Nihilism, but make it capitalism. That seems to be the idea behind the new piece of merchandise released by Nine Inch Nails. The legendary industrial act released a "modular face mask kit" that allows you to swap in messages like "broken," "dirty," "compliant," "asleep," and "awake."
The kit costs $35. It comes with one black and one gray mask, along with 13 interchangeable phrases. There is an "expansion pack" of additional phrases available.
"Make friends or start fights. You are in control" the messaging reads. "Patches can be swapped to match your desperation level."
Other marketing material says "Let the outside world know you won't let a little pandemic stifle your self-expression," and "keeps your potentially infectious droplets in, allows your voice of protest out."
The fine print reads "Why are you reading this small print here, anyway? It's just a mask – how complicated can it be? Seriously though, since you are reading this and one can safely assume you must be at least peripherally interested in Nine Inch Nails. One can then project with some degree of certainty that you are of above-average intelligence and good looking. In addition, it's safe to ascertain you already know that wearing a mask isn't an affront to your 'personal freedom' or any other politicized nonsense, it's simply the decent and right thing to do. These are extraordinary times, and you are extraordinary. Take care of yourselves and take care of each other. Oh, and if you're in the U.S., please vote for Biden."
Honestly, this sort of Gen-X ironic humor seems a bit out of place to me in the current moment. Also, kind of weird how a millionaire is marketing masks, profiting off an ongoing pandemic, but makes no offer of donating proceeds to folks or services in need right now. I say this as a huge fan of Nine Inch Nails and somebody who would have definitely found this funny when I was 17. Feel free to call me a hippy in the comments, and buy your masks here.