Without knowing what else is in the paper today, I can’t say if there is an April Fool’s Day story or not. The practice used to be fairly common. Newspapers and other media would run a front page story about some far-fetched topic, mainly to see if anyone would catch the joke. There are cases, more often in college newspapers, where the entire front page is made up.
Today, with the proliferation of fictitious news sources and satirical websites, whose goal is to trick people into believing (and sharing those stories on social media), I think many traditional news sources are afraid to have anyone question their credibility, even for a laugh. (On a related note, when you see a news story that makes you so mad that you can’t believe it and you have to share it on Facebook immediately, please make sure it’s real first. Find a fact checker that you trust and go to that website to make sure it’s not there. Just because it is on the internet, it is not automatically real.)
Even ignoring the satire (which is rarely funny), there is some awful news in the world today. Our leaders don’t lead, seemingly bending to the will of whoever writes the biggest check. There is hate, violence and destruction, all in the name of religion. Many people wonder who is really in charge and doubt that anyone else cares. The humor seems to have gone out of the news. In many ways, that’s sad.
I’ve always been a big believer in laughing at myself. Some days it’s hard, but those are the days it is probably the most important. As far as I’m concerned, you’re not allowed to laugh at anything (or anyone) else if you can’t laugh at yourself first.
The one problem I have with April Fool’s Day is when the “practical jokes” become mean-spirited. (How is that practical, anyway?) One definition for practical jokes is that they cause “the victim to experience embarrassment, perplexity, confusion or discomfort.” We teach our children to do unto others… so hurting or embarrassing our friends and associates doesn’t make much sense, either. Not that this is anything new. April Fools jokes have been around for centuries.
All this considered, I vote for returning to another name for April Fools: All Fools Day. I think we should all act like fools today and see if we can get someone else to laugh at us. Like I said, you’re not allowed to laugh at anyone else if you can’t laugh at yourself first.
And I can’t think of a better way to reduce the stress and frustration of the middle of the week than everyone acting a fool..