“The Carnival Comes to Town… (The Value of NFTs)” by Richard F. Yates

“The Carnival Comes to Town… (The Value of NFTs)” by Richard F. Yates

Hidee ho, all you SouthParketteers! My name is Richard F. Yates, and I’m a HOLY FOOL. These are people who you can laugh at, but who (if you aren’t careful) actually try to teach you something! (BEWARE A HOLY FOOL!!!) Ha ha ha!!!! Just joshing ya! (Evil wink!)

Today’s tomfoolery is a sad, sad morality tale about DIGITAL COLLECTIBLES!

Digital collectibles, sometimes called “NIFTIES,” are funny little artworks (and other things) created by trolls, goblins, demons, and even a few devils (some who pretend to be GODS), that look sparkly and can hypnotize you---and that’s GOOD, because when the world is SHITTY, it’s sometimes nice to have a sweet bit of HYPNOSIS to make you feel better. (It’s good for your blood pressure, and it tastes like CANDY, sometimes…) The question is this:

How can a digital picture, just like the ones we see everyday on the interwebs, be of any value? Why would I BUY one of these when they are free to look at any time online?

Value is often subjective, but definitely an avenue to consider when making a purchase. (You don’t wanna buy no junk!) Here are some ways to THINK about NFTS (“nifties”) that might change how you PERCEIVE them---from junky free internet pictures to digital “assets.”

(1.) Monetary value: This is not a given. This value is in the eye of the beholder and the wallet of a Troll King or Leviathan Whale or Sky God, but some digital denizens WILL pay up to THOUSANDS of dollars (usually in crypto, like ETH) to “own” a digital work. Lots of NFTS, which were sold for pocket-change when they were released skyrocketed in perceived value and were later re-sold to wealth-having-entities for 10x or even 100x the original asking price. In MY world, the price-value is the least interesting reason to buy something, but for some people, I guess, CASH is a solid motivator…

(2.) Aesthetic value: Here is something that not everyone will care about, and again, it is a completely subjective consideration, but sometimes it’s nice to own pretty things. Flowers or a sweet watercolor of a log or…a grandma portrait made in charcoal… whatever you people enjoy. For ME, I love having pictures of monsters or ghostly apparitions or strange, psychedelic color blobs swirling in galactic contortions. I’m willing to drop a couple of bucks to buy a cool postcard or print or poster or (NOW that the digital age is upon us) a cool electronic image by someone like @stellabelle or @elgeko or @isaria or any number of talented, entertaining, disturbed creators. It’s a MATERIALIST philosophy, but one I have trouble discounting---surrounding myself with creations that showcase the complexity of human ingenuity makes me FEEL better. (Holy Fools are very concerned with FEELINGS, even though they aren’t particularly quantifiable, in a scientific sense. I wouldn’t use a FEELING to judge how far one planet is from another, or which vaccines cure polio (that’s what science and medicine are for), but I WOULD allow the use of FEELINGS as a metric for discerning how pleasant a weekend was.) There CAN BE simple, pleasure-value in HAVING something that you like to look at, even if (most of the time) you aren’t looking at it. You KNOW it’s there for when you NEED to look at it. That’s good enough…

(3.) Civic value: In the spooky, irrational, mixed-up world of CREATIVE ENDEAVOR, it’s sometimes easy to forget: SOMEONE MADE THIS. You see economic value or aesthetic value or freakshow value in an ANDY WARHOL painting, but did you realize that a REAL PERSON made that picture? (Probably Gerard Malanga, but that’s another story…) Creative works are USUALLY (not always) an attempt by a living, conscious entity (or Artificial Intelligence being) to EXPRESS SOMETHING! It could be an experiment with color (and how certain color values affect emotion or cognition) or it could be an attempt at sparking a connection (hoping the image will begin a dialog with another entity---or a solid monologue with one’s self, if you’re into that), OR in rare but extremely valuable cases, a work COULD be an existential expression of a deeper truth about the cosmos or existence that has found a channel for BECOMING for the benefit of all life in the universe. (I think MY works are mostly that last kind, but I might be mistaken.) Regardless of WHY a work was created, it most likely WAS created BY someone---an entity who probably needs to EAT and pay bills and make MORE works of art. By COLLECTING artwork (especially NFTs because the majority of the economic value goes directly into the wallet of the creator, not a gallery or auction house of middle-man, if a decentralized medium of exchange is used for the transaction---minus a few small administration and processing fees). Hence, by BUYING NFTS, we are CONTRIBUTING TO THE WELL BEING OF THE CREATORS AND OUR OWN MENTAL HEALTH. We give them emotional and economic support, we let them know that the work they have produced is valuable, and we (however selfishly---or not) pave the way for MORE creative work to be made, thus ensuring that we will have NEW works to look at and (possibly) own. Lovely.

