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Guest editorial: Non-fungible tokens explained

By Dr. Sherwood Burr

“What’s an NFT?”

It’s one of the most common questions I’ve been asked lately, right up there with “Are you gonna finish that pilaf?” and “Why do you think I’m your dad?”

Let’s break it down word-by-word. A token is something you might use at an arcade, a car wash, or a coin-operated strip club. Fungible means capable of knowing that the plural of fungus is fungi, and “non” was my nickname in high school.

Put them all together and you’ve got a one-of-a-kind art piece that is only available virtually. The purchaser of an NFT will have exclusive access to the image and be able to display it as all great art should be – over hot wings at a Hooters. Plus, this gives you a great way to edge into a conversation when someone else pulls out their phone to show photos. Yeah, we get it, Rachel, you like taking pictures of your kids. Bored!

Recently, an artist named Beeple sold his NFT for $69 million. I tried to look at it but I accidentally typed “Peeple” and went to a website dedicated to sexual role play for those who dress as marshmallow Peeps. At first, I thought they were weirdos, but they’re really nice and were willing to let me join for only $100.

To purchase an NFT one must use cryptocurrency (see my helpful article explaining that) via blockchain – a device originally developed by Minnesotans trying to get trucks out of snowy ditches but is now used to buy things that range from semi-illegal and fully illegal.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Sher-dogg (in this analogy we’re close friends with pet names) I thought the internet was only used for buying shoes and fat shaming.” Well, not anymore! The internet is now your gateway to art collecting.

You might run into a critic who will tell you that you’re not really an art collector, you just paid a ton of money for images that anyone can see for free. They’ll also tell you that art transcends ownership and belongs not to one but to all. Yeah, tell that to the security guards at the Louvre. Last time I was there, I tried to pick up the Mona Lisa to see how heavy it was but they wouldn’t let me close to it. My French is a little rusty but I think they were saying, “Sherwood, you’re so handsome and virile that the five of us wanted to pile on top of you.”

I’ve already started my collection; I paid a mere 100 grand to an up-and-coming photo artist named Plopsey for her photo of a half-eaten Filet O’Fish entitled “My Lunch”. If you’d like to see it, stop by the Peeple meeting tonight at the Motel 6 out by the airport. Just be sure to leave your camera, and your inhibitions, at the front desk.

Dr. Sherwood Burr appears courtesy of the University of the Wayward where he teaches philosophy and coaches junior varsity thumb wrestling



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