When I was a kid I noticed how advertisements on TV suggested that a Certain Kind of Person would like this or that cigarette--Marlboros or Virginia Slims--or this or that kind of soda pop, or makeup, or jacket... As a corollary, you could choose to be that Certain Kind of Person via the cigarette you smoked, or the soda you drank. "If I smoke this, I'll be like that tough cowboy on the Marlboro cigarettes commercial." You could, in your imagination, become him. Just as obese folks drinking diet-coke for years suffer from the delusion that it's making them slimmer.

We all had a tacit agreement that a person defined their own identity though what they consumed. Your bell bottom pants hinted at a whole different life philosophy than the guy wearing chinos had. (Not that either person had any real life philosophy, really.) Even going back to grade school, the choice between Sprite or Mountain Dew told people something about you--or so we imagined.

So what kind of person are you if you like this bacon-flavored beer? Or...does anyone like it? It may well turn out to be a failed marketing strategy. "Hey what do people like? Bacon...and beer! Get it? Bacon beer! Genius! ...What? We already tried that and no one liked it?"

Some guy who likes to act all earthy and "I like what I like and kiss my ass if you don't like it" will pretend to like bacon beer. At least until it makes him sick to his stomach.

Then there's Cinnamon Toast Crunch Coffee Mate -- oh yeah, gimme some of that!--and Pumpkin Spice Latte and Pumpkin Spiced Watermelon Coffee Grounds Flavored Lemonade (okay, I made that one up)...

Do these speak to identity, too? Or just a desperate desire for something new, so, for a few seconds, you don't have to think about your sad life?

And how much money do people stupidly waste on stuff that's all about novelty?

I guess Americana has levels, like an archaeological dig. And the lowest level is a garbage dump. Where you can find, going way back, this racist product design image: