In the span of a few short years, Parkland shooting survivor-turned activist David Hogg has become one of the most prominent voices in gun reform. Now, Hogg has a new mission: put Mike Lindell, the infamous MyPillow guy, out of business with a pillow of his own.
The idea is as dumb as it sounds.
On its face, at least, Hogg’s pillow idea seems well-intentioned. His stated goal is to create a pillow company—non-ironically called Good Pillow—that supports good causes and promotes progressive values, like unionized manufacturers. Hogg hasn’t yet said what causes exactly Good Pillow would support, but has repeated that he and his business partner want to be the “antithesis of Lindell.” Hogg was able to get #GoodPillow trending on Twitter last night, and has apparently already filled the quota of preorders. But that was all without having a fully formed company—despite receiving gobs of social media attention and a feature from WaPo, they didn’t even have so much as a logo.
The WaPo is giving David Hogg’s “pillow company” an exclusive feature for the design of their “company” logo that is not complete and they need in 2 hours. pic.twitter.com/Gn8Qx7uOGp
— John Gage (@johnrobertgage) February 9, 2021
It’s a pretty obvious troll on Hogg’s part, and a decent one at that. He’s clearly trying to rattle Lindell, who has spent the last several months crowing about election fraud (and spending an absurd amount of time making a movie about it called Absolute Proof). For what it’s worth, Lindell declined to comment on Hogg’s venture besides a benign “good for him” so long as Hogg doesn’t “infringe on people’s patents.” But at the center of the troll is an obvious grift—one that will lead to people spending money on things they don’t need purely to get in on the troll. And it won’t do anything to stop the person it’s directed at.
Lindell is a witless, anti-democratic conspiracy theorist who has built up a good amount of political capital among Trump supporters. MyPillow isn’t even integral to his political persona at this point. He’s emerged as the loudest (and arguably the most ridiculous) election fraud peddler out there. Those who support him won’t care if MyPillow goes belly-up tomorrow—and in the case that’s close to happening, they’ll probably happily buy more pillows to help. Lindell has already embedded himself in the pro-Trump conservaitve political sphere. He’ll probably wind up being the next governor of Minnesota or land in Congress somehow.
In the meantime, however, Hogg is promoting the idea that you can consume your way to a better society. That’s fine in a vacuum—if he winds up creating jobs and donating a bunch of money to charity, what’s the big deal? But creating that pathway through material consumption damages the idea of charitable donation in the first place. It undercuts the ideals and movements that Hogg has advocated for by turning his activism into a racket—all for an extremely cringy joke. At least one of his former classmates agrees.
To those of you who marched, donated, lobbied, and called for change… I’m so sorry this is what it turned into. This is embarrassing.
— Cam (@cameron_kasky) February 10, 2021
Hogg can be forgiven for some of this, at least. He’s young enough that turning a joke tweet into an actual business might seem like a fun idea instead of a really bad one. Thousands of people are already eager to buy his nonexistent product solely because of what it represents. That’s political material consumption in modern America, where businesses use popular sentiment and virtue signaling to take advantage of reactionary idiots. It’s almost hard to blame someone as young and prominent as Hogg for capitalizing on it. Heck, maybe his Good Pillow troll is doubling as a bit to expose the stupidity of it. Odds are, though, it’s just a dumb grift from a prominent activist whose platform and energy could be far better used elsewhere.