The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'hobo'


A good article about the hobo subculture in America today. The old hobos from the Great Depression are gone, but there is a new generation of outsiders, ranging from anarchist punks and ferals to migrant workers to train-obsessed dot-com yuppies (and the odd neo-Nazi psycho killer, or so the authorities say); all brought together by disenchantment with mainstream American life and/or a desire for something else. (via bOING bOING)

(I wonder if they have a similar subculture in Australia. There aren't as many train lines these days, so maybe not. Perhaps the local equivalent is the Cave Clan or something?)

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An article on the fast-growing new subculture of train hoppers; mostly young people who stow away on freight trains, crossing America like the hoboes of yesteryear. Except that they coordinate their hopping through web sites, which they access from public terminals wherever they stop. Needless to say, the train companies are none too pleased.

"Hobos call a boxcar a wide-screen TV," says Snyder, dressed in a dusty pair of black overalls and layers of sweatshirts and jackets. "I just like traveling. That's why I do it."
Older, more experienced hobos hold conventions. Younger ones such as Snyder meet in places such as New Orleans for extended Halloween parties. But no one has a solid grasp on how many people hop trains these days. "Nobody's done any field work. Everybody is just guessing," says Daniel Leen, the Seattle-based author of an underground book called The Freighthopper's Manual for North America: Hoboing in the 21st Century.

(Another book to look out for when visiting PolyEster.) (link via bOING bOING)

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