Summary of “but this time no one is laughing”

More than half a millennium later, in a world dominated by indignation and outrage, and largely abandoned by laughter, a dose of the grotesque might help to better digest events, if only by having a good – and right kind of – laugh.
In his landmark Rabelais and His World, Bakhtin suggested that the laughter resounding through Rabelais’s work was particular, and practised at specific moments.
Laughter is no different than political systems, commercial relations or artistic practices: it evolves over time, the result and cause of material and social transformations.
Inclusive and communal, laughter left no one untouched; no less universal than faith, it was a bit more subversive.
What better reason for laughter? Not only did it defeat despair, but it also overturned the symbols of state power and violence – a dizzying liberation from time and place.
Carnival laughter is ‘directed at all and everyone, including the carnival’s participants’.
Medieval carnivals existed, for a limited time, to bring forth laughter.
Laughter is not among the many things that spill from the gaping mouth, housed at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that now demands the attention of the world.

The orginal article.