In another week we’ll all have a laugh as April 1st rolls around and the pranks multiply around the globe. At the same time, we’ll have the uncanny sense of being unable to trust anyone, because even the most serious-minded person might loosen up on April Fool’s Day and try to pull our leg. The origins of April Fool’s Day are disputed, but one thing is certain: if You’re the victim of a prank, it seems a lot funnier on April 2! This week’s links explore the hilarity that is prankdom.
One increasingly popular in-joke is the flash mob?a group of people who have prearranged (often via social media) to perform some unusual action, like freezing or breaking into dance, in the middle of a public place. Improv Everywhere is one ?prank collective? that proudly organizes public pranks, both with individuals and groups. Their video-heavy blog allows Internet followers to watch the events play out.
If April Fool’s Day jokes are standard fare, what happens if something newsworthy really does occur on April 1? It’s happened before?a tsunami that killed over 150 people in Hawaii, for example. Check out NowPublic’s list of the top real news events that coincided with all the false reports.
Pranks: silly joke or social commentary? It’s the latter, according to ?professional hoaxer? Joey Skaggs, who successfully uses the media to spread his hoaxes to the public. Skaggs wants people to think as well as laugh, and his use of pranks as a means of skewering hot topics, current events, and trends is intriguing. Read his personal manifesto to learn why he does what he does.
Ironically, pranking is becoming a sub-culture of its own. Art of the Prank, Joey Skaggs? blog, tracks the here and now of worldwide pranking news, views, and trends.