Soy de Burque Headline Animator

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Claims for the Creator of "the Q"

I recently received a “reality check” from a concerned “Q”. (not sure if that’s how they want to be called, or if there is something more hip they call themselves, but for me I’ll refer to those who love their homogenous “Q” as “Q’s”, “robots”, “tools”.

The email was titled “Reality Check”. Little did I know, I was living a dream.

It reads:

Soy de Burque Staff,

Happy New Year to the crew. We hope business goes well, and that merchandise is taking off. I just wanted to clarify one minor point that your website misrepresents - the City of Albuquerque's 'Q" logo, (the ubiquitous green Q with the extra-long tail that is found everywhere from city buses to trashcans at the Sunport) is not the product of some soulless corporate advertising machine, but rather a homegrown product from right here in Albuquerque.

The agency responsible, TKO Advertising, (not Rick Johnson & Co. as often misquoted) is a shop based in the heart of downtown ABQ, a three-man operation headed by James Walker, a New Mexico native. The design was actually commissioned by a City department, which was noticed by the Mayor's office and took off from there.

We appreciate the "Soy de Burque" movement, but please know that Albuquerque's "Q" was created by and for 'Burqueños, and is coming from the heart of the city. Thanks for your time.

Joaquin Falcon
Account Executive
TKO Advertising, Inc.
823 Silver Ave. SW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Of course I was very concerned. I lost sleep. I couldn’t eat. I found my self pacing my garage, questioning how I could be so dense. According to this guy, “the Q” represents me. It was created for me! Us! We Burqueños! We should feel lucky and proud to have “the Q” replace our Burque! We don’t need to think anymore…we have guys like this to think for us and give us gifts of culture.

Joaquin put a lot of work looking through his fonts deciding what letter truly symbolizes the city’s essence. Thank you Joaquin for the wonderful reality check!

I digress…

If I did need a reality check, I’d need to place myself in Joaquin’s shoes.

I opened Microsoft Word. I scrolled through the fonts.

Turns out, the font something similar to Arno Pro, was the eleventh font on the list of hundreds! How lucky! I didn’t have to go through hardly any fonts. Surely there had to be something more involved and creative in coming up with something so ingenious.

Q….then I thought, “wait a second, that guy…(giggle)”…”he changed the color to green!”…. Q …

Wait it looks skinny…I’ll bold it….Q….I DID IT!!!!

Man I wish I got paid the big bucks to come up with this shit. Hundreds of years of cultural evolution, summed up in 2 minutes. Depressing.

I’m feeling better about my reality check. I feel like I’m really trying to connect with the Q and understand how and why Joaquin is adamant about taking credit for worst idea in the history of the city as recently reported in the Weekly Alibi.

The report:

Worst of 2007: Albuquerque Branded “The Q”

The branding of New Mexico's largest city as "The Q" wasn't voted on in the 2007 local elections. There was no public comment period for residents to have a voice about reducing Albuquerque's name to one consonant. There was just a man ( Mayor Martin Chavez) and his hype team (Rick Johnson & Company) looking for a catchy logo to throw on buses, billboards and brochures to pull in some tourist dinero. Mayor Chavez got his Q-clad buses, and we Burqueños got stuck with a catch phrase we didn't choose (and don’t much care for).

Silver Lining: A grassroots movement of residents formed a group to promote the nickname most locals already approve: Burque. The group, Soy de Burque, is using a website (, T-shirts and word of mouth to promote Burque and stop "The Q." (AD)

Once again, I rethink why I need this reality check. Why it is Joaquin is claiming credit when the Weekly Alibi is claiming Rick Johnson & Company is behind it? Even the CEO of Rick Johnson and Co., Debbie Johnson, is confused. She thinks Rick Johnson & Company came up with “the Q”.

One of the original reports run by local blogs:

The ABQ Q Journal is running a story on the Duke Q City’s latest brand: Q. This marketing gold came from Rick Johnson & Co. and the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau during the Destination Master Plan review at the National Hispanic Cultural Center last Friday, March 23.

