Brooklyn Public Library
















 

Jokes on Us

Oct 21, 2009 11:48 AM | 0 comments

Who doesn’t love a good practical joke? The police, media and a lot of American citizens, it seems, after reactions to last week’s Heene family hoax, AKA, “Balloon Boy.” The Heene’s hoax went down like a lead balloon: the parents of Falcon, the son who allegedly floated away in a homemade balloon, may be facing charges, and have blown their chances for a reality show.

Edgar Allan Poe’s 1844 version fared better, causing a sensation without resulting in any arrests. His article, published in the New York Sun, described the first balloon crossing of the Atlantic, and included diary entries by the balloon’s passengers. A few days later, the newspaper printed a retraction that it was all a stunt.

Activists have often used hoaxes to get attention (Abby Hoffman comes to mind), and on Monday, the Yes Men, who currently have a movie out, appeared at the National Press Club posing as Chamber of Commerce officials backing the climate change bill. It seems to have pissed off who they intended, but hasn't resulted in any serious repercussions.

Amazing hoaxes and political tricks have been perpetuated throughout history, and your library is the prefect place to find books and films about them.

 

If you’re thinking of cooking up your own prank, I guess the lesson is, don’t involve a disappearing six-year-old?

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