Bags: Embodied Metaphor for Categories

Posted on January 20, 2011 by


We don’t like shit that might appear to us “unwieldy” if were not specifically looking for it.  “Unwieldy” means messy.  “Messy” just means that we have no structure of concepts of how to understand how something or some things work.

To deal with the unwieldy and messy, “bags” function as nice neat containers to place, organize unwieldy and messy shit into some kind of organization.  The organization provides of the shit provides us a way to understand something.

What do bags do?  They function as “containers”.  Bags hold and carry stuff.  Stuff that we “pack” and “unpack.”

However, bags, as these visible outside containers, they can be seen as the cohesive whole that is the thing itself;  that is people forget to unpack what might be inside the bag.  They’ll just see the bag and say “oh that’s the worst fucking bag in the world,” paying little attention to what might be in the bag.

Dissing the “bag” and by implication, either intentionally or unintentionally, is what happens whenever I bring up the topic of race, ethnicity on the sports message board.  It’s a type of “judging a book by its cover.”  So, hypothetically the “bag” that I carry is associated with “racism”, but few look at the content inside.  They just love to attack the fucking bag.  My bag or simple insistence on racism, just elicits some kind of automatic response that completely misses my nuance.

The fact that written statements are really easy to compose by any individual person, group, entity, especially on a message board does injustice to the power of any statement, no matter how pregnant with meaning, how much value the bag holds.