The Grammys were remarkably incident-free.
It turns out that one of the safest ways to guarantee that your evening of performances will not be Ground-Breaking or Make History is to announce at every commercial break that “coming up next, a GROUND-BREAKING new musical combo will MAKE HISTORY.” This has the opposite effect, like someone announcing that he is “really good at saying natural-sounding things that you humans would say.”
But for the most part, the Grammys were what happens when you are trying to have a romantic evening and carelessly leave your iTunes on shuffle. Metallica segues into classical piano as World War I pictures project in the background and then Ringo Starr appears out of nowhere and suddenly your date announces he has to go home and feed his bird.
The people usually charged with putting Doritos and bacon in places you would not expect to find them seemed to have taken over the awards show for the evening. Everyone performed with everyone else! Beyonce and Jay-Z, who are married, or, depending which outlet you read, Synergizing Their Personal Brands. Stevie Wonder and Daft Punk. Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar. Robin Thicke and Chicago, I guess because no one asked for this at any point, so Robin “Blurred Lines” Thicke took that as an enthusiastic invitation.
The Grammys no doubt assumed that this would result in lots of Moments, but nothing kills moments like trying to create them, as anyone who has watched a ground-breaking, history-making pot boil can attest. Although, speaking of history, the good news is that between them, Macklemore and Hunter Hayes have fixed everything that ails society. Macklemore got rid of homophobia by staging a giant wedding and rapping about how tolerant he was, and Hunter Hayes ended bullying. All in all, it was a great team effort.
What happened Sunday night? Among the highlights:
1) Paul and Ringo reminded us that they are still alive, and that this year is the 50th anniversary of their Ed Sullivan Show appearance, which the boomers will pay more attention to than any actual event that happens in 2014.
2) Mary Lambert, Madonna, Ryan Lewis and Macklemore performed a song about how Macklemore Believes In Gay Rights And Can Lecture You On Intolerance Because When He Was In Third Grade He Thought He Was Gay (But He Wasn’t Though) But, Like, The Point Is, He Gets It (Repeat: The Mack Has Always Liked Girls) while 34 couples (gay and straight) were married by Queen Latifah. Congrats, newlyweds! I think they have a future. If someone will marry you to the tuneful accompaniment of Macklemore, A Seattle Rapper, Lecturing You On How Tolerant He Is, that person will marry you under any circumstances whatsoever. Maybe it helped that Madonna put in an appearance.
One advantage of this series of novelty weddings is that Pat Robertson will wake up tomorrow thinking this was another end-times nightmare and it will have actually happened.
3) Someone named Hunter Hayes sang a song about treating people more nicely while inspirational quotes were projected behind him (sample quote: “There really is no difference between the bully and the victim. -Lady Gaga”), so bullying ended.
4) Pharrell wore a hat that Twitter unanimously agreed made him look like some kind of dandified Mountie.
5) Continuing the evening’s theme, we showered Daft Punk with all kinds of accolades, even though they are two human beings appropriating the music and visual styles of robots.
6) Lorde, the New Zealand teen who wrote the song about how absurd our fame-obsessed culture is, continues to be punished by a cruel fate that awards her every possible accolade and as much fame as she could possibly imagine.