, even though I scored my biggest April Fool's success, he was devastated. I finally had to point out the joke, and to this day, he is still a bit hurt that I did that to him. Makes it hard to follow that up...
Coming at this late (down to monthly checks, these days). Loved the essay, but can't help but feel there was a missed GC-related prank opportunity.
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