April 01, 2011, 7:46 AM —
Based on the headline, I'll bet you're expecting something funny.
I tried to go with the breeding program story, but in the end I just... gave up. It was too easy, too predictable. The whole penguins, aliens, and smoking hot space princess thing is so formulaic.
Or maybe something like: "Microsoft sells Linux." Or "Linux goes GPLv3." Or "Mark Shuttleworth in secret talks with Oracle."
Right. Been there, done that. Yawn.
I have become increasingly convinced that we, as a community, have run out of the funny. And it shows up more and more on April Fools Day.
I blame myself.
Well, not just myself, but others like me, who are continually so full of the smart-assery all year as we comment every time somebody does something dumb, that we have just plain run out of funny things to say.
Like this one: Today Mozilla's Mitchell Baker announced that her favorite browser was Internet Explorer. 6.
See what I mean? It's a lame attempt as juxtaposition between the Baker, who helps create the world's coolest browser Firefox, using the world's worst browser. Seriously, a five-year-old could put that together.
I remember the old days. When you could get a laugh just by starting a sentence with "SCO has announced..." Oh, sweet Lord, the tears of laughter were just flowing. Say what you will, but Darl McBride was a comedic genius.
Or Craig Mundie. Remember Craig? He's still around, but now he's just all quiet and serious, trying to steer the Microsoft ship, looking for penguins and finding nothing but icebergs.
My colleagues in the media might be irked by this, but I think these days we're just dialing the funny in on April 1, going for the cheap laugh, the obvious stuff. I would love to talk to them about it, but Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has not granted me an audience in the secret cabal headquarters for quite some time. Something about that night in an Asheville truck stop, my smart mouth, and five angry truckers really makes SJVN hold a grudge.
How do we fix something like this? How do we get back the funny?
It won't be easy. We'll need to train for it, working in funny all year, but not overtaxing it. Don't go for the easy jokes all the time. Pace ourselves.
We must do better than this. Or even this article.
The future of the funny is in our hands.