View Post

Capitalism of Homelessness

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Lucas Acosta1 Comment

The title “Waiting for Nothing,” describes how the homeless live day to day without a means to correct their situation. I thought it was interesting how the ideals reflected in a stiff’s actions were more akin to pure capitalism while ultimately only a redistribution of wealth would solve their problems. The lowest caste operates with a laissez-faire style because a …

View Post

The Life of a “Stiff”

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by AroushiLeave a Comment

“Waiting for Nothing”, By Thomas Kromer is a powerful chronicle of the darkest, most unsettling events surrounding The Great Depression. Kromer’s novella has stood the test of time and appears to be the most honest and raw account of the aggression and violence that was characteristic of this time in American history. Kromer recounts the life of a young man …

View Post

Tom Kromer – A Faceless Symptom of The Depression

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Spencer Carle1 Comment

In the various readings either by or about Tom Kromer, we see a very interesting and sad transformation from individual naïve college student, to a devastated face in the crowd; merely symptoms of the Great Depression. During his days at Marshall College in 1929 he wrote the piece titled “Pity the Poor Panhandler; $2 an hour is all he gets.” …

View Post

Queered Capitalist Relations, Commodity Performativity, Feelings

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit, News by Andrew Karpan1 Comment

Early in Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing, Tom encounters a crossdresser and spends the night with her in exchange for a roof over his head. This is an explicitly capitalist transactions; when she approaches, Tom remarks that they are immediately “playing a game, “(43) he repeatedly refers to Mrs. Carter as a “mealticket.” Yet while an ostensibly queer interaction, he …

View Post

Waiting for Nothing — What Does It Take to Become Hopeless

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Jessie Cao1 Comment

Reading Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing reminds me of Art Spiegelman’s book Maus, A Survivor’s Tale.  It’s a Holocaust survivor story, told in black and white comic cartoon. By picturing the Nazis as cats, and the Jews as mice, Spiegelman shows the inhuman and the unimaginably brutal effects of Holocaust suffered by the Jews, and Spiegelman himself in particular. Both …

View Post

Form and Void

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Ruben ZaccaroniLeave a Comment

Waiting for Nothing doesn’t present a classical narrative structure or a classical main character. This is because it becomes quickly clear that what is being presented is not a classical story. It reminds me almost more of an art installation composed of different parts with recurring themes always shot from the same perspective. The only main difference is that in …

View Post

Nothing Lasts Forever

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Jack1 Comment

Waiting for Nothing is characteristic of the Great Depression, but it’s message of Americans waiting for a false hope might be the dark underside of the American experience.  One of the enduring attitudes towards homelessness Kromer shows is the perception that homeless people are lazy.  The “get a job and go to work.” remark from the man courting the prostitute …

View Post

A Broken System

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Nicole1 Comment

I found Waiting for Nothing to be an incredibly powerful work. While at times I found myself horrified at the lack of empathy and mercy portrayed by those in power, these instances were juxtaposed with moments of kindness and selflessness shown by other characters. It seemed that the more powerful a person was, the less sympathy they had for the stiffs. …

View Post

The American Dream: Delusions of Grandeur

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Alessandro Harabin1 Comment

Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing provided a harsh but true description of what being homeless in America during the Depression was like. Although Kromer deals with emotionally heavy themes such as suicide, prostitution and homelessness, one of the most poignant morals his autobiography provides, is that of pursuing delusion instead of dreams. Not every American dream can be achieved, this …

View Post

The Poor Man’s Ego

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Net SupatravanijLeave a Comment

Unlike the other writers that we have read, there was something extremely poignant about the lack of pretense with which Kromer tells his story. The blunt tone that maintains throughout the novel evoked particularly strong emotions, especially when describing certain situations that we take for granted. From the beginning, we see an insight into how those ‘on the bum’ live. …

View Post

Down, Over, and Out

In 3. Waiting for Nothing, The Travel Habit by Laura Casado1 Comment

Tom Kromer’s Waiting for Nothing is a monumental work that not only describes the harshness of day to day life for “stiffs” during the Great Depression, but further captures incredible authenticity and heartwarming glimpses of human kindness that prevail even through the worst of times. The novel, which is essentially autobiographical, is written discontinuously in episodic bursts that focus on …