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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fools' Day: Double-edged hilarity

Massacre of the Innocents (Guido Reni)
Here on Planet Earth, there are actually many Days of Fools.  In fact, one can philosophically argue that every day is essentially April Fools’ Day.

Throughout human history, foolishness has been seen as a mixed blessing.  In some ways, the hilarity makes for good health; after all, laughter is an excellent inner massage.

Nevertheless, there can be a strong element of animosity within the merriment.  Being pranked can result in physical and emotional angst that lasts far beyond any specified holiday.

This dichotomy is especially vivid within the Day of the Holy Innocents.  Originally steeped in tragedy (the alleged mass killing of Jewish infants by King Herod), this feast day has now become an occasion for jokes and hoaxes.

Wikipedia explains that in some regions of Ibero-America, Day of the Holy Innocents pranksters taunt their “victims” with      this expression:  Inocente palomita que te dejaste enganar (“You innocent little dove that let yourself be fooled”).  This seemingly-lighthearted statement becomes especially poignant when its horrific roots are considered.


Copyright April 1, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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