I think you've got to have the ability to engage in creative laughter in order to live amid difficulties and tension. If you can't laugh at life, you're a very miserable human being. And I think a great deal of truth often comes through laughter. Some people have developed the talent to get this truth over to many people, by laughing the truth into them and out of them, so that I think humor is most important in getting at truth and getting people to understand and often to rise above the despair which can surround them. - The Rev. Martin Luther King
Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, the power to retell it, rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless, because they cannot think new thoughts. - Salman Rushdie
We've all seen the infographics. Rising unemployment. Expanding personal debt prisons. The highest income inequality of all time.
Many have worked to reveal the truth of this moment -- for examples, see the Huffington Post's Bearing Witness and the New York Times' Living With Less. We need this kind of reporting, to help us understand these unthinkable realities.
But since we're human, we yearn for more than just reality. We want a story -- one we can rethink, deconstruct, and joke about. One that can help us rise above our despair.
Above all, we saw the need for comic relief and, as MLK said, the importance of using humor to get at the truth.
To begin our daring escape from the Great Recession, we as a society must confront the sinister villains of our time. We also need to laugh, to cry, and to gain power over the story that dominates our lives -- so we can reclaim our true superpowers, as individuals, as a nation, and as a world.