Defined By a Backpack

Jansport Backpack

In the regional news last week we learned about an entire class of grade 10 boys at Cornwall college in Jamaica who were arrested over a missing school bag.  The drastic action by the police can be debated from several angles, the one which pricked BU’s interest is the value which students today place in brand – in this case – a brand name bag.

Just a week earlier Barbadians read a media report which detailed that brand name backpacks for school are being sold for as much as $350. Further investigation by BU turned up that one of the more popular and expensive backpacks is the  JANSPORT brand. The bag is retailing in Barbados for more than $200.00. An online search suggests that the same bag retails in the USA in the price range of BBD50.00 to BBD75.

It is a dark place we find ourselves. Our societal values have plummeted to a level where parents succumb to the wishes of their preteen children to outfit them with backpacks of such great value. What can we do if our parents have relinquished their responsibility? The chickens are coming home to roost.

0 thoughts on “Defined By a Backpack


  1. Kids who are able to purchase $350 back packs are most often rich kids, some receiving as much as $300 allowance money weekly.That is one side of the coin….the media knows their game well…definitely less than 5% of the students population….How about the FLIP SIDE….I remember interviews of many parents informing how they were unable to buy all the school text books with greater frequency. Some even came on VOB with their plight….with help to buy books being offered by good Samaritans. Lets now fool anybody…..the middle class smelling real hell right now…far less below.No sensible parent will buy a book bag for their child and then cannot eat. Bajans are not yet that stupid for the ‘ova n aways’ folk….


  2. Some will try all kinds of…to say we living in ‘a land flowing with milk and honey’…..others know different.,,more like a boiling cauldron.


    • @Onions

      You can’t spin this at all. What about the Blackberry? Is it only the 5% middleclass buying these $1000 devices?


  3. Basic blackberries now retail for $300….so what ?..have not heard of Christmas Gifts, BEFORE the last Budget?…lol


  4. I agree with you David.

    It is very sad that people of the working class are trapped on this never ending treadmill of buying brand names for their children. And the saddest part is that for the most part, the kids who demand these expensive bags from their parents are the duncy ones, children who dont care about learning and only go to school to give the teachers trouble. These same parents would not attend a PTA meeting of a form level meeting!

    Sad that these same parents would complain about buying school things for their children. I blame parents who claim they want to give their children what they never had whilst growing up, that’s stupid.

    I never bought my children anything brand name, we let them know there are also good things that are not brand name. It stood them in good stead and today they appreciate the values we taught them and they now spend their monies wisely!

    Parents need to grow up and be parents and stop letting the children rule them! If a child is never given brand name, he/she would not want it!


  5. Onions

    Would you stop commenting on things you know nothing of?

    Ask any teacher in the Secondary schools and they will tell you that working class children have the most brand items in a class.
    The brands in Bags are Northface and Hurley all selling for $+300. Jan sports is a cheaper brand but too expensive still.

    The shoes are also brand.

    What teachers are finding is that some of the bags do not contain any books because most of the children with brand bags are not the ones learning anything.


  6. Then there are the many many phones that are purchased OVERSEAS, and brought back by kids on vacation to overseas relatives……MANY KIDS come by way of top of the line phones this way…..Blackberries are relics nowadays up there …get wid it ….IPhones are the latest fad.


  7. “Onions

    Would you stop commenting on things you know nothing of?”

    Clone that is the best advice anyone can give Ole Onions! BUT it will fall off a duck’s back like water. Onions and AC are like two peas in a pod. They will comment about anything and everything yet know nothing about what they speak of.


  8. I agree with the two Davids that it is the working class that are buying these brand names in order to show that they have “arrived”. My daughter never got brand names from me when she was at school. I told her that she could buy them when she is earning her own money.


  9. David when someone has a Skybox they have to pay air freight and duties sometimes it is not worth it, unless you have a friend at customs.


  10. Onions and AC are like two peas in a pod. They will comment about anything and everything yet know nothing about what they speak of.

    island gal. i green pea! oniond DRY PEA.


  11. You guys act as if you don’t buy clothing and goods on visits overseas….tag team or not Onions standing FIRM…cuz I GOT TWO THAT WAY FOR MY GRAN KIDS (HURLEY and some other brand name) this summer too ..cost $50 US for both SO WHAT? again it is what it is………lol


  12. @David
    materialism and image over substance and content.
    This is the society we have. Ad to that mix, parents being “ruled” by their children, coupled with misplaced priorities and we have the foundation that educators today have to work with.

