K is for kitsch


Tombstone, the town too tough to die, survives now entirely on nostalgia for an “Old West” that has been mythologized to death. The “Old West” tourists come here to see has never existed, but it is being sold in Tombstone. The men here are shills for a business a block away where, for a fee, you can watch gunfights reenacted. Occasionally they will pause their spiel to share a newspaper (today’s) or talk to each other. Then they will begin again announcing the time remaining until the next gunfight. At this time, the status of Tombstone as a National Historic Landmark is threatened by the completely unrealistic reconstruction that has occurred.