The Brilliance!


We’re really internet and we’re really back. A website about things Benjamin , Chuck , Virgil , and various friends & guests think are interesting. Little-to-no specific focus, a bit odd, speling errors, and incredibly culturally relevant.


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First off, happy late new year…2009 feels a bit mysterious. I have no idea what’s going to happen this year considering 2008 was a great year, an awful year, a fun year, a fast year, a slow year, a miserable year, a joyful year, and a weird year. It was all of those things probably no matter who you are in some capacity, and might be one of those things more than the others depending on what line of work your in, who you voted for, who you invest your money with, and whether or not you like autotune. Here are a few brief thoughts…

•Obama. 2008 will be remembered as the year of the ‘O’ logo, Shepard Fairey’s now iconic poster, 24 hour news, and of course just simply Obama winning. There’s nothing more to really say, you know the whole story… Ben and I have talked a lot about how positive yet bizarre this whole thing is. Am I glad he won? Sure, I voted for him. Is there a bit of a creepy ‘overlord’ feeling to the whole thing? Yeah, kinda…and I don’t blame the man himself, more just the whole phenomenon in and of itself. But I think that will pass and in a matter of days we’ll get down to business and see what this guy and his ideas can really do.

•Music…let’s just have a little less (maybe a lot less) autotune in 2009. Kind of a ‘fun while it lasted’ sort of thing, at least for me. TV On The Radio really impressed me and T.I. offered up the coolest hip-hop album cover I’ve seen in a while. Sigur Ros, Bon Iver, and Harvey Milk put out a few of my favorites this year too. As for 808’s & Heartbreak, I wasn’t a huge fan at first, I’ll admit. But I’ve come to appreciate, quite a lot, how unapologetic Kanye was about this album considering everyone had such strong opinions about it, myself included. Not to mention utilizing KAWS on some of the album’s artwork and having it end up in Time Square...funny how things work out sometimes...

•Movies. 2008 was a really, really fantastic year for movies. ‘Doubt’, ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’, ‘Burn After Reading’, ‘Pineapple Express’, ‘Tropic Thunder’, ‘Milk’, ‘The Dark Knight’, ‘Iron Man’, and a movie that has set new standards for good movies for me, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. All that and I have yet to see ‘Wall-E’, ‘The Wrestler’, ‘Man On Wire’, ‘Gran Torino’, or ‘Frost/Nixon’...and I know there are still a bunch I haven’t even thought of. I mean, I really, really loved all these movies. Even ‘Valkyrie’ wasn’t all that bad!

•Branding. Brand New wraps this up best with their brand/logo redesign Best & Worst of 2008, so I’ll just say check that link out…but I need to mention specifically that this was particularly awesome and on the flipside, well…let’s just say Pepsi really, really confused me.

•The internets. The internets had a lot of new webpages launched in 2008, lots of web 2.0’s, lots of new Twitters and Facebooks, lots of good Flash homepages and lots of really great socialized network webpage design homepages. My favorite www of 2008 was probably the homesite URL of Ffffound and also The Google made a lot of great things as well.

•Art/design/streetwear stuff. I wrote an article for called The Most Intriguing Artists of 2008 you can check out, and their entire 2008 wrap-up is right here. Some good, bad, and funny stuff…

•Me, personally. It was a good year and I have a lot to be thankful for. My wife and I moved to Grand Rapids, bought a great condo, and have made some amazing friends here. I put a new NoPattern book out…spent a lot of time with family I usually don’t get to see much, read too much news during the election and got a cool but occasionally obnoxious new cat named Fredo.

•What else? I don’t want to dominate the front of the site too much even though I probably already am…but send us your favorite things from 2008. Links, songs, artists, things, etc. to and I’ll put a little ‘mailbag’ post together in a week or so.

Here’s to Ben, Virgil, The Brilliance, and 2009…and another thanks to Jason Fried of 37Signals for doing a great interview with us.