A year from now you will all be laughing at this virus. Well not all of you, obviously.
First rule of comedy: it’s never funny unless it risks something, unless there exists the possibility of disapproval, of offence. And the greater the possibility of offence, the funnier it is. To be clear: it’s not the offence itself that makes something funny. Many would-be ‘brave’ comedians make this mistake. But the presence of the possibility of causing offence is certainly a multiplier when something is funny. The greater the repression, the more explosive the release.
We laugh in the presence of Covid-19 death charts because, well, what else can we do? The darkness of the present situation is not an argument against the possibility of laughter, but exactly why it is so necessary. We laugh to transform what we fear into something that cannot psychologically overwhelm us. It is a strategy of resistance.
You may remember from Harry Potter that a boggart is a shape-shifting creature that assumes the form of the worst fears of the person who encounters it.
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