September 2012 • VOL 9.11 • #98

Columns

Slingshots, Anyone? : The End of Slingshots… and the Shape of Spunk to Come…

“And when the day is done, and I look back / And the fact is I had fun, fumbling around /All the advice I shunned and I ran where they told me not to run…Read full article

Guidance Counseling: Saul Williams

We’re super lucky to get globe-trotter, genre-bender, word-wizard and all-around boxthinker-outside-of artist Saul Williams to listen to our problems this month. He’s just the kind of multi-tasker with a philosopher’s heart that can soothe our…Read full article


Features

Everyone Hates the Oogles: Exploring the animosity towards New Orleans’ panhandling punks

I was at a party a few weeks ago where people were discussing “oogles,” the young crusty punks who invade each autumn and often panhandle in our city’s poorer neighborhoods. The response from everyone at…Read full article

29 comments about Everyone Hates the Oogles: Exploring the animosity towards New Orleans’ panhandling punks

  • Excellent article. In 2008 we moved back home & found a great place on Frenchmen St. right across from Washington Square and had planned to stay in that location for a good long time. By 2012 we had seen the neighborhood inundated with “Treme” tourists & the oogles who prey on them which completely changed the tenor of the neighborhood. We saw Washington Square go from being a truly delightful gathering place for the neighborhood kids & the entertaining circus folk into a no-man’s-land of panhandling post-teens using it for their own personal john. Crime in the area has increased to the point where 30 & 40-year homeowners & residents were forced to sell their homes and move away from the neighborhood. We finally retreated to Old Metairie after we were attacked and beaten bloody on St. Claude. If things continue like they are, that area of the Marigny will revert to the days when it was known as “Little Angola.”

  • seething with rage i was gonna post something about oogles being generally annoying but the definition of oogles running quickly into a no true scotsman, I’m glad you mentioned that a little but it needs to be beaten like a dead horse, ya, every year there a bunch of annoying wastoids that descend on the city, the ones with money are called tourists, the ones without “oogles” said story about dog getting shot on st roch? that dog belonged to poeple who had jobs, were renting a house, and were having a bear on the’re front porch at like midnight on a saturday when the gentrifier (straight no homophobia q thx) artfag neighbor who makes it his goal in life to harass everyone walking down stroch not wearing a three peice suit yelled at them a bunch and called the cops, after yelling back they went into THERE HOUSE THAT THEY PAY MONEY TO LIVE AT and were woken up by cops jumping their fence and killing there dog…. ya dem oogles

  • Also the number of kids with fulltime houses and jobs who “look” like punks, which allegedly means “look like oogles” easily outnumber the annoying nazi junky zombie panhandlers, of those in fact just passing through and traveling or whatever many work seasonal jobs doing various farm or fishing work while that is in season and enjoy there off season in our beautiful city, Also one of the kids in said warehouse fire was a new orleans native who had a job and a house less than month prior but well, when you lose one for no reason the other usually doesn’t stick around to long. And lets be real folks, theres no way anyone can say with a straight face oogles are causing a fraction of the harm to “the community” than that is being caused by white thirty somethings with 6 houses on stroch that rented out for 600 3 years ago that they make look “shabby chic” (there words, not mine) and try and rent out for 1,400

  • I tell them we have too many locals that are in need of genuine help and to go home and mooch off their own peeps.

  • I hate Fauxbo’s (rhymes with Hobo) because they are a$$holes. If you don’t give them money they threaten you. They are parasites and do nothing positive for out world. Also, if you look like a Fauxbo and you are not one it is time for a makeover.

  • If you want an easy way to tell who is or isn’t an oogle, there is an easy method. Take a trip along lower Decatur St. and look closely. People with patched up studded up clothes who are drinking in bars are likely locals, or guests of locals. The dirty kids sitting on the sidewalk with all their worldly possessions are oogles. The ones by the tree on the neutral ground in front of Checkpoint Charlies are definitely oogles. There is a large community, or I guess subculture is a better word of punk rockers, metalheads, crusties, and even the old timey kids with their banjos and fedoras who actually live here and yet get lumped into the same category as those passing through acting like assholes. To those of you who are not a part of our little social circle, I think you should understand that kids who cause problems for the locals are quite often dealt with severely and run out of town. We don’t like them any more than you do.

