Apparently a wave of bourgie bag mania has hit Britain.
Marked with the slogan “I’m not a plastic bag” – the bag (reusable cotton) is part of a campaign to make consumers more aware of the perils of plastic bags.
Quite whether the crowds who began gathering from 2am had the environment on their mind is open to question.
By the time the bags went on sale at 8am queues were snaking around buildings with thousands of women, and a few men, hoping to snap up a Hindmarch creation.
As tension grew, one woman was heard declaring, “You know I will fight for one of these bags don’t you?”
Its “It” bag credentials were secured when it was chosen as the goodie-bag for guests at the 2007 Vanity Fair Oscar night party.
I like the last line about the “It” bag credentials. When something is “It” the ‘it’ which is “It” is a ‘must have’ and capable of producing scenes such as mad rushes to purchase the “it” to occupy the position of the “It”. There are three things about this “It-ness” that I think are worth exploring:
1) The capacity of the ‘It’ to mobilise the biopower of particular populations to add to the “It-ness” value of the it in question. The ‘It’ taps into and also feeds particular collective phantasms and which is manifest as the biopolitical mobilisation of populations collectively reformating lives into a lifestyle. Lifestyle as a biopolitical project from the bottom up.
2) Part of this capacity relies on the media apparatus to valorise the Itness’ through the virtualisation of the It-event. The valorisation of “It’ is immanent to the mobilisation of populations and is in fact essential to its valorisation both in an experiential sense of being part of (and belonging to) the It-event and due to the capacity to mobilise populations that form distinct exploitable markets (from the perspective of the media apparatus and synergistic advertising and commercial interests).
3) The iterative displacement of different ‘Its’ in a serial manner that can be used to a) capture a particular population and mobilise their biopower, or b) capture different populations by moving across and connecting different series of media.
For example the bourgie bag in general taps into 1) phantasms of consumerism and the affective disposition of consumer-citizens, 2) phantasms of environmentalism and the affective disposition of eco-minded concern citizens, and in the case of the British bourgie bag 3) the phantasms of “It-ness” evidenced by the fashionability of the bag.
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