“During an emotional outburst at last week’s Albuquerque Public Schools board meeting, member Kathy Korte said she is “so goddamn grateful she (her eldest of four children, a high school senior) is leaving the public schools” system at the end of the school year.” – ” Testing Sparks Korte Outburst at APS Meeting,” Albuquerque Journal 11.11.14
First, Boardmember Korte is most certainly a graduate of the Burque Babble School of Meeting Etiquette (BBSME), where our curriculum centers on articulating passion, cussin’ and making sure you sure as hell don’t have to keep going to these goddamn meetings very much longer. We have honed our instruction at BBSME through years of personal experience with and careful observation of human beings. This is summed up in our school motto: Occursum tribus quam stultum (any meeting with more than three people is stupid).
Second, Kathy Korte is most definitely a character from another land, one not of Enchantment/Entrapment, in a variety of ways. She possesses a combination of political positions and personal traits that make her just about unique here. While there are many of us who oppose, for myriad and sometimes differing reasons, the explosion of standardized testing, Ms. Korte has somehow wrangled a political office in a loud, brash, extremely non-New Mexican manner and used her position to not only rail against testing in her “official” setting, but in an increasingly savvy online presence. This is very not-New Mexico and is quite definitely the biggest reason I’m a fan of her work. Being on the same side on the testing lunacy issue is fine, but what elevates Ms. Korte in my view is that this state just doesn’t have enough “characters.”
That’s right, you’re not from Texas, so let me explain.
I grew up with Molly Ivins and the Texas Legislature, a marriage made in satirical heaven. There is no satire here in New Mexico, 2014. Zero. Why? Because New Mexicans have the collective statehood self-esteem of Woody Allen in his “early, funny movies.” We’re certain we suck and that everybody is out to show everyone else how we suck. Two examples: 1. Our collective horror that another state, Colorado, would claim some sort of green chile supremacy. Outrage! Green chile is all we got! So we sued Colorado and, once again, failed to laugh about it; 2. Manny Aragon. Here’s the Manny Aragon Wikipedia page. Are you kidding me? Really, that’s it? There might just be a little bit more to the Aragon story, but ain’t nobody telling it here. Until we can laugh about a character like Manny Aragon in a very public manner, one involving at least five books, a mini-series and a longer Wikipedia page, New Mexico will still demonstrate its extreme lack of ability to laugh at itself.
And that my friends, is the absolute worst thing about living in New Mexico, hands down. It just about drives me crazy, about as crazy as it must be for Kathy Korte at this point to sit, as a BBSME graduate, at an APS School Board meeting.
Ms. Korte is strident, can’t keep her real or virtual mouth shut and combines the refined fashion sense of a ABQ Westside Republican with the fiery rhetoric of a educational policy socialist. Not that the latter is a bad thing, whatsoever. Or the former…I guess. Yeah, she definitely has played into her opposition here with the “goddamn,” but goddammit, what’s the point of living in a world where one can’t say “goddamn” in a public meeting every once in a while? Besides, it got the Albuquerque Journal to quote cussin’ and I’m a big fan of newspapers cussin’, especially so-called “papers of local/regional record.”
Naturally, more typical New Mexicans, some of whom sit on the APS Schoolboard, will use “goddamn” as a means to politically separate from Korte, ignoring the logic and persuasiveness of her arguments and focusing instead on her having recently graduated from the Burque Babble School of Meeting Etiquette. So Korte screwed up here, hurt the anti-testing movement and allowed APS action to slow down the testing train with her choice of words. Really? That’s the angle here? Oh, that’s right, we’re in New Mexico. We don’t have psychological room for “characters” here. We don’t have the self-esteem for that.
It almost makes a fellow wants to start cussin’ a whole hell of a lot.