Free Hugs = Free Bedbugs, Amazing Strangers indepth report

Free Hugs = Free Bedbugs
FREE HUGS Movement Introduces Bedbug epidemic to Upper East Side

City inspectors have recently traced a strain of Upper East Side bedbug larva to a rampant Lower East Side infestation that’s been plaguing residents there for years. Only recently has this particular breed made its way so far north at such an alarming speed and quantity. And who are the carriers of these troublesome critters? Experts point the finger squarely at the Free Hugs movement of Union Square South….

12 thoughts on “Free Hugs = Free Bedbugs, Amazing Strangers indepth report

  1. Lella

    how does bed hugs come off of people while in streets?!
    wouldn’t they be in beds first?!
    idk I would hug that guy and where the t-shirt the same day.
    word. ;]

  2. Mary

    I know the white kid thats in the video… hes fucking weird. I met him at taco bell and he kept trying to talk to me when I was eating my food and annoying the fuck outta me, one thing I’m glad to say is I didn’t hug him (because personally I don’t hug strangers and weird infatuated teenagers), he gave me his number and I never called him back, hes annoying.

  3. normalbob Post author

    I have to admit, I’ve become overly fascinated with him & Free Hugs. Mary, next time you’re at Union you need to come and discuss these things further with me. It’s really really important. There’s so much more to unearth, and I am anxious with a shovel.

  4. conifer tweed

    Dear Bob,
    I have never heard of the free hugs movement before today. I am not commenting on that however. What I would like to know is are you just pranking the free hugs people here? A prank is fine with me but what is disturbing is you are spreading misinformation about how bed bug infestations spread. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene gives information about recognizing and controlling infestations and how to limit the spread of bed bugs. Nowhere is there a discussion about human to human contact. It is not the primary way these, mostly nocturnal, creatures spread. It is not even a concern for the health officials. The quote that is given from a “Sueriele Abjabar” is complete bullshit. If you think about it Bob, if one could easily get bedbugs from hugging, then one could get bedbugs just from sitting in a place where a carrier sat. In light of that, you should definitely avoid hanging out in Union Square. If you want to be a prankster, if you want to “document” the weirdos in Union Square that’s OK with me. However, please do not start spreading misinformation that is going to end up exaggerating cultural biases. That is so negative and can lead to more antisocial, racist, or even violent behavior. I am beginning to suspect you are some sort of bigot.

    sincerely,
    Conifer Tweed

  5. conifer tweed

    Dear Bob,
    I have spent some time today researching the increasing infestation of bedbugs across the U.S.. This was something I was aware of but didn’t look into it because I live in a rural area where there are no reports of infestation. I have to say I feel sorry for you if you are still living in New York City. The situation has gotten much worse, in the nearly two years, since you posted this. Entomologists believe the infestation problem will become much worse still. If you think the, 2010 summer of bedbugs was bad, watch out for the coming crisis!
    The American experience with bedbugs since WWII has led people to associate infestations with the lower socioeconomic classes. The reasons for this had to do with density of living and frequency of travel rather than being poor and filthy. Infestations in New York City have already proven to be more egalitarian. However, as the crisis spreads, there will be a tendency to put blame on the poor and on immigrants. Pat Buchanan has already expressed this in his book “State of Emergency”. Your video posted here and the flier associated with it puts you in the same company as Pat Buchanan. Is that a position you are comfortable with?

    sincerely,
    Conifer Tweed

  6. The Praying Atheist

    Dear Conifer,

    Did you really derive all that from that ‘Free Hugs’ flyer alone?

    Wow,
    Sueriele Abjabar
    Chief of Headquarters for Body Lice and Bed Bug Operations of the Greater New York area, who urges you to read that flyer again.

  7. conifer tweed

    Dear Bob,
    Absolutely not, I have a background in Biology and I know how to do meaningful research. I rather enjoy your Jesus dress up, it’s pretty funny. Also, your video of Ramblin’ Bill and the gang of proselytizers is an amazing catch, my favorite video. I would suggest you leave the free hugs= bed bugs prank behind. That will become an albatross around your neck when the shit hits the fan as the bed bug crisis worsens.

