Friday, April 01, 2005

We Were April's Fools

So this morning I was reading the blog of Jason Calacanis, one of the co-founders of Weblogs, Inc. and one of the many very sharp, highly opinionated people I met at SXSW, and his web entry for today was a funny bit about selling Weblogs, Inc. to CNN. The thought of Lockhart, Krucoff, Dobkin, and Spiers hosting a LES version of "The View" in the backroom of the Magician makes you realize how absolutely intolerable a group of snarky bloggers would be to a national television audience. Let's face it, people don't turn on their televisions to do any serious thinking!

But this April Fool's gag had me thinking about why the hell we accept this as a kind of national day of acceptable lying, so of course, I googled it.
One of the first sites I found that tried to explain the origin of the day didn't exactly inspire a lot of confidence in it's accuracy. Here's an excerpt:

Ancient cultures, including those as varied as the Romans and the Hindus, celebrated New Year's Day on April 1. It closely follows the vernal equinox (March 20th or March 21st).... In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII ordered a new calendar (the Gregorian Calendar) to replace the old Julian Calendar. The new calendar called for New Year's Day to be celebrated Jan. 1. Many countries, however, resisted the change.... In 1564 France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted New Year's day to Jan. 1. However, many people either refused to accept the new date, or did not learn about it, and continued to celebrate New Year's Day April 1. Other people began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on "fool's errands" or trying to trick them into believing something false.

Huh? France adopted the Gregorian Calendar 18 years before its existence? Why, if this isn't the straw that broke the Bush administration's back! With such a history of omniscience it's a pure wonder Bush & Co. didn't pay closer attention to France's resignations about Iraq. But wait! The last line says, they "began to make fun of these traditionalists, sending them on 'fool's errands' or trying to trick them into believing something false." That sounds eerily familiar. Perhaps France fooled us into invading Iraq by saying we shouldn't! Aha! They are the dirty bastards we always knew them to be. Well, it's high-time we stop blaming our intelligence community for our failures and get back to our French-hating, redblooded American roots.


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