April Fool’s Issue meant all in good fun

ReAnne Utemark

April Fool’s Day can be a real kick in the pants, sometimes literally. For the most part, if you can avoid being horribly embarrassed and play a few tricks of your own it turns out pretty well. Everybody gets a good laugh and you go on with your life. April Fool’s jokes on a large scale can turn out poorly or they can turn out well.

One of my favorite jokes was the one that Google played last year with their “Google printing.” As it turns out, the boys over at Google have a sense of humor. They messed with millions of people and still, their Web site is one of the most used in the world.

April Fool’s Day issues in college newspapers don’t often turn out well. College students have a terrible sense of humor, particularly those that work on newspapers. We spend long days in a basement office and the lack of vitamin D from sunlight and staring at a computer screen for upwards of 10 hours often twists our brains a little.

In any case, we decided to brave it and produce an April Fool’s issue, included in the regular issue of the Review. None of the articles are meant to offend and we have discussed meticulously the libel and copyright considerations involved. We just want to give you a little giggle and perhaps, with some of them, make you do a little research because you don’t get the joke. When you finally do get the joke, you can share it with your friends and feel far superior to them.

Satire is a long-standing tradition in United States media. Saturday Night Live, MAD Magazine and the Onion are only some of the humorous, biting satirical publications that exist today.

Hustler Magazine, besides being a magazine that some people keep under their mattress for personal use, also set the stage for American satire. In 1986 Hustler published an advertisement featuring the Reverend Jerry Falwell. The advertisement, for a liquor, had “Falwell” sharing his first experience with the alcohol, which involved his mother, an outhouse and an incestuous encounter. Let me first preface this by assuring you that I don’t think incest is funny under any circumstances, even in jest. However, the court case and subsequent ruling that immediately followed the publication gave American satire a foundation and legitimacy in many ways. Indeed, even further back, during the corrupt Tammany Hall days of New York City, political cartoonist Thomas Nast took down William “Boss” Tweed with his satire.

Sure, the silly story about the Ichabod being on steroids probably isn’t going to bring down the massive number of professional and college athletes that use performance-enhancing drugs. But it does illustrate the problem and the problems with the solution. Admittedly, sometimes satirists have no other intention than to make people laugh at the expense of someone famous. Jay Leno and David Letterman have been doing that for years, Saturday Night Live has been doing that for years and The Onion just makes things up so outlandish and offensive that you can’t help but laugh or navigate away from the Web page.

I hope you enjoy our short April Fool’s edition. It isn’t meant to offend, inspire or really do anything else than give you a little laugh during this week. If you do have a problem with it, I hope you feel the need to converse and discuss the issue with me or any other member of the editorial staff. As an endnote, I dearly hope that the discussion does not involve pitchforks or torch wielding.