The Simple Beauty of a Perfectly Constructed Vine


2016 was a very, very bad year no matter how you slice it. In tough times, comedy is often a form of escape that people turn to when they need comforting. With that in mind, we asked our contributors to pick the one piece of comedy in any form that they turn to when they really need cheering up. We’ll be sharing their choices throughout the week in a package we’re calling “The Best Medicine.”

The comedy that comforts me in times of duress isn’t narrative so much as it is videos from the app Vine, whose six-second loops I find meditative even when the content is not. Vines tend to calm me like nothing else can. Of course, among many other actual disasters this year, Twitter announced it was planning to shut down Vine. On the bright side, this announcement inspired a rare period of enjoyable time on the 2016 Internet, during which people tweeted, often without comment (refreshing!), their favorite loops from the last several years. At the time, I was unemployed and sitting at home on my computer, thus especially susceptible to joining an online #trend no matter how invested I was, but in this case I immediately knew which Vine I wanted to remind everyone about. I like this one because I feel that I relate equally to the mom grooving with her garden gloves and the dad shooting hoops in the back.

Just to further associate this laughter with pain, though, I first saw this because my friend, who has since passed away, tweeted out a request to be sent this specific Vine and then RT’d the person who took her request as a call to action. My friend was extremely active On Line and I love her persona on Twitter; looking back at her old tweets is another thing that’s made me laugh when the world seems bad. But this request to be sent this Vine especially sticks with me as indicative of her voice, and I find myself making the same request, sometimes, too — “Can someone please send the Vine of the lady dancing in her garden while her husband plays basketball in the driveway,” and it always gets answered, because for whatever reason someone has it somewhere.

But, yeah. I like this guy’s other Vines, too.

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