Sad Clown Paradox: Why You Should Check In On Your Funny Friends

Humor has long been used as a tool against stress and uncertainty, perhaps best captured in The Wipers Times: a satirical newspaper that went to print in the decimated city of Ypres, Belgium, during World War I. So named because most of the soldiers reading it couldn’t pronounce Ypres (they said why-pers instead of ee-pruh), the trench newspaper included sporting notes in which gas attacks were reported as a horse race, regular serials (one of the earliest: a detective series “Herlock Shomes”) and a Things We Want To Know section, including “whether the pop’lar Poplar tree’s as pop’lar as it used to be?”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, humans across the globe took to their windows, bathrooms, and balconies to showcase a similarly resilient sense of humor in the face of life-threatening disease, all while grappling with the stress and isolation of lockdown. And later, amidst the devastation unfolding in Ukraine, hackers found the time to make Russian charging stations display the message: “Putin is a dickhead”.

Mitch W @MitchW