Thursday, January 17, 2008

I found these photos of modern-day hobos both astonishing and deeply troubling. I kept asking myself: could I live like this? And to my own chagrin, I couldn't arrive at an honest answer.

(Hat tip to Dr. Menlo.)

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad and ...a little scary.

Mac said...

Anon.--

I think you nailed it. These photos *are* scary, at least to me.

dad2059 said...

Well, if the economy gets as bad as some claim, more people will live this way.

Elan said...

The solitary ones are bearable; the cramped, compressed bodies exchanging grime and sweat are like Sartre's vision of hell - that hell is other people.

Anonymous said...

The human flotsam and jetsam of civilization...these photos are indeed scary from a variety of perspectives. thanks

Michael

W.M. Bear said...

At least they're not letting themselves be fucked over for a buck by some mega-corporation. I think I could almost see the homeless life if it weren't for the total lack of privacy. Although I hold down a well-paying job as a software tech writer, I always somehow feel that I'm only a couple of steps away from this. I used to work neat Central Square in Cambridge, MA, which is kind of a magnet for homeless people -- quite an experience just walking along the sidewalk there....

W.M. Bear said...

That's NEAR Central Square. Central Sq. is anything but "neat."

Anonymous said...

A lot of people live this way on purpose. I eat primarily out of dumpsters and I've lived in squats, but I live a much more comfortable existence than this. I don't have the transient tendencies that some kids do, but then again, a friend of mine died when he fell out of a train car. To each his own.

Anonymous said...

I can see the charm...short lived and ugly as it might be, I think we can all potentially find ourselves in that reality. Homeless or not it's a matter of standards. You can live with VERY little and still maintain cleanliness and order.

The pictures were great.

Denny

Anonymous said...

they're called "crusties" and its a whole subculture. Living in squats, traveling around the country staying at a network of houses, strict dress codes are necessary to associate with the group. Many are from abusive childhoods but quite a few are from middle class and affluent backgrounds and live this way for a coupla years as a rebellious phase. As Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys said in a song "Harder core than thou for a year or two, then its time to find a real job."

Urban hippies, vegan punk rockers, etc.

Mac said...

I recently encountered a group of transients under a bridge not far from my apt. A girl was not-so-discreetly administering oral sex to a male companion. She looked up to ask me the time.

W.M. Bear said...

As long as I could still have my Internet connection....