April showers bring May flowers, or whatever, but April Fools’ brings a glut of mostly Web-based, absurdist non-humor. As John Oliver so eloquently ranted about the other day, much of April Fools’ is about being a dick, whether it’s simply wrapping your coworker’s desk in aluminum foil or, as so many Internet presences have chosen to do, setting our expectations high for new, bizarre products and then killing our dreams when corporations remind us that business is, in fact, business, and fun is rarely allowed.
We’ve collected some of this year’s April Fools’ pranks, all of which John Oliver would surely hate. We hate them, too, because they prove only that the Internet — and the world — would be a lot more fun if people weren’t so concerned with taking themselves so seriously all of the time. There have surely been a dozen more “jokes” since press time, but whatever — they’re all of a certain type.
First up: Google must devote an entire team of engineers to developing their fake products, because they’ve got a ton, all of which are pretty well executed. There’s the new homepage, which is flipped. There’s the new search tool, Panda. There’s the dial-up Internet service from Google Fiber. Oh, there’s also the new Pac-Man mode on Google Maps, which is entirely real and also the best way to spend your workday. There are probably even more, but who cares, because they’re not real.
Crushing the hearts of readers everywhere is Goodreads, the social platform for readers and publishers. They blogged about a fake but definitely viable dating app called Kindlr, which would pair readers with romantic possibilities who shared similar reading tastes and habits. The dickish aspect to this one is that so many bookworms would probably pay for this in a heartbeat, and yet it’s not real.
What a classic, cool move from Amazon! Take your interface, which is the shopping hub for so many people in the entire world, and make it entirely unusable by making it as awful as it was in the ’90s. Nostalgia is so cool, man, especially when it is stopping me from ordering bulk toilet paper at the exact moment when I am using my last square.
Here’s another thing we wish we could have right now, but we can’t, because it isn’t real, and so we will just dream and dream (and probably recreate it for ourselves): Fresh Direct created this whole elaborate cheese cleanse, which involves eating only five different cheese-based courses over a five-day period. One of our staffers said this was already basically her life, and if this weren’t a dumb, fake prank, she could finally have Fresh Direct’s unnecessary validation. But, no, it’s fake.
Tumblr, the website that has made approximately zero major changes in its functionality since its creation, joked about having an “executive suite,” which, if taken seriously, would actually make the blogging platform something more than an incubator for memes, unseen poetry, and unnecessary teenage self-expression. I wish Coppy, their Xeroxed take on Clippit, were a real thing, guiding me through the labyrinthine tagging system of the blue-and-white Tumblr world. But, once again, it’s fake, as in, not real, and Tumblr continues being Tumblr, because at this point, why not?
April Fools’ for Microsoft is like every other day, because the once-giant tech company makes headlines for being sub-par, which explains why the mobile version of MS-Dos is actually real.
Holding up an unfortunate mirror to society today is T-Mobile, which launched a video touting a new service called “Pet Unleashed,” which allows pets to use their own devices with their own pet-specialized apps and services. Most notable is the pet version of Tinder, a thing we all know is unnecessary because pets are just the uninhibited avatars of their owners, and so walk around humping and grinding against anything they find attractive, no swiping required. Cool job bleeping out the word “fuck,” though, T-Mobile: super edgy.
No word yet on whether or not Apple is truly making cars, but that’s fine, because The Verge has released a video announcing their entry into the transportation world. The sad thing about this is that everything in this video sounds and looks so cool, man, as if the future were this thing people were really willing to strive for, and not, in reality, just a watch that tells us to look at our phones.
Soccer (football!) site Bleacher Report entered the April Fools’ fray by announcing, humorously, that the AC Milan club teamed up with Hello Kitty. I (and my father) find the nonexistence of this collaboration sad because it would actually make me interested in a professional team sport.
CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, blasphemously reported the discovery of the Force — as in, the Force from Star Wars — and so forced all of us would-be Jedi into realizing (once again) that our dreams are never coming true, and that we, along with our dreams, are nothing more than fodder for stuffy scientists and their “reality.”
Finally, two comments on the dreadful selfie phenomenon: Honda has released a video for a fake (not real) car, the HRV Selfie-edition, which is so honed in to the millennial pleasure center that, if it were real, it could very well be an entirely successful endeavor. What’s more, it would probably stop people from getting into accidents because, let’s face it, there are people who are taking pictures of themselves while they do their makeup and drive at the same time.
Also on the selfie front: shoe retailer Miz Mooz made this little thing about selfie shoes. I kind of wish the shoes were real, if only so that we could all walk around looking like traditional elves, but, alas, like everything else in this roundup: not real. Which, fine, in this case, maybe it’s for the greater good that this isn’t real, because selfies don’t need to be more easily facilitated; if anything, we should be reacting against them.