Above: screenshot of the current Heroes & Tyrants homepage

The Bad: Heroes & Tyrants

This offensive, conspiracy-heavy NFT project sent the SR Mag team reeling when it landed it in our inbox.
1 week ago

Quotes in this article were taken from a defunct project website that now redirects to Heroes & Tyrants. The original COVID Bad People site is still readable through the Wayback Machine.

 

Described as “a new NFT & cryptocurrency project that commodifies the debts to society owed by the perpetrators and bullies of the greatest fraud in modern history: COVID-19,” Heroes & Tyrants, originally called COVID Bad People, is the brainchild of someone named Jay Revelle, apparently a Canadian living in Japan, whose Instagram (linked on the Heroes & Tyrants site) states he is an “individualist, non-conformist, matrix killer, biz thinker, meat eater.” His profile is rife with conspiracy, boasting self-stylized educational images reading “Why lying is communistic” and “Why I think anthropogenic climate change and global warming is a lie,” as well as t-shirts of his own design flashing the slogan, “Freedom Makes Me Cum.” 
Screenshot of the original COVID Bad People homepage.

Revelle’s shirts. Screenshot from his Instagram.

Heroes & Tyrants appears to be an extension of Revelle’s tin-hat revolution. Composed of a series of “bonds,” in practice each is essentially a trading card featuring the image of a public figure associated with COVID-19 policy. Heroes & Tyrants claims it will somehow make these doctors, politicians, and NGO professionals pay for their “bullying,” as the project’s website puts it, in the form of “karmic law.” Of course, no one can force these figures to cough up cash, so Revelle’s strategy is thus: by minting these debts to society as NFTs, the token’s owners will profit from a record of supposed COVID misdoings, and that record will live on the blockchain for all to see. Or something like that.

When I first investigated the project, OpenSea only showed six owners between two Heroes & Tyrants collections, and most of that ownership resulted from transfers as opposed to sales–evidently the greater NFT space did not see value in Revelle’s choice to style each public figure in the manner of the anti-semetic lizard people conspiracy. And while there is plenty to critique about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, depicting him as a racist caricature of a black man perhaps alienated viewers from the project, too. The name was changed to Heroes and Tyrants to reflect new NFTs in the collection, ones highlighting people seen as heroes of the movement like Alex Jones, whose crowning achievement is being the subject of this meme. Only time will tell if this draws followers of these extremist figures to the project.

More content from Revelle’s Instagram
The distinct lack of interest that Heroes & Tyrants has drawn calls into question whether or not the planned DAO and token will ever come to fruition. The website also links to a Discord server and references the prospect of commemorative t-shirts for NFT holders–yes, you too can wear your conspiracy theory as fashion! This is the power of “a synergy of the crypto community’s growing calls for decentralization and the freedom movement’s calls for less government overreach.” I first became aware of the project when Revelle pitched it to SuperRare Magazine several months ago, asking for publicity. Initially, the whole thing seemed like a scam, an attempt to rug Q Anon stragglers for their ETH. After diving in, I think it’s probably genuine. And while it’s easy to joke about the absurdity of conspiracy theories, the last decade has revealed their staying power when coupled with Web2’s corporate social media platforms–let’s not forget the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the tip of of the iceberg when it comes to the misappropriation of user data for political means. Regardless of whether or not radicalization occurs because of a platform’s algorithm or because of communities enabled by a platform, as tempting as it is to laugh at these people, there’s also no denying the harm they do by spewing disinformation. As of writing, the World Health Organization estimates that 6 million lives have been taken by COVID-19 world-wide, and people like Revelle are wallowing in grotesque fantasy. Here’s the publicity he wanted, I guess.
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