There was a time when the Gallagher brothers appealed to two very different demographics. Liam was the knuckle-dragging misanthrope who stuck two fingers up at the establishment. Noel was the level-headed older brother who stayed on the right side of public opinion despite, or perhaps because of, his caustic wit.
We all knew which brother we preferred, but then, suddenly and without much warning, they flipped the script. Earlier this week, Noel revealed he refuses to wear a face mask, arguing that it is a violation of his personal liberty.
"It's not a law," the former Oasis guitarist told podcast host Matt Morgan. "There's too many f***ing liberties being taken away from us now… I choose not to wear one. If I get the virus, it's on me, it's not on anyone else."
Meanwhile, his younger brother Liam took to Twitter to challenge assumptions and prove that he's no mask refusenik. The self-styled 'Spiritual Majestical Celestial Optimystic Buddhist' posted a photograph of himself wearing an on-point bucket hat and a no-nonsense, medical-grade face covering, along with an unintelligible caption that said something along the lines of "up your bum".
It's a strange time for Oasis fans, or indeed anyone whose youth was soundtracked by Manchester bands of the 80s and 90s.
Former Stone Roses frontman Ian Brown recently sparked outrage when he posted: "NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX" on Twitter. Morrissey uploaded a video of lockdown skeptic Vernon Coleman on his official website last month. In a very 2020 turn of affairs, Jedward have emerged as the voice of reason.
The culture war is growing louder and there is a conversation to be had about the rise of anti-maskers and the inflammatory rhetoric we're now beginning to hear from the people we'd least expect it from.
There's a larger conversation to be had about how we engage with these people and whether we're pushing them deeper into their ideological bunkers when we resort to cancel and shame tactics.
For now though, we need to have a conversation about the simple, well-documented fact that men are less inclined to wear face masks compared to women.
A recent survey of almost 2,500 people in the US found that men are more likely to consider face masks as "shameful", "uncool" and "a sign of weakness". Put more simply, a certain cohort of men believe that face masks threaten their masculinity.
To be clear, we're not talking about men per se. We're talking about a group of chest-thumping men who think precautionary behaviour like wearing a seatbelt, a cycle helmet or a face mask is emasculating.
We're talking about men who live and die by the ridiculous and ever-changing playbook for red-blooded masculinity. Men who eat rare steak and sneer at vegans; men who drink strong beer and avoid flamboyant cocktails. Men who can't tell if another man is attractive because they are determinedly, aggressively straight, yeah? Men who avoid eating whole bananas because it looks gay (seriously, it's a thing).
We're talking about men like Donald Trump, who ridiculed Joe Biden for wearing a mask and podcast host Joe Rogan who said "wearing a mask is for bitches" during a conversation with Bill Burr.
The link between anti-face mask sentiment and toxic mask-ulinity, if you will, is well established by now. We've been talking about it for months but, for one reason or another, the insights that we've gleaned from these studies aren't cutting through the noise.
We know a certain ilk of men are less inclined to wear face masks; we know it has to do with outdated gender stereotypes. Yet when we talk about anti-maskers as a group, we tend to put everyone into the same pot and assume they're spiralling down the same conspiracy rabbit hole.
This is how we make sense of a movement that jeopardises the lives of others, but perhaps we should be asking more questions. Perhaps we should be exploring the underlying reasons for mask avoidance, so that the next generation of men don't feel compelled to take the same risks. Perhaps we should be asking if men who are hell-bent on proving their masculinity are more likely to engage with conspiracies that justify their choices.