John Semley at The Walrus:
Tackiness gets a bad rap because it makes us feel like suckers. It offends our belief that we deserve better. We are allowed to marvel at top-shelf wax statues of celebrities or modern movie blockbusters because they meet some implicit standard of verisimilitude, because they look “real”: it’s okay to be crassly entertained so long as that entertainment passes some bar of acceptability. Anything that fails that standard is generally held to be tawdry or kitschy or cheesy—to be, in other words, beneath our esteem.
But tackiness of the kind you’ll find—or used to find—on Clifton Hill proves memorable, even affecting, not just because of some knowing irony. It’s because, I think, it feels so lovingly and painstakingly handmade.