Why the First of April Is Controversial (Intermission)
Updated: Apr 29
This following article will be a bit special, as it is intended to be a small breather. It can be regarded as a small article instead, as I wish to carry on and write about other subjects. I will dedicate a small article or blog post to this subject because of its global relevancy.
The first of April is a special day of the year where it is traditional to fool others. Hence why it is called "April Fools' Day." The fools might as well be us, the ones being deceived for comedic effect.
The reason why people like this day is because of the possibility that they might laugh when we are the butt of the joke. "The butt" simply means being the victim of a trick or a joke. These people may enjoy it because it is just a joke, and therefore, they would not see a reason to take such things too seriously.
On the other hand, there are people who do not like deception, even if it is meant to make them laugh. A trick, even if it is made up, is technically a scam. A scam made for comedic effect. The less aware we are of the deception being as such, the more likely we are to get emotionally hurt.
Being deceived for comedic effect can pose a challenge to our trust in other people, especially those whom we like and see as friends. The same goes for being deceived in any way that's intentional.
A magician, trickster, mentalist, etc., are acceptable tricksters. Some of us may even pay for their tricks. The reason we might like them is because we come prepared for the possibility of a surprise. Jokes, however, are just a variant of trickery. Magicians aren't necessarily good at comedy.
The problem with jokes, logically, comes when awareness of them ruins the comedy. When you already know something is a joke, the element of surprise is ruined. Without subverting our expectations, a joke is most likely to be a poor one. Hence, a comedian doesn't usually explain the joke.
As a kid, I once shook hands with another student, only to find myself mildly electrified. I'm serious; it happened, and I was a bit in shock (pun intended). I did not expect that this other kid would electrify me, and thus I was disappointed in myself for putting my trust in him at the time.
The funny thing about that uncomfortable situation wasn't that I suffered, but the subversion of expectations. That's why jokes can easily be cruel, and why some characters in fiction exist mainly for comic relief: their agony is supposed to make us laugh because of humor's logic.
I don't think there's anything wrong with having different senses of humor. However, I do think that getting electrified by a handshake is not justified by taste. I wouldn't be surprised if electrification could be very dangerous to certain people, such as pregnant women.
I'm glad that, back in elementary school, I wasn't a pregnant woman.
Is danger or actual harm justified by humor? Most likely not. And perhaps, in some people's minds, they will not even be pleased to be deceived. Deception is disappointing, and perhaps life is already disappointing as it is.
And obviously, philosophers do not like deception anyway when they are led to trust. A realistic trust is nothing without being grounded in reality, after all.