August 12, 2004

Talk religion get food-- Hobo signs.
  • Wow, who knew that "bad dog" and "cranky woman" were in the same category? I especially enjoyed the Hobo Art section, which includes - but of course! - much useful info on the Monkey's Fist.
  • Do hobos still exist in any numbers?
  • Well, I've been trawling through some sites, and the figures for homelessness range from 4 hundred thousand to more than 3 million, in the US. According to the National Coalition For The Homeless, homelessness for most people is a temporary condition. So assuming 80% of them are only homeless for a while, that still leaves tens of thousands (at least) of 'permanently' homeless people. So yes, I believe hobos still exist in rather large numbers.
  • To my mind, the word "hobo" means an unemployed man during the great depression in the 1930s, travelling the country looking for work. Or a bigot with a cold taunting a gay man.
  • Wow. Great post.
  • There was a time when "hobo" meant a rebellious sort who preferred to stay on the move, hopping trains to get from place to place, and finding enough day jobs or handouts to get by. (Thus the signs.) As opposed to "bums", which (probably unfairly) meant people so down on their luck that they'd never get out of their situations. The original meaning of "bums" is what we think of as "homeless" today. But hobos were a different breed. They had a micro-society, setting up camps where they'd share food, sharing stories, and singing songs. (Not sure if Big Rock Candy Mountain is authentic hobo, but it does express the stuff I'v read about hobos.) I looked for links, but the youth of the internet foiled me. Drat!
  • Harry McClintock hoboed around for a while, so I guess the song's got some claim to echt hobo status.
  • Perhaps not the kind of link that you were seeking, but a good read nevertheless.
  • What about "the littlest hobo"? The German Shepherd that helped blind newsdealer James Griffith elude the pair of theives trying to kill him - or who saved night-club singer Felicia Swift from an underworld gunman? How quickly you people forget. Shame, monkeyfilter - shame on YOU. *maybe tomorrow, I will settle down ...*
  • Maybe tomorrow, I'll wanna settle down, until tomorrow, I'll just keep moving on... Canada's Best. Cheap television export. Ever.
  • Hello? You Can't Do That on Television? How quickly you forget. Shame, jb - shame on YOU.
  • "I don't know" sploosh glorp drip drip or "What do you think's in the burgers!" "Duuuhh I heard that"
  • I adored The Littlest Hobo when I was a kid. Every now and then I still get the theme song stuck in my head. Uh, thanks for that, btw. Maybe tomorrow I'll wanna settle down... Gah.
  • I reccommend the book "Checkerboard Squares" by David Wagner. An excellent book on homelessness. As for my opinion of hobo, I took it to mean, as stated at the top of the site, as one who wanders, travels the country, thereby being one who would need to make use of such signs as these. Those who stay in 2 or 3 cities only already know the spots to go, or have contacts they can simply talk to. Drifters might be a term that is closer to the mark.