The bargain for living in America is knowing that nearly every facet of your life—the foods and drinks you consume, the salary you earn, the entertainments you enjoy, the clothes you wear—is produced and influenced by the smiling face of corporate money. But if it’s easy to remember that we’re all compromised, and a little harder to push back against our instinctive models of consumption, it’s much harder to keep the companies from selling us garbage under the guise of freedom. And lo, today brings up the story that combines my least favorite elements of modern music and culture: Doritos have teamed up with Marvel to make a special chip bag that also functions as a music player, and will play the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 soundtrack when you jack in.
The bags are rechargeable. The soundtrack includes music by Fleetwood Mac, George Harrison, and Parliament. You eat a chip, put on your headphones, and enjoy the songs, as presented by a pair of conglomerates who love and care about music.
The bag will be commercially available on April 28, giving you a full week to enjoy the synergy before Guardians comes out on May 5.
The bag is being sold as having a “built-in cassette tape deck-inspired player,” which is extremely fake news. The technology on this is vague, but the lining of the bag probably contains some kind of microchip, or, uh… a thin digital something-or-other that allows you to press “play” and “pause” and “skip” and trigger the music. That’s nifty, but it has no resemblance to a cassette player beyond the photo pasted on the bag, meant to trigger your nostalgia for cassettes (much like the oldies-heavy soundtrack) and feel like you’re consuming a cool, thoughtful product.
When people started joking about how the cassette revival was a bunch of baloney, this is what they meant.
Here’s what Marvel’s senior vice president of global partnerships said: “Marvel and Doritos have a very similar set of core fans, so we wanted to maximize availability of this soundtrack by making it as accessible in a unique way.”
Here’s what the senior director of marketing at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America said: “The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was yet another way for us to take an amazing musical pop culture hit and elevate the experience. Can you imagine a better way to listen to this soundtrack than with a bag of Doritos? We couldn’t either.”
Here is a better way to listen to George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac, and Parliament: with your loved ones, by yourself, at a picnic, at a party, at a concert, on a train or a plane or a bus, on a CD player, on a stereo, on a laptop, off a laptop plugged into speakers, lying in bed, your hands free, your mind uncluttered by the taste of powdered nacho-cheese in your mouth.
Music is great, Doritos are sometimes edible, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will probably be entertaining on a basic level, but all of this is stupid as hell.