Humour is civilised, especially when it’s pointed.
When we (or most of us anyway) stopped the monkey business of using physical power to step on the heads of others to get to the top, or alternatively grooming them to gain favour, we started using language, creativity, and intellect instead.
While the President of the United States has not yet achieved the developmental milestone of post-primate behaviour (he just stopped short of eating the dandruff he wiped from Macron’s shoulder), Michelle Wolf’s rather more sophisticated methods of dressing down those at the top, as recently demonstrated at the White House press correspondent’s dinner, are curiously attracting a kind of ire usually reserved for flagrant aggression and bullying.
Humour, unlike physical aggression, is a marker of civilisation.
Instead of directly venting our aggressive and sexual drives, we build tall buildings, create great works of art, we work, and we make people laugh.
What attracts our partners to us is not how loud we can beat our chests, but what we can do in the world.