CIRCULATION IS THE KEY TO HAPPINESS! (So proclaims the Holy Fool…well, this PARTICULAR Holy Fool, anyway… Some Holy Fools are more about NOTHINGNESS or making protest signs or lighting themselves on fire. There are LOTS of different types of HOLY FOOL…)

(4.) Inspiration value: If you are a creator, or POTENTIALLY a creator, then you can easily find INSPIRATION by being immersed in a subculture that is constantly making and creating new works. Unlike simply buying and selling, a TRUE ART SCENE is a conversation, a PSYCHIC PING-PONG game in which one creative work served across the net creates a RESPONSE ARTWORK from the other side, sending a volley back to the server, who then responds in kind. This forms a loose dialog, and it gets REALLY interesting when a dozen or more folks are actively engaged in the artistic conversation! (Check out DADA.NYC for a perfect example of an art scene in deep dialectical interplay. It’s amazing to see how the ideas develop and change and flow from panel to panel… Brilliant stuff!)

So there you go, four reasons why NFTs, despite being entirely digital creations, can be considered valuable…

Should we look at how they work? I’m no computer expert (Holy Fools rarely are), but I think I have a handle on how to look at this stuff so that it smells pleasant to our digital noses… When someone purchases an NFT, what they are PRIMARILY paying for is a CONTRACT… (Confused? Good…)

Let’s look at a REAL WORLD example of what I’m alluding to. A few years ago, when he was still a living being, I was working a booth at a comic book convention, and directly across the aisle from our booth was the LINE to get in to see Stan Lee (a comic book guy.) The line was massively long and the people in that line were thrilled that they were about to meet such a unique individual. I discovered, after a little bit of time, that it COST MONEY to see Stan Lee. It cost $100.00 (USD) to get a picture with him, $100.00 to get an autograph, and $35.00 for a certificate of authenticity that would PROVE (because nobody could just print one of those off a computer) that the autograph was REALLY from Stan Lee if one should desire to SELL the autograph at a later date…

For many FANS, the truly exciting, joyful element of this transaction was the EXPERIENCE of meeting a comic book legend, and the photograph and autograph were just mementos of the experience that could help the fan RE-LIVE the memory. However, for people who were thinking, “Old guy. Ain’t gonna live forever. Autograph might be worth something someday,” then the Certificate of Authenticity was an ESSENTIAL element of this transaction for protecting the ECONOMIC VALUE of the “asset.” Whether the BUYER was a fan or not, SOME FOLKS will think a Stan Lee signature is WORTH OWNING, and the authentication paperwork helps assure potential buyers that they’re getting the REAL DEAL.

In the world of NFTs, what one is buying is a “work of art” that is most likely a gif or png or mpeg that could be easily copied, downloaded onto a device, shared, looked at, etc., without NEEDING to pay CASH (or crypto) for the EXPERIENCE. However, what makes PURCHASING an NFT a VALUE proposition is the fact that you are ACTUALLY buying a CONTRACT! The contract says that the WORK was created by THIS artist on THIS day, minted using xxx service, and that there are only xxx of these tokens OFFICIALLY in existence. The BLOCKCHAIN makes this transaction “permanent.”) If the work is a 1 of 1, then the buyer is the ONLY person in the universe who actually OWNS the image. Their purchase is equivalent to the EXPERIENCE of meeting the artist (like meeting Stan Lee), the NFT smart contract is the certificate of authenticity that PROVES that they really purchased the work from the artist (or the collector who owned it previous to their acquisition), and the ARTIST and COLLECTOR are both happy after the transaction has been processed successfully. The artist gets a sale, the collector gets a unique experience, and the smart contract records the transaction for authentication purposes, should the collector decide (for whatever reason) to sell the work later. (Sometimes, the smart contract will even bake in royalties to the original artist for secondary sales, which is something that just doesn’t happen in the PHYSICAL market. If I buy a Kiss record at a garage sale, the seller keeps the entire 50 cents, and Gene Simmons doesn’t get a penny of that. For certain smart contracts, however, the original creator will get a percentage of the sale EVERY TIME the artwork trades hands! This could even lead to the artist making a LARGER amount of money with a secondary or tertiary sale than they did when they originally released the work! If they sold a silly meme for approx. $4.00 USD for the originally sale, and the work later sells for $100.00 USD, (not impossible), the artist will receive $5.00 (for a 5% royalty!) If the item then sells again, a few years later, for $500.00 USD, (again, not without precedent), the artist will make $25.00, which is more than five times their original sale price!) [Granted, this is only interesting if CASH is the most important motivator in your art buying experience. For ME, aesthetic and civic values are FAR MORE of a motivation than cash! I love art, and I love supporting artists. That’s why I spend my limited resources---Holy Fools make VERY LITTLE money, unlike Evangelists, who are mostly monsters---on ART! It makes US happy (“us” meaning me, my wife, the artists who create the works, the folks who created and are supporting the platform, and several hovering ghosts who are watching me over my shoulders as I type this!)


