I thought about doing something funny on my site for April Fools, but then I didn't because I don't really have time for that nonsense! Instead I thought I'd regurgitate this article from my old blog I posted on 4/1 last year about how big corporations like to play these really limp-wristed April Fools gags on us now.
But then I reread it and thought it was kind of long and boring. It sort of spun out of control at the end into a rant about how stupid "funny commercials" are. I thought I'd post that snippet alone, because man, I really hate funny commercials!
Originally posted: 04-01-08
I fucking HATE funny commercials. I deeply resent the arena of humor being hijacked in this way. It makes me sort of hate the universe of humor itself, somehow. I almost find it distasteful to participate in the same discipline in which thrives such a loud and broad display of clumsy, floundering suck. I guess this phenomenon has its roots in the coronation of the Superbowl as the great custodian of funny commercials. These commercials are popularly alleged to be as much of a draw to the high ratings event as the game itself, and I guess this just got corporations thinking; why not make every day the Superbowl? And they did. Now every day is like a fresh, highly competitive Superbowl of unfunny bullshit.
I could go on about "funny" commercials and why I hate them forever, but who has the energy for that? (Especially after we've all eaten ourselves into a wheelchair from the customary April Fools feast.) Occasionally there are some genuinely funny commercials. I just don't care. All the unfunny "funny" ones ruin the funny "funny" ones completely. I'm tired of waiting for the shoe to drop in the 30-second bullshit vignette on Glade scented candles. I'm tired of "funny" moments being punctuated by awkward pauses of silence (while we all laugh, I guess. And then meditate on Werther's Originals.) I'm tired of people getting hit in the groin with a can of Green Giant corn, or backed over by a Hertz rental car, and hearing them shout "I'm ok!" in the fading moments. I don't want to laugh, and the attempt to inflict this reaction on me is causing me pain. There's a good chance I am watching the show I'm watching for this very purpose, to be made to laugh. The creators of this show are ostensibly good at causing this reaction. You aren't, Holiday Inn.
It's not that I want commercials to be funnier, up to the standards of the few that are funny. It's that I want them all to stop being funny. Do you remember a time when not every commercial was trying to be a damned Farrelly brothers movie? I do. They just said, "look, we sort of have this product..." and played some catchy music. They were benign. Ignorable. Corporations have forgotten their role in the social order. I don't want them to be cool, or to be my friend, or to make me laugh. Corporations should be stodgy, blunt, and humorless, and if it's not to much to fucking ask, mildly nefarious.
Now we can look forward to them latching on to pranks. Oh boy! And as with "funny" commercials, they will seize them as competitive advantages (re: adhere to them unwaiveringly as competitive upkeep). Thus will begin the kind of obnoxious one-upsmanship we see with funny commercials, with companies trying to be ever edgier, ever more surprising in their April's gotchas. Coke isn't going to take it lying down when Pepsi reveals in April, 2012 that 30% of all Pepsi cans the previous year contained moderate to major amounts of fetal tissue floating in the liquid [PSYCHE]. Let us begin a great arms race. Not one of munitions and warhead stockpiles, but of whoopee cushions and chattering teeth.
Anyway, I wonder which big company will play pranks on us this year and bag a few chuckles from the dude sitting behind the desk at CNN during a 30 second spot? Last year it was Google uniting with Virgin and pretending to colonize Mars. Hehehehehe! Nice one guys!
Edit: I just went there immediately after I typed that expecting to find some fun stuff, and sure enough, I knew it was a gag before I even clicked it. Damn, I just got SO PUNKED actively seeking out that joke I knew would be there before I went there!