    Most of us work, most of us have our own pursuits and lives to live. Most of us are pretty damn nice people if you take the time to sit and chat with us. When it comes down to it we’re doing the same things everyone else does, from raising families to working, to just trying to get by and enjoy life. We cook your food, fix your houses, build your bikes, and serve your drinks. So take a minute to look closely and make sure you’re not lumping us in with the panhandling bums that just cause trouble.

  • definition of a sociopath; seeking to benefit from a society, for personal gain; without remorse.

    so I ask you, are they remorseful?

    I
    don’t believe they are. I don’t believe they want to assimilate. I
    believe they have learned how blacks do it; now they just sit and take
    from a society. They’re like the black rat of Europe; which we all
    know, caused the black plague (black death)

    in other news; muggings should be down

  • This is coming from someone who is or was an oogle at one point in her life. I don’t like that we all get bashed on for the jerks that go to NOLA and make a fool of us. I like to hitchhike and ride freight trains to get around for free. I like to go busking with my band and hitting a local bar later. I don’t do drugs. Never have. I don’t wake up and start drinking or else I’ll have the shakes all day. I don’t use my dog as a way to get money. I don’t steal and I respect and appreciate anyone who helps me out and there’s a lot of kids like me out there too. Because there are many oogle kids that ruin it for the rest of us it is really hard for the few and the honest to get by. So to anyone that said don’t judge a group as a whole, I thank you. Assholes will always infiltrate your culture weather it’s punk, hippies, candy kids, hipsters, metal heads etc. There are simply just jerks in the world. But since oogles are a much smaller subculture it’s a lot easier to notice the asshole first.

    • So basically you’re telling us instead that you’re just a cheap skate, boring, and you like being gross just because? Eh, you still suck.

      • Yes there are some gross and boring ones but not all of us are that way. There are those disrespectful bastards that shit on the sidewalk and are totally strung out on drugs and don’t have any talent, but there are a few of us who are decent, we don’t panhandle– we perform and make peoples day, we are more decent and find a bathroom in a convenient store, and soe of us even try to get showers at truck stops. Being an “oogle” I won’t deny there are some nasty assholes roaming around and ruining it for everyone.

  • I used to be a traveling punk. I past through New Orleans on 3 separate occasions from the time I was 19 to 21. Its still one of my favorite city’s. I was always annoyed by other travelers making me & the scene look bad.Oogles don’t just ruin the city for locals & tourists, more then anything they ruin it for other transients.I panhandled in New Orleans because I didn’t know how ells to make money, but I was always respectful & polite to people who where respectful to me. My first time in Nola it was fun, I sat on Decature outside santa’s quarters & flew a sign asking for money for beer & strippers.It made tourists laugh, they took pictures of me, most people liked it. The times after that the cops had began running panhandlers off of Decature allot more frequently & I had to move to Esplanade & Clayborne to panhandle. I didn’t like it,I felt like I was taking money from people as poor as me. The local house punks where the most judgemental of me, thinking all the travelers are oogles, & ironically the loudest drunkest oogles accused me of being an oogle for being cleaner younger & less drunk. Not all transient punks who pass through Nola are oogles, just most of them.The only way to tell is to talk to them & see if they talk to you with respect, then you can judge them.

  • I’ve encountered them so many times in NOLA. There is a strange arrogance about many of them, such a bewildering pretense as they sit there in the gutter, asking for money and bumming smokes. It’s a strange sense of entitlement. I can’t really respect it as much as earlier times. There are so many resources available. There’s so much information available. There’s so much, so much. It doesn’t seem like there’s much literary or philosophical impulse behind their supplication. I’d like to assign some romantic view. However, the reality is that many of them are probably decent people, just very lost, caught up in drugs, and now find themselves in a negative feedback loop. What are they rejecting? I can’t shake the suspicion that their way of life is an excuse to avoid growing up, working hard, another youthful naivete. Why do I have such a visceral hatred towards them at the same time being very fascinated? The short answer–they don’t fit the picture of what it means to be beggars, young, able bodied, articulate, and eschew opportunity all around them. They don’t know what real freedom is, or what was sacrificed in our country to get it. They are completely alienated??? They put off life’s responsibilities because they think it’s a prison or for corporate zombies, robots, automatons. The state of the economy today is just a convenient overlap for them, poor us, it’s so hard to be living in a time with economic hardship, tired from war after war fought by others…I am directing my hostility towards the lifestyle design oogles. I can understand a small subset who need the street get away from abusive homes. Look, life isn’t all corporate 9-5 and computer jobs, or boring Sunday afternoons with the inlaws, talking about the weather and your favorite sports team…These kids just don’t understand the opportunities available in our society. There are stubborn, ego maniac, dope fiend, thieves, everywhere, who were told things, formed their own opinions, and chose to follow their own path, living what they think is an authentic, not a “fake” existence…All that creativity spent on scoring free money and living transient lives, could be better spent getting a job. But, isn’t that the rub? Clinging to f@#IU dogs to improve their earnings, and to hold onto a normal life….grrrrr Like the guy said in the article, get a skill, perform, do something…

