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(AlterNet)   Thousands of people live underground in the New York subway system's nooks and they are so off the grid that nobody's even asking whether they survived the hurricane   (alternet.org) divider line 40
    More: Sad, New York, metro, social inequality, New York metropolitan area, electrical grid, living wages, collective consciousness, survival skills  
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21886 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Nov 2012 at 2:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-11-05 02:43:35 AM
10 votes:
Hey Farkers,

Never trust an article written in this style. The 1920's avenging whistleblower is a sure sign of someone who has very few facts.

It is estimated that there are thousands of people who live in this subterranean world, where they have established cities that live off of the electricity, scavenge the excess of a city that is decadent in its wastefulness, raise children and tend to pets, live and love, and make a civilization [9] where they are the mayors, citizens, doctors, and police.

Look at how many poetic details the author latched onto the word "estimated." This is the shiat bad parodies of hack writers write on HBO shows. The prose launches secondhand sociological critiques at a situation that by definition is unknowable to the writer in any form whatsoever. Doesn't know the people, hasn't met them before or after the storm, has no information about their whereabouts. Yet the author has a lot of important things to say about it.

Yes, there are some people who live down there. People who likely understand the systems in place better than most, from every other rainstorm they've endured. It might be interesting to see what trials they faced and how they managed and what they lost. Like any story from the storm describing the way humans adapt to natural disasters.

But this article is complete farking bullshiat. There's not a single fact in play. Not a source beyond, "hey, don't people live down there? I saw a thing on tv one time.....or was that China? Whatever."
2012-11-05 02:37:13 AM
9 votes:
Can we be frank for a second? Nobody was asking about them every sub-freezing day of every New York winter for the past forever. If we want to think about them, we need to think of crazy things like long term welfare and psychiatric or drug treatment and housing with no questions asked.
2012-11-05 02:56:22 AM
4 votes:
I'm sure they were all taken to safety by a mysterious stranger...

i138.photobucket.com
2012-11-05 02:44:42 AM
4 votes:
Not to be gruesome, but wouldn't we by now already have seen news reports of dozens of bodies found floating or wedged in tight spaces?
2012-11-05 03:48:19 AM
3 votes:
I was quite impressed by that well written and thought provoking article. I wondered what had happened to the folks who are known to live in the underground systems and storm drains of the city and who often manage to crawl their way into forgotten, dark chambers and sub basements.

No one gives a flying f**k.

You can tell that by the frequent images of people walking over and around those prone on the ground, who could be drunk, sick, injured or even dead. The morgues receive weekly scores of unknown and unclaimed corpses found in abandoned buildings, under furniture in dank, filthy alleyways, frozen in a final huddle in the corner of a crumbling building, surrounded by dirty blankets, empty cans and burnt out candles.

When President Reagan closed the big state mental institutions and released thousands of mentally ill people into the population, nothing was in place to care for them and they swelled the ranks of the already homeless. Most got sicker, cut off from medication, observation and care and helped contribute to the frightening image of the 'crazy' homeless person. Social programs were slashed that might have helped them and, while people felt pity for them at first, in time they became an annoyance, to be chased out of the neighborhoods, shelters banned from opening up and many wound up shoved in jail, where they received little if any mental care.

They flocked to emergency rooms, where, unable to pay, they soon met protests by bean counters as the states slashed the medical budgets.

Basically, the attitude slowly became let 'em die off, just so long as they don't do it too noisily.

In 20+ years the government has never restored the funding to mental health, though it has mostly restored funds to other programs it ruthlessly slashed in the 70's.

A myriad of TV commercials beg us to send our money overseas to help the poor and starving children and people there, but few, if any, ask us to instead save our own who are living in filth, starving and dying off just as fast, if not faster.

We had a housing boom, which from the start jumped the average price of a home by 15% above the norm. By it's end, homes were running 30 to 40% above the previous average and people were lining up to buy the over priced things and then the boom -- burst, and folks went crying to the government.

All but the developers who made billions.

Now, we have homes sitting empty, new people becoming homeless and banks letting the houses rot rather than rent or sell them cheaply. My city has developed a solution for the homeless who move into abandoned buildings: chase them out and tear the buildings down. There's not too many old abandoned buildings left.

Oddly enough, in the midst of this crisis, we're developing more billionaires than ever dreamed of and faster than ever imagined.

