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May 22, 2009

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Papa's Got A Brand New Bag

File under: “Why didn’t you just Twitter this, again?” I’ve been shopping for a laptop bag as we speak, so I am 100% primed for this, but I still love Lifehacker’s “What’s In Our Bags” series. Gina Trapani just posted her bag + contents, shouting-out a bagufacturer I’d never heard of, and an awesome idea I’d never thought of — headphone splitters so two people can watch a movie on a plane or train!

Me, I keep insane junk in my bag — whatever the Bookstore was selling the day my old whatever the Bookstore was selling up and quit on me — for way too long — receipts and airplane stubs, books and student papers (oops), pens in zippered components that don’t even work (the pens, not the zippers). The only constant companion is laptop plus plug. Even then, sometimes I discover (as I did on a trip to central NY for a job talk) that there’s a scone from Au Bon Pain where my plug should be.

But I wish, nay long for, a genuine system! And the Lifehacker folks actually seem to have one!

It’s also positive proof that the dematerialization thesis (you know, the idea that objects themselves don’t matter, everything is up in the cloud, etc.) is bunk at worst, needs to be qualified at best. We just pretend that matter doesn’t matter, until you can’t get your Prezi on the screen ‘cause you forgot your DVI-VGA thingy, if you ever even took it out of the box in the first place.

Here are people living the life digitale to the fullest, and what do they do? Schlep their stuff around in a bag, just like us jerks. And when they have a good idea, do they whip out their magic pen-with-a-microphone for instant digitalization? Only if they’re jotting it down on a 99-cent spiral notebook. All this is very reassuring to me.

Posted May 22, 2009 at 9:41 | Comments (5) | Permasnark
File under: Design, Object Culture, Recommended, Self-Disclosure


"Even then, sometimes I discover (as I did on a trip to central NY for a job talk) that there's a scone from Au Bon Pain where my plug should be."

Ah hahahahahaha. This is a scene from some sort of Web 2.0 Woody Allen movie:

TIM rifles through his bag. He pulls out... a half-eaten scone. You see a question flicker across his face -- his lips even part slightly: Take a bite? No. He tosses it out the window of the moving train and dives back into his bag.

Got JUST the bag for a man of your discerning tastes, Tim

And it's only $550.00

Sorry, Howard -- that's WAY too much of a "simulacrum premium" for me, even for a bag designed by the guy who wrote Neuromancer. (Yes, kids, William Gibson apparently now makes bags.) Also, the interior sleeve only holds a 13" laptop, and I'm rocking the preunibody MacBook Pro.

I should have actually given you advice instead of chuckling at your post. I've been rocking a Timbuktu bag for a couple of years and I love it.

Looks cool, but definitely not trendy -- I think it will stand the test of time. (Mine's basic black, so maybe that helps.)

The pockets are actually useful, not gratuitous. In particular, there are lots of pockets that are open to the outside -- including two "scrunch pockets" with elastic around the openings that are perfect for keys, phone, wallet -- anything you need to have ready access to, but also want to feel secure about.

Plenty of room for your laptop AND your Barthes AND your scone.

Robin, the scone scene was almost exactly as you describe -- except:

  1. the scone was fully uneaten, I had stuffed it in my bag the day before, when I hadn't had my laptop in the bag, to eat on the run, and forgotten it;

  2. I went ahead and ate it, and it was delicious;

  3. I had already arrived at my destination, and needed my lappy to add movie frames to my slide presentation (which I did in Keynote, not Prezi). A student worker at the library took mercy on me and let me use her plug;

  4. I finished adding the movies, and of course the PC they had for me to give the presentation wouldn't show the movies in PowerPoint. I opened them up manually;

  5. I still didn't get the job, probably because they fell for some kinda futurist new media jive.

  6. And that's all I have to say about THAT.

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