I am quoted in this NYT piece on the role humor played in the Egyptian revolution. (But why is my name misspelt in two different ways, ya Michael ya Slackman? Come on NYT editors, it's not like I don't have a website.) The piece argues humor has been dampened, which I don't quite agree with (saw plenty of it in last Friday's demo) but makes the more important point that it was a crucial tool during the occupation of Tahrir Square:
That is quite a comedown from the heady days when there was a renewed sense of national purpose, of unity regardless of religion or class among those massing in the square. In those 18 days, humor and sarcasm played a crucial role in coping and conquering.
“Mubarak’s people threw rocks,” said Fahmy Howeidy, a well-known columnist and social commentator, referring to thugs who threw stones at demonstrators. “The people charged Mubarak with jokes and comedy.”
At least some of that was planned. “There was a lot of spontaneous humor — it is the Egyptian character — but there also was a desire to show that the demonstrators weren’t just angry young men, that they weren’t just seen as Islamists,” said Mr. Amrani, the blogger.