pushin P: A Pepe Art Curator’s Manifesto

pushin P is presented as a manifesto, in homage to the OGs (that is, the Original Gangsters) of the NFT world.

This one goes out to the Rare Pepe & Fake Rare Pepe Scientists. To the thought leaders of the next generation, the digital renaissance, and the next revolution.

The revolution will not be televised.

But it will be meme’d.

Contents:

  • The Frog (An Origin Story)

  • The Frog Prince

  • The Frog as a Metaphor

  • Pepe the Frog

  • We Are All Pepe (Rare Pepe’s, Fakes & Danks)

  • Pepe Art (Art Drops)

  • Pepeferences

The Frog (An Origin Story)

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was just land and water, and nothing much else.

The land was dry, and void of life, bar some arthropods (insects, myriapods, arachnids & crustaceans).

Meanwhile, the water was aplenty, and full of life!

Deep down in the depths of the oceans, a master craftsman was at work…

Around 375 million years ago, fish, deep in the oceans, were evolving…

First, into fishapods (the (recently located) oldest known ancestor of all terrestrial vertebrates).

And from there, into *tetrapods* (the first terrestrial vertebrates!)

nb: tetrapod = “four-footed” in Latin

Tetrapods first presented on land as salamander-like-animals.

By about 290 million years ago, tetrapods had developed again, into frogamanders, the last common ancestor of both salamanders and frogs.

From there, you guessed it, more evolution… into two similar yet distinctly different forms, the caudates (salamanders) and the anurans (frogs).

250 million years ago, long before the arrival of dinosaurs, a master craftsman presented themself to us, in Madagascar, as the Triadobatrachus massinoti (the father of all frogs).

nb: Triadobatrachus is regarded as the world’s first frog.

Triadobatrachus

In an utterly incredible display of evolution, FISH had developed into TERRESTRIAL VERTEBRATES!

From the depths of the oceans, life as we know it on earth was born into existence.


The Frog Prince

You might have heard of an age old fairy-tale called The Frog Prince, collected and published by the Brothers Grimm.

At the beginning of this fairy-tale, the Princess loses her golden ball (a metaphor for the most important thing in her life) into the lake.

A friendly frog, however, agrees to find the ball for the Princess, but only if she’ll let him stay in her castle for three days and three nights.

Begrudgingly, the Princess accepts the terms of agreement, and allows the frog to dive deep into the water (representative of the underworld, or the chaos in the world, that we either can’t see or don’t want to see) to retrieve the golden ball.


The golden ball could be a metaphor for our very own sun, "Ra", who disappears into the darkness (the feminine “Yin”) and returns to bring order during the day (the masculine “Yang”).


Once the Princess has retrieved her ball from the frog, she immediately escapes home, forgetting about him altogether, until a day later when he arrives and calls out her name.

The King reminds the Princess 'As you have given your word you must keep it; so go and let him in.’

She does this, and the frog continues to pester her for three days, before breaking his curse and evolving into a handsome Prince!

This delights the Princess, her and the Prince get married, and they live happily ever after!

The morale of this story is never to judge at first glance, instead try to understand the situation and act accordingly.

The story also casts the frog as a character who is in between worlds, allowed to bask in the sun, but also willing to dive into chaos to seek redemption.


The Frog as a Metaphor

The frog is an amphibian. Capable of living between worlds (both above and below water).

The frog is a natural embodiment of yin and yang, a reminder to us all, that while there may be nothing new under the sun, the answers we desire may perhaps instead be found in the dark, or within the chaos.

Perhaps even the chaos that is, the internet.

Every frog also undergoes a process of metamorphosis during their life. That is, they evolve from a tadpole to a frog, much like a caterpillar evolves to become a butterfly. Think of Pokémon, or Digimon, or even some Yu-Gi-Oh Monsters.

Organisms that undergo complete metamorphosis are called “holometabolous,” from the Greek words “holo” for “complete” or “whole,” “meta” for “change,” and the noun “bole” for “to throw.” “Holometabolous,” then, means “completely changing,” or “wholly changing.”


The frog is a symbol of revealing your exquisite genuine self in real life… The frog spirit animal is a good sign and the most mystical and sacred of teachings; the real worth is what is found within… You have been educated in a society that does not yet understand or accept these spiritual principles.


Even Kermit the Frog operates between worlds

IRL Frog & Kermit the Frog are even ambassadors for climate change alongside the Royal Family!

(see clip, I know, it seems too good to be true, but in this case, it totally is)

As you can see, the frog is our friend.


Pepe the Frog

Pepe the Frog was born in 2005 to American artist Matt Furie.

Simply put, Pepe was (and is) a cute frog, who was (is) the little brother in his group (the “Boy’s Club”). He embodied (embodies) an introverted character, but was (is) always up for having fun with his friends.

In 2008, one particular Pepe comic gained the attention of the masses:

“feels good man” became a meme, one used to express the human emotion of (sincere) joy, online.

