Magazine September 9, 2019, Issue

Las Vegas: The Allure of the Ersatz

Las Vegas (Tomasz Zajda/EyeEm/Getty Images)
In the hurly-burly of politics, we usually don’t stop to note our simple, unadorned love of the things that make this country so marvelous. That’s what we’ve asked our contributors to our latest special issue, "What We Love about America," to do.

Las Vegas is the most honest city in America. It is full of fakery and phoniness — a faux-Egyptian pyramid, an ersatz Eiffel Tower, a miniature New York City skyline — but the fakery and phoniness it is full of are honest fakery and phoniness, cheerful and unpretentious and silly. In that sense, it isn’t fakery at all — it’s fake fakery. One night at the Whole Foods there, I saw a woman who looked exactly like Taylor Swift, dressed like Taylor Swift, with a Taylor Swift hairdo, browsing in the prepared-foods section, and I thought for a second maybe

This article appears as “Vegas and Environs” in the September 9, 2019, print edition of National Review.

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