Oak Parked?

Opinion: Letters To The Editor

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When you pull a permit to replace your porch and are told it must be strong enough to hold the weight of a tank, you've been Oak Parked.

When you pick up your child after school and there are more nannies than children in the schoolyard, you've been Oak Parked.

When you are at the gym and there are more people on their cellphones than exercising, you've been Oak Parked.

When there are more cause flags than American flags on your block on the Fourth of July, you've been Oak Parked.

When people complain their real estate taxes are so high they may have to move, and then describe their latest expensive vacation, you have been Oak Parked.

When coronavirus is in the air and the entire community bands together to help each other … you have certainly been Oak Parked.

Gary Mark Belenke

Oak Park resident for 34 years

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Reader Comments

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Jonah Harlan from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2020 11:17 PM

I would like the editor to know this is my first comment on this website, and I plan now to leave many comments on posts like these. We live in age of the greatest abundance in human history, in the front shadow of nation so bloated in concentrated wealth that we will soon be flattened underneath its swollen bow and take the generation after yours with it. I speak now to Gary as well the editor, that you will surely not be around to see my generation immolated in the flames of the pyre that is now creeping at the edges of our collective history book. I see these rambling, flatly sardonic cartoons and prose that, while seeming to mock the neoliberal order that makes meaningless all of our actions to make the world a better place, and I like to assume that people like Gary are aware how hollow and self-satisfied these wealth-holding neighborhoods like Oak Park and River Forest are. But Gary's criticism of our meaningless efforts and whinging, Cause posters and real estate taxes, are rounded out in a pat on the back. This is not how a community should work. Our unity should be found in our collective betterment and the full enrichment of people, to fixing the problems that our and your parents thrust onto both of our laps. Instead Gary and the editor laugh in the face of the next generation. While not directly responsible, the endorsement of this kind of hollow community hidden under a pointed jab at the vapidity of our activities does nothing to advance the kind of conversations that would help in pointing out the burning building we all live in. I hope that Gary and the editor themselves strives personally to make the world a better place, since there is no time for the prior generation to band together in a way to make any meaningful chance anymore. I apologize for my use of multiple similes and the critical way the editor and Gary might receive this comment.

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