That is an opinion editorial by Spencer Nichols, Product Advertising Affiliate at Bitcoin Journal and host of The Cosmic Bitcoin Podcast.
People music artist Oliver Anthony took the web by storm with a video of his track “Wealthy Males North of Richmond,” recorded within the woods close to his off-grid dwelling in Virginia, and has created one thing resembling the Bitcoin track of the 12 months. Anthony’s uncooked emotion and lamentation of the “new world” alongside along with his statement that “the greenback ain’t shit” has actually aided him in receiving accolades from the Bitcoin group.
It’s after all no coincidence that Bitcoiners gravitated towards this track given its criticism of “wealthy males North of Richmond” — glares on the Washington uni-party — however what I discover most vital is Anthony’s cathartic, grieving tone. For my part, those that acknowledge the decay of belief and our fiat-induced collective incapacity to make sense of the world, really feel loss, anger and ache over what might have been, and disbelief over the present state of the world. Anthony’s blues-laden vocals seize this all-too-well:
“For folks like me and other people such as you
“Want I might simply get up and it not be true
“However it’s, oh, it’s”
Slightly than a highly-produced, pop-adjacent and area of interest celebration of Bitcoin or Satoshi Nakamoto — a la Gramtik’s 2016 track “Satoshi Nakamoto” which lauds “shopping for whips with cryptocurrency” — Anthony has given the Bitcoin group one thing to latch onto that ordinary, on a regular basis folks can as properly. A confluence that has been … lower than widespread for Bitcoin tradition. It’s price noting that Anthony has captured an emotion that the Bitcoiner and blue collar disenfranchised can each recognize with no need to have mutual understanding of cryptography, nodes or the enchantment of permissionless cash. It’s merely a message that speaks to the issues that each of those cohorts can simply acknowledge.
In sharp distinction to the cultural zeitgeist in Bitcoin post-2020 bull market, Anthony’s mashup of folks music and genuine Americana with a contemporary twist doesn’t really feel contrived or constructed on bullishness and moonboy hype. I acknowledge this paints Bitcoiners with a broad brush, however the reputation of “Wealthy Males North of Richmond” goes to replicate that many outdoors of the Bitcoin group harbor convergent sentiments to our personal: belief on this nation has been damaged, and “it’s a rattling disgrace what the world’s gotten to.”
In fact, there are additionally parallels to CBDCs and digital panopticon fears which can be palatable for Bitcoiners. Anthony writes, “These wealthy males north of Richmond. Lord is aware of all of them simply need to have whole management. Wanna know what you assume. Wanna know what you do.”
Is This Actually A Bitcoin Music?
I believe you will need to notice that whereas this track has been well-received by Bitcoiners, partly as a result of their usually right-leaning, anti-authoritarian political affiliations, we have to be cautious to not name this a Bitcoin track, per se, and never use this as a sort of “blue collar-washing.” Whereas Bitcoin is actually a useful gizmo for the economically disaffected given its roots within the Nice Monetary Disaster/Occupy Wall Road motion, it could be disingenuous to carry Anthony up as consultant of Bitcoiners, given the tech-forward financialization of Bitcoin and the looming entry of market members like BlackRock and others of their ilk that stand to profit.
Anthony’s music has actually discovered a fanbase in Bitcoin circles and for good cause, and maybe this will function a helpful signpost to create extra bridges between the Bitcoin group and people additional afield. However I don’t assume it could be honest to assert Anthony or a caricature of the tradition he represents (struggling males from Appalachia) as consultant of Bitcoin. That is for 2 causes: 1) to not painting Bitcoin’s cultural motion as one thing it isn’t, and a couple of) to not enable Bitcoin influences from Wall Road, Silicon Valley and elsewhere to make use of his aesthetic and enchantment as an expedient facade.
I discovered Anthony’s track extremely shifting, and was very joyful to listen to his point-blank criticism of the greenback resonate with so many individuals. Admittedly his political ideology (so far as it’s expressed) appeals to my very own, however I don’t assume it real to carry Anthony or his track up as being a Bitcoin anthem. As a lot as I’d wish to LARP as a folksy mountain man with hard-earned grievances — shoutout my fellow Bay Space millennials — I’m going to exit on a limb right here and say I don’t assume too many Bitcoiners are blue collar mountain males, both. I believe we ought to be cautious to not use Anthony or his message as a way of attaining our personal pursuits, however we will nonetheless recognize his music and message for what they’re.
“Wealthy Males North of Richmond” has undoubtedly struck a chord. Its rawness, seeming lack of commercialization and folksy nature have enchantment for good cause compared to the favored music of “fiat land” at the moment. Its alignment with many beliefs in Bitcoin are usually not an anomaly, however its reputation amongst Bitcoiners might belie a want to color Bitcoin as one thing of a populist motion of impoverished, blue collar of us. I’d posit that, on common, this isn’t presently true for Bitcoin.
These caveats apart, this track would possibly assist us perceive methods to break outdoors the echo chamber of market watchers, number-go-up maxis and techno-libertarians. There’s actually an vital lesson right here in displaying how divergent the standard Bitcoin elevator pitch is from what evidently has precise mass enchantment. Whereas we will debate whether or not “mass adoption” is admittedly the sport to be taking part in, for the sake of argument let’s assume that’s certainly our purpose. Thus, this could function an vital information level for methods to tailor our messaging.
That is clearly an vital track and cultural second, however it’s not a Bitcoin anthem irrespective of how a lot we want it have been. Kudos to Anthony for his newfound success and for illuminating an vital dialogue via his artwork.
It is a visitor publish by Spencer Nichols. Opinions expressed are solely their very own and don’t essentially replicate these of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Journal.