June 1, 2009

"I've been a New Yorker my whole life and he's the only thing that makes me afraid."

The Wild Man of 96th St.

32 comments:

Pogo said...

'Free to be you and me.'


Thanks, deinstitutionalization proponents!

save_the_rustbelt said...

Many mental institutions were really horrid, but served a useful purpose.

Community mental health care does not always work so well.

rhhardin said...

It's an unintended side-effect of Goffman's Asylums.

He meant to use mental institutions to study how people adapt to totally-controlling organizations, and showed how pretty much everything was the opposite of what it claimed to be.

But that was a conclusion about life in organizations in general, not especially about mental institutions.

The gap between claim and reality though was taken as a reason to shut down mental institutions, and people did.

Excellent book.

k*thy said...

How we treat our mentally-ill is a real shame.

Pogo said...
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Pogo said...

"I've been a New Yorker my whole life and he's the only thing that makes me afraid."

And not Bloomberg??

Huh.

goesh said...

lobotomy

traditionalguy said...

Bedlam on the streets. Does he qualify as a demoniac from the Bible stories?

Big Mike said...

Hogue got attention because the Upper West Side is a limousine liberal enclave. If he was terrorizing some other neighborhood the authorities wouldn't even have picked him up.

Bissage said...

I’ll do my level best to keep this true story short and sweet. It was July in 1989 and a mid-afternoon sun shower in West Philly invigorated a street person sitting on a sidewalk in front of a gas station.

Within seconds he was butt-ass naked dancing on top of a car spraying gasoline all over the place. He had a pack of matches and he was trying to start a fire. His facial expressions were a wild-eyed, contorted atomic explosion of raging insanity.

The townsfolk huddled inside the mini-mart trembling in fear amongst themselves. Some were actually whimpering. They had barred the doors.

The cops showed up within three minutes, and by that time, the naked street person had stopped spraying gasoline and had begun attacking the people who were pulling into the gas station to fuel their vehicles. The townsfolk remained barricaded inside the mini-mart.

The cops started off trying to reason with the street person but that didn’t last long and soon they were fighting with him. It took three cops to bring him to the ground, and eventually, they got him more-or-less wrapped up in a device that looked like one of those old-fashioned canvas stretchers the emergency medical teams used to use.

The street person kept fighting the cops as the townsfolk in the mini-mart came outside and encircled the cops to watch the show. It was pandemonium.

Eventually, one of the cops gave the street person a good enough shot in the flank with a nightstick and he settled down enough that the cops could tie-off the stretcher thing and they carried him away.

But you should have heard the crowd. One second, they where whimpering in the mini-mart and they cheered when the cops arrived. As soon as the cops got rough enough to pacify the street person, they turned on the cops. It was as if someone had thrown a switch.

There were cries of “police brutality!” and “I’m a witness!” And I can still hear the scolding words from an old man: “Let that poor boy alone. He didn’t hurt nobody.”

Before that day, I had a pretty negative view about Philly cops and their clannish, us-against-them culture. That callow view derived mostly from what I had been taught in school about the way things ought to be.

That day, I got a valuable lesson about the real world . . . free of charge.

NKVD said...

Wonder if a hollow point .45 slug would stop him. Oh, right, the locals are anti-gun.

Carry on...

Robert Cook said...

This is my neighborhood, and the 96th Subway stop is my local stop. I have heard of this guy, although I'd forgotten about him, but I can't say I have ever seen him or encountered him...and I've lived in the neighborhood 28 years. (It was certainly a hairer place when I moved in than it is now, but I can't say I ever felt it was a dangerous area. That said, the only time I was ever mugged was on 98th between Broadway and West End Avenue.)

NKVD said...

He is a Nader voter, too!

Robert Cook said...

Well, he can't be entirely crazy, then!

m00se said...

I'm not scared because I'm not in NY.

Thank god...

bearbee said...

Can't understand how someone can do constant and heavy drugs and still make it to 65 years.

NKVD said...

Right - not entirely crazy, just a lifelong drug abuser and crack head - good company indeed.

EDH said...

Just makes me wonder how I would be treated by "the system" if I pulled all that shit.

Palladian said...
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Palladian said...

"This is my neighborhood, and the 96th Subway stop is my local stop."

Ah, that explains everything about your comments.

Were you the asshole in the Amnesty International t-shirt that ran your cart into my heels in Zabar's yesterday and told me to watch where I was going?

Upper West Siders are the rudest, nastiest, most obnoxious people in New York. They're the ones that give New York a bad name. Big Mike is right, the only reason this guy was apprehended (finally) is because the neighborhood is full of wealthy limousine liberals who are all for tolerance and understanding until it threatens their Saab or their brownstone.

