AN OPEN LETTER TO AE MARLING
On January 18th (My birthday ironically), a writer and member of SFWA, AE Marling, published an article on Medium.com that slandered me and the Solarpunk Magazine team as “Crypto bros” and tried to paint us as this horrible organization out to “platform NFT’s”.
Marling starts off the article by saying he researched the editorial staff with screenshots of my Twitter account in trying to lambast me for using #NFTartist in bio. So let me stop right here and say the obvious, you didn’t do your research very well. You don’t know me and you truly don’t know what you’re talking about.
So let me start with a little introduction…
HELLO AE MARLING, MY NAME IS HAL HEFNER
I am an award winning pop artist and illustrator whose work has been shown all over the world. I am most known for political commentary-inspired pop art such as my CONSUME series which takes on corporate greed, consumerism, racism, climate change and so much more.
I am a father of 3 children, I reside in Los Angeles, CA and I am determined to build a better future for my children. I will do whatever it takes to bring about a better world socially and environmentally and that is why and how I was drawn to Solarpunk.
I put the punk in Solarpunk. I am not a “Crypto Bro.”
YES I NOW MAKE NFT’S.
Why, you ask for such a divisive thing whose platforms bleed so much energy and natural resources? To make change from within.
Obviously, I am aware of what is happening to the environment and the division it has created inside the Solarpunk community. I understand the impact of NFT consumption but I see the bigger picture and I am determined to be that lightning rod inside of the community.
I’ve seen your Twitter feed in which you’re constantly railing on “tech bros” and crypto --- and deservedly so because a lot of criticism is warranted. However, regardless of what you think, it’s not going anywhere--it is just going to evolve. Web 3.0 is upon us. It’s weird and uncomfortable and filled with flaws and scams but there are a lot of people all around the world uniting through it. So IMHO from that can come lots of good things. I was inspired to get into this NFT world by reading the Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. The “carbon coin” was something that really hit home with me.
I am the constant optimist so from a more Solarpunk inspired POV, I find the beauty in everything. Where you see the loud and dominant “tech bros” I see young kids and adults lifting their family out of poverty. Also what I see is a burgeoning art and tech movement that has the potential to do good things if we can steer it properly.
So I am here to give that a try.
I am currently working on a series of NFT’s that when launched will accomplish several things.
Work as a change agent, to bring awareness to the energy consumption crypto platforms use
Ignite activism and care within the community to force change for a better world
Use the money earned by sales to do good in the world and make a difference by funding and donating to causes important to me
Put Etherium on blast to follow through with their promise to upgrade to a more greener tech that uses less energy.
This project is in production now and I cannot wait to release it upon the world and create momentum and awareness in a new community who I believe will join me. To put it more bluntly, when Google first started as well as Netflix and Amazon started streaming services they all had huge data farms. Their tech was not green at all. They became greener over the years and so will crypto minters & NFTs. I want to be one of the reasons for this change--because it is not going away regardless of how much you or others want it to.
I DON’T KNOW YOU
I don’t know you, AE Marling. Or your work. I am not here to judge you. In fact I bet there are a ton of things we both agree on. Obviously our approach to NFT’s is not one.
But the actions you have taken to slander me and Solarpunk Magazine are nothing more than lazy and unethical journalism. You wrote your article and took to Twitter and Reddit, with a very righteous tone in an effort to take us down.
And you failed.
But your righteousness brought nothing but hatred which is the exact opposite of Solarpunk. What you brought down upon Solarpunk Magazine and their Editor, Justine Norton-Kertson was transphobia and fear mongering. All because instead of doing the right thing and actually communicating with me, your example, “tech bro”, you just jumped to conclusions.
(some examples below, the worst ones were deleted/blocked before I wrote this)
So let me be clear…
SOLARPUNK MAGAZINE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NFT’s.
It’s all me.
So if you want to direct any ire about NFT’s, stop bringing it to Solarpunk Magazine.
Bring it to me.
Your point of view isn’t the only point of view on NFT’s and crypto and neither is mine. I am not writing this letter to you to ask you to see things another way because frankly your opinion doesn’t mean anything to me in my quest in life to build a better world.
Nor am I here to ask for your approval.
Nor do I seek the approval of the greater Solarpunk community.
We obviously have different ways of doing things. I don’t hate you for your comments nor do I plan to engage with you in some sort of social media war. It’s a big world and we’re all doing this thing called life our own way.
Next time you want to write an article, perhaps you might take a different approach and think a little bit more before you attack people. Because you went after the wrong people. You should have come for me. Not the magazine.
They don’t make NFT’s or platform them--I do.
All your attacks accomplished was creating negativity and a barrage of bigotry. There’s nothing Solarpunk about that.