I am a patreon for a YouTuber. Usually around this time he does a silly YouTube video about changing his brand. It tends to be lighthearted and tongue-in-cheek. What’s more, each video has a lot of love to it.
He said that he may take a break this year. I jokingly said “Aww, why not?” and some people responded that April Fools is outdated, with not-funny pranks. That was news to me, as someone who kept an eye out on social media and takes fanfiction requests.
People updated regardless. Cartoon Network had some ideas for crossovers that did sound cool but were ostensibly generated by ChatGPT. Someone claimed we’d get an Amphibia movie, but that I knew wasn’t real because Disney has not been nice towards its animated shows lately. I have more opinions of that on Medium, regarding some of the controversies.
I Don’t Like Pranks Most of the Time
Let’s be real. I’m not someone that enjoys watching or playing pranks. There’s a fifty percent chance that you will hurt someone’s feelings or ruin something they love.
As a kid, I was super gullible. It’s easy to believe things when you want to know that possibilities exist. Why can’t there be a world with aliens, with fairy, or with magic? I wanted to believe in a Loch Ness monster, and was disappointed to learn the Sturgeon photo was a fake in a picture book that I got from the library.
Here is a problem: gullible kids make for cynical adults. You always feel like the butt of the joke and never able to enjoy it as people laugh at you. I have to check with my older brother to make sure that he is not messing with me. He is very good at doing that so I look at him until he cracks up laughing. While I have done one prank, it was creating tissue paper ghosts and taping them to a friend’s computer. It was easy to clean up, and she found it funny when I admitted it was me.
You also stop believing in stuff. There are no fairies or wizard schools that will teach you to become your best possible self. At some point you stop believing in ecological solutions for environmental problems after reading about how banning plastic straws affects disabled people and that recycling may harm the planet as much as landfills do. Cynicism leaves you with a sense of bitterness.
I do feel that if we are saying April Fool’s is obsolete, then we need to examine why. Is it that people focus on the pranks and not on the fun? Of the whimsy of getting married on April first, as Meg Cabot did with her husband?
It’s a shame that I never saw that a prank can be fun if it’s harmless, and not triggering. I had to become an adult to learn that, as well as to learn how to laugh more. It also meant meeting people that know when the fun stops being fun.
April Fool’s is not outdated, I believe. But we need other ways of bringing laughs to these communities we love.