Editorial: Paradox of Fools

I dislike April Fools day. I realize saying that paints me as a grump with no sense of humor, but honestly, the entire notion of having to have a day (or rather, half-day as supposedly pranking someone after noon says that you’re the fool who didn’t know the rules) devoted to pranking people just seems, well, silly. And not in a “That’s the point” way.

I dislike it for a couple reasons. The first, and most obvious, is that it means most of the internet is virtually useless for several hours on April 1 as various companies and news agencies try to put up eye-catching stories and advertisements for things that don’t exist. Of course, every other day of the year, we call these by what they really are, trolls and click-bait. And there’s quite enough of that on the web already, thank you. Do we really need a day devoted to it?

The second is the institutional nature of the day. It’s become almost a way of a company showing how “cool” it is by developing some absurd prank, but honestly, I don’t use any company because of how cool they are, and as I find myself dealing with some minor frustration or another throughout the day and the rest of the year, I often wonder just how hard it would have been to fix whatever this problem was, and perhaps if the company had spent the time doing that instead of planning some sort of elaborate April Fools scheme, how much better my life could be.

Third, and completely hypocritically, I dislike it because I really can’t participate. The Voice Magazine comes out once a week. Getting the content for one issue put together on time is a huge task, so trying to do a second issue just for the twelve-hour span of April Fools? Forget about it.

Of course, what if I told you there was an April Fools prank in this issue? Does that count as a prank if there isn’t one? After all, if there’s no other prank in this issue, then telling you there’s a prank in the issue is the prank. But if it is the prank, then it’s not a prank because it’s just a true statement. Except it’s not. And knowing that my mind gets distracted by this type of thing on April Fools day when I’m supposed to be putting together a magazine explains to you why I dislike April Fools.

This week, our feature article is a Minds We Meet with none other than Voice Writer, Samantha Stevens. If you’ve ever wondered who’d like to live in a hobbit hole, you need look no further. Also, be sure to take a look at The Fit Student, where Marie’s personal struggles with her weight will ring true to many of us, I’m sure. Then Scott Jacobsen takes a look at the new federal budget and some of what it might mean for students and for Canada.

You should also be sure to read the letter to the editor sent by none other than AUSU’s VP External, Colleen Doucette. What Colleen is concerned about becomes doubly concerning when you couple it with Barb Lehtiniemi’s look at the upcoming changes to the AUSU Bylaws. Student engagement is obviously a difficult issue for AUSU, working at a distance makes it very hard to make students feel like they can take effective action. It’s not as if we can hold a sit-in or some sort of visible protest.

What we can do, however, is enjoy the read!