"That said, the only time I was ever mugged was on 98th between Broadway and West End Avenue.)"

You'll certainly never get mugged by reality in that neighborhood.

Cedarford said...

Big Mike said...
Hogue got attention because the Upper West Side is a limousine liberal enclave. If he was terrorizing some other neighborhood the authorities wouldn't even have picked him up..


===============
He wouldn't have LASTED in other neighborhoods. The only place he knew he could flourish in was a tolerant liberal neighborhood dependent on "rule of law!" and police to keep them safe from a dangerous crazy man.
He tried that in a Dominican or Puerto Rican neighborhood or certain Irish-Italian sectors of Queens he'd get a warning, then get a baseball bat and shattered knees or compound fractures of both lower legs. Be a "badass" in a wheelchair from then on...
He did his dangerous crazy man stuff in a Tong, MS-13, or black gang dominated neighborhood and they'd just kill him, no warning, and nobody saw nothin' as he was shot dead.

Robert Cook said...

"Were you the asshole in the Amnesty International t-shirt that ran your cart into my heels in Zabar's yesterday and told me to watch where I was going?"

No, I don't own an "Amnesty International" t-shirt and I don't shop at Zabars...or Fairway. Too many rich assholes crowding the aisles.

Robert Cook said...

And besides, I have good manners.

Robert Cook said...

"He wouldn't have LASTED in other neighborhoods. The only place he knew he could flourish in was a tolerant liberal neighborhood dependent on "rule of law!" and police to keep them safe from a dangerous crazy man.
He tried that in a Dominican or Puerto Rican neighborhood or certain Irish-Italian sectors of Queens he'd get a warning, then get a baseball bat and shattered knees or compound fractures of both lower legs. Be a "badass" in a wheelchair from then on...
He did his dangerous crazy man stuff in a Tong, MS-13, or black gang dominated neighborhood and they'd just kill him, no warning, and nobody saw nothin' as he was shot dead."


You say this as if such violent vigilantism is a good thing.

NKVD said...

It is.

Jen said...

What's with bashing the upper west side? And the city in general? NY is one of the last centers of polite society in this country, especially the upper west side (right around west 66th) where people still have manners.

It is not a limo liberal enclave. Please.

Big Mike said...

@Jen, yes it is.

Palladian said...

"What's with bashing the upper west side?"

Because it's full of arrogant rich pricks with no manners.

"NY is one of the last centers of polite society in this country, especially the upper west side (right around west 66th) where people still have manners."

West 66th isn't the upper west side.

And manners? Polite society? Go to Fairway sometime, around 6pm. See how far manners get you.

"It is not a limo liberal enclave. Please."

No. It's a taxi-riding or Volvo-driving, on-the-waiting-list-for-a-SmartCar liberal enclave then.

Big Mike said...

@Palladian, good point. You don't have to own a limo to be a limousine liberal. I'm talking about the kind of attitude that features "Save the Planet" bumper stickers and bumper stickers exhorting all and sundry to defeat global warming -- on their Cadillac Escalades or Jeep Grand Cherokees.

I'm talking about the attitude of people who tell you how wonderful diversity is, but they've never hired a black person in their lives -- maybe a few Hispanics to mow their lawn.

I'm talking about the attitude of people who talk about the need for children to meet children from different cultures within the school system, while their own kids go to high-cost private schools where the handful of "diverse" children (dare I say "tokens"?) are carefully screened.

I'm talking about people who talk about the need for ever higher taxes, while they chisel on their own -- particularly the payroll taxes and fees that they should be paying for the nanny they employ.

I'm talking about the people who push universal healthcare, knowing that their own money will make it a certainty that they will get their own health needs taken care of no matter how the government institutionalizes healthcare rationing.

So, Jen, if the shoe doesn't fit then don't worry about it. And if it does, then wear it with pride.

Jen said...

Crimney Palladian, sounds like we've just had different experiences living there. Believe it or not that can happen.

I've never had a door closed on me in the city. My Fairway experiences even at 6p on Friday have all been just fine thank you very much.

It might be how you react to other people too. Maybe I'm just nicer than you.

The Met doesn't count as upper west side? Where does it start then?

Deb said...

Big Mike @ 4:28: You know, this is interesting. I have experienced this same kind of thing where I live and it's not New York. It's frustrated me and made me angry to experience and even be the target of the same hypocrisy that you describe. I used to belong to a synagogue full of people like this but had to leave. Just could not take their hypocrisy any more.

Big Mike said...

@Deb, I don't live in NYC, but the type is pretty prevalent where I'm at, and you'll find them all over.