  • You would think a bunch of “college educated” people “running”
    the city could easily figure this mess out for
    once and for all, the city needs like “tons” of affordable apartments and
    houses!!! Not the “projects”, but gorgeous and affordable and
    really CLEAN ( fresh paint, new floor tile or new carpet, doors that properly
    open and close, central air, No old ass fuseboxes!!
    no rats and big roaches, clean yard, no whole bunch of
    Fred Sandfords “shit” laying around that he’s gonna
    eventually use, all cabinets even and dont look like
    their about to come down, nice screen doors.
    You get the picture.Everybody desrves to be able to
    afford a nice place to live.So, again, looks like all of these college
    educated people are still failing the REAL COURSE,
    reality, action, results.

  • Great article. I used to work downtown and after a while I could definitely tell the difference between an asshole and someone who just happened to be punk. There was a cook where I worked who was definitely punk-ish in attire and attitude, but was soft-spoken, pensive. He would say something interesting and unique from time to time if you caught him at the right moment, always smoking his hand-rolled cigarettes like each one was the last and best one he was ever going to have. He was one of the coolest people I met down there.

  • You know oogle is an inside term right? It essentially means “someone who fucks shit up for the rest of us”

  • New Orleans is a fun city but not a rich one. Me and mmy travveliing crew were polite and talkative we didnt make much cash, but locals were kind and kept us drunk and eating crawfish for a month…good city, good times

  • Leave and take the money somewhere else? LMAO. That money gets spent locally usually at the closest cheapest place to get booze….

  • This article is unbelievably shallow and has little foresight . Well done in reducing a really complex issue to pulp.

  • I can tell by your article that you are not from Nola or at least not from the urban areas like uptown or 9th ward. Nola was always a city where everyone had a hustle or a job. Even kids who went to Newman that had Nannies who brought them to the Magnolia projects on weekends know that! I grew up in some shady areas, every morning the neighbors in the community would either go to work, or leave to play brass band music in the quarters or kids would tap dance for change to feed their families. No one held signs, neighbors and friends would help out those who weren’t able by feeding them, especially the older lady’s on the block. All the hungry kids would go there and eat a hot plate. They did have the occasional junkies in front of corner stores asking for change, gutter punks were always in the quarters begging, but not holding signs. The signs are post katrina midwesterners from seattle that came here for whatever reason. Then there is a hippy van of losers that come every year to beg for money to buy Jazz Fest tickets. They post up in Bywater, a large group of them, like clockwork they come down to beg for money, party at jazz fest and on frenchmen then they leave. You probably ran into them in front of Hanks. Nola natives aren’t beggars, hustlers, con artists and thieves YES…BEGGARS NO!!

  • In my personal opinion, complaining about cultural blowback on a society that advocates and perpetuates planned obsolescence, pollution and waste is counterproductive. If strangers come into your neighborhood and do not share the collective conscious of that neighborhood, thus resulting in the residents being faced with a fight or flight situation, though crap. That problem has existed since human migration started. When the established majority is threatened, only then does it become a problem. If you don’t like ‘gutter punks’ or ‘dirty kids’, then kick them out of your neighborhood or move. Nothing guarantees your security when the law of the land is “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is up for debate”. This nation was founded by thieves, junkies, degenerates and murderers and if you can’t handle that, too bad. The real problem is parasitic capitalism and New Orleans would’ve done the earth a service if it had stayed underwater.

  • An “oogle” is someone who is doing it just plain wrong. Not a traveller. Not a punk. An oogle is an oogle. Nothing else. They fail at being good people. Nuff said.