Journalist, Broadcaster, Chair, MC, Blockchain Enthusiast, Diversity Advocate, Dreamer
Do we get to choose the inscription on our tombstone? One person I know for sure that succeeded in doing just that was the comedian Spike Milligan, author of the popular 1950s UK Goon Show. He famously wrote Dúirt mé leat go raibh mé breoite or I told you I was sick on his gravestone, ever funny to the end. In fact, when legendary singer and close friend Harry Secombe died before him, Spike remarked he was glad as he didn’t want Harry to sing at his funeral. The last laugh was on Spike because they still played a song from his late friend anyway at Spike’s memorial service.
Going back to my guest Mr John McAfee, he too shares a Goon-like humour. When asked what he would like on his tombstone, his legacy if you will, John quickly says that if he could turn around and see it – behind him – then he hoped it would say, ‘Not here – we’re still waiting for the old bastard to die.’
Other than that, John opted for “Lover of Life and many women, Adventurer, Poet and who found his lasting soulmate in Janice.”
One word on this list pricked up my ears. A Poet? I did not know John was a poet among his many talents and passions. It turns out he was published, while still a student reading maths, when he was just 19. A number of his poems were published in a book called, he thinks, The Poet. He has
not written or published any more poetry since his teenage scribblings.
“Poetry is tough,” he says. “Being truthful is core to poetry. It is a song of the heart. The heart’s song is its own song. Poetry (sic) toes no lines and obeys no exceptions. A true poet – give me someone like Edgar Allen Poe. Now that is a fucking poet. Everything he wrote was poetry whether some deep down soul rendering thought like in the Raven: “Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,’ or in the sounds of his poetry. He wrote The Bells in which the refrain was ‘the bells, the bells, the bells, the bells, the bells… “
To the tintinabulation that so musically wells
From the bells, bells, bells, bells,
Bells, bells, bells—
And here John repeats the word – tintinabulation – several times; the onomatopoeic nature of the poem giving him great delight. And then John jumps over the Atlantic to Shakespeare quoting from both King Lear and Hamlet. In a slightly foreboding and prescient manner he quotes the fool in Hamlet. “Dost thou call me the fool?” the beleaguered King asks the fool, to which the fool replies “Aye, all thy other titles thou hast given away.”
And then in Hamlet, John goes to one of the most famous of soliloquys where the King looks at his death and wonders, in that sleep of death, what dreams may come.
To die, to sleep,
perchance to Dream; aye, there's the rub,
For in that sleep of death, what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
John pauses here and says: “I can’t do stuff like those poets.” I suggest that it is difficult to compare oneself to masters and that he is pretty eloquent already. Perhaps he is a poet and just doesn’t know it?
“I do know that but I am just too lazy to practice it.” John says. And there we leave it. John was speaking with me from an undisclosed location and from within a Faraday cage with signal blockers and multiple private and public VPNs to disguise his location from would be interlopers. He is surrounded by tinfoil and yet has still managed to launch a decentralised exchange that cannot be stopped. Currently there are some 100 software developers signed up and he plans to offer all ERC20 tokens a home with no listing fee. There is a button on the site for anyone to add their own token. He is not looking for anyone’s identify or, God forbid, KYC data.
“If the SEC comes to me down the line asking who are these people I will put my hands in the air and say oups, sorry, I never thought to ask and now it is too late.”
From ERC20 to other blockchains such as Tron and also Binance, EOS and others, John sees the Dex growing quickly. “We don’t keep your coins, your money. And unlike centralised exchanges, we cannot be shut down.”
I hear the tintinabulation of the coins echoing ever on.