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Idiot of the Week: The North Face or Mumford & Sons?

The North Face, El American

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Competing for our “Idiot of the Week” award this week are the very progressive and committed company The North Face, and the fetish music band of left-wing hipsters Mumford & Sons. It will have to be up to the readers of El American to decide who deserves recognition for their idiocy.

Green hypocrisy from The North Face

The North Face is a sports apparel, footwear and equipment company, especially for climbers, skiers, hikers and endurance athletes. Although now also, because of its vaunted and publicized ecological and progressive values, it has ended up becoming a status brand for wealthy and progressive people, who understand that the best way to show how much they care about nature and the environment is to spend more than usual on clothes with a logo to rub in the face of those who are not as good people, nor as committed to the noblest causes as they are.

the north face
Source: Flickr

Back in 2017 they wanted to make a publicity stunt by getting into politics and campaigning against Trump and his environmental policies. In 2019, they were apparently caught bragging about having modified Wikipedia’s photos of natural landscapes to sneak in free advertising for their brand and improve their Google ranking.

Recently, The North Face has once again lost the plot with its woke idiocies. Despite its alleged lack of advertising ethics, and displaying a preachy, sanctimonious, Greta Thunberg-esque attitude, The North Face wanted to show the world how morally superior they are to other companies, especially when compared to evil oil companies.

According to CBS Denver, The North Face refused to sell 400 jackets to a Texas oil company because they didn’t want to be associated with an industry that doesn’t respect the environment as much as they do. However, after this outburst of self-righteousness on the part of The North Face, the Colorado Oil and Gas Association has embarrassed them by awarding them its Extraordinary Customer Award.

According to the association, three-quarters of the products sold by The North Face contain man-made fibers, plastic, nylon, polyester or polyurethane, which are derived from petroleum, making this very green clothing company one of its main customers.

To top it off, VF Corp, the parent company of The North Face, has recently purchased a large parcel of airport land in Denver to build a hangar to house its fleet of private jets, which – we assume – are powered by unicorn tears and not petroleum. It should be clarified that they would be tears of laughter as they tickle them, lest they think they are taking advantage of the suffering of unicorns.

Mumford & Sons and their false tolerance

Mumford & Sons is a British folk rock band that has delighted hipsters and social justice warriors around the world since they made their name at the Glastonbury Festival in 2008, and won a Grammy in 2010 for their song Little Lion Man.

From the beginning they have wanted to make it very clear that they are unique and special, just like their millions of fans. Like any good hipster, they try to hide their upper-middle-class bourgeoisie pretensions by dressing like men from the untouched mountains of the 19th century United States, and remind you at every turn how bohemian and intellectual they are by showing a fetishistic obsession for vintage instruments like banjos, mandolins or cabaret pianos.

Their songs are all the same. They start out slow and softly singing a story that makes you sad. They gradually pick up the pace, with the banjo gaining prominence, as they talk about beautiful things like hope or resilience. Suddenly, the banjo goes crazy, and they start chanting the chorus. Emphasizing. Every. Word. Of. A. Inspirational. Inspirational. And then, suddenly -again-, they go totally silent, before the banjo goes even crazier, in an epileptic frenzy now also with trumpets in the background. In the end they end up repeating the chorus with almost no instruments, but this time slowly and lengthening each word, demonstrating that they are lively and joyful, as well as deep and serious.

Their success, rather, is due to their energetic live performances, where they exchange instruments between them and interact with the audience, in vaudeville style. They are specialists in open-air summer festivals, where their audience, young progressive and wealthy urbanites, but looking like pioneers from the mountains, believe that by enduring a couple of days outdoors in a tent with a VIP access bracelet, they are already like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant.

However, in light of recent events, it seems that neither they, nor their fans, are as strong as they want to pretend. It turns out that the band’s guitarist, Winston Marshall, has been forced to leave the band after one of his tweets hurt the feelings of both his fans and his band mates.

In the unbearable tweet -now deleted, like the rest of his timeline-, Winston Marshall congratulated and called Andy Ngô a brave man, after having read his book “Unmasked”, in which the journalist explains the radical plans of the “Antifa” organization to destroy democracy. In an act of unlimited cruelty to his fans, he also attached a photo of the book cover.

mumford & sons
Screen capture of the erased tweet

Reactions from the battle-hardened left were swift. Capable of burning cities and destroying businesses and property, but unable to withstand such a heartbreaking tweet, the left launched a campaign of harassment and demolition against Winston Marshall for daring to read a book by a conservative journalist, and then having the gall to share it on Twitter and congratulate him.

Winston has deleted all of his tweets and his account now contains only a statement in which he apologizes disconsolately.

According to Page Six, a source close to the band said that the group’s singer and frontman, Marcus Mumford, said he “will always be a defender of their right to free speech, but that tweet was the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Come on, typical of a champion of free speech: to be offended because someone posts a tweet saying he has read a book.

According to the same source, the decision to remove him from the group “has been enormously difficult,” but his conservative ideas “were greatly affecting the group’s image.”

It should be remembered that Mumford & Sons pretentiously boast about the literary influence in their songs, claiming to be inspired by nothing less than Shakespeare, Homer’s Odyssey and Plato’s myth of the cave. They pompously compared their tours to Steinbeck’s adventures, when they received a prestigious award at Stanford University; and they set up their own literary criticism club, which they kicked off by making brainy analyses of Cormac McCarthy.

It is a pity that in this fine and elegant book club, formed by such intellectual, tolerant, supportive and committed people, there is no room for Andy Ngô’s books questioning “Antifa”, nor for those who dare to read them.

Who will win the prestigious Idiot of the Week award: North Face or Mumford & Sons?

Ignacio Manuel García Medina, Business Management teacher. Artist and lecturer specialized in Popular Culture for various platforms. Presenter of the program "Pop Libertario" for the Juan de Mariana Institute. Lives in the Canary Islands, Spain // Ignacio M. García Medina es profesor de Gestión de Empresas. Es miembro del Instituto Juan de Mariana y conferenciante especializado en Cultura Popular e ideas de la Libertad.

Social Networks: @ignaciomgm

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