Monday, November 12, 2007

Not in our town!

"If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can't buy" - Proverb

Tony Adkins and his wife, Tracy, began the evening of Sept. 23 at a birthday party for a friend at the Scottsdale Princess Hotel, a 10-mile drive from their luxurious neighborhood near the southern flanks of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

But a few hours later, Adkins, 51, would be running for his life from two armed 18-year-olds from nearby Fountain Hills.

The seed for that night of violence was planted at a party given by the couple's teenage daughter while her parents were at the Princess.

The Adkinses knew nothing about the party, but the noise aroused neighbors. They called Scottsdale police, who sent the teens home about midnight, and summoned the Adkins home.

By 1 a.m., Scottsdale police would be back.

Word of the party had spread fast on My Space, luring more than 100 teenagers, including the armed 18-year-olds, C.J. Norrick and Justin Hansen, and a 17-year-old

...Police told Adkins that would-be robbers troll sites such as MySpace, looking for crowded parties at upscale homes with high-end loot.

Norrick later admitted to police that he and his crew cooked up a home invasion-style robbery of the Adkin's plush 6,000-square-foot home after the party broke up.

...Crime remains rare in Scottsdale. But in the area surrounding 128th Street and Shea Boulevard, crime is so insignificant it is barely a blip on Scottsdale's overall crime statistics.

That is the kind of neighborhood the Adkinses were looking for.

"I came here," he said, "for the peace and quality of life."

..."I've never heard of such a crazy thing in my life," Adkins said of that violent night. "It's also a wake up call. I no longer believe, 'It can't happen to us.' "

Now he protects his home with a sophisticated $10,000 security system, including cameras and monitors that call his cell phone when they detect movement around his home.

"I'm trying to provide my family with as much peace as I can," Adkins said.

Scottsdale people are funny. Oh my god! Crime in Scottsdale? They didn't tell us about that at the rich uptight white indoctrination meeting when we moved here. The line by one of the commenters on the article is pretty funny, "Is that alarm to protect his family - or to protect his home from his dumb teenage daughter?"

A couple of details in the story are telling. A room at the Scottsdale Princess resort goes $300-600/night in non-busy times. Secondly, who needs a 6,000 square foot house for 3 people? It gives you some idea of what is valued by this family.

Now, I'm not wishing crime on anyone and I'm glad no one was hurt. But, come on. No where in this article is it mentioned that the main cause of the problem was them having no control over their own spoiled kid. What kind of moron would post the address and directions to their ritzy Scottsdale home on the online meeting place of every teenage gutterball in America? I'll tell you what kind of moron ... a moron that has parents that give their kids everything they could possibly want materially but none of what they actually need - boundaries and common sense.

The Stepford types that get behind the walls of these gated-communities and think they can just ignore the real world or pretend it isn't there are kidding themselves. They'd be better served saving themselves a few bucks, live somewhere else, and engage themselves in the community around them. That line in The Graduate, "I want to say one word to you. Just one word ... Are you listening? ... Plastics", takes on a new resonance. Originally intended to convey the hopelessness of a world set out for you, it fits here on many levels. First of all, the originally meaning, in that people here believe that money and where you live defines you. Secondly, in a more literal sense, by the preponderance of people with plastic surgery and who use their plastic (credit cards) to live a lifestyle they can't possibly support.

I know it's not fair to paint a whole city with a broad brush, but from 15 years of living in the Valley, I have found very few people who live in Scottsdale who break out of the stereotype of rich, entitled and arrogant. One of the funniest things is all the 30K millionaires. There are a lot of people who live in Scottsdale, are leveraged to the hilt, in debt, and insist on keeping it up just so that people will think they are rich.

They like to profess that Scottsdale is one of the most "livable" cities in America and at some point they must have appeared on some list (but I could find no current lists that say so) because of their schools, so-called lack of crime, and fancy resorts. But it hides an uglier truth of a city hung up on image and schools with well-to-do kids selling heroin and soma.

It's great to take pride in your cities for the right reasons - arts and culture, truly good schools, lack of crime, fair and affordable housing for all income types, etc. Square footage and checkbook balance are not.

"Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant." -- Epictetus


shrimplate said...

I'm glad nobody got hurt, but I think we can expect to see more of this kind of thing as the rich get richer and everybody else just gets screwed. Everybody has easy access to guns, too, which just adds to the party atmosphere.

Laura said...

Wow... stupidity certainly doesn't contain itself to the lower classes (not that I assumed it did, but there are people out there who do). Seriously - how stupid do you have to be to advertise a party on Myspace?

Every teenager has had parties when mom and dad weren't home. She's just being a teen. But a reaaaaaallllly dumb teen.

As for the notion that crime only exists in certain areas - that is a myth that people in affluent areas tell themselves to make themselves feel safe. Crime is everywhere. Sure, certain areas have more - whether it be because of higher related catalysts (poverty, drugs, gangs, higher concentrations of people living in the same area in general).