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Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Ingabinga » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:11 am

What's the story with the band of teens that look like they just walked off the set of Mad Max? I just saw a pair walk by with dogs carrying equally grimy and raggedy packs. I walked past a solo guy the other day and nearly passed out from the odor. A few weeks ago, a group of them, including a pregnant girl, emerged from the trees in a park near the lake with an aggressive, unaltered, unleashed dog.

These kids wear costumes that seriously look like they came from the Beyond Thunderdome wardrobe department. Everything is dirt color, strips of rags are attached with safety pins, random grimy layers, decorative belts, etc.

Other than the dog and the smell, they don't seem to be particularly offensive, but I just wonder what their story is? I seem to remember a similar band last summer or maybe the summer before. I have seen them in the 1000 East blocks of the Isthmus. Anyone know?
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Dillinger » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:31 am

Travelers. Train riders. Modern day hobos. Rag-tag kids who didn't make this crummy world but are doin' their best to get along.

All together agreeable if not downright enjoyable in my experience. Generally keep to themselves.

Could use a shower now and again.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Stomach » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:45 am

Gutter punks.

Not sure I've seen the specific group you're talking about but they usually have a dog that they use to panhandle for $ on State Street.

They've never done anything specifically to bother me other than play shitty guitar and sing poorly, but I still say fuck 'em".

Dillinger says they are doing their best to get along in this world, I say they are doing their best to not participate in society, at least in terms of work, rent, taxes, etc.

Damn, I sound like Blaska. Do they wear baggy pants?
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby ArturoBandini » Wed Jun 16, 2010 9:56 am

They seem older than teenagers, at least as a majority. I've seen them walking on Gorham east of the Capitol a few times. Mostly wearing black, torn-up, or self-modified clothing. Also, they have at least one large dog, which I think may have been non-leashed, but I can't remember for sure. I do remember thinking, "WTF?".

Once, I saw them pick up an additional 'raggedy person' who was waiting at a bus stop (I was also waiting at the stop). There was very little verbal communication about this - as they walked by across the street, the raggedy persons met eyes, and the lone raggedy person near me felt their pull, thought about it for a second, then crossed the street and joined them. Maybe I missed the hidden signals.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby jjoyce » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:03 pm

A crew like this has shown up around Madison in early summer every year I can remember. A friend used to refer to them as Punks on Tour. I think the idea is to just kind of exist in this alternate space. No work, no money, no responsibilities, no adherence to any of society's norms whatsoever.

I do feel sorry for the dogs.

Several years ago, when I would wander over to B-Side just about every Tuesday to buy a new CD or two, I passed a group of them spanging in Peace Park. They weren't aggressive, but clearly frustrated that I, a guy around their age, didn't chip in. When I passed them on the way back with a fist full of merchandise, one of them whined, "Awww, man! You got CDs?" So I stopped and wondered why that bothered him. I was genuinely curious.

"We're just trying to get some food," he said. He apparently saw no irony in telling me this as he was nursing a bag of chips.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby supaunknown » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:43 pm

State Street businesses love it when stinky panhandlers try to make consumers feel guilty for spending money in the stores. :x

In the prime of their lives and deciding that panhandling is the way to go ... where exactly is the fulfillment in that? Is it the thrill of the unknown? The unaccountability? The glue-sniffing? Petting the dog?

Being on the make panhandling seems like it'd be a constant self-degrading chore. Begging for enough change to live off of likely requires genuine effort.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Marvell » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:00 pm

supaunknown wrote:In the prime of their lives and deciding that panhandling is the way to go ... where exactly is the fulfillment in that? Is it the thrill of the unknown? The unaccountability? The glue-sniffing? Petting the dog?


It's the glue-sniffing.

Let's not overthink this, people.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Ingabinga » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:06 pm

Yes, I guess you're right, they do seem a bit older than teenagers, but I'm not a good judge of that.
@Stomach, No, their pants are not baggy--the opposite, usually. Often the costume includes tight pants or leggings or wrappings and a skirt or sarong-thing.
I wonder where they are going on East Gorham? The pair I saw this morning were on East Gorham headed east. I haven't seen them downtown, but I haven't spent a lot of time downtown in awhile.

Fascinating. The only issue I really have with them is the lack of care provided for their dogs. Oh, and I wouldn't want to stand too close to them for very long.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Exploding Pinto » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:30 pm

So, what's this lack of care for the dogs? We've got the leash thing. Is that it? Are you assuming they aren't fed or get a beat down? A gutter punk and a stray dog seem like a good fit to me. Didn't you guys see Annie!?!

I feel sorry for big dogs that sit in a small apartment alone all day waiting to pee or dogs that live in a cage.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Walter » Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:14 pm

Los Ninos del Terra.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Madsci » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:42 pm

The raggedy teens sounds to me like the children of the rainbow people. I think I adopted one of their dogs from the humane society a number of years back. She is a total anarchist.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:50 pm

Whoever they are, they always turn up in the Gorham/Johnson/Yahara River area in the summer. I think they live in that wooded area near the bend in the tracks just east of the river -- I'd see them coming out of the bushes when I walked my dog. This has been going on at least ten years if not longer. There's a little homeless camp in that triangle almost year round, but the dirt tribe people just show up for a few weeks and then vanish. One notable dirt tribe member who appeared several consecutive summers had half her face tattooed blue. Except for stuff like that, they always seemed so, well, middle-class. I never could figure it out.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Jun 17, 2010 2:43 am

snoqueen wrote:Except for stuff like that, they always seemed so, well, middle-class. I never could figure it out.


Trustifarians.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Crockett » Thu Jun 17, 2010 7:34 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magaz ... ers-t.html

Apologies for not embedding...but this will answer many of your questions.
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Re: Raggedy Unwashed Wandering Teenagers?

Postby Ingabinga » Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:40 am

Exploding Pinto wrote:So, what's this lack of care for the dogs? We've got the leash thing. Is that it? Are you assuming they aren't fed or get a beat down? A gutter punk and a stray dog seem like a good fit to me. Didn't you guys see Annie!?!

I feel sorry for big dogs that sit in a small apartment alone all day waiting to pee or dogs that live in a cage.



I'm observing that they aren't well cared for, show signs of parasites, poor nutrition and in one case, untreated injury. I don't have a problem with unleashed dogs that are under supervision, and my issue with the out-of-control unleashed dogs is that they--the dogs--will inevitably be penalized for their behavior, not the human who puts them in the situation.

I also feel sorry for dogs that are alone all day and/or live in a cage.
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