Okay so the thing is that this bitch mistress called Chicago Weather is literally alternating days between hot and cold temperatures, rainy and sunny, humid and wind-chapped. And due to this meteorological incontinence, every person in this city is sick. I thought I could pull off my usual Unbreakable-esque health status, but between my chest-cold-infected, bed-ridden boyfriend and two Gatorade-chugging flu-ridden office mates who STILL CAME TO WORK, I am officially down for the count. And so, what follows is a semi-coherent, fever-dreamt, hopefully halfway entertaining guide to things you should look at between bowls of Campbells when you’re sweating your life-force out at home in bed, simultaneously hot and cold and in no way sexy at all in any fashion.
1. Slowed Down Wuthering Heights. This is to set the mood. And when you’ve had a fever for the past 14 hours, the mood is generally: terrifying hellscape. The reasons this video is amazing are manifold. Kate Bush wrote a song about the book Wuthering Heights. She made a music video for that song, and it’s just her dancing in a white gown. Someone slowed it down so it sounds like the spirit’s descent into an infinite chasm. Over 90 thousand people have watched it. THINK ABOUT IT.
2. Slowed Down Justin Bieber. Conversely, this sounds like a chorus of cherubs beckoning you home. To heaven. Next to Jesus.
3. This stop motion video illustrating the Russian Birthday Song. If this crocodile is not capable of making you feel healthy and hearty, then I am not sure what is. This is footage from a Russian children’s show, and FYI the handsome street-dwelling crocodile is singing the Russian Birthday Song, which ACTUALLY HAS THESE LYRICS:
“Let the pedestrians run
Awkwardly through the puddles
And let the water run like a river on the asphalt.
It’s unclear to the passers-by
On this inclement day
Why I’m so happy.
I am playing the accordian
For the passers-by in sight …
Unfortunately our birthdays come around
Only once a year.
Suddenly a sorcerer will arrive
In a sky-blue helicopter
And he’ll show a movie for free.
He’ll wish me a happy birthday
and, most likely, leave me as a present
five hundred Eskimo pies.”
That’s way too many Eskimo Pies, Crocodile Vagabond!
4. Pocahontas. Hear me out. Not only is this a perennial family classic that challenges our notions about history and complicates our concept of our own social identity, but it’s got totally mesmerizing colors, shapes, and sounds, so it works whether you’re lucid or not.
I’ll admit that the first time I watched this movie since the age of 7 was not when I was sick, but a Friday night in which I was miserable and cranky and literally poured myself a glass of wine, filled up the tub, and fucking watched Pocahontas on Netflix. And guess what, everyone. IT DID THE TRICK. Here, I think, is the recipe that makes Pocahontas such an effective salve for times of distress both physical and metaphysical, in the form of a fun acronym–
– Pretty much every song is an effortless singalong.
– Oh wait, Mel Gibson is in this?
– Comfortably predictable plot that makes no pretenses about being completely on-the-nose when drawing conclusions about racial prejudice, traditional dogma, or environmentalism.
– Aforementioned pretty colors.
– Hilarious animals!
– Ontological discourse with a big tree.
– Never tell a girl who she can and can’t love.
– The drums of war sequence!
– AND THERE’S MAGIC
– Strong female role model who Doesn’t Take Shit From Anybody.
I don’t think you need any more convincing. Whether you’re sneezing, miserable, or just barfing, this is all the medicine you need. (also medicine though.)
5. Burning Love.
For the uninitiated: Burning Love is a Yahoo web series produced by Ben Stiller. It’s a spoof of The Bachelor, and has had three seasons—one Bachelor, one Bachelorette, and one All-Star Real-World style clusterfuck. It’s hosted by Michael Ian Black, and features just about every comedian you would ever want in a room together. Those are the facts about Burning Love. Everything else, you have to feel with your heart.
Do you want to see Adam Scott dancing to no music? Guess what. Burning love has that. Do you want to see Tom Hanks’s son talk about the right way to pronounce espresso? Got it. Kristen Bell as a devout Christian going blue on a standup routine? Got it, dummy. Also, Ken Marino and June Diane Raphael (the bachelor and bachelorette) are amazing, as is everyone else. It’s essentially just a playground for an extended group of comedy friends to make jokes about having monkey hearts, being blind, enjoying puppets, being homeless, and looking for love.
I watched the entire first season in bed with the flu, in a single day. I watched the entire second season in bed with a cold, in a single day. Can you guess what I’ll be doing this time around? I’ll give you a hint: THERE ARE THREE SEASONS.