Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fool's Day

Today, we have a
holiday that celebrates things that pull the wool over people's eyes, whoopee cushions, fake murders, alien invasion hoaxes, and gum that turns your teeth black, among countless other possibilities!

Anything that can be considered a joke, a prank, a hoax, or a straight-up misrepresentation is fair game on this day and any fool not sharp enough to catch it before it smacks them in the face is fair game in this game.

As much as I like to have fun, I am remarkably passive on April Fool's. This is because I prefer to sit back and watch the madness unfold as if I was tossing back some bar-b-que nuts and cold ones at a spectator sport of another name.


Again, exactly.

In watching this day unfold from afar, what I see are huge swaths of civilization simultaneously teaching the rest of civilization, as well as themselves, some lessons of potentially great importance and I think it's a beautiful sight.

April Fool's is the one day a year that much of society seems to wake up from a coma-induced existence by having displayed right in front of it's face that perhaps what you previously thought is not the way things really are, no matter how sure you once were.

People all over the planet, on this day, are seemingly reminded that the unexpected and the unknown can exist and these things don't seem to be controlled by anyone because even the prankster can be pranked.

This is a time when you can be reminded that you probably don't have a monopoly on the truth. People might also be reminded that neither the unexpected nor the unknown (the same thing, I think) need be things to fear and, instead, could be generators of a wonderful thing called possibility.

That's a pretty intense wake-up call, if you ask me.

Then, as if that weren't enough, there are those who the workings of April Fool's have no effect on. Have you seen them? These are the people who always see right through the bullshit. The prank goes nowhere with them, if it even starts at all. I'm guessing these people have a lesson for us too.

How is it that see through this stuff? Were they constantly picked on by an older brother or sister? Maybe. Or, maybe they have made it a habit to always question things and keep a discerning eye. And there you have something else April Fool's might teach us - the lesson of questioning - the value of questioning everything, lest you be made a chump at the whim of someone else who thinks they are in control. This might also lead into the value of curiosity.

As such, I think April Fool's Day is extraordinarily useful and very much underrated. I think it needs to move up a few rungs on the importance ladder, maybe even pushed up to somewhere near the top.

Wasn't the Renaissance Age itself based on the value of questioning and denying that all truth was known? Wouldn't we still be in the Dark Ages without the Renaissance? Were the Dark Ages a good thing? Either way, my point is April Fool's Day seems to make sure we don't forget this these things, whether it was intended to or not.

The greatest April Fool's joke of all might be that it's no joke at all.

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