It’s tough to find any real highlights in this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year, but the brightest spot of 2017 was when Martin Shkreli, the price-gouging pharma-bro CEO, was convicted in August of three counts of securities fraud. Turns out there are karmic consequences for jacking up the price of a drug geared toward cancer and AIDS patients by more than 5,000 percent, such as maybe going to prison.
Shkreli hasn’t been sentenced yet, and you never know with white-collar cases involving obscenely rich people. But perhaps in an effort to downsize before his potential trip to the klink, Shkreli is publicly selling his most prized possession: a ridiculously limited-edition CD of Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, a Wu-Tang Clan album so rare, the legendary hip-hop collective only produced one copy.
In 2015, right around the time Shkreli was becoming the national supervillain no one asked for, the Wu revealed that someone had purchased the album for a cool $2 million. And in a truly terrible twist, Shkreli soon outed himself as the mystery buyer, because that’s just how the world works.
But now Shkreli has taken to eBay to get rid of Once Upon a Time, because, as he says in the listing, “I decided to purchase this album as a gift to the Wu-Tang Clan for their tremendous output … [but instead] the world at large failed to see my purpose of putting a serious value behind music.” (It could also have something to do with the time Ghostface Killah ethered Shkreli in a diss video.)
Shkreli has threatened to cancel the sale at any time, or—gasp!—even “break this album in frustration,” he writes. He insists he isn’t selling to raise money, but rather, he hopes “someone with a much bigger heart for music can be found for this one-of-a-kind piece and makes it available for the world to hear.”
The listing is full of gems, especially in the Q&A section, which is an incredible four pages long. Shkreli answers dozens of questions about the rarity, many of which are predictably antagonistic. One eBay user asks him, “Why not just destroy it live? Your [sic] just a chump. In a few months you will just be a number in the prison system. Good luck loser.” To which he replies, “Ah, Benny the Stooge. The phrase you are looking for is ‘You are just a chump’. Destroying the album would be tantamount to lighting millions of dollars on fire. In a few months I will not be in prison, actually.”
Here are some more:
Q: If I purchase this album, how will I know for certain that you don’t have a vagina?
A: Those are two separate and distinct questions.
Q: Can you give me a ballpark estimate on how many thots have listened to this? Thanks!
A: Typically takes about 2 songs before I get to turn it off and get down to business.
Q: Not interested in the CD. Just wanted to tell you you’re a piece of shit.
A: I believe you are mistaken and too poor to bid on the CD. Better luck in your future endeavors.
At press time, the current bid is $1,000,700, which I suppose is a little reassuring because it means Shkreli is going to take a loss. But on the other hand, we couldn’t have all privately agreed not to go any higher than $15 in principle, just to stick it to him?