As the hype around Non-Fungible Token (NFT) art continues to grow, many are ridiculing the craze including British actor and comedian John Cleese who is now selling his own drawing of the Brooklyn Bridge as an NFT. Cleese commented on the blockchain-based NFT craze, saying “The world has gone terminally insane.”
Vanity Fair reports that the NFT crazy has only grown in recent months to the surprise of many. Now even some celebrities are joining in on the craze, some looking to profit from the trend and others simply to ridicule what they believe to be the ridiculous concept of NFTs.
One such celebrity is British actor and comedian John Cleese, famous for his work in Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and A Fish Called Wanda amongst many others. Vanity Fair writes:
You have never heard of the artist known as the “Unnamed Artist” before, but by the end of the week (perhaps by the end of this article), he could end up being one of the most famous artists alive today. His work may end up selling for more than a Manet, a de Kooning, or a Picasso. “I have no idea what’s going on,” the Unnamed Artist told me in a phone interview hours before his first NFT was about to go live at auction. “But in this particular realm, no one has any idea what’s going on.” If, when you see the Unnamed Artist for the first time, he looks familiar to you, and even looks a little like John Cleese, the actor from Fawlty Towers, Monty Python, and A Fish Called Wanda, then you probably have no idea what’s going on, either. That’s because, on Friday, Cleese—also known, as of Friday, as the “Unnamed Artist”—is going to be selling an illustration of the Brooklyn Bridge he did on his iPad as an NFT. The “buy it now” price for this digital work is being set at $69,346,250.50.
The crazy thing is, he actually might get it.
Just a couple of weeks ago, most people had never heard of an NFT, or a “non-fungible token.” A couple of months before that, even people in the tech trenches had no idea what an NFT was. NFT employs technology similar to that behind cryptocurrencies and exists only on the blockchain. The best way to understand how NFTs differ from traditional cryptocurrencies is to put your mind in the physical world for a minute. Imagine if you and I were standing across from each other and we both had 10 one-dollar bills. If I swapped one of my dollar bills for one of your dollar bills, we’d both still have $10 in our hands. Bitcoin and other crypto work in the same way. Regardless of which Bitcoin you have, you have one Bitcoin (and whatever monetary value that is worth). NFTs, on the other hand, are all different. They are more akin to standing in front of someone with a stack of trading cards, where each card is unique. So while they all sit on the blockchain, NFTs are one of a kind, verifiable assets that are easy to trade, but can’t ever be forged or copied. But what they are actually used for is a whole different quandary, and the world seems to have gone mad trying to make, buy, and sell them.
Breitbart News recently reported that a Brooklyn-based film director named Alex Ramírez-Mallis is both mocking and attempting to profit from the recent cryptocurrency craze for NFTs by selling a year’s worth of fart audio clips recorded in quarantine.
Ramírez-Mallis told the New York Post: “If people are selling digital art and GIFs, why not sell farts?” His NFT, titled “One Calendar Year of Recorded Farts,” began development in March 2020 when he and his four friends began sharing recordings of their farts to a group chat on WhatsApp.
Ramírez-Mallis discussed the concept of NFTs referencing screenshots of screenshots and the concept of colors which are currently being sold, stating: “The NFT craze is absurd — this idea of putting a value on something inherently intangible. These NFTs aren’t even farts, they’re just digital alphanumeric strings that represent ownership.”
“I’m hoping these NFT farts can at once critique [the absurdity], make people laugh and make me rich,” he said. He did note that there is a historical precedent for the concept of NFTs, stating: “In many ways, this is a bubble, but it’s also been around forever. Buying and selling art purely as a commodity to store value in has been around for centuries, and NFTs are just a digital way of representing that transactional nature of art.”
Read more about John Cleese’s foray into NFTs at Vanity Fair here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org