    Onions is behaving more like a dried garlic. Tis better to let wind pipes try to blow themselves in a sealed still room than to engage him on this topic.

    Mind you, I have no problem with a child being “outfitted” provided that at the very least they value their education, try to do some work, and achieve some success somewhere somehow in some area. For most students the upward path stops at teh attainment of the brand.

    Just Observing.


  13. You guys should know better than TRY TO PIN Onions with a puny tag team with the like of Islgal Clone ac and Aarson……Onions is an ardent WWA fan….Shame on you David…..look all dem now in a CHOKE HOLD or Kurt Angle suplex……Lickin wounds all….whalosss


  14. Some act as if they did not have an afro and platform shoes when they were in style…..hypocrites all ….I remember buying a Jeans for $60…saved like hell 6 months

    Kids nowadays are most cruel…send your kid to a pool of pharanas to be unnecessarily burlesqued….get real do ( wanna talkers)…why if i can help mine…… I CERTAINLY WILL….. OLE GARLIC OR NAY…..UY who think different..Like hell


  15. Onions I don’t need a tag team to tackle a fraud like you. Remember you tried tackling me before? Remember you got your Onions crushed? Like you have forgotten!


  16. In order to be somebody in this society, you must have certain material things. I f you dont you are nobody. This idea is one of the ellite class. It is them who are responsible for the nonsense. The Gucci this , the Land that , the Ballys, the mercedes, designer this and designer that. the looking down your nose at those who do not have, the ridicule , the teasing, the scorn, the discrimination, the class distiction. To be somebody, I must have a Bag for X amount because I want to be like them and possession of such makes me somebody.

    DO you think it now started ????

    JUST ASKING !!!


  17. @ David”backpacks for school are being sold for as much as $350. …. An online search suggests that the same bag retails in the USA in the price range of BBD50.00 to BBD75…It is a dark place we find ourselves. Our societal values have plummeted to a level where parents succumb to the wishes of their preteen children to outfit then with backpacks of such great value”

    You got it wrong David. Our societal values have not plummetted. Bajan merchants those descendants of the slave traders have ALWAYS jucked out our eyes. The merchants who sell a $50 bag for $350 are the one without values.

    Don’ t blame silly little children.

    But the blame exactly where it belongs. On the get rich quick, and get rich for everlasting merchant class.

    Being a silly child is one thing.

    Being a greedy merchant is another.

    And don’t for that the government is also complicit in jucking out the eyes of little children, because the government collects a bid heap of taxes on such things as little children’s school bags.

    As long as the governments collect taxes and money to run their election campaigns we won’t hear them say a single bad word about the merchants.


  18. David some people buy back packs, some regularly take their wives and children for skiing vacations in Switzerland.

    Same ting.

    Same conspictous consumption.

    I wonder if we are earning the foreign exchange to support these bling life styles.


  19. “societies values” plummeted when the family structure was destroyed and parenting became a part time job and single parent became a norm. the fact that parents are buyimg children expensive gadgets is a reflection of what society measured as important and for one to be accepted not much different in adults who buys an expensive car not knowing where the next payment is coming from or whether there is enough food in the pantry to feed the young ones


  20. How sanctimonious we have become….my wife brought in Gucci bag ,Land purse and i got Ralph Laureen and Polo cologne DIRT CHEAP via her sisters visit to Miami…….who some in here think they fooling…..WE GROWNUPS DO THE SAME THING…..oh boo ho.


  21. @ David
    MY POINT IS…..
    Wanna cud really ease up on the poor kids doa…them duz take the blame for everything as soon as we grownup get nuff DLP TAXES and overly stressed…..Is the school children this and the school children DAT…They joy riding on the bus …..(when the real prob. is buses running empty more often than full)…but mek the school children pay…..Is the school children wid the expensive BAGS that causing FOREX over spend (oh please)..CHK the parent BIG SCREEN TV……LIKE WE WERE NEVER YOUNG ONCE and bought $100 platform shoes…..and bell bottom pants and BIG AFRO like Dennis Johnson and 33 records of Grand Funk and Dennis Coffee….whaloss


    • @Onions

      You are on the right track, make a stance against gambling but allow our children to continue down the path of consumption behaviour; following their parents. We do nothing. You have the last word, like Clone your arguments are tiring.


