I’ll be honest with you – I don’t understand NFTs. I’ve read a thousand explanations of non-fungible tokens (that sound like something you’d trade in for a mushroom) and they still make as much sense to me as HDMI cables do to your grandma.
Basically, anything can be an NFT, from music to digital art to memes, and when you buy one, you own the original. Except maybe not the copyright, that goes to the author.
So it’s like owning an original Monet – if anyone could right-click on said Monet and save it to their laptop. But you have every right to brag because your name is on the blockchain it’s stored on, and it only cost you the price of a three-bedroom house in a Dublin commuter town.
It’s a simple concept to laugh at. You can feel pretty smug about your own lack of NFTs when Paris Hilton brags to Jimmy Fallon about a drawing of a monkey she bought for $300,000.
Sure, I may not be able to afford a deposit and probably buy way too many takeaways, but at least I haven’t dropped my pension on a Twitter profile picture that someone can save as a JPEG. It’s the same as laughing at “Crypto Bros,” the people who spend their whole day talking about Bitcoin and the like.
But when one of the “good guys” goes to the dark side, it really hurts.
This week, Dolly Parton, the queen of all that is good, announced that — it pains me to say this — she’s dabbling in NFTs.
As part of her debut performance at the South by Southwest Festival – or SXSW – in Texas, Dolly will be selling limited edition NFTs of her new album. Run, Rose, run, as well as NFT collectibles, including NFT artwork inspired by Dolly. It will also stream “a free live performance on the blockchain at SXSW,” where attendees will receive a token to mark their participation, whatever that means.
I’m sure this is a financially brilliant plan for Dolly. But losing her to the world of NFTs is a gut punch. Dolly is clean. Dolly is good at social media but doesn’t spend her whole life on it.
Dolly helped fund the Moderna vaccine. Now Dolly is selling NFT versions of an album that we can all literally buy or download and own for €20. Why can’t we have anything beautiful?
My dislike of NFTs doesn’t mean I’m anti-tech. I love my phone and laptop, I’ve recently given in to wireless headphones.
I also think VR is pretty cool. However, NFTs simply take the soul out of the art.
They started out to support digital artists, which is great of course, but have evolved into status symbols and show how rich you are.
Seriously, what’s the point of owning a drawing of a cartoon monkey other than to show you can afford it?
There is a grain of goodness in the concept, but it has been ruined by complacency and greed. Art will no longer be for enjoyment or sharing, only for profit and possession, another form of big landed property.
I could distance myself from when it was just tech bros and footballers selling trading cards of their faces, but when someone as untouchable as Dolly was starts to get sucked in, it’s hard to imagine a future where sharing a silly little meme isn’t another capitalist activity.
https://www.independent.ie/opinion/comment/why-dolly-should-stick-to-the-ntfs-thats-nine-to-fives-and-avoid-the-murky-world-of-nfts-41409982.html Why Dolly should stick with the NTFs – that’s Nine-to-Fives – and avoid the murky world of NFTs