Thursday, 2 April 2015

Bored with the things

There was a time when large scale institutional practical jokes for April 1 were brilliant because they were so unusual. I'm thinking particularly of the 1957 Panorama mini-documentary on the Swiss peasants going out to reap the spaghetti harvest, and the Guardian's magnificent, very large scale special feature on the floating island of San Serriffe.

However, on April 1 this year, as has been the case for a while now, I was bombarded with 'really funny' stories like:
... and basically practically everything that anyone put on Facebook and Twitter on the 1st. 

Apart from getting tedious, there is a real danger that people think a genuine story is a joke. My piece about snake oil teas yesterday was not a joke, for instance. So we get confused claims like this that suggest that Amazon's 'dash button' (something you stick on your washing machine, for instance that you press to order more washing powder when you are running low) wasn't a joke... or was it? (Frankly, I'm still not sure about their drone delivery system.)

So, please, could we have a spoof news embargo for the next couple of years? Then, perhaps, we could get back to the naif joy that greeted the spaghetti harvest:

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