Would it shock you to learn that a Trump is involved in a tacky — and deeply sketchy — money-making scheme?
Melania Trump is hoping you’re super into NFTs and also her eyeballs
Time to Log Off is a weekly series documenting the many ways our political figures show their whole asses online.
For someone who proudly bragged about not caring much, former first lady Melania Trump sure would like you to think she really cares these days. Specifically, she would like you, the money-having public, to think that she, the even-more-money-having model wife of a(n alleged) billionaire politician, has some vestigial altruistic bone in her body from some hazy, unspecified past in which she was somehow a significant philanthropist and hero to the unwashed hordes. What’s more, she would also like you to believe that by funneling your money to her, so that it becomes her money, you too can be part of the aforementioned philanthropic heroism by getting in on the ground floor of her foray into the wildly unregulated, deeply harmful, insanely annoying world of beep-boop art.
That’s right, folks. Melania’s doing NFTs now.
“I am proud to announce my new NFT endeavor, which embodies my passion for the arts, and will support my ongoing commitment to children through my Be Best initiative," Trump proclaimed Thursday, presumably with the expectation that people would be reminded of her “Be Best” program and somehow manage to contain the compulsion to laugh and barf at the same time.
“Through this new technology-based platform, we will provide children computer science skills, including programming and software development, to thrive after they age out of the foster community,” Trump continued.
This all seems very nice and selfless. It also seems critically unspecific in terms of what, exactly, is going on here. All the announcement says is that for the low, low price of around $150, you — yes you! — could be the proud owner(ish) of “Melania’s Vision,” a digital version of a watercolor painting by artist Marc-Antoine Coulton, which “embodies Mrs. Trump’s cobalt blue eyes.” If you’re wondering what that means, it’s this:
What the above tweet doesn’t have, however, is the added, exclusive-to-NFT-bonus of hearing Melania say “my vision is: look forward with inspiration, strength, and courage.” Wow. Deep. Really makes you think and feel and, uh, think some more, I guess?
“Since leaving the White House, I have envisioned creating a new platform where freedom of speech can flourish,” Melania explained to premier white nationalism-abetting website Breitbart News. “My new NFT gallery, MelaniaTrump.com, uses the decentralized nature of blockchain technology, and gives a direct connection to people worldwide.”
As her press release claimed: “A portion of the proceeds from the Melania Trump NFT collection will assist children aging out of the foster care system by way of economic empowerment and with expanded access to resources needed to excel in the fields of computer sciences and technology.” How much is that “portion”? She doesn’t say. What exactly are these “resources”? Your guess is as good as mine. Are NFTs a massive opportunity for scammers to get rich off the backs of an avarice-fueled public who think shelling out hundreds — if not thousands, and even millions — of dollars for a shitty picture of a gorilla or something is the best use of blockchain tech? Boy are they ever!
Look. Who knows? Maybe this whole operation really is on the level, and the woman who took the literal words out of her predecessor’s mouth while casting racist aspersions on her husband’s mortal enemy is actually committed to helping people less fortunate than she is. I hope so! If there’s some sincere altruism here, then, y’know what? Fine. Good. Nice work Mrs. Trump. But let’s not get swept up in sentimental optimism here. A member of a family notorious for grifts suddenly jumping onboard a buzzy trend riddled with grifters does not exactly inspire confidence. So, until there’s some actual evidence that forking over hundreds of bucks for a painting of eyeballs is actually going to help someone in need, I think it’s probably best if Melania logs off and leaves the philanthropy to the pros.