    sincerely,
    Conifer Tweed

  8. conifer tweed

    Dear Bob,
    This being the internet, I can imagine you suspect I am a free-hugger in disguise. Let me dispel that belief with my impression of the free hugging movement which is mostly my preconceived notion of what they are and from the tiny window your videos and commentary have provided. Hugging strangers is not my cup of tea. It strikes me as a bit creepy. I can be objective enough to recognize my discomfort is a cultural bias. However, my recognition of this will not change my feelings nor tempt me to “liberate” myself by overcoming my queasiness concerning promiscuous hugging and dive, with open arms, into a hugging orgy. I am comfortable with my discomfort.
    I can imagine the free-huggers arguing that hugs allow you to overcome mental barriers as well as physical and forge a real and loving connection with your fellow man, or woman. It is as if they have glommed onto a single aspect of organized religion without having to submit to the other rules and dogma that generally go along with shared spiritual beliefs and practices. I can also imagine that, as in religion, there are always people who hypocritically game the system to indulge personal desires of sex, wealth, popularity, fame etc.
    So Bob, would this be the crux of your objection to them, that you see the free-huggers as just hypocrites getting a free feel under the guise of creating heartfelt human connection within a city of cynics? I, myself, believe that could be the case. I am also sure that there are those who have drunk the kool-aid and, wholeheartedly, feel and believe the hugs are to achieve a spiritual connection. The question here really is: what are the proportions? A similar question would be: is the Union Square face sitter really doing this for world peace? Kind of doubtful, but that has not turned into a movement. Or has it? An interesting parallel by the way were the Rajneeshees. One aspect of their religion (cult?) was encouraging a free, unencumbered, attitude towards sex. Before I am attacked, I realize this was not universally required or shared and was certainly not adopted by the one friend of mine who was a Rajneeshee. During the period when the Oregon commune was breaking up in the mid-1980′s, it happened that a fair number of the strippers and erotic dancers in S.F. were women who were formerly Rajneeshees. The motivation for them was they enjoyed the exhibitionist erotic expression more so than doing it because they had no other obvious way to make a buck.
    Now, I can claim to be a true atheist, in that, I was raised without any sort of religious influence. [BTW Bob, I could be Ramblin' Bill. Do you know why he calls you a fake atheist?] There was never an internal belief struggle and there is no resulting baggage. I don’t believe in God, but I don’t feel any resentment towards those that do. That doesn’t mean I don’t have any objections to the institutions of organized religion. I think it is my true, or primary, atheism that would allow me either to ignore the free-huggers or just engage them, non-physically, to satisfy my curiosity. Bob, you seem to have an active resentment towards them and that is what I don’t really understand. This is what I suspect, that your past makes you view them in the most cynical light and that even the wholesome kool-aid drinkers deserve disdain because they enable the predatory hypocrites and this is all done on your adopted doorstep. Anyway, Bob, you are much more the expert here in terms of understanding religion and your exposure to free-huggers. So, you tell me what is going on.
    What I would like to reiterate is that my objection to your free-hugs=bedbugs flier has very little to do with the free hugs movement. You were deliberately dispersing misinformation about the relative importance of public human to human contact in spreading the bug infestation and, in particular (from the video) emphasizing that the Union Square homeless, and generally all ‘neer-do-wells, were instrumental in spreading the infestation. That sort of misinformation is terribly unhelpful in controlling such parasites. The public has to know that it is really the living spaces, walls, rugs, mattresses, and sheets that have to be focused on for control and extermination. Clothing is secondary but should not be ignored, particularly when your house, apartment, or office space is being fumigated. It perpetuates the belief that it is the poor and by extension, new immigrants who are the source of the infestation. Historically, there was some truth to this but it had to do more with density of living and frequency of travel, or moving within a city than just being poor, and filthy. Because of this there is a stigma attached to being infested. This leads to secrecy concerning extermination attempts when what is needed is for a whole building to co-operate. Lastly, we don’t need further excuses to exacerbate xenophobia or class related discrimination. I can imagine if the bed bugs spread disease as well it could lead to attacks by vigilante mobs similar to what happened with the black plagues in the 14th and 17th centuries. This last bit is an exaggeration because the bed bug is not a vector for any human illness. My point is that as the crisis worsens the human tendency to strike out and blame others will rear its’ ugly head. Please don’t encourage that tendency.

    sincerely,
    Conifer Tweed

  9. Skunk E. Bud

    Of course you can get bed bugs (and lice) from hugging. Wealthy people drag them home with them after they stay at a hotel. You know these filthy huggers can carry them around on their clothes. I would rather use one of Wendell’s dresses as a sleeping bag than be a part of the free hug movement.

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