Today is my favorite day to Google. But no matter how much smell-o-vision (Google Nose!) or maps enhancements (Treasure Mode!) come out, I most wish for one Google April Fools’ day prank, a wish that formed yesterday when the Google doodle honored the Catholic human rights activist Cesar Chavez. Yes, Catholic is the emphasis there, which is why I think it was a great coincidence that his birthday fell on Easter. Chavez cared a great deal for the poor and spent his life helping them find respect and compassion—kind of like, say, I don’t know… Jesus? It’s great that Google could remind us on such a holy day how to live with purpose and conviction.
But alas. Choosing to honor an important peace advocate means not decorating the Google homepage with plastic easter eggs and peeps and sweatshop-made baskets and fake plastic grass and all those other things that Jesus said were a direct means to Holiness and God’s path (see Matthew 20:17-19: “the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law, but he will be resurrected in 20th century America through candy, cheap toys, and Cadbury eggs”; for full academic disclosure, I should mention that contemporary scholars have questioned the historical accuracy of the latter half of the sentence, saying that “Cadbury eggs” might have other viable translations). You can imagine, therefore, that a number of the American religious intelligentsia have risen up in Jesus’ defense. Their comments have already been reported on far and wide.
Which brings us to today. For me, the best possible Google prank that could have emerged in the early hours of the morning, or which might still emerge, would be a press announcement that said something like the following:
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Dear ardent readers. We’d like to announce that the response to yesterday’s doodle, though seemingly vile and focused on superficial aspects of religion, was in fact a hoax many years in the making. Since Google was founded, we have been secretly setting up a “puppet” religious right wing. Using a complex algorithm of dubious biblical scholarship and narrow worldviews (Stephen Colbert was our head advisor), we tried to create the world’s greatest “reality sitcom.” We thought it would be so funny to have a group of paradoxical eccentrics claim to love the bible AND hate all the people in the world. However, the joke is on us. No one ever laughed at these groups, Feelings were hurt. A staggering number of unpaid individuals and “churches” took our “ideas” seriously (churches that we, regrettably, thought were in on the joke, only to discover too late).
We’re terribly, terribly sorry for all the hurt and confusion our little conservatives have caused. We never intended any of this.
Now that our groups find themselves with competing interests (i.e. our puppet organization criticizing the design team’s excellent doodle), we’ve decided to call it quits and disband the “conservative religious right.” Happy April Fools’ day everyone, and we hope you enjoyed this hoax over the past few years as much as we did. Go in peace.
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P.S. In almost unrelated news, I ended up pranking myself today when I set my leftovers on top of my coat during my morning train ride. Apparently, the chinese tupperware couldn’t take the rollicking of the train, and now I’m left with garlic sauce all over the inside of my coat. So, I say to you, Weather, please don’t rain?
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UPDATE: Now that I’ve had time to reflect, I can announce with confidence that YouTube won the internet this year. Their April Fools’ Day prank was, for sheer guts of execution, the best prank of the year. For twelve straight hours, Kendra Fuller and Donald Hurley read the most ludicrous cue cards with nary a break in character. So impressive. I can’t believe this prank even exists. And that’s why it’s the winner.