The MTV Video Music Awards were Sunday night, and it wouldn’t be a pop culture event in 2017 without the dissonance that occurs when the pop culture machine attempts genuine sincerity, and there were plenty of jarring moments throughout the evening. Paris Jackson condemned racism before remembering she needed to introduce the nominees for “best pop video,” and a direct descendent of Robert E. Lee introduced the mother of Heather Heyer, a sombre moment immediately followed by DNCE and Rod Stewart performing a rendition of “Do You Think I’m Sexy.”
But the audience didn’t tune in to see Katy Perry’s attempts at once-topical humor — replete with references to Fyre Festival and fidget spinners — they were there for the premiere of Taylor Swift’s music video to accompany her courageously self-referential new song, and boy did she deliver. (On the courageously self-referential part).
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