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April Fools is Boring in Maximalist America

When Everything’s Absurd Nothing Is
April 2, 2021

April Fool’s Day this year was kinda… lame?... And we know why — the real world is more absurd than ever.

In the maximalist-present, it’s admittedly difficult to have fiction trump the absurdities of real life. To name a few stories that have appeared here in The Senses in the past year: 

  • Finger-on-the-app, a game where millions compete to keep their finger on an app in a last-man-standing battle royale meta-Highlander showdown
  • The KFC Chicken Gaming rig with a pull-out drawer to keep your chicken tendies warm while pulling 120fps on Crysis
  • Kanye West ran for president
  • Mucinex put out a line of (expensive) sleepwear

The real world is objectively more entertaining, and more absurd, than the fake headlines we could come up with for April Fool’s. So much so, that this year’s corporate stunts on the first of April were argued to be real. Volkswagen debuted a marketing campaign rebranding the U.S. division as “Voltswagen,” touting their commitment to electrifying their fleet in the next decade. Even after retracting the stunt as a joke, analysts and journalists piled on, urging them to follow through.

In Insiders #045 The New Dada, we unpacked how the pendulum is swinging away from Marie Kondo’s neo-minimalism:

All absurdism is a reaction to trends in society. Yippies -- who in 1968 ran a pig for president and tried to levitate The Pentagon -- deployed absurdism as a response to the Vietnam War. 

Today’s absurdism is also a response. As digital drives commerce ubiquity (every store is in your pocket) brands and their products become a new form of canvas for statement-making. MSCHF’s x Lil Nas X recent drop, the Satan Shoes, is a bellwether of the new absurd brand-canvas. Art and commerce are now intertwined, which is so fantastical it might just be the end of April Fool’s as we know it. 

Truth, as they say, is often stranger than fiction; which, in 2021, makes every day April Fool’s.


Bootysweep. NFT’s are getting out of hand with the introduction of Thicc Pokémon. Pricing is in the thousands for some of these large-butted nonfungibles described by their creator as “the juiciest creatures you’ve ever seen.”

Email gets an upgrade. Amp Email opens up an exciting new world of engaging content with dynamic emails, making this staple of modern communication more interactive, and probably prettier.

Anything is paw-sible. Salomon announced their new trail running shoes for dogs featuring a “reinforced claw box” for April fools, but in a survey today they were like… “But seriously, would you buy these, though?” So possibly not a joke.

Nuggs go to Walmart. In the same cooler as the real chicken nuggets. With an image of a real chicken on the packaging. Okay. Yeah.

Burritos or bitcoin. For national burrito day, Chipotle gave away both to those willing to play the game. And cryptocurrency continues to gain traction as Visa is moving assets to USD Coin, a bitcoin stablecoin pegged to the US dollar, and Dapper labs (which powers the NBA Topshot NFT) raises $305M from investors such as Michael Jordan and Will Smith.

The cost of shampoo. Multiple companies, including Dove, are introducing carbon emissions information onto their labels to inform buyers of their products’ environmental footprint. Questions loom about usefulness and how to make the info accurate.

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