Maybe we need to fix the system.
2012-11-05 03:36:30 AM
3 votes:
You know how many of the homeless are mentally ill equipped to deal with the strictures of day to day life? Imagine someone like that facing rushing torrents of flooding water in an underground hellscape that is completely dark because of the lack of electricity and the utter silence of a closed subway system.

No one deserves to die terrified and alone in a nightmarish darkness in a flood like that.

/Not that I think there are thousands, as the article claims.
2012-11-05 02:44:32 AM
3 votes:

furiousxgeorge: Can we be frank for a second? Nobody was asking about them every sub-freezing day of every New York winter for the past forever. If we want to think about them, we need to think of crazy things like long term welfare and psychiatric or drug treatment and housing with no questions asked.


the new york underground has large steam heated sections and has since Alfred Beach was blowing parts of it up.

the transformers for the subway and other infrastructure create ambient heat as well as the...wait for it...steam vents that run through the city....

i46.tinypic.com
2012-11-05 03:02:13 AM
2 votes:

Mikey1969: Haliburton Cummings: the transformers for the subway and other infrastructure create ambient heat as well as the...wait for it...steam vents that run through the city....

I've seen pictures of these, but I've always wondered just what they heat, and if it's really cost effective, especially how many vents you see blowing off steam, so to speak.

On a different note, are these setups anywhere near as elaborate as the people who live under Vegas have their digs set up?


not familiar with Vegas....

they heat the street which is what they were originally designed for...now con ed (and others) use steam to keep the insulators on cables and all that from freezing and breaking.

when they put trolley cars in (as in Vancouver Canada and San Francisco ) they put an eloborate steam system in to keep snow and such off the tracks. they still heat the streets in Vancouver. dunno about San Fran
2012-11-05 02:39:40 AM
2 votes:
first thing i thought of!

i47.tinypic.com
2012-11-05 02:30:27 AM
2 votes:
That was over the top preachy. I kept thinking "STFU already! I know, they're poor. Got it." Why did that take so long to say in the article.
2012-11-05 02:28:55 AM
2 votes:
Last I checked there were a dozen led by a Kenyan goddess

www.uncannyxmen.net
2012-11-05 02:26:49 AM
2 votes:
First thing I thought of when I saw the pictures of the flooded subways. I've seen a number of documentaries about the tunnel dwellers (not all are drug addicts - some are just beaten down by tragic events). They build really elaborate houses down there.
We'll be hearing some pretty horrific stories about them soon I'm guessing.
2012-11-05 01:47:52 AM
2 votes:
FTA: It is estimated that there are thousands of people who live in this subterranean world, where they have established cities that live off of the electricity, scavenge the excess of a city that is decadent in its wastefulness, raise children and tend to pets, live and love, and make a civilization [9] where they are the mayors, citizens, doctors, and police.

Source:
The homeless people who live down here are called Mole People. They do not, as many believe, exist in a separate, organized underground society. It's more of a solitary existence and loose-knit community of secretive, hard-luck individuals.


That's just, sensational.
2012-11-05 01:29:39 AM
2 votes:
www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk

They're doing just fine

/reinstall!
2012-11-05 01:07:05 AM
2 votes:
CHUDs got 'em
2012-11-05 12:59:32 AM
2 votes:
I've seen plenty of reporting on all the rats that drowned, though. When the stench gets unbearable down there, they'll just blame the dead rats and move on.
2012-11-05 12:37:24 PM
1 votes:
If you're curious about the underground part of NYC, the hidden tunnels, and the subway system that nobody ever goes to, watch this video. Yes, it's 28 minutes, but it's incredible, and very, very well done.

Link
2012-11-05 08:52:51 AM
1 votes:

Haliburton Cummings: why i am feeding these trolls is beyond me but here goes...


Because you just got yourself reamed by one of the best explanations of how moonbats think that's been posted on FARK in the last decade, and can't stop shrieking and wailing in your butthurt, as the other members of the FARK moonbat brigade join their voices to yours in a hilariously melodramatic symphony.

/or maybe you're just going for the biggest negative troll rating in the history of FARK
//you can't win now, so you might as well try for a streetlight-class epic fail
2012-11-05 03:43:22 AM
1 votes:

Haliburton Cummings: moothemagiccow: Haliburton Cummings: you know, if the internet infuriates you so much, you should read more books..

Yes, because the choice of medium denotes some effect of superiority over others. Dat boy smaht he reads books! No pitchers either!

wow the troll factor is rising. i guess PIZZARAMA just closed for the night.

white knighting other trolls is awesome.


