Baggage

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Baggage

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 26th 2002, 3:13 pm

We touched on Hallie's big bag as a symbol of her emotional baggage, but what about everyone else's bags?

In the Pilot, Angela has a colorful purple and green backpack (which is similar in style to Sharon's), but in Guns & Gossip she has a red Jansport backpack. Is this related to her hair color? Her break from Sharon? Joining the ranks of every other high school student in America? It seems strange to me that she started using a new backpack because I know in my house, IF a new backpack was going to be purchased for the school year, that happened before the semester started.

Rayanne has a huge shoulder bag similar to Hallie's - foreshadowing? Showing a connection between their emotional neediness and their self-esteem issues?

Brian uses a messenger bag (before it was ultra cool too!) and he later becomes Jordan's Cyrano de Bergerac (am I stretching too much here?). "Don't shoot the messenger"?

We never see Jordan with a backpack - he usually comes in without books, paper, or even a pen. Besides the obvious - that school doesn't seem to be a priority - what else does this mean? His reluctance to commit to anything? His lack of material belongings aside from his car? Is this similar to Allison's statement in the Breakfast Club: "You never know when you may have to jet"?

Any thoughts?

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Post by SanDeE* » Nov 26th 2002, 4:13 pm

This topic totally reminds of that scene in The Breakfast Club. I agree with everything you said candygirl. The bigger the bag the more "baggage" both material and emotional. I always thought that people with big bags wanted you to be curious about what's in it, in essence curious about them. If a girl has a little purse, you can probably name the contents of it on one hand: lipgloss, keys, wallet. But with a huge bag, ANYTHING could be in there. There is so much to them they need to put some of it in a bag.

And NO! I don't think you were stretching the Cyrano reference. That episode is definately Brian being Cyrano for Jordan. Remember the movie "Roxanne" with Steve Martin? "Because I was afraid of worms, Roxanne, worms." HA! :D

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 26th 2002, 4:21 pm

The other thing I thought about in terms of big bag vs. small bag is security.

When people have a lot of stuff in their bags, it's a lot of junk that they crammed in there (flyers, samples, etc) but it's stuff that they won't throw away. Why? Sometimes because there is a meaning or significance to it, and sometimes because it's "just in case." I always think of a mom with a gigantic diaper bag with extra diapers, extra clothes, extra snacks, extra toys, etc. JUST IN CASE of every possible scenario (what if the weather changes, what if the baby makes a mess, what if the baby cries, what if the baby doesn't like that toy, etc.). With Rayanne's big bag, this goes well beyond the scout motto "be prepared." In addition, pack rats often hold on to material "souvenirs" because they don't possess the intangible feeling of security, acceptance, self-esteem, love, etc.

People with tiny bags, on the other hand, have a no-nonsense attitude that they don't need one of everything for every possible situation. They figure they have the bare essentials and they will make do. A person who has a teeny purse isn't concerned with carrying an umbrella if it rains or a bandaid in case they cut themselves, etc. I can't prove this, but I think it's related to a feeling of security which is related to self-esteem.

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Post by K-man » Nov 26th 2002, 4:38 pm

I like that Roxanne movie. Very funny as I remember. :)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 26th 2002, 4:56 pm

Steve Martin is awesome!

And he is starring in "Shopgirl" with Claire Danes - the circle of life.

:D

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Post by SanDeE* » Nov 26th 2002, 6:50 pm

I really hope "shopgirl" turns out to be a good movie. I love Steve Martin's movies, but a lot of times they just bomb. Sometimes when he wrote the script and produced. I don't know exactly.

What kind of bag does Patty carry?

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Post by november » Nov 26th 2002, 7:19 pm

i personally think it's all crap. i have small bags, like ultra tiny, to large oversize bags. i have an addiction to buying them, i like how they look. they have nothing to do with my 'baggage' if i need to carry something large large like a notebook, then i'll carry a larger bag, but if i'm going out for the night, i'll opt for the smaller bag so it doesn't get in the way.
i can see how in the show it works as symbolizm, but not in everyday life.

A person who has a teeny purse isn't concerned with carrying an umbrella if it rains or a bandaid in case they cut themselves
you'd be surprised how much one could actually fit into a teeny purse.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Nov 26th 2002, 7:31 pm

november wrote:i personally think it's all crap. i have small bags, like ultra tiny, to large oversize bags. i have an addiction to buying them, i like how they look. they have nothing to do with my 'baggage' if i need to carry something large large like a notebook, then i'll carry a larger bag, but if i'm going out for the night, i'll opt for the smaller bag so it doesn't get in the way.
If you're talking about a bag as an accessory than it doesn't have as much impact, but in terms of the show we're talking about bags that they carry every single day (aside from Angela's switch from the purple and green Sharon-styled backpack to the red, everyone has the same backpack or bag). I guess the presumed content is what we're talking about, as in are they carrying around a lot of crap all the time?

I guess Brian's flat messenger bag could indicate that he squashes his feelings. Or that it holds a lot more than you would expect. :D

I also have a lot of bags, but when I was in school I used the same backpack every day to carry my books and binders, and when I went out on the weekends, I had smaller bags or purses for different situations (tiny purse for going out, larger purse if the camera was coming along, etc).

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Post by november » Nov 26th 2002, 8:14 pm

i was responding to kristin.

I always thought that people with big bags wanted you to be curious about what's in it, in essence curious about them. If a girl has a little purse, you can probably name the contents of it on one hand: lipgloss, keys, wallet. But with a huge bag, ANYTHING could be in there. There is so much to them they need to put some of it in a bag.

i said...
i can see how in the show it works as symbolizm, but not in everyday life.


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Post by sid_barrett » Nov 26th 2002, 9:07 pm

interesting subject there candygirl. the only time i ever thought about this was when Angella switched backpacks. ill be the first too admit that i went out and bought a green one just like hers :lol:
"...and I said ' oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, what a feeling'"

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jan 13th 2003, 4:55 am

I stand corrected - in the Pilot, Brian has a black backpack (you can see it in the cafeteria scene) and, inexplicably, a thin black strap going diagonally across his chest - for his camera maybe? I guess he switched to the Puck-ish messenger bag in a subsequent episode. Maybe he and Angela went to Target together :D
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