  22. There you go…….Ok Davie reprimand the kids, but do nothing about the parents ( Gucci bag ,Land purse, BIg Screen TV even gambling)..how ONE SIDED can we get? More like bully beat up on who ee can…..Taxes giving us licks…kick the dog…he won’t bite you


    • @Onions, we are not reprimanding anyone, we are exposing a value system in Barbados which is driven by the urge to own ‘things’ or consumption (see your argument in this discussion). We no longer associate with causes and behaviours influenced by a philosophy of feeding the body and the spirit.Let the chips fall wherever.


  23. “my wife brought in Gucci bag ,Land purse and i got Ralph Laureen and Polo cologne DIRT CHEAP via her sisters visit to Miami…….who some in here think they fooling…..WE GROWNUPS DO THE SAME THING…..oh boo ho.”

    Onions yuh wife bought knock offs and NOT THE REAL THING! Keep in mind that MIami is the capital for knock offs. Keep bathing yourself in cheap POLO knock offs. Stop bragging that your wife got ripped off!


  24. @ Simple Simon | September 29, 2012 at 3:01 AM |
    ‘David some people buy back packs, some regularly take their wives and children for skiing vacations in Switzerland.”

    I want to express my agreement with you, Simon.
    I think David is being bit hard on the working class in this case.

    Parents live their lives through their kids. Hence the mad scramble to get their brats into the so-called good schools. According to the government and the Minister all schools are equal and properly resourced.
    The working class show their social worth through simple things like phones, clothing and accessories. The middle class show theirs through social climbing to get into “elite” schools and give their kids cars and SUVs to drive to school with annual vacations overseas and promises of an overseas university education. All these conspicuous consumption habits are financed by forex not earned by that middle class.
    The working class have more right to buy Chinese made knock off inferior ‘bling-bling’ as social identifiers since they are the ones who work in the hotel sector, do the dirty jobs and produce the little goods we export. The same cannot be said of that parasitic pseudo middle class especially those in the public sector and the exploitative professions like Law.


    • The following was extracted from Mikey’s FB page:

      Mike Hulsmeier

      I read a very interesting story in the Nation today. National Organization Of Women president Marilyn Rice-Bowen upset about a commercial running on HOTT 95.3 FM for a CAMEL TOE FETE…(yeh a fete encouraging women to come wid duh pokey print out)…this is a beautiful example of what happens when FUCKERY becomes the mainstream….of course Veoma Ali rushes and pulls the ad after the fact….Veoma while you’re at it you and Vic and Ronnie should link with the other radio houses and keep cleaning…..you would be surprised at the amount of SHIT you gotta clean up before you can begin to stem this new CULTURE that y’all have fueled in this town. Well done.Don’t gain the world and lose your soul – Bob Marley.


  25. Now since we got the audience…let us deal with the BIG RIDES and SUVs…yeah David BMW’s …..and Lexus….PARENTS YOU SET A FINE EXAMPLE……but NO..is aLL ABout a little DOGGIE BAG……get real fast do!


  26. Wanna wants to see CROWD….Looka….MONEY MUST FLOW…ent mek to confuse the kids for how they waana spend it…LOOKA spend $250 Us tickets….bajans in dey too


  27. @David
    Didn’t you raise some righteous indignation at some lyrics in a song by Nicki Manaj which was broadcast recently? Any radio station which would broadcast an ad featuring a ‘Camel Toe Fete” night should have its license reviewed.

    After living in this country these many years the last thing I could be accused of is being a prude but don’t Bajans have any standards of decorum? of decency? I would like to hear the station’s management explain how this got on the air. Wuhloss talk about going to hell in a handbasket.

    Just when you thought you heard everything.


  28. We need to keep in mind that there are many children who have relatives over and away that shower them with the latest, regardless of item so that they (the children) are a part of a fad, the fashion statement when it hits Bim.

    When I attended school in the ’50’s and 60’s I remember a relative sending items for me that were not available in Bim at the time. Yes, my parents allowed me to both take and wear to school those items BUT when the ones I used were worn and could not be salvage. My parents never made me feel that I was a show and tell and that I or they (my family) were better than other families. To be quite honest I can’t remember ever hearing any of my relatives commenting on the price or maker of an item.

    To me it was a privilege to have certain things back then; it was not a right like some adults and children of today seem to think, especially when they are showered with the latest, even if not expensive. Another thing, there are not too many parents today that allow their children to wear an outfit that can no longer fit one of the siblings. Those days, good or bad are gone forever. I’m telling you times have definitely change and are a changing
    Merchants know that they are people who live above their means and so they (merchants) take advantage of the situation whenever they could in charging astronomical prices for an item that wouldn’t last as long as a snowball in hell on a hot summer day.
    Unfortunately some children hear their parents and relatives boasting about brand name products and so, the children look forward to the item. When they (the children) don’t get it, there is a shift in attitude which some parents are unable to control because they (the parents) didn’t think about the day she or he was not in a position to keep up with the Smith’s.


  29. @Onions
    How sanctimonious we have become….my wife brought in Gucci bag ,Land purse and i got Ralph Laureen and Polo cologne DIRT CHEAP via her sisters visit to Miami
    *********
    You got a wife? With all that time blogging I was sure any wife had long decamped for greener pastures. That is just supposed to be literary license to support your argument and let people think you have a “wife”.
    Good try though we all know you are a “‘batchie”


  30. @ David | September 29, 2012 at 9:10 AM |

    Where can the miller find this ‘camel toe fete’ ad so he can find out the time and venue?

    Worth more than buying an expensive backpack for a brat nor interested in school or learning!

    I will bring along onions just to see if the dead can be raised (LOL!!!)


  31. @ Sarge
    You got a wife? With all that time blogging I was sure any wife had long decamped for greener pastures. That is just supposed to be literary license to support your argument and let people think you have a “wife”.
    ************************
    You think I am a loser like you nah…..Onions still got the fire in the hearth Ole man.. I m Mr. Romantic


  32. @ Miller
    Boy you may find yourself in the bleachers with the like of Sarge …..They did not .aka me Hot Sauce for nuttin…LOL…and Sarge aka Cold Dog because he fat and big bellied…..How bout you Miller what you packing ?


  33. @ old onion bags | September 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM |

    The miller packing a 12 gauge shotgun even if half-loaded.
    Ask BAF. he knows the miller credentials.

    Don’t mind Sarge. He already crossed over to the other side and not even Viagra can return him to the land of the erect living.
    I was just looking for company. After all, two half-dead men don’t make one whole dead man even if only 12″+6″ = 18″ instead of 24″.


  34. I do not know what a Camel Toe Fete is
    So it is possible that those in charge of Radio did not know either.
    Dennis Johnson –put your hands in the air
    Some serious shit happening bout the place.
    Was always kinda funny in Barbados because of the nature of the society


  35. @David
    Well Veoma should know what camel toe is all about

    If your identity becomes public don’t buy any green bananas they won’t have a chance of ripening, that is really hitting below the belt. I could think of a few people who will be looking for you, Hants & I are available as body guards we have “Canadian experience”

    Wuh en catch yuh en pass yuh, nex ting “skin out” fetes will be advertised on de air.


  36. @Onions:
    I worked [say again] worked at a Record Sop from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. after school to help pay for my tuition. [Classes ended at 1:30 for me] So I was able to buy [at discounted prices] my Grand Funk and Dennis Coffee. LOL.

    @Sgt. Pepper:
    Not in charge of radio …. or anything else for that matter [except myself]


  37. There is no bigger glutton for punishment than the Onions.I will bet my last dollar that he is married to a dominatrix.How long ago was it that islandgal 246 cut your ass worse than hammie la cut braddie’s?Better yet like a red headed step child,or even better like a rented mule.Ah think dat one suite you de best.


  38. @ Hammie t
    Boy where you learn such BIG WORDS from?….Who help you find that one in the dictionary?Imagine a coelenterate like you that now barely able to walk bout calling out derogatory doggie dumplin…..you guh long


  39. LOL @ Old Onions
    Man you like a centipede. Everybody only saying ” kill he kill he” when they see you 🙂
    Bushie dun with that though. Turning over a new leaf and being nice to old onions.
    Have a nice evening OO.


  40. Like throwing water in the sea Bushman….. Alike Wickham…they are going to HATE him EVEN MORE affa tomorrow…. duz call we PROPHETS OF DOOM..instead of digging out the wax and listen..

    ..Besides I dun know somebody piles duz ‘act up’ when polls hard to fathom….Old fool


  41. why?because they are watching American TV where they never get to be.
    and they are looking for status as you adults in barbados look for status in what car you drive.
    you have taught your own children to be consumers of the 5 % that tell us what o drink, eat wear .you are all robotic consumers just the way the 5%set it up to work.brilliant.i i jump of a cliff will you jump too?you first.!lol


  42. All bets on for a moderate swing between 5 – 7%…that would push the whole wash pan…..juckin board as well down to Sailor’s Gully….Get your Nations tomorrow….it will not disappoint some….


  43. Need to go back in bridgetown and check your prices again jansport bags are not selling at that price as noted in your piece but Northface and Fox Quiksilver at $370 and lower jansports were selling at $65 dollars.


    • @Crazy

      Maybe it depends one where you shop? Hard to see a bag which retails in the USA for USD30.00 selling for BBD65.00. However we note that there are different styles which may account for the variance you mention.


  44. @ David
    She is correct. The Jansport is but an imitation …I also wanted to know where your price came from…best thing is to recheck


  45. old onion bags | September 30, 2012 at 10:41 AM |
    @ David
    She is correct. The Jansport is but an imitation …I also wanted to know where your price came from…best thing is to recheck
    …………………………………………………………………………………..
    Its not really about quality, but how much that we are able to brag that we paid for it.


  46. Seven months is a very long time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,So much can change,positive,,so much can dull present neuro receptors,,,,,like water dripping on an otherwise impenetratable stone and eroding it slowly,,,,,The DLP must stay their course and repetively through positive in your face ads declare that their presence is NOW and Tomorrow.


  47. @Boy Blue | September 30, 2012 at 4:13 PM |

    “Its not really about quality, but how much that we are able to brag that we paid for it.”

    it is usually the poor who brag about how much they paid for something and how expensive it was, while the rich usually brag about how much money they saved in getting something cheaper but with quality. i fail to understand why the poor love to put their money into a businessman’s pocket instead of a bank. i marvel every Christmas when i look around my neighbourhood and rarely see Christmas lights (i live in what is considered a white area of Barbados) then i pass thru a poor area and u know what? almost every house is laden with Christmasx tree lights. i could on and talk about the curtains that are hardly changed in my area in comparison to those in poor areas


  48. i marvel every Christmas when i look around my neighbourhood and rarely see Christmas lights
    ************************
    Oh shoite !


  49. @ Pinkie | October 1, 2012 at 8:22 AM |
    ‘..i marvel every Christmas when i look around my neighbourhood and rarely see Christmas lights (i live in what is considered a white area of Barbados) then i pass thru a poor area and u know what? almost every house is laden with Christmasx tree lights.”

    There are no real native white people in Barbados. They are all tarred with the same brush and can only pretend to pass for “white” in apartheid Barbados. Let them go to England or Europe and see how they would be treated; as “Coloured” like you Pinkie.

    The reason you don’t see Xmas lights in your neigbourhood because these so-called pretend white people don’t believe in the crap about white baby Jesus and the whole big lie called Xmas.

    Whereas poor stupid black people have been fed a big lie to programme them into parting with their hard earned money at the altar of materialism called Father Xmas with the holy family and the three wise men laden with presents.


  50. millertheanunnaki | October 1, 2012 at 9:23 AM |

    “There are no real native white people in Barbados. They are all tarred with the same brush and can only pretend to pass for “white” in apartheid Barbados. Let them go to England or Europe and see how they would be treated; as “Coloured” like you Pinkie….”

    do not be bitter if they are white…the majority are NOT bajan whites but ‘foreigner’ white…got that?

    “The reason you don’t see Xmas lights in your neigbourhood because these so-called pretend white people don’t believe in the crap about white baby Jesus and the whole big lie called Xmas.”

    i disagree, these same neighbours attend church, they just do not spend their money on such things as Christmas lighting on the outside of their homes. i will not say much here but that there is a poor Barbados, the Heights and Terraces Barbados, the Middle class, the rich white Barbados, etcBarbados


  51. @ Pinkie | October 1, 2012 at 1:33 PM |
    “do not be bitter if they are white…the majority are NOT bajan whites but ‘foreigner’ white…got that?”

