Turns out there is crime in Albuquerque.

I like Aaron Paul's response: "...loves Albuquerque but hates the crime."

Tags: Albuquerque, Breaking Bad, actor, crime, television

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I haven't watched Breaking Bad, but was sort of with you, right up the end. But distinctive regional speech patterns and local dialects = "dysfunction"? To quote said video, oh HELL no. The video was played up for comedic effect, but it highlights idioms many locals DO actually use. Are you implying there's something wrong with those folks, then?

Who do you think the primary audience for that video was? Do you think very many people without some personal connection to Burque or northern New Mexico (at least) actually found it amusing or entertaining? I don't...it seemed to me that a fair degree of familiarity with this city (or at least this region) and its quirks was necessary to even get most of the humor, let alone find it amusing. It was made by and for people who use those speech patterns at least occasionally, or at least have a personal or cultural context for understanding them.

In other words, it was Burquenos (where's that tilde?) laughing at Burquenos - fondly, I might add. No different in that respect than James and Ernie or Vincent Craig or any of the other Navajo comedians one hears on the Singing Wire from time to time, or really any in-group subcultural comedian whose primary audience is people who are part of the same group. The hundreds of thousands of views the video got reflects the extreme degree to which New Mexicans were watching it, re-watching it, and sharing it with their friends...Albuquerque just doesn't have a high enough profile nationally for any other explanation to make sense. How many people outside the Rio Grande Valley even know what a Burqueno is? 

As to your last point, you seem to be saying that rather than making fun videos about the quirks of actual Burque speech, we ought to be doing our utmost to present ourselves as a letter-perfect reflection of the dominant culture and its preferred speech patterns, lest we be seen as a "bunch of hayseeds." Assiduously ape the dominant, national culture in hopes they like us better that way? That strikes me as a truly colonialist attitude, my subaltern amigo...

Yeah, but that video and the culture it displays, however comically, is so many light-years away from "the stereotypes that the colonizers clothed us in." I didn't notice anyone sleeping under a cactus in a sarape when I watched it, and I watched pretty close. The video pokes affectionate fun at members of a localized American subculture, who mostly do the same things in the same ways that any other American subculture would. They just talk about them in an idiosyncratic local idiom, sabes? And who is "we" in this discussion, anyway? One of the biggest misconceptions the Burque-video haters seem to struggle with is that it's poking fun at a particular ethnic group - if that's true, it's true only up to a point, and becoming less true with each generation: one of the most automatic, involuntary Burque-speakers i know is a blond Quaker. We're growing our own local dialect here, folks, like it or not.

John, your posts are funny...a lot of reasonable arguments, and then there's the one or two statements that just come off as baldly offensive. That first sentence, for one - in general, you end up talking the way the people around you talk, the way your friends talk. That's how speech communities work. I have a really hard time with your (apparent) argument that talking like that is somehow fake or inauthentic if it doesn't meet your standard for some inextricable link between language, race, and culture. That's just not how it works - a little brush-up on basic social linguistics might be in order. Albuquerque was formed people from lots of cultures, over long periods of time; some of them, from all backgrounds, happen to talk like this. As the city and NM grow, the way people talk evolves...some of that evolution may not seem particularly high-brow. But calling it "base and pedestrian" comes dangerously close to elitism, I think. The local dialect that evolves here in Burque isn't gonna be the King's English, I don't think...and thank goodness.

While I haven't lived in Albuquerque for quite a while and I really do hope to get back there sometime soon.  Really the only drawback I remember from my years there was the crime, though.  This included gunfire in front of  my apartment (in the NE Heights area), armed robberies of several banks and quickie-marts within blocks of my apartment and multiple car burglaries which cost friends and business associates up in the range of $30-35,000 worth of electronics.  To keep things balanced, I remember there being issues with cops either on the take or simply breaking the law regularly with domestic violence and DWI being the biggies.  Anyone who could see that sort of thing and not have it affect their opinion of the city is either blind or just intentionally ignoring it. 

Do I believe that is indicative of the residents of the city as a whole, no.  I do think that it is a big negative for Albuquerque or any city though and it bears notice.  I'd like to think that many of those issues have been resolved or at least addressed in the time since I got to live in the shadow of the Sandias but I sure wouldn't begrudge anyone, resident, tourist or someone just passing through, for speaking out after their home was broken into though.  Maybe if more residents didn't accept this sort of petty burglary as "the way it is" and instead held their families and friends to a higher standard then it wouldn't be an issue.

Veering off-topic for a bit, I'm encouraged to see intelligent, lively disagreement without resorting ankle-biting meanness...

Back on-topic, I agree with Lahjik that someone commenting on crime in this city, especially after they have just been a victim, is reasonable, whether a celeb or not. The celebrity status certainly gives Mr. Paul a much bigger bullhorn than the rest of us, and I would hope, as a fan, that he would have some care with remarks for public consumption. I find no fault with his first reaction or his more user-friendly re-reaction. I wonder if I feel this way because I AM a fan?

Is his opinion less relevant being a carpetbagger or a successful actor and not "one of us?"

Does anyone else find it ironic that an actor on a show based on criminal activity is now publicly complaining about being the victim of a crime?  Unfortunately (and I have never seen the show to confirm this), it appears that Albuquerque's gritty reputation is part of the show's character.  Obviously, we have lots of positives here to outweigh the negatives.  However, our struggles with poverty, drug addiction, and other social ills certainly contribute to our issues with crime.

Honestly, his reaction doesn't seem that unusual. Many of us, upon becoming the repeat victim of petty theft or some other form of criminal activity, would have had a similar initial response. It seems like the Albuquerque-is-a-crime-pit spin is coming more from the 24-hour celebrity scandal media machine than the actual comments/tweets/whatever themselves.

I agree.  I'm a big Albuquerque booster, but when my house was broken into (twice), I posted about it in public forums.  And mostly people just said they were sorry, not that I was a baby and didn't they have crime where I used to live.

BTW, Aaron and all the cast of "Breaking Bad" say great things about Albuquerque in the recent Alibi "Best of Burque" issue.

Yeah, my reaction when my car was stolen from in front of my house was similar. (So was the reaction from the APD officer who followed up on the report). There just weren't any "reporters" out there monitoring my Facebook feed.

Online celebrity media has become such a huge deal at this point, with so many dubious gossip websites and blogs starved for "content," that anything connected to someone halfway "famous" with the slightest reek of controversy is going to get recycled time and time again. It's what keeps people like the Kardashians in the public eye...they're an endless source of material that attracts page views. Fortunately for him, I doubt Aaron Paul is anything like the same kind of draw.

Yes, I definitely agree.

I liked the part in the Journal story where Paul says he brought some people home with him, including two people he didn't know.  Then he's shocked, shocked when he is mysteriously ripped off and his Range Rover taken.

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