Poor Little Rich Kid….
The Albuquerque Tribune today reporting on a story about the actor Freddie Prinze Jr. Seems this young man has a little *attitude* about his years growing up in Albuquerque.
Says he was scared. Says it was “the gang capital of the world”.
Hey, I’m not disagreeing. Albuquerque has a gang problem, no two ways about it. They have since *I* was in school back in the 80’s (Prinze granduated in 1994).
What torqued me enough to write this blog is that poor scared little Freddie…..went to La Cueva.
I have bad feelings about La Cueva. That school opened back when I was in high school. It opened waaaay up there on the east side where the rich people live. It opened to cater to the rich kids. It drew away most of the good teachers from my decidedly middle class school. It drew a lot of kids away too because parents scrambled to get their kids into the upper class school. And because schools draw their money from the tax base of the surrounding community, that school itself had money. More money than most of the rest of the high schools.
And to this day, that burns me a little.
I went to Del Norte. Back then it was middle class. Now I hear it’s descended into the madness of gangs as well.
I’m sure that Mr. Prinze felt some impact of the gang problem in Albuquerque, certainly. But I’m telling you, the bigger problem they have at La Cueva is all the rich kids have ready access to drugs. When I was in school drugs were a HUGE problem at La Cueva. Mine too, of course, but less so because we hardly had enough money for school let alone drugs.
Mr. Prinze might have tried Valley High. My best friend in high school went there for a while. The gang violence was so out of control there her folks had to move her to Del Norte out of fear for her safety. Mr. Prinze probably saw nothing like she saw at his rich white kid school.
The article says that Mr. Prinze’s bio lists that he also went to Eldorado and Sandia. Ok, before La Cueva, all the rich kids either went to Eldorado or Sandia.
So all this leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Yes, Mr. Prinze, Albuquerque has a gang problem that Mayor Marty likes to think he’s dealing with. The gang problem is difficult to address, and as I said a couple days back, as long as New Mexico is a prime channel for running drugs across the Mexican border, there will always be gangs.
But here’s the thing….I think celebrities have the obligation to try to occasionally use their celebrity for good.
Mr. Prinze could bring up the reasons he chose to leave our fair city, bring attention to problems, without trashing Albuquerque in the press.
I guess I know my city is flawed. And I guess I can call it a mess. But heaven help the outsider who calls my fine City a mess.
The article says, “The bio on his Web site talks of a ‘tumultuous’ childhood peopled with peers who ‘enjoyed bringing others down.'” Is that Albuquerque’s fault you ran with a bad crowd? Take some personal responsibility, young man. I know you had a troubled youth. Knowing your father committed suicide is tough for any kid, but doesn’t excuse bad behavior.
Meanwhile, Mayor Marty has invited him back to “visit”. Says it’s not the same place of his youth. No, it’s not. But unlike the Mayor, I invite Mr. Prinze to get bent.
To borrow heavily and paraphrase from a fave episode of “Sex and the City”…
No one talks sh*t about my town……