Friday, April 01, 2016

Fooling Nobody

Having transitioned completely into a curmudgeonly old git in yesterday's post, denouncing modern 'humour', I thought that I might as well turn my attention to this year's crop of mainstream media April Fool's Day 'jokes'.  The problem is that I've had a hard time spotting them.  I did think that announcing Ronnie Corbett's death was in poor taste as far as April Fool pranks go - until I remembered that he really had died yesterday.  So clearly that wasn't a press prank.  I thought that maybe the story about the obese outnumbering the underweight in the UK was the joke story, but apparently, that too was on the level.  The one that I was sure was an April Fool gag was that story about the Business Secretary Sajid Javid meeting soon-to-be-unemployed steel workers in Port Talbot and telling them "We are on your side".  I mean, really, that has to be a joke, doesn't it?  If this is the government's idea of being on someone's side, then I'd hate to see how they treat their enemies.

But no, that was also, incredibly, true.  In the end, I couldn't find a single story that was obviously an April Fool's Day joke.  Which, as far as I'm concerned, is no bad thing.  Hopefully the news media have finally accepted that when most of us tune into the news or read the papers, we want to read something which has some connection with real events, rather than having to wonder if each story is actually an elaborate lie.  (Of course, it might just be that I've completely lost all of my critical faculties and every news story I saw or read today was a gag).  Mind you in recent times every day has felt like April Fool's Day in the British press, with the tabloids dominated by completely made up scare stories involving immigrants, extreme weather, bird flu and the EU.  So I guess that the apparent lack of special prank stories this April Fool's Day might have less to do with the press having had a Road to Damascus conversion with regard to the veracity of their reporting, than it has with the fact that they know that nobody can tell the difference between their April Fool gags and their regular shit.  God, I really am becoming an old curmudgeon, aren't I?  

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