Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Who's the April Fool?

Today is April 1st - April Fool's Day. The origins of this celebration of tomfoolery are complicated, but you can read two versions of its history here and here. One version of the history tells us that the celebration of April 1st as a day of trickery and lightheartedness can be traced back to the change from the Julian Calendar to the Gregorian Calendar in the West...because a week went missing in the change, and communications at that time were quite slow and unreliable (comparable to the speed and quality of communication between Congress and the President today), some people either didn't get the word, or elected to stay with their traditional calendar and be a week out of sync with their fellows...who made fun of these "April Fools."

Today, we celebrate April Fool's Day with silly practical jokes - who hasn't seem something like an office with everything in it wrapped in aluminum foil, or received a message to call "Mr Lyons" at a particular number...which turns out to be the number of the local zoo?

But the real April Fools, I say, are you and I. We are the victims of an enormous practical joke played on us by those who have wrecked the economy through their shameless greed and lack of willingness to accept responsibility for their actions. Lots of people made a killing in the subprime mortgage market, leaving a vast mess for the April Fools - taxpayers like you and I - to clean up. We're the victims of a joke far more disastrous than having our offices shrink-wrapped or our telephone numbers spread around with the note to "call ... for a good time."

The real April Fools are the people who have lost their homes because unscrupulous lenders convinced them to take out mortgages they couldn't afford, the Enron employees whose life savings vanished in an instant, and the people whose retirement plans are in the toilet because they were invested in unregulated and irresponsible financial instruments.

At a time when our national infrastructure is crumbling, we're bogged down in ugly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we're awash in a flood of illegal immigrants, our taxes must now be used to fix the mess caused by greedy and irresponsible financial "managers" who tried to enrich themselves without thought of the consequences.

Happy April Fool's Day. At least there's one day a year we can celebrate each other.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

Happy April Fool's Day from the biggest fool of them all...

Amanda said...

I must have been like those people in history because I didn't even realize it was April 1 today.

Yes that sub prime fiasco sure has impacted a lot of people. All over the world. Including me in an indirect way....all the way over here.

Mike said...

And don't forget the saving and loan bailout a few years back. You think somebody would have learned something from that. OH WAIT! They did! They learned how to steal money and now they're proving how good they learned the leason.

craziequeen said...

Amazing how much our two countries have in common - both going to the dogs!

Love the photos from Yasmin's birthday, isn't Leya just beautiful? I especially liked the photo of her and Grampy Bilbo, my friend :-)