Do you find that funny? The military coup in Burma. The debt repayment debate. The confinement of the Côte d’Azur. The progress figures of the English variant. The petitions on Islamo-leftism. The occupancy rate of intensive care beds. Students deprived of lessons. The bitcoin yoyos. The separation of Daft Punk.
Does that make you laugh? Rising interest rates. The plastic that pollutes the oceans. The controversies over the separatism law. The Boeing 777s on the ground. Discord over a wind farm off Belle-Île-en Mer. Disagreements over unemployment insurance reform. The conviction of Alexey Navalny in Russia. The polar cold wave in Texas. The return of Ebola to Guinea. The ethical issues of the vaccine passport.
Nothing to laugh about. Get tested. Discovering yourself positive. Go home for 6 p.m. Be deprived of family celebrations. No longer having dinner with friends. Don’t see the latest James Bond in the movies. Wear a mask as soon as you go out. Support Internet disruptions during videoconferences. Telework in your kitchen. Have Netflix as your closest companion. Running out of vaccines. Get tested again.
And yet we laugh. In remote meetings, but also in call rooms and hospital rooms. On the front lines of all battles, debates of ideas or struggle against the elements. And on the editorial board of newspapers, even – and especially – when the bad news follows one another. We laugh, we smile. At least we must hope so. Because wherever we laugh, it is because we resist. This is why laughing in times of crisis is so essential. To laugh is to gain the upper hand. It is both admitting that we do not have everything under control and betting that we are not definitively stuck in the present difficulties. Humor puts the tragic at a distance and deprives it of its deadly power. It opens a breach in overwhelm, allows hope to slip through the heart of our annoyances.