Are their cameos the silliness they appear to be? Or an admission that our entire way of life is a lie?
Wednesday's CMT Music Awards began with a cameo-filled video featuring President Obama and Mitt Romney, among others, weighing in on whether Toby Keith or Kristen Bell should host the show.
Oddly, the Democrat and Republican agree about midway through the video that the singer and actress should co-host. And yet the debate drags on.
Is it CMT's subtle commentary about the ultimate powerlessness of whomever serves as our commander-in-chief? That whether Bell or Keith hosts is irrelevant, because in the end, Willie Nelson is the man behind the curtain?
Or is it the opposite? Perhaps the fact that Obama and Romney ultimately get their way is the CMT Awards' way of saying that it's all been orchestrated from the top down from early in the process, and that whatever debate follows is mere noise to make us regular people feel like part of a decision that, in fact, has already been made. Perhaps our entire democratic process, like that of choosing a CMT host, is a mere farce to stave off revolution: The powerful grow more powerful while the rest of us squabble over bread and circuses.
Whatever the intent, this is the obviously the most provocative awards-show opening skit in decades. And a brave statement by Country Music Television.
Watch the video, and start storing up canned food and shotguns: