Splinter Asks: What's a Bag?

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Outgoing Gov. Scott Walker is on his way to go deer hunting and posted a photo Friday afternoon of his hunting gear.


As you can see, the photo doesn’t look like much, which led to a lively debate among the Splinter staff about what, exactly, he was trying to show. I think I have some answers. In the top left is a jacket. In the bottom left is an athletic duffel bag. On the right hand side is rifle bag or case. The orange and camo thing may be another bag or it may be part of the jacket, I can’t be sure.

But I was surprised to find that my answers only led to more questions.

“How do you know so much about bags that carry guns,” my editor Jack Mirkinson asked, which is a fair question because I am relatively new here.

Other staffers had their say about my knowledge of “bags.”

“Crosbie knows his bags. Bag man,” Splinter Editor in Chief Aleks Chan wrote. “The bag knower,” he concluded.


“CNN analyst voice: ‘here are the bags,’” reporter Rafi Schwartz wrote in Slack.

I decided to lean in, declaring myself a bag expert. I was asked what my favorite bag is. It is a canvas duffel, I said, because I believe wheeled suitcases are like umbrellas: used by the weak.


This raised even more questions. What constitutes a bag? More specifically: Is a suitcase a bag?

I say it is, unless it’s a case. My criteria for defining a “bag”: It’s made of a flexible or pliable material, and it carries things. A suitcase that is made primarily of cloth or fabric is a bag. A hard-shelled suitcase that has a rigid exterior is not a bag, it is a case, like a hard-shelled Pelican case. A bag may have an internal rigid frame (like a cloth wheeled suitcase with a frame or a backpacker’s pack that has an internal frame to distribute weight), but must be primarily composed of flexible cloth material.


Still other staffers disagreed.

“Not sure I’d count a wheeled suitcase as a bag,” Rafi said.

“If u think about it, our bodies are just bags,” managing editor Katherine Krueger put forth. “Skin bags.”


By my definition, she’s not wrong! What do you think? Sound off in the comments about this issue of critical importance.

Contributing Writer, Splinter