Friday, 1 April 2016

I Don't Like April Fool's Day

I am not a fan of April Fool's Day. I am not a fan of silly pranks, especially those designed to embarrass or humiliate people. I don't like things which waste what precious time I have here on Earth, time which I could use for doing something which enriches my life, which adds to the value of the world around me.

It's not that I am humourless; I love a good joke, a smart pun. I love wit and intelligence. The problem is that so many April Fool's jokes clearly lack both with and intelligence. I see no point in sending a new worker off to get a rope handled shovel, or to bring back a bucket of steam. I see no point in assigning a student to do research work on a non-existent historical figure. Okay, perhaps I am a bit humourless, perhaps I am a bit curmudgeonly.

The real issue I have is the embarrassment part. There are those who feel that humour can only be had at others expense, that funny is when it happens to someone else. I have always felt that the best target for humour should be oneself. If I am to create a laugh, better that it be at my own expense, in emotions which I can afford, rather than at the expense of someone else, hurting them, embarrassing them.

That's my real problem with April Fool's Day. The whole intent is to make someone else look the fool, to get a laugh at someone else's expense. I think that is inherently cruel. Unfortunately we are an inherently cruel species, it seems. The idea of April Fool's Day goes back hundreds and thousands of years. There was even the festival of Hilaria in ancient Rome, and India has the Holi festival.

I don't find it funny to make fun of others. If you want to be really funny, have a laugh at your own expense. Lighten someone else's load by letting them laugh, not by making them the butt of the joke. If you truly want to do April Fool's, make the joke on yourself.

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