Bad Statues

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2022

The city of Salem, Massachusetts, is infamous for the 17th century Salem witch trials. In modern times, this shameful series of events has been sanitized. The city now revels in its status as a spooktacular tourist destination, one that’s focused on Halloween and all things witchy. They even go so far as to emblazon their police cars thusly:


I stand by my previous description of this as being “a tad gauche”.
[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

Since 2005, the city has also been home to a not-exactly-beautiful sculpture of Samantha Stephens, the main character in the TV sitcom “Bewitched”:


[Photo credit: J.W. Ocker]

It’s not the most flattering likeness, nor the most appropriate. When it was first proposed, many objected, and not without reason. Nevertheless, the statue was installed, and it has become a tourist draw.

As of this month, it is perhaps just the second-least-appropriate statue created in honor of a television show. It’s fallen down the list as a result of this new addition, number one with a bullet:

[Photo credit: Chancey Bush/Albuquerque Journal]

Yes, those are larger-than-life statues of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman, the meth cooking anti-heroes of “Breaking Bad”. This past weekend, they were unveiled at the Albuquerque Convention Center. The show took place throughout New Mexico, and a cottage industry of “Breaking Bad” tourism has since emerged. These likenesses are sure to join the list of attractions to which fans flock. It’s not great.

Interestingly, as you can see, the statues rest directly on the ground. Thus, Albuquerque hasn’t literally put statues of drug dealers on a pedestal. Still, this celebration strikes me as not the most tasteful thing.


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