Moving on to the CIRCUS that I mentioned in the title… Here is a glimpse of the FREAK SHOW, the collection of oddities and mutant bastards, of blind poets and one-armed swordsmen, from the HAUNTED HONEYCOMB that ready to entertain you with their very EXISTENCES! (In other words, these are the works that I still have FOR SALE, FOR CHEAP…because that’s my philosophy. I’m a punk-rock-poet-artist-teacher-demon. I’m SHARING my works with the world because I love making stuff. I’m selling them for super-cheap because I want EVERYONE to be able to afford to have the EXPERIENCE of buying ART directly from an artist. And, even though it SEEMS like I’m mostly just a joker, I’ve actually sold REAL PAINTINGS in REAL GALLERIES, so…I’m technically legit. But I’m also a HOLY FOOL and a TRICKSTER---plus, I have a book of POETRY that you can read that will help you feel INTELLECTUAL AND LOW-BROW at the same time! Hail Eris!!!) (“What does poetry have to do with art?” you poor, unfortunate victim of a stone-dead educational system. Please hire me to TEACH you. My rates are reasonable, and I’ll have you declared completely insane in less than a YEAR. That’s a guarantee!)

If all of this is new to you, you’ll need a beginner’s guide to NFT Showroom… For artists, I’d start with the @juliakponsford penned “Artist Guide / FAQ.” For people who just want to LOOK, check out the main website: http://nftshowroom.com

If you want to buy stuff, you will need a Hive account and the Keychain plug-in. (NFT Showroom runs on Hive-Engine, which is super fast and doesn’t have any nasty “gas” fees to worry about. Right now, in particular, that’s a good thing!!!) If you’ve got questions on how to get started, check out the DISCORD CHANNEL. Very helpful, very funny folks there!

Now!!! Come inside, come inside…




[1 of 1 for 31 swap.hive = about $7.75 USD, if we grant Hive a value of about 25 cents per.]

“This Magic Moment… (Remixed for the Modern Age)”


[1 of 1 for 31 swap.hive = about $7.75 USD]

“High 5” (Animated gif)


[5 of 5 left for 5 swap.hive each = about $1.25 USD]



[1 of 1 for 23 swap.hive = about $5.75 USD]

“Record Collection (Let It Spin!)” (Animated gif)


[1 of 1 for 13 swap.hive = about $3.25 USD]

“Record Collection (Disco Glow)” (Animated gif)


[1 of 1 for 23 swap.hive = about $5.75 USD]

“Record Collection (Dancehall)” (Animated gif)


[1 of 1 for 13 swap.hive = $3.25 USD]

“Record Collection (Bubblegum Pop)”


[1 of 1 for 13 swap.hive = $3.25 USD]

“Smiling Thru Adversity”


[1 of 1 for 17 swap.hive = $4.25 USD]

“Nifty Fake Cash (Series 001)”


[10 of 13 left for 13 swap.hive each = $3.25 USD]

“There Must Be Some Mistake (Glitched)” (Animated gif)


[1 of 1 for 31 swap.hive = $7.75 USD]

“Virtually Worthless(*) NFT”


[47 of 53 left for 5 swap.hive each = $1.25 USD]

“Psychic Gardening” (Animated gif)


[1 of 1 for 23 swap.hive = $5.75 USD]

“Dog in Bomber Jacket (Transporter Malfunction)” (Animated gif)


[4 of 5 left for 23 swap.hive each = $5.75 USD]

“Holy Fool Astral Projecting”


[1 of 1 for 23 swap.hive = $5.75 USD]

“No Free Lunch!”


[1 of 1 for 13 swap.hive = $3.25 USD]

“Dude with Hat”


[1 of 1 for 13 swap.hive = $3.25 USD]

Oooooo... I’ve got the chills. Do you have the chills? (Might be the A.C. unit is broken again…) Anyway, I’m certain (as certain as a Holy Fool can be) that I’ve explained the VALUE of buying digital collectibles at this point, and I’m also certain that the FREAK SHOW above, (who are all very nice images…excepting maybe the Hysteria Demon…), demonstrates the EXQUISIT CHEAPNESS of the artworks that can easily be YOURS, if you act NOW!!!! (Don’t fall asleep on these or…they’ll be GONE! Or I will… I’m old as shit. So old that I can cuss when I type, and ain’t no sucker gonna tell me I can’t!) So if you wanna support the ARTS in a small but meaningful way, then go to the DISCORD, sign up for an account, and contribute a few bucks to a starving (and obviously deeply troubled individual---does that PATHOS appeal work on you people???) artist / poet guy. (Believe it or not, I actually have like three dozen PUBLISHED poems floating around in the literary sphere, and a POETRY BOOK! Did I mention that above? It’s all fuzzy… but TOTALLY TRUE! A whole BOOK of freaky, nightmare fueled, Zurich-Dada-inspired, nut-case poetry! Totally…)

Where was I??? (I keep getting lost… Should I follow the LIGHT to get back??? Hey, where is it going? Come back, light!!!! Come ba….)

Later, folks!

---Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)



Richard F. Yates
Richard F. Yates

I'm an artist, author, poet, editor, and critic living in the Pacific Northwest. (Bigfoot Country!) I like weird stuff.

Art for Weirdos and Fiends
Art for Weirdos and Fiends

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