Let’s see what Mayor Chavez has to say:

In the vein of “Sesame Street” sign-offs [Sesame Street—well played.], the letter Q was sponsored by the mayor: “I just started seeing it around town— at ABQ Uptown, the Albuquerque Studios, or the Q Studios, the Q Bar, you name it,” Mayor Martin Chávez told the Journal. “It’s a wonderful way to express modern-day Albuquerque. … I just like the heck out of it.”

Debbie Johnson, CEO, Rick Johnson & Co.:

“We’re encouraging all of Albuquerque to be creative and have fun with the Q. We want it to represent a variety of organizations and features and characteristics of the city.”

Thanks Debbie for the encouragement to be creative.

This whole report was initially run by the Albuquerque Journal. They claim Rick Johnson and Co. are behind “the Q”. Maybe Marty came up with the dumb idea, but Rick Johnson and Co. was given the go ahead to promote and create it.

Why the confusion Joaquin?

I did notice TKO advertising on some of the fliers, so I understand you’re involved somehow. Being based out of Texas,( makes me question your claim to truly understand Burque. Nobody from Burque would come up with "the Q", and think it was a good replacement for Burque.

There is only one Burque. There will always only be one Burque. Nobody can take Burque away from us.

Here’s how I see it…

Marty needed some hot topic to make him look good for any political office that opened up. He called up his buddy Rick and said “what do I need?”
Marty had already received his cosmetic surgery, so Rick said, (in my make-believe world)

“The environment is sexy now. Talk about how you’re the solution to global warming. We’ll need a campaign to put your name on even more podiums, billboards, streets, commercials…everything. You know, make me more money. Eventually your name will be on everything, and rather than bankrupt the city removing your tattoo from everything, people will be forced to re-elect you for whatever office you can win. If that doesn’t work, try and get rid of term limits for mayor. If that doesn’t work, claim everything is unconstitutional.”

Either way, Rick gets his money. Being incredibly expensive, the deal made sense to Marty. (Side note: City Officials are quoted saying “the Q” will cost an estimated $1500. Something tells me, stickers, websites, Q vehicles, marketing firms, balloons clothes, commercials, billboards, luncheons, golf fees, putting Marty’s signature on everything, etc. is costing tax-payer’s much more that $1500.)

So Rick with his money, doesn’t actually do the work. Like any good business in today’s world, you outsource your labor to sweatshops…in this case, TKO advertising. (In other cases unrelated but along the same lines…Hollywood outsourcing to New Mexico. A topic for another day.)

So maybe that’s the story. Either way, I don’t really care. “The Q” is insulting.

It represents everything I hate about people who don’t have any cultural sensitivity, social awareness, and have no vision for a prosperous future that doesn’t include strip malls, Botox, gated communities with no natural resources to be sustainable but make quick money for politicians and their friends, SUV’s and wars to fund them, schools funded by corporations, book burning, health insurance that class-discriminates, beliefs like building walls will resolve conflict or keep out immigrants, or most important…scripted history.

To conclude my “reality check” Joaquin, I’m sick of people like you telling me who I am. I don’t care if you were paid to come up with something you expect me to embrace. I don’t embrace “the Q” even if you or your bosses are from Burque.

What gives you the right to come up with anything meant to represent my culture? Nothing was ever voted on. Just Rick outsourcing a font to a local sweatshop and the city spending the cash to give Burqueños strategic culture. Something easy, planned, sterile, vain, arrogant, anesthetized, concocted, bogus, and forced on a culture to embrace, because “they” hold the power.

That’s the “reality check”. “They” hold the power to inflict any haphazard policy “they” want. TKO is just a pawn in the game. The point is proven not just in this case, but seen around the world. To me, this exemplifies the corporate take-over of the governments of the world. Policy designed to subordinate anything that may cause reaction or revolution.

