Hey look — the bums by the Bedford Avenue L Train stop are famous. The Daily News calls them “heroin-addicted hobos,” though the reporter/anthropologist lets us know they “call themselves ‘gutter punks'” and “also call themselves ‘crusty punks,'” depending on how they feel when they get up in the afternoon. Plus, locals are outraged, a building is a “shooting gallery,” etc. The News sidebars with a profile of a particular vagrant that, but for the vintage of his electronics, resembles every scary beatnik, hippie, punk, etcetera story published since 1952.
One of the subjects evokes the dreaded New York of the 1970s. We were around then, and trust us, this neighborhood resembles the 1970s like Transformers resembles Citizen Kane.
What we want to know is: when’s the media gonna do something about the Yelling Man? You know who we mean — this guy:
You’ve seen him at the Bedford-North 7th intersection two or three evenings a week, bellowing in a hoarse voice at passers-by. He is indirect and incomprehensible enough (though we occasionally make out some of his gems, like “This is the tantrum of a 60-year-old!”) that he doesn’t come off as threatening, which we imagine is what’s kept him out of jail. Why waste time with squatters/future account executives, who don’t know nothing, when you could get an interview with the Yelling Man? Someone ought to find out what makes him tick, or at least do a Talk of the Town.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2009