Look, sorry. I was just pulling your chain. A lot of people will tell you there are no mole people, or not as many as the articles attest. That's just because they met a powerful mole who let down their guard, regretted it and didn't want them to yap. Also they farking hate being called moles. They don't dwell, they don't dig, they're not morlocks. They just call them selves Citizens. Not "denizens," Citizens.

I met the Citizen King. I know what you're thinking. NY Post, mayor, that's good stuff. No. Citizen KING. The mayor is some nutjob who sleeps in the Herald Square station. Kept getting kicked out of Grand Central in '98. Too scared to go anywhere near the tunnels. Calls himself the Mayor because he's old and Spanish. Nothing else.

Toth talks about levels under Grand Central Station and all that shiat. No. Not even close. Too obvious. The Citizens congregate under Bleecker St, though Union Square gets attention in the winter because of the heat from high traffic (from the shopping season). They're nomadic, like Bedouins. They don't settle in one place too often, they learned you have to be resilient like roaches to last in popular stations. Resilient, not Brazilian. There were some Brazilians sleeping by Central Park North but they weren't Citizens they were just bums.

Citizens are clean, they don't steal or beg. They work. Now not all of them look that clean or smell that clean, but you know bum stink, it's not like hippie stink. Citizen stink is more an aroma than an odor. It's not bad. It smells like humans. You know we lived for thousands of years without perfume or deodorant. They're not all bad smells, and the tunnels are clean. Now I was saying, they work. Not all of the jobs are what New Yorkers call honest, but they don't hurt anyone, not like bankers throwing out 401ks and pensions. Citizens hate bankers with a passion. You don't get to stay if you lost your job losing someone else's work. Citizens value work, not money, work. 

Now anyway, Citizen King. Sorry. I was good friends with his wife, as good as they can be with people who aren't Citizens. At first I thought I'd bring something down there. Nothing much, takeout or some towels. I figure they had water but no towels. Water is harder to come by in the subway stations, but in the tunnels it's like salt in the ocean. They don't steal it, they just redirect it. No one's getting charged. One time I was there and they redirected a sewage pipe instead. That was embarrassing for everyone. King's wife got mad. King never did though. He was nice, I only met him that once. It's kind of a misnomer to call him Citizen King when really it was more of a nickname.

He didn't dictate and he was called that because he was French-Canadian, and no one could pronounce Leroi. He hated being called Leroy so "King" it was. Less of a constitutional monarch, more of a "what you need when you need it" kind of guy. Unmatched at organization. Could give Giuliani a run for his money, but hey, so could half the city. Anyway, getting late. Give me your number and I'll hit you back up. I had a minidisc last time I saw his wife, but damned if I can find the player to get the sound off it. Those things were a farking con, eh
2012-11-05 03:42:44 AM
1 votes:
why i am feeding these trolls is beyond me but here goes...

by item:

- sidecart42 got on here and whinged about the article. boo hoo. its a fark link and fark comments page.
i was neither defending the article or the writer... his whinge is epic whinge.
the math?
boo hoo + entitlement + too bad = more whaaarggble...

this is as always, rewarded with cherry picked minutia regarding my choice of memes etc, getting off point and then more whaaarggble...

then moothemagiccow get's in there and white knights previous entitled special gifted superior authority on writing for internet periodicals...with more bad examples in point form..
"that was from the post and just because so and so says..."
"hey frank!" etc etc...

more wank. more troll. and poorly done.

you two should start a band together.. call it "special snowflakes who never get invited to parties" and your hit song can be called "my significant other is my mother"..

i called him out on his indignat impotent rage, and you came right up behind like a guy who likes getting punched in the face until you stop rambling...right on troll.

100/100
2012-11-05 03:38:53 AM
1 votes:
Oh, I thought about them the very first day. And I knew that nobody else would be until [checks watch, calendar] about now. When the bodies started to stink. They'll be pulling rancid corpses and body parts out from now till next August, I'd imagine, and the health issues are going to be horrific. But nobody was listening, as per usual.

