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Topics You Shouldn't Bring Up in New Mexico Unless You're Looking For An Argument

By DukeCity 02/18/2015

Albuquerque News

New Mexicans are no stranger to a good argument. Many of us have spent many an hour in a bar, on a patio, or on the couch rehearsing their rhetoric on these old standards with friends and loved ones with whom they don't see eye-to-eye. If you don't want to get bogged down in an afternoon of hearing hundreds of reasons why your side of the argument is bad and dumb, steer clear of these debates.

New Mexico vs. Colorado Green Chile

This is the most preposterous argument of all time. Sure, they grow green chile in Colorado, but in New Mexico, it's part of the culture. UNM Professor Manuel Montoya told KRQE, “You’re not going to be able to lay out on a table and scientifically determine who has the better chile. It represents and symbolizes a certain way of living in New Mexico, and we’re very proud of who we are when we talk about being New Mexican.”

J.R. Giddens

To some, he was the second coming of Penny Hardaway. To others, Javaris Crittendon. Before he was Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, he was in Kansas University's doghouse with a stab wound and a battery charge from a fight. 

Giddens said of his experience at Kansas, "I remember that day really well. I walked out of there on crutches, crying. I’d been interrogated for about seven hours for three days straight. ... Bill Self was telling my teammates not to have any contact with me. Darnell Jackson and Jeremy Case were two of my best friends, and they weren’t even allowed to talk to me. Aaron Miles was done playing so he came over. He was the only person who came and saw me. I was like, “Dang, I’m 30 feet from where I used to stay and you guys can’t even come over here and see me?” I’m stabbed and laid up and don’t even know if I’m going to play basketball again. That was very kind of Kansas basketball and Bill Self, to tell people to stay away from me like I was a team cancer."

Ten years later, Giddens is still a polarizing figure in Lobo lore.

Alfalfa Farming


Have you heard of a priority call? It's a term of art in the farming industry, meaning "a declaration of water war." And not the fun kind. The State Constitution grants water rights to the original user of a water source, but water authorities are reluctant to prioritize alfalfa farming over say, municipal water. When this happens, a priority call can be made. According to the New York Times, it's "the nuclear option of the world of water."



Someone always brings up unions at Thanksgiving, and the ensuing argument always ends with enough yelling to warrant a noise complaint, and enough tears to float the gravy boat. Oh wait, that's not Thanksgiving, that's the state legislature. A bill that introduces a 50 cent wage hike and new rules for employment in the state has made its way to the floor of the State House. According to KRQE, "Republicans are pitching it as a compromise that would make the state more economically competitive. Democrats call the minimum wage hike proposed meager and say right-to-work is wrong for New Mexico workers."

Third Grade Retention


Educators are a fiery bunch, and if you ask their opinion on the state of their profession, they will tell you. If you disagree, it's best to make sure you have your facts straight, or they will take you to school. A current controversy erupted over "social promotion", where parents of students who do not read at grade level are allowed to decide whether they stay in a classroom with their age group.  A new bill would shift the authority to make that decision to the state. Needless to say, it's got people on both sides fired up.

Gun Control

"They're trying to take away our rights to the Second Amendment." There's no feeling stronger than the righteous indignation of a person who perceives that their rights are being violated, which is why people on both sides of this issue feel such passionate feelings.

New Mexico Vs. Texas

Watch these wonderful folks explain why New Mexico is the superior state. How could you disagree with them?

The Tijeras Scrapbook Scandal


After two women where charged with theft because they took a scrapbook home from the senior center in Tijeras, a village council meeting turned into a fiasco when citizens came to voice their opinions. Floy Watson, one of the accused, told KRQE, “This whole thing has been horribly painful, it’s miserable. If I’d stolen it, I’d give it back but I didn’t steal anything and Doris certainly didn’t steal anything, and they’re still smearing Doris’ name.” This controversy will live in ignominy as a testament to the petty, depressing side of New Mexico's love for argument.