Can a chuckle be a catalyst for a revolution? Joel Warner and I take a look at whether humor is a thermometer or a thermostat:
Let’s consider the case of Serbia in 1999. The small Balkan state was in its 10th year in the autocratic grip of President Slobodan Milošević. Four recent wars with neighboring republics of the former Yugoslavia had left the country isolated, financially ravaged, and aggressively nationalistic. No one expected the situation to change anytime soon.
A year later, everything was different. A half-million people had taken to the streets in protest, and Milošević resigned in disgrace. What happened in between? Among other things, a whole lot of jokes.
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