Humour In The Face Of *sweeping gestures*
Yesterday was the chillest April Fools I can remember. The general sentiment of “just don’t” going into it seems to have been respected, and we got through our day without reports of fake breakthroughs or celebrity deaths. The only report I saw was that the songwriter behind Stacy’s Mom died from Coronavirus, which sadly turned out to be true.
What’s interesting to me about April Fools getting cancelled by consensus is that it wasn’t because people have lost their sense of humour. Far from it. Since the coronavirus hit mainstream, my social media walls have been inundated with memes about it. I can not remember a time when I could scroll through Facebook and see this many memes and yet most I was seeing for the first time.
Unlike the types of jokes people seemed worried we’d be getting April 1st, these memes aren’t mean-spirited or targeted. They’re relatable. They’re also of every variety. Pop cultural. Intelectual. Obscure. Absurd. Fatalist. Insightful. Earnest.
The week before I was assigned to Work From Home, I jokingly suggested to my coworkers Pierre and Carly that we need to turn it off and on again. Y’know, The Earth. It’s headspinning how quickly that went from (hilariously) impossible to basically reality. Other than workers who are proving their station as the backbone of society, and somehow finding ways to make nurses work even harder, of course.
Never before have so many people had so much in common. Combine that with the number of people with a lot less to do than normal. Plus the creative collaborative platform that is The Internet. Plus how many thoughts and emotions do we all have on our current situation? The world right now is the perfect breeding ground for art, and in a great need for humour. We can’t deny what is happening, but we can find a way to look at what’s happening and find a way to smile.
I considered including a bunch of my favourite Covid-19 memes with this post but decided instead to just include the one that made me think most deeply about the state of the world and the human condition: