Just hear me out: yes, her long-winded tribute to Aretha Franklin was pretty dreadful. But nothing says "MTV VMAs!" like Madonna getting up on stage and appropriating another culture or finding a way to turn the attention to herself. She is an icon who lives on a level of "no f*cks given" that has always been unmatched.
Madonna's presence at the VMAs is going to be a big, slightly offensive deal, every time. Remember when she performed a Hindu-inspired number in 1998? And rolled around in lingerie during her infamous "Like a Virgin" debut in 1984? Seeing her there doing her classic Madonna stuff made me feel a weird level of nostalgic comfort; like no matter what decade it is, she'll always have us talking, or cheering, or rolling our eyes, or shaking our heads.