Attention bloggers, lend me your posts

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If you're one of the many Chicagoans floating around the blogosphere posting your daily musings, deep thoughts and personal view of city life, Uncle Mark wants you ...

to send over a link to your site, or better yet, a heads up when you have a really great entry. I'll put it up on this blog, and the best of the best will be published in the paper on Fridays starting in April.

So, keep me posted.

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Since your stated purpose in this space would seem to be to chronicle the lives of Chicagoans within the context of the larger community that we all share I would like to give you my take on a few things.

It seems to me as it has occurred to others for longer than I can imagine that community started out with safety in numbers. We wanted to protect each other from harm, we hoped someone could help us defend ourselves better, we get backed into the same corner as other, and sometimes we are the fox laying in wait bating others around us into giving their trust so that we can take advantage of their generosity.

When we roamed the land and we met another group of nomads who came upon a single food source we might have fought a minor tussle, but someone had the opportunity to retreat. Once we settled the land as they settled theirs it became more important that we established ways to defend the self. This gives rise to new laws, and new norms, more property and a heightened need to defend what’s yours.

With all these new fun laws governments grew with the singular purpose of protecting us. We hand over our rights to and our freedom from all sorts of things so that we can hold onto the comfort that we are safe. It’s a fair trade when governments are able to keep us from harm. But juts like the best contract results when two parties look each other in the eye and shake hands as villages give way to cities, and cities counties, and counties states, and states nations we find ourselves detached from the endless bureaucracy that surrounds us all. It winds its way in around and through us leaving us completely ignorant to its maturations and mutations. The United Nations is an infinitely complex environment where much is done and nothing is directly accomplished. It is impossible to track in any liner progression how one act results in subsequent action and yet the complexity of nations bartering with nations seems to have filtered all the way down into our neighborhoods.

We are citizens in a global community, a brave new world, a place where every one is different and yet we are all the same. None of us are adequately protected by the institutions we have created. None of us have control over the institutions we have spurred.

It has been said of slavery that aside from the misery that is the wretched lives of the slave so too is the existence of the slave master. They are miserable people who ply a despicable trade. Do we hold the same contempt for our so called leadership, our politicians, our executives, our educators, our clergy? If we are fragmented how can we protect each other from harm?

It's nice to see the Sun-Times joining the neighborhood party.

You'll find a lot of Chicagoans hanging out at and talking about their neighborhoods at

Delvin, over at our Garfield Park journal, is looking foro some help in finding a way to deal with the liquor store problem in his area. Can any of your readers offer help? See

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Mark Konkol

Mark Konkol covers city neighborhoods for the Chicago Sun-Times. You can e-mail him or call (312) 321-2146.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Mark Konkol published on March 28, 2007 12:44 PM.

Please won't you be my neighbor? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bad news for Wicker Park hipsters is the next entry in this blog.

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