“Fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.”
—President George W. Bush
I’m not usually one for meta-blogging (blog posts that refer to other posts on that blog), but I gotta make an exception this week. When one does a lot of writing it can often become somewhat monotonous. The writing is less monotonous when the author enjoys the exercise. This is why writing last weekend’s post about Google buying OCLC was so much fun. Yes, it was a joke. I hope no one out there is still wondering. I noticed that some people didn’t think it was funny. I’m not exactly sure why. Was it too conceivable? Too much of an inside joke?
I’m not inclined to defend what I thought was a pretty good joke, but I will tell you why I thought the process itself was fun.
- The actual writing. I wish I were funny enough (or at least had enough humor stamina) to write for The Onion every day. As I like to joke when I give presentations, humor makes up for substance every time.
- The group effort. Yes, there was quite a bit of collusion going on the week before April Fool’s Day. ALA Techsource editors and yours truly wanted to have some fun. How far could we go? Would our overseers approve?
- The complicity. I was not about to quote real people in a fake story without getting their approval. Guess what, folks—the people at OCLC have a sense of humor! Yes, it’s true! In fact, some of those lines I used in the quotes were actually given to me by Ralph LeVan at OCLC. (I will protect him by not disclosing which ones. I will also protect him, others, and myself by not disclosing the ones I rejected!) My editors (bless them) were also in on the joke. If you don’t think the folks at American Libraries have a sense of humor, then you haven’t seen their addition to YouTube. My great grandmother always told me that if you can’t laugh at yourself, you are not entitled to laugh at anyone.
- Factishness (different from Truthiness). Admit it, you thought for at least a moment that it could have been real. Shoot, I thought it could be while I was making it up.
- The break from it all. Some of the library IT news has been a little bleak and disconcerting these days. The FUD factor (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) requires that we all have a chance to lighten up a little, eh?
So, I hope y’all thought it was funny. I’m sorry if you didn’t. At least as the man said, “You can’t get fooled again.”
[This post originally appeared as part of American Libraries’ Hectic Pace Blog and is archived here.]