Clearly an explanation is in order.
It is with great embarrassment and humility that I offer my sincerest apologies for yesterday's April Fool's joke, which went horribly awry. I had no idea that so many people would be taken in by it and I regret playing a joke that in retrospect was not the least bit funny. I have deleted that post and all of its comments and have asked the blogs that referred to it to take own their posts as well. I hope that by the time you read this it will also have been flushed from the cache of Google and Bloglines so that I can put this whole ugly episode behind me. I would also appreciate it if no one makes any references to the substance of the post in the comments to this one or I may be forced to delete those comments as well.
I do want to say a few words about yesterday's regrettable lapse in judgment without getting into too much detail. I wish to extend my sincerest apologies to the couple who contacted me through their attorneys. I chose your name at random and am very sorry (and surprised) that people took the trouble to look you up and make harassing telephone calls. I really thought people had better things to do with their time. I hope that what I have done to make amends is satisfactory to you. I was also surprised that so many people readily believed the patently absurd actions I jokingly attributed to Atrios. While I disagreed with his Blogroll Amnesty Day and I am not particularly delighted by such pieces as "Why Your Blog Sucks," he is certainly not as bad as all that and I am shocked that so many people would be ready to believe the worst about him. I hope he will accept my apology, though I guess I can give up all hope that he will ever link to me now.
I believe this is the first time I have written something that caused so many people to miss my intentions completely. I really did expect that more people would get the joke, though I must admit I should have given more clues that it was a joke so that readers would not have been so easily confused. I certainly will not let that happen again. In the future when I am being sarcastic I will link to this helpful post by Patterico so there is no risk of confusion. I do not want to shirk responsibility for this incident but I do want to caution people to be a little more careful about what they read on the Internet and not immediately jump to conclusions and accept everything they read at face value.
While I am disappointed in myself for this (rare, I hope) misfire, I must say I was not impressed with the level of discourse in the comments (with few exceptions), which is why I just deleted all of them. There are many occasions when I come upon a blog that I think needs its mouth washed out with soap and I don't plan to make this blog one of them. I was especially disappointed in the comments of Anonymous, who usually has more interesting things to say and uses much less colorful and repetitive language. I can't believe that I need to say this, but as disappointing as my piece may have been, death threats were not an appropriate response. In fact, death threats are never an appropriate response to anything. Do they not teach this in schools?
Some of you were also quite critical of the image that accompanied my unfortunate piece. I thought it was obviously the work of Photoshop, especially since the smoke, which I had some trouble with, was clearly not very realistic, but many of you seem to have been fooled. A number of people also saw something quite lewd in the photograph that I certainly did not intend and am embarrassed even to think about. All that I can say to those who could see something so obscene in something so innocent is that you should get your minds out of the gutter and perhaps get out a little more. I was also surprised that no one questioned a photo that so clearly defied the laws of physics. While evolution and global warming are clearly hoaxes, no one has disproved the laws of physics as far as I know. Although gravity is still only a theory, it is not one that has been refuted yet. And to all the animal rights activists who wrote me, using epithets that would not even be appropriate for a barnyard, I reiterate that no pets were harmed while making this image. As far as I know Photoshop is not harmful to animals, except perhaps to those animals capable of feeling embarrassment. To those species I once again apologize.
I have worked very hard to achieve a reputation for sincerity, honesty and trustworthiness and I hope this little attempt at an April Fool's prank that backfired does not permanently besmirch my name. I hope that my readers will forgive me and not judge me too harshly for this misstep and I promise in return that nothing like this will ever happen again. I pledge that this modest blog will once again return to its serious mission to enlighten and inform and will leave the practical jokes and sophomoric humor behind. On that you have my word.
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Technorati Tags: Jon Swift, April Fools, Atrios, Eschaton, Internet, Blogosphere, Weblogs
Monday, April 02, 2007
Clearly an explanation is in order.