The MTV Video Music Awards was Sunday night, and an audience tuned in to see how the show would attempt to address the elephant in the room. And by elephant, I mean the state of the world. Host Katy Perry tried her hand at some topical humor. “Today’s news. Oh, I do need to catch up. That’s correct. The world is on fire.” Great. Wow.” Then she tried again. “It’s Jess. I’m at the airport headed to Fyre Festival.” And again. “When @HillaryClinton becomes president I promise to put out a timeless record that everybody loves!” “Great.” But the internet wasn’t having any of it; besides, they didn’t tune in for dated references. They were watching for the premiere of Taylor Swift’s music video to accompany her courageously self-referential new song. And it didn’t disappoint provided what you were hoping for was a courageously self-referential video. As subtle as Taylor Swift holding a Grammy in a car on fire. Which I believe we have footage of The video ended with this beautifully cringe-worthy meta moment in which Taylor Swift managed to cram in more Taylor Swifts, so they could all talk about Taylor Swift “Stop making that surprise face. It’s so annoying.” “Yeah you can’t possibly be that surprised all at the time.” Of course it wouldn’t be a pop culture event in 2017 without the dissonance that occurs when the pop culture machine attempts sincerity. Paris Jackson called out racism before remembering that she had a job to do. “We have zero tolerance for their violence, their hatred, and their discrimination!” “We must resist!” And now, the nominees for Best Pop Video. And after a direct descendant of Robert E. Lee introduced Heather Heyer’s mother, an overdressed Haley Baldwin introduced a performance of Do You Think I’m Sexy. “Give it up, for Ron Stewart and DNCE!” In a show that included the two extremes of TV, Katy Perry on a giant basketball and a stage Populated by suicide survivors, fans were left feeling much like Ed Sheeran seemed to feel: confused and underwhelmed. “But thank you, to – it’s not voted, is it? Oh. Well, thank you to all the fans and Thank you to my record label, Jason Kalanick who’s made my videos on this album and yeah, cheers. Yep.” Cheers.