Thursday, April 01, 2004

APRIL FOOL'S

The spoil-sport over at Maderblog complains about April Fool's, saying the day is particularly frustrating for news junkies and bloggers.

I think its great. I think its an incredible social phenomenon. That there is a day set aside when it is permitted to be devious and attempt to mislead others is a really interesting realese valve society has created. That news organizations even engage in this activity is a fascinating instance of permissable transgression within the public sphere.

The best April Fool's hoaxes are one's that should be ridiculous enough to realize that they are fakes but are just realistic enough to be believable to those who don't take a second glance. Often they include a hidden give-away such as including 'April Fool' within the text of a story in anagram form, or something like that.

A list of the 100 best April Fool's day hoaxes is available here. Our own Pierre Bourque makes the list at #42 for his April 1, 2002 story about Paul Martin resigning from cabinet to raise prize winning cows and ducks on his Quebec farm. The story sent currency traders and the PMO scrambling until Martin denied the story and Bourque indicated it was indeed a joke. Brilliant.

Its stories like these that make one read the news just a little more carefully.

Posted by Matthew @ 4:00 PM