The annual, televised Miss America Pageant is perhaps best known as a bizarre, voyeuristic, occasionally hilarious sideshow to what purports to be a philanthropic cause—Miss America has long claimed to be the "largest provider of scholarships to women." Turns out, that's mostly true and dizzyingly complicated. "And through it all—the dance numbers, the inexplicable ventriloquism—it was very difficult not to think: How the fuck is this still happening?" Indeed.

[H/T Last Week Tonight]