However, that's the price I pay for doing my hair when that sun god knocked on my door.
2012-11-05 03:38:02 AM
1 votes:
sidcart42: This is the shiat bad parodies of hack writers write on HBO shows. The prose launches secondhand sociological critiques at a situation that by definition is unknowable to the writer in any form whatsoever. Doesn't know the people, hasn't met them before or after the storm, has no information about their whereabouts. Yet the author has a lot of important things to say about it.

maudlin tripe with no information

presenting fiction as journalism

wondering aloud whether ________ were partially responsible for 9/11 is not journalism


Breitbart's still dead, and you are not permitted to raise him back up out of that hopefully peaceful hole he rests in.

And yeah, everyone on all sides and no sides everywhere all the time has an agenda.

The medium is the message and the Mess of the Ages, and literally every single tiny detail of life including what brand
of toilet paper you purchase is a deep and profound political issue.

The beat goes on and on and on until it wears you out, deafens you, and then kills you. That is its purpose.

Have a nice evening.
2012-11-05 03:23:35 AM
1 votes:

Haliburton Cummings: with the exception of San Fran and New York, I have been in the tunnels, talked to the hydro company engineers who know this stuff. I spent over a thousand bux in long distance calls in '94 talking to the New York chaps about the mole people...i have about 6 hours of tapes and transcripts.


-Hey Frank! FRANK!
F: What?
-You got a minute?
F: Yeah hold on. What is it?
-This guy on the phone wants to hear more about the MOLE PEOPLE. You got any good 'uns?
F: Mole people. farking morons. Hand it over. "The mole people swore me to secrecy, but I see I can't say no to you. The tallest one I met was only four feet tall. Lot less hair than regular moles, though."
2012-11-05 03:17:51 AM
1 votes:

Haliburton Cummings: you know, if the internet infuriates you so much, you should read more books..


Yes, because the choice of medium denotes some effect of superiority over others. Dat boy smaht he reads books! No pitchers either!
2012-11-05 03:17:21 AM
1 votes:
sidcart42: WHHAAARRRGGGBBLLLEEE

hit the post button too fast.

look, whats laughable is your indignance over something pretty trivial...and by trivial i mean the article itself.

if it bothers you so much, here's what you do ok?

-write an article about it yourself. blogspot, buy a domain, tumblr whatever...
-if you can't get on an airplane and go there yourself, get on the internet and interview some of the folks who have documented the mole people over the years.
there are LOTS of links on flickr and places like that.
-GO TO A LIBRARY or, go to a video store. see what you can find. there's youtube as well.
(see where i am going with this?)

DO something about it.

how do i know about steam systems in NY, Vancouver and San Fran? (and the Seattle underground as well i might add)

I put ten years of research into it starting well before "the interwebs" and i am somewhat of an expert on it. ( gotta get to the aquifer in 26 minutes lol)

with the exception of San Fran and New York, I have been in the tunnels, talked to the hydro company engineers who know this stuff. I spent over a thousand bux in long distance calls in '94 talking to the New York chaps about the mole people...i have about 6 hours of tapes and transcripts.

am i indignant? nope. i don't care.

but you. what have you got goin on exactly beside this indignant rage about an article that will shuffle off into the vast space of digital detritus?

post your webpage up would ya? show us your writing diploma etc..

otherwise, shut the fark up about it and move on.

FRANCIS! 

am i posting my research up here? no.
is it on youtube? no.

there's good reason for that too.
2012-11-05 03:16:34 AM
1 votes:
Vegas is a slightly different deal. They get rain occasionally, and it's a big deal. Nine times out of ten, you'll be OK, but when it does rain, and if you live in the drain tunnels, you are screwed. In New York, I dunno. I've taken a few tours of the "upper" abandoned tunnels, and that was enough to bug me out. The lower-lower digs, though...we're talking some Lovecraftian, poor bastards-needing-help levels...
2012-11-05 03:15:48 AM
1 votes:

Haliburton Cummings: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/item_cBpY2m15R9J0ysIm58QK1M

thats ONE example.


Two men were quoted as sleeping underground. There's one reference to "others." I can't get the photos to work. Also it's the Post.

Publications are not evidence. Labeling your film a documentary doesn't make it true; it's the same with "non-fiction" for books. I can write beautiful prose about my adventures inside a desk lamp. It doesn't make it true.

We can agree on a few things.
1) People sleep in the subway and its tunnels.
2) People call it home.
3) These people are nuts.
4) Similarly nutty people have attempted to document the phenomenon
5) The phenomenon has been exaggerated.
6) The internet is a great place for urban legends, conspiracy theories and assorted nonsense on which people who feel weak can assume a sense of power or supremacy over others without having to learn anything that's true.
2012-11-05 03:15:03 AM
1 votes:
If the Bush administration taught us anything, it is that if you don't count the dead, the dead don't count.
2012-11-05 03:03:58 AM
1 votes:
furiousxgeorge 2012-11-05 02:37:13 AM

Can we be frank for a second? Nobody was asking about them every sub-freezing day of every New York winter for the past forever.

