Arizona Republicans are so mad about the Breaking Bad statues

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A couple of weeks ago, we covered the unveiling of the Breaking Bad statues in New Mexico. I thought it was funny that they’d installed a bronze Walter White and Jesse Pinkman at the Albuquerque Convention Center to welcome folks. And I loved that the cast was so into it. At the time, there was one congressman, Rep. Rod Montoya, being a stick in the mud about it, claiming the statue was “going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers.” It was an overreach, so I made it more of a postscript in the post than anything. But now more conservative voices have jumped on the have gone Anti-Statue bandwagon! Seriously, these people have nothing better to do than accuse a cheeky likeness of glorifying the production of methamphetamine in the great state of New Mexico.

Albuquerque-based conservative talk radio host Eddy Aragon and Republican state representative Rod Montoya are two public figures condemning the 500-pound statues.

“I’m glad New Mexico got the business, but really?” Montoya recently told Fox News. “We’re going down the road of literally glorifying meth makers?”

“It’s not the type of recognition we want for the city of Albuquerque, or for our state,” Aragon added, noting that “what you saw on ‘Breaking Bad’ should be a documentary, honestly. I think, really, that is the reality in New Mexico. We try to say it’s fictional, but that is the reality… we’ve joked that [‘Breaking Bad’] should be on PBS. That is, unfortunately, the reality.”

Aragon blasted the state for erecting “Breaking Bad” statues after it decided to take down a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, who was the first Spanish governor of New Mexico.

“Now we have brand-new statues,” Aragon said. “Now we’re putting fictional characters out in front. We have Jesse Pinkman and, of course, Heisenberg, and we have now erected statues and our progressive mayor from the city of Albuquerque has stood behind them. We’re funding those, so it’s OK to go get rid of real historical figures and now, somehow it’s even better, to [have] fictional, drug-dealing figures.”

[From Yahoo]

To reiterate, the show and its characters are being honored because of the amount of jobs and revenue it brought the city. With more revenue comes more mental health and drug program assistance. So I understand there is a drug issue in New Mexico, like the rest of the US, but people aren’t misinterpreting what the Breaking Bad statue is for. No one is giving in to the idea of “Whelp, Albuquerque is just going to be Drug City now.” It’s a show, these were characters. There’s a giant mouse sitting in the heart of Anaheim and no one thinks Southern California is celebrating the return of the black plague.

As for Eddy Aragon, he has a grudge to bear. Notice he’s attacking the mayor specifically in his rant. Well, guess what, Eddy ran against Mayor Tim Keller on an anti-mandate platform and lost. But let’s look at his argument about the city taking down the statue of Juan de Oñate y Salazar anyway. Before we dig in, remember the Walter/Jesse statue was paid for by Vince Gilligan and Sony, not the city. Anyway, Walter and Jesse are two fictional TV characters who went through a whole story arc, were portrayed with flaws, occasionally met with both karmic and legal justice, and again did not exist in real life. Juan de Oñate y Salazar was an actual Spaniard on stolen land who ordered the Ácoma Massacre, which saw the murder and mutilation of approximately 1000 Ácoma. He sentenced the surviving 500 Ácoma to personal servitude and cut one foot off of all the adult men. So I’m gonna give the point to Breaking Bad on this one. This Aragon and Montoya are the same type of people who argue the Confederate Flag doesn’t mean anything, but a bad likeness of Bryan Cranston is going to turn the next generation into toothless meth dependents. I realize it’s just an excuse to complain but it’s still dumb. I wasn’t even that invested but if these guys keep making a stink with these spurious arguments, it’ll sway me to Team Statue.

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