Last night was the annual MTV Video Music Awards, in which the pop stars of the moment gather to perform songs you’ve heard everywhere but MTV, and recognize the contributions made by the creators of the accompanying promotional clips you’ve seen on YouTube, whose names shall never be spoken aloud. I didn’t watch it. However, I did glance over a bunch of recaps that are absolutely choking with GIFs and Vines and rampant abuses of the word “flawless,” so I’m left with the same enervated, slightly baffled feeling I would have if I had watched it. So I will now attempt to piece together highlights, based solely on what I gleaned by scanning these articles for a few seconds.
Beyoncé does some Beyoncé songs and it’s flawless, and her family is there and they are flawless, and I am he as you are he as you are me and we are flawless all together.
Beyoncé was on hand to take home the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, presented to people who are way too famous to participate in or attend the Video Music Awards, so they require extra incentive to get them there. Before she tearfully picked up her award and waxed poetic over how much it meant to her before tossing it indifferently into her trophy closet, Beyoncé closed the show with a 15-minute medley of songs that prompted people on the Internet to post their most melodramatic emoji, and had reviewers rushing to their thesauruses to find synonyms for the word “flawless,” then tearing them the fuck out. One of Beyoncé’s songs is also named “Flawless,” so that worked out great for everybody.
Beyoncé’s flawless husband Jay Z was also there with their flawless child, Blue Ivy, flawlessly bucking the recent rumors that their marriage is not so flawless. The camera also caught Blue Ivy dancing to her mother’s songs and it was flawlessly adorable, because she is a toddler who could literally buy you for a plaything, like Scotty Schwartz did with Richard Pryor in The Toy. Did you ever see that movie? Schwartz’s name is “Bates,” so everyone calls him “Master Bates.” Flawless.
Miley Cyrus grinds against America’s homeless problem.
Lady Milestasia St. Cyrus—having scandalized the world last year with her underthings—returned to accept her Video Of The Year award by wantonly exposing her social conscience. In what is already being called her “Sacheen Littlefeather moment” by very old people, Cyrus remained demurely in the audience and sent the most photogenic homeless teen she could find in her stead, who explained that he was one of 1.6 million teenage runaways in America—all while Cyrus looked on, brazenly naked (emotionally). It was a heartfelt, serious gesture meant to draw attention to Miley Cyrus’ Facebook page and her campaign on behalf of Hollywood shelter My Friend’s Place, which Cyrus has pledged to put her back into, again and again, until it finally rubs out the problem of teenage homelessness.
BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS BUTTS.
Picking up Miley Cyrus’ slack, this year at the VMAs everyone had a butt, and these butts were often deployed in the direction of the cameras. Amber Rose appeared on the red carpet wearing a butt chandelier. Jennifer Lopez, esteemed doyenne of butts, appeared to offer her benediction toward all the evening’s butts. Nicki Minaj came and sang a song about her butt. Usher pretended to take a brief nap on Minaj’s butt, then slapped it as if to say, “Fie on you, butt, for your wicked temptation into slumber, when there are still so many butts to be seen!” Even here, long after the crack of dawn, the world cannot stop talking about butts.
Also, Ferguson is happening.
Ever the socially conscious heart of music’s butt, rapper Common emerged to remind all the screaming teenagers that hey, Ferguson is still happening, then told everyone to put their heads down on their desk for a moment of silence for Michael Brown and to think about what they’ve done. During this sobering reminder of what really matters beyond these superficial walls, the camera cut to Kim Kardashian and her sisters adjusting their cleavage and texting.
Also, Robin Williams died.
As a tribute to the beloved entertainer who once starred in a Bobby McFerrin video, so it was absolutely necessary I guess, MTV went to Google Image search and typed in “Robin Williams,” then put the first six results up alongside 20 seconds of a Coldplay song. Thus the crowd was properly reminded of the cruel emptiness of life, and the show was free to get back to the butts.
Taylor Swift didn’t wear pants.
She also sang.
Some awards were ostensibly given out.
Arcade Fire won their first VMA for Best Art Direction, noted headbanger Lorde won for Best Rock video, Beyoncé won a bunch of other things that meant she absolutely had to show up, and a list was compiled of winners whose names provoke feelings of confusion and reminders of their rapidly diminishing youth in those over the age of 25. “Who the hell is 5 Seconds Of Summer?” they say, before turning to gaze at their slackened, graying features in the mirror. “I don’t understand any of this anymore.”