I know.

This is a "slap in the face to wake the f*ck up, only to find out it's too damned late" moment. 

There aren't going to be any heroic stories coming out of those flooded subway tunnels :(

I'll be looking a bit differently at the streetfolk here from now on.

There has to be something more I can do.
2012-11-05 03:01:55 AM
1 votes:
Francis....

http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/item_cBpY2m15R9J0ysIm58QK1M

thats ONE example.

there are documentaries, photo series, books...

have you ever been down there? are you an authority?

nope..

while the article itself may be "hack" your attack on it is laughable...



No, the attack was valid. There was no information in the "article." It was fiction. It gave a lovely description of the wonderful souls down there, then implied they all drowned, and society is bad. You did notice how I....confirmed that I understood the same basic facts as the author? Like your citation from 3 years ago, with absolutely no information about dealing with storms or this storm that just happened.

If you look at his blog, you will start to understand where the author is coming from. (Hint: Race exists)


So calling my attack "laughable" makes sense only if you're laughing at how easy it is to write maudlin tripe with no information, and with a heavy slant towards vague pessimism about the human condition.

Those communities, to me, represent the opposite mentality. Even in a society with cracks to fall through, survival favors the willing. I'm interested to find out about them in relation to the storm. And I concede that perhaps this bullshiat will inspire a real journalist to follow-up. Which will in some way validate presenting fiction as journalism.

But you can't defend this article as anything but a short story. Which it is.

Tigers exist. But wondering aloud whether they were partially responsible for 9/11 is not journalism.
2012-11-05 03:00:34 AM
1 votes:
When I read articles like this, I hear "The International" playing in the background.
2012-11-05 02:53:24 AM
1 votes:

Haliburton Cummings: the transformers for the subway and other infrastructure create ambient heat as well as the...wait for it...steam vents that run through the city....


I've seen pictures of these, but I've always wondered just what they heat, and if it's really cost effective, especially how many vents you see blowing off steam, so to speak.

On a different note, are these setups anywhere near as elaborate as the people who live under Vegas have their digs set up?
2012-11-05 02:52:20 AM
1 votes:
I care the same amount as I did about the idiots anywhere else that wouldn't leave when there is an evacuation due to extreme weather that will probably kill you if you decide to stay.
2012-11-05 02:46:24 AM
1 votes:
Washed Away? Rescued? What Happened to New York City's "Mole People" During Super Storm Sandy?

A: This says to me that 'Alternet' is asking whether or not they survived.

B: This is the second article I've seen about this in the last 2-3 days, without actually looking to see if there were any stories about it.
2012-11-05 02:34:29 AM
1 votes:

Triumph: Ambivalence: I'm sure there are plenty of social workers who are asking

I didn't watch Bloomberg's press conference. Was the issue addressed at all, or was it just questions about the Marathon?


Who the hell actually paid attention to what he was saying with Lydia Callis signing right beside him?

skantea: First thing I thought of when I saw the pictures of the flooded subways. I've seen a number of documentaries about the tunnel dwellers (not all are drug addicts - some are just beaten down by tragic events). They build really elaborate houses down there.
We'll be hearing some pretty horrific stories about them soon I'm guessing.


I used to work with a guy years ago who was a mole person. He was just down on his luck and that was the only place he was accepted. He was lucky enough to find his way out, but most don't.
2012-11-05 02:32:06 AM
1 votes:
"Miss Tessmacher, how many other girls do you know with a Park Avenue address like this one?"

"Park Avenue address..? Two hundred feet below..?"

yafh.com
2012-11-05 02:26:45 AM
1 votes:
these people?

www.causticsodapodcast.com
2012-11-05 01:34:22 AM
1 votes:
[grieving]
2012-11-05 01:12:30 AM
1 votes:

Ambivalence: I'm sure there are plenty of social workers who are asking


I didn't watch Bloomberg's press conference. Was the issue addressed at all, or was it just questions about the Marathon?
2012-11-05 01:03:19 AM
1 votes:
I'm sure there are plenty of social workers who are asking. But until they get all that water out there's no way to find out.
 
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