We don’t need the Q. We don’t have to embrace it even if you claim you’re from Albuquerque and claim you came up with it…I wouldn’t embrace it if my Burqueña grandmother came up with “the Q”…

Your arrogance and brain-washed supposition does not surprise me. Many of your tasteless attitudes are apparent in much of today’s senseless and apathetic movement. It is evident in our sale whore, me, me, me, self-righteous and superfluous ill justice imposed on the under represented, impoverished, and exploited. I raise no glass to you.

Where does it stop if we can just hire a marketing firm to re-brand hundreds of years of culture so it’s more palatable and saleable?

We need to fight for things like Burque. Burque is a philosophy. Burque is a metaphor. This concept of Burque represents change. The fact that we the people have the power to shout “NO!” to the puppet masters who pull the politicians strings. The fact that we can appreciate our culture and see through these scams can lead us to a new renaissance. I believe that profoundly.

I’m reminded of a Bob Dylan song:

There's been rumors of war and wars that have been
The meaning of the life has been lost in the wind
And some people thinkin' that the end is close by
"Stead of learnin' to live they are learning to die.
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

I don't know if I'm smart but I think I can see
When someone is pullin' the wool over me
And if this war comes and death's all around
Let me die on this land 'fore I die underground.
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.

There's always been people that have to cause fear
They've been talking of the war now for many long years
I have read all their statements and I've not said a word
But now Lawd God, let my poor voice be heard.
Let me die in my footsteps
Before I go down under the ground.
Copyright © 1963; renewed 1991 Special Rider Music

We Burqueños are not pioneers in this revolt. But we Burqueños recognize when the wool is being pulled over us.

So there it is, my “reality check”, and even a song for you to hum.

Joaquin, you were ruled by “the Q” even before it was a twinkle in your eye. It existed long before you or I existed. You just gave it a different name and font. There is your credit. Deserved or not.

That being said…

I’m keeping with Rick Johnson and Co. as chief creator and marketing firm responsible for “the Q” until the Albuquerque Journal, the CEO of Rick Johnson and Co. Debbie Johnson, the Weekly Alibi, and any respectable blog in town retract their statements. I feel they are more verifiable sources than some tool from the toolbox.

To reply:

Down with the Q.

Soy de Burque.


liberal apologist said...

I second everything you had to say and thanks for giving it to that guy who, creator or not, claims to represent my culture and my hometown.

As an addition, I'd like to note that the claim that 'the Q will cost taxpayers $1500' couldn't be farther from the truth, as you pointed out. I worked in a sign shop for three years and a copy and mounting shop for three years before that. Fifteen hundred dollars might cover relettering a some city vehicles and maybe some little signs, but it sure as hell doesn't begin to pay for buses and billboards and all the rest of the rigmarole. Keep up the good work, everyone. Screw 'the Q'!

Desperate single Housedudes said...

Maybe this "Q" will catch on in other cities. I am sure my friends in Boston would love to have Beantown changed to "O" town. After all, there are two "O"s in Boston. Oh wait a minute, Oakland is O town. Well, I guess "Ton town" would have to do. After all, you can't spell Boston without ton. New Slogan: There is a ton in Boston. Wicked.

On the flip side, the "Q" does remind us to correctly spell Burque with 3 "q"s. However, the "Q" fails to mention where to correctly put the "r."

Could the creator of the Q also take claim for the Iraq war, the Leave no child behind campaign and health insurances? That way a greater portion of the population could direct their displeasure at one individual.

Not all tools are created equal.

Desperate single Housedudes said...

I apologize. My last post I erroneously stated that the Q campaign reminds me to correctly spell Burque with 3 qs. I just googled Albuquerque, and it actually only has 2 Qs. You see this "Q" campaign is just all wrong. It doesn't help me spell better. Now if it were the "Qs" campaign, then that I could sink my teeth into.
Well put fellow bloggers "Screw'the Q'!"