Why do people like to play April Fool's Day pranks? Especially computer pranks, like Google's failed mic drop?
Ms. Undine has never quite understood this. Mark Twain said (in Pudd'nhead Wilson) that on this day we're reminded of what we actually are during the other 364, but that's not a good enough reason.
Frankly, Ms. Undine thinks that the computer manufacturers play enough pranks on us every year, making us play hide and seek to find the features we depend on with each new iteration of software (looking at you, Microsoft Office) and with each new version of hardware (looking at you, Apple. I have enough Mac dongles to make myself a hula skirt by stitching them together, and you just introduced a new connector?). If we had one "stable computer day" every April 1, now there would be a holiday to celebrate.
As for the other pranks: well, apparently human beings love humor better if it is crude and/or cruel, which is why we invented the internet after we made bear-baiting illegal.
Dear Ms. Undine,
I think you are a hypocrite. After making fun of the awesome Cue Cat, you bought one recently. Why?
Because all the lovely commenters on that post said it would be good for LibraryThing, that's why. I haven't tried it yet, but I have already rounded up little catnip toys for it to chase. It's the only non-rectangular thing on my desk and is already a fine distraction. Go Go Gadget Paws!
Dear Ms. Undine,
You write about mid-century male writers sometimes. What did you think of Gay Talese's recent comment that he couldn't think of any women writers that inspired him?
Surprised and Outraged
Dear Surprised and Outraged,
|Figure 1. Supposedly Frank Sinatra, but maybe Gay Talese.|
Ms. Undine admits that she had classed Gay Talese in her mental memory bank as a 1960s Esquire writer, sort of a ring-a-ding-ding generation Jonathan Franzen, who wrote something about wife-swapping way back in the day. He was brought up in a generation when it would have been a manly point of pride not to have read any women authors, and a look at his Google books just now suggests that that hasn't changed much.
In other words, Ms. Undine thinks this is a tempest in a gin bottle. She recommends that women writers forget him right back and quit worrying about it since there are bigger fish to fry, like this year's VIDA count.