On 20 January 2009, an alternative “Feels Bad Man” began to circulate on 4chan. Feels Bad Man was, predictably, a sad version of Pepe, used as a reaction image, to again reflect human emotion.

From there, Pepe’s of all kinds began making their way into the ether, circulating a multitude of reactions and emotions. Like frogs, they multiplied in their pond.

Over time, Pepe went through many different phases, call it metamorphosis if you will. There was a battle between 4chan and “the normies.” Angry Pepe. The Beta Uprising. Smug Pepe (& Trump Pepes).


Pepe began to mirror people, and people began to see their mirror image in Pepe…


The biggest phase of them all, however, is the current one of misunderstanding. In 2016, Pepe was labelled, by Hillary Clinton & other social justice warriors, a hate symbol of the alt-right.

Pepe is no such symbol, however he does still sit behind the bars of the ADL, for now.

Pepe is, and has always been, a symbol of love. One of understanding and of peace. Of yin, and of yang. Of unity.

In 2017, Matt went as far as killing off our beloved frog.

He was quoted, however, as saying “The end is a chance for a new beginning ... I got some plans for Pepe that I can't really discuss, but he's going to rise from the ashes like a phoenix ... in a puff of marijuana smoke.”

And rise, he has. Multi-Disciplinary Crypto Artists around the world have fallen in love with the story of pepe the frog, and together, they’ve inspired each other to keep the feels good frog memes flowing.

The story of pepe is perhaps best summed up in the deeply political 2020 documentary, “Feels Good Man”.


We Are All Pepe (Rare Pepe’s, Fakes & Danks)

Pepe has taken the internet by storm.

I, myself, have made many new frens through the power of Pepe.

The Rare Pepe & Fake Rare communities are some of the most welcoming, friendly & creative communities in the entire universe.

For the OG pepe art communities, Counterparty is the protocol, XCP is the native currency (nb: you’ll need some of this if you want to mint NFTs/assets using Counterparty) and xchain.io is the blockchain explorer (this is our version of etherscan.io).

NB: Counterparty is not a blockchain in itself, but is instead an open source protocol (essentially a smart contract), one that runs on the bitcoin blockchain.


At the same time all of the Pepe controversy was happening over the years, there was a growing community of Pepe fans trying to reclaim the meme in their own way, using blockchain technology.


Crypto Artists were keenly aware of the story of Pepe the Frog, and they knew, somebody had to do something to save him.

In steps “Mike”.

On September 13th 2016, the very first Rare Pepe trading card, aptly named RAREPEPE, was minted on Counterparty by a user known simply to us all as “Mike”.

The Rare Pepe Project was born.

Hodlers of that first card, of which there are now only 299 supply (previously 300), are referred to in the community as being in “the 300 club”. Price of admission is currently around $150,000 USD, one can only presume it will be higher in future (NFA).

“Mike” would go on to be the sole Rare Pepe Scientist for the first 1,000 cards, before receiving assistance from fellow scientists (and authenticators of dankness) Joe Looney, John Villar (RIP), Shawn Leary, Theo Goodman, JDOG & Wade.

Between the scientists above, the next 774 Rare Pepe’s were determined.

In 2018, having officially certified all 1,774 Rare Pepe trading cards as “rare”, as well as having created what would quickly become an XCP hall of fame directory, the Rare Pepe project officially closed it’s doors.

Unofficially, however, the project was just getting started…

Three years later, in 2021, RARE SCRILLA was temporarily banned from the Rare Pepe telegram chat for sharing an asset that was not a Rare Pepe. Something the community referred to instead as a “Fake Rare”.

Scrilla, being the rebel that he is, decided to create a new subcommunity, “BEWARE OF FAKE RARES.”

Fake Rares are a love letter to Rare Pepes, to the ethos of creativity and community.

There are also Fake Commons, Dank Rares, and what might as well be an infinite number of other frog inspired NFT projects online…

None quite compares to thee, but all can be appreciated.

We are all Pepe.

Pepe is omnipresent.

Pepe is Deus ex machina.


Pepe Art (ArtDrops)

XCP has onboarded a phenomenal amount of pepe artists into the crypto space.

All bring their own unique perspective and qualities.

I’ve been lucky enough to become friends with a few of these artists.

Over the course of the next seven weeks, I, Redlion and seven different established and up and coming Pepe artists (on xcp and on eth) have combined forces to bring you an exhibition of Pepe art on Ethereum.

I hope to introduce you to trusted & talented members of my communities, and I hope they, perhaps, can become a bigger part of your network too.

We’ll begin, in week one, with a close friend of mine, mrarwyn.

I’ll do my best to give you insight into the art and the artist, as well as other projects/initiatives that these artists are cooking up.

There’s so much for us to gain from appreciating the frog, and the frogs amongst us.

Just ask the Frog Dogg.

Or Elon.


Pepeferences:


Learn more:

pepe enthusiast, hip-hop head, curator, artist, ex-accountant

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