Let’s cut to the chase: Midterm elections are today, and in the balance hangs the future of our country. That sounds dramatic, sure, but it’s true: Across the country voters are heading to the polls and deciding whether to re-enfranchise over 1 million formerly incarcerated people in Florida or elect America’s first black woman governor ever. Not to mention the 75 or so competitive seats that will determine which party controls the House of Representatives.
There’s little doubt that, whatever happens, waiting for the final tallies will be a repeat of the 2016 New York Times’ Needle Reign of Terror, so we here at Slate have taken it upon ourselves to offer you a respite, a womb of self-care should you need to tune out the talking heads for a spell. Below, we’ve curated a compilation of videos that have absolutely nothing to do with politics to soothe the spirits of the traumatized republic. Click on one—or all!—of them instead of refreshing your Twitter feed for the third time in ten minutes.
First up, this baby getting increasingly frustrated when Alexa won’t play her favorite song is perhaps one of the purest things to grace the internet. For a minute, it even made me forget the altogether dystopian concept of children using Alexa.
Why does this squirrel sticking its head into a “Scream” mask bring me so much joy? It’s hard to say, but it might have something to do with the many questions this innovative squirrel feeder raises. Where does one purchase a “Scream” mask at such a small scale? Or is it merely an absolute unit of a squirrel? Is it a temporary feeder for Halloween, or is this a year-round delight? Somehow the lack of answers only make this better. Feel free to ponder them well past the video’s seven-second runtime.
While Vine has sadly passed into the digital graveyard, its afterlife on YouTube remains one of the last joys to be found on the internet. This compilation of Chaz Smith incorrectly pronouncing things, perhaps the funniest thing I’ve ever watched, will keep your mind off of voter suppression for at least ten minutes.
It is a well-known Internet fact that children and animals provide the best reprieves from the daily exhaustion of unending news. If this Shiba Inu video doesn’t briefly take your mind off the tick-tock of midterms returns, then perhaps seek stronger help than this post. Or maybe convince yourself that every eligible voter raced to the polls with the same speedy joy that this pup zoomed into what I can only assume is his Halloween costume.
One of my favorite recent Twitter trends is the wave check, wherein young black adults laud the painstaking effort undertaken to get immaculate waves, a hairstyle for curly hair that mimics ripples on a pond. The pageantry of untying the durag—one of the most essential tools in the quest for tsunami-level waves—followed by the collective joy when the waves are revealed is beautiful to watch.
And last, but certainly not least, is a video of Chiitan, an adorable Japanese mascot, that had me crying tears of laughter, rather than ones of political despair.
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