    Me bitter if they are white? Listen Pinkie, I worked and lived among real (foreigner) white people a large part of my life. I just see them as just people who should be treated with respect as long as it’s reciprocal.
    I have even been intimately close to some if you know what I mean.
    To use a cliché, ‘some of my best friends are foreigner whites’.
    Anytime I see white people going to church I would go there too because they are the only people going to heaven since god , the angels, saints and the holy family are all white and I want to go there too.


  52. @Pinkie

    i agree with u, i see it every single year around christmas and i wonder why would a poor or middle class person take their money and dump it into the rich man’s hands with simple comments such as ‘yuh cann eat de money’


  53. @ Smooth Cholocate | October 1, 2012 at 6:16 PM |

    I also wonder why would such a small 2×3 country with such small make-over congested mule cart roads that owe people overseas so much money and begging tourists to come would want to import such expensive high-powered cars like Mercedes, BMWs Audis and Range Rovers while at the same time using very poor quality fuels from Trickidad.

    To make whom rich? Where are the people going to drive 3-4 L motor cars? In the sea to St. Lucia in less than an hour?

    When you Look at B you must first look at A.


  54. @millertheanunnaki | October 1, 2012 at 6:33 PM |

    people do it because they want a false sense of wealth


  55. fyi

    Bags just $300 pieces of carpet

    By Antoinette Connell | Tue, October 02, 2012 – 12:01 AM

    I’ve always vowed that nothing I pay more than $200 for will touch the ground.

    That includes shoes. Therefore you will find me searching out bargains for classic or stylish footwear.

    Fortunately for me, I have a system and a sister. Doubly fortunate, like me, my sister is of average foot size, has a nose for style and is instinctively drawn to a bargain. More importantly, she tends to overshop just a wee bit in that department.

    This is where I come in.

    On the occasional trip overseas to her home, my first stop is the closet. Sometimes she will willingly give up some pairs. At other times she will promise me if she doesn’t wear them that she’ll pass them my way. When it comes to her shoes I have the patience of Job. I once waited five years for a pair of classic shoes she had.

    Folks, you’ll understand why if you ever see me in them.

    In 2010 after a particularly extreme raid of Ann’s closet I didn’t buy a single pair of shoes for two years. It just didn’t make sense. I should explain that her talent for shoe selection also extends to handbags but I don’t benefit from the fallout as much there.

    My “ground rule” is the same for bags.

    Therefore I was struck on Sunday during my church’s scholarship service to hear senior teacher Sister Carol talk about $300 pieces of carpet. That was her comparison for some of those $300 North Face bags which sold out before the start of school and had store owners wishing they had ordered more.

    Three weeks into the Christmas term and the must-have expensive bags were now littering the classroom floors, trampled by the indifferent students. Does that make any sense? An $80 bag would endure the same hardship.

    Week three had passed, my church colleague was at pains to point out, and as a teacher she should know how crucial that time is for a student.

    I ask, with all the consternation in the world: What parent would allow a child to hold them over a barrel for a bag? As a parent I cannot come up with a scenario in which a child says he/she is not going to school unless they get a special brand of bags or shoes.

    The authorities need to find the delinquent parents and charge them well before a term or two have passed. Isn’t someone supposed to be monitoring these situations and alerting the relevant department?

    If the recent charging of parents is anything to go by, then a great deal of damage is already done by the time the authorities intervene. The children are out of school for months before anyone is moved to act. Who is to blame for that piece of delinquency in passing on the information?

    In a matter of years some parents will look back, probably jokingly, at the time little J didn’t go to school because of a bag. By then it will be too late to instill discipline in the adult version.

    J will no doubt become one of those children that will cause mainly mummy sleepless nights until the law intervenes. Mum or dad will have no choice but to say take him/her away for the sake of their health and sanity.

    Then J will have no choice in what he wears or eats or where he sleeps.

    • Antoinette Connell is the DAILY NATION Editor. Email antoinetteconnell@nationnews.com

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