I found Christopher Damon’s commentary, “Oak Park: ‘affluent’ or ‘sophisticated’?” [Viewpoints, May 12] to be cringe-worthy in the extreme. This sentence sent me over the edge: “We will tell ourselves that discernment of, and investment in, a high-quality food and wine experience is an indicator of our worldly sophistication; it’s not a crass display like furs or jewelry.”
No, Mr. Damon, it’s a more insidious kind of crassness, one that lacks the awareness that the quiet pretensions of luxury consumption are pretensions nonetheless. Perhaps worse, there is a protestation in this commentary that such attitudes are OK, because … because … oh, because we’re Oak Parkers, and we’re better than everyone who is not.
It’s one more example of why some observers — both inside and outside the village — shake their heads when they think of “Oak Parkers” and say to themselves, “those people really do think they’re better than everyone else, don’t they?”
Which, in the end, means: perhaps we aren’t. I’ve lived here 29 years and my wife for longer than that, and both of us have enjoyed living here. We’re moving half a mile west to Forest Park in June, and I’m beginning to wonder whether perhaps we’re leaving just in time.
Martin Berg, Oak Park