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April fools

On the net, an effective April Fools’ joke works like contrast dye – you discover, by following its path, who does and does not read the stories they pass along. April 2nd is a good day to unsubscribe, unfollow, and defriend. We owe to April Fools’ Day some great moments: say, table syrup or the spaghetti harvest. But surely there is already enough deceit and treachery in the world. Why dedicate a holiday to it? Perhaps it has the significance of certain seeming-perverse religious performances, honoring the hostile gods of death and ruin, recognizing them in turn lest they obtrude themselves out of turn. If we must be fools, if some god of fools will not be spurned, then, indeed, let us dedicate a day to his honor. And perhaps the holiday inoculates us: being an April fool is painful, but it forearms us for when we are made fools out of season.