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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An ad campaign you can’t ignore? GM makes fun of itself.

American car companies, except for maybe Saturn and Jeep, are…not interesting. Nor are they producing any products I want to buy. But, with that being said, they do…every once in a great while…have a good ad campaign. And GM’s latest for the Chevy Malibu is one of them. Titled ‘The Car You Can’t Ignore’ it pretty openly makes fun of what they have made in the past - making fun of their own products. In this case it’s a late 90s Cutlass I think? Which is a GM product. They’ve got two great ads running right now where (1) a jogger runs into a parked late 90s Cutlass as it is such a boring, poorly designed, car she didn’t even notice it. Funny. (2) My favorite, which is linked below, the bank robbers who slide past the cops in the same type of car for the same reasons. Pretty brilliantly executed ad campaign. All this to illustrate that their new Chevy Malibu is indeed the care you CANNOT ignore. Great…I most likely won’t ignore it now. Job well done. And seriously, congrats to whatever agency/firm that came up with the campaign and got GM to buy into the idea of making fun of themselves, seriously, good stuff.

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Stack them Euros!!

Was I the only one who saw Jay and Pharrell flashing wads of Euros instead of dollars in the Blue Magic video? I almost don’t want to make this post cause I’m really just not that educated on this stuff. Maybe to a degree, but by no means an expert. I guess I just find it interesting and feel like writing about it. That’s why we blog right?? Ha. Anyway…something far from a joking matter: 7 different countries, and not small ones, are considering abandoning the US Dollar and instead converting their holdings to the Euro. They’re feeling the same pain a US traveler feels when going on vacation to Europe…the dollar just doesn’t get you much anymore. And its getting worse. So simply put, to protect their assets, in this case liquid cash, they’ll be buying Euros with their American money to keep things steady…this of course means the demand for the dollar will drop and so will it’s value. Not good…like, at all. ***I can’t seem to find the link, but I also read somewhere that some huge super model (Naomi?) will only except payment in Euros now. Ehhhh.

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Jay-Z @ HOB Chicago…yeah, we’ll be there!

My man. I mean, how many Jay-Z posts have I made? Just a few more than I have about Steve Jobs. And you know what’s wild? I’ve never seen him perform. In fact, I had nice floor tickets to the Madison Square Garden “Fade to Black” show, yeah THAT show…and I sold them on eBay for a very, very tidy profit. Jay would have been proud right? Ha. That won’t be happening with these tickets for tomorrow’s HOB show. Are you kidding me? Only like 1,000 tickets sold? Such a small spot, not a bad seat in the house. After all these years, finally getting to see Jay perform…no shame in sounding fan-boy…I can’t wait man. Just thinking about it has me reminiscing about skipping homework and freelancing during high-school listening to Jay-Z. Ha, that internet hustle if you will. So yeah, check for Virgil and myself signing each and every word to each and every track. ***I think there are tickets still for sale on, yikes!!! Check the link…

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I like Robert Longo’s work!

True story. I just got put onto his stuff today by my man Rick who saw his work at the MCA in Chicago recently. I haven’t seen Longo’s work in person, but the pieces on his site looks amazing…really inspired stuff. The current series he has on his site are moments in time via a photograph (no?) done quite large in charcoal…really large in fact, like 6ft in some instances. Man, let me say it again, I love big artwork. To the point where small pieces don’t really grab my attention. So yeah, Robert Longo’s stuff is beautiful, I love the movement and starkness in his current series…I just got put onto him, but he’s one of those ‘love right away’ artists. Time to figure out how much these lithos are…hmmm.

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Yeah – if they keep the pace they got going now, and stay flexible to what their consumers want…they are going to make a mint themselves. That was kind of cheesy, but seriously…their service is nuts (!) and its growing like crazy. Quick and simple of it all: sign-up with them for free, give them the username and password to your e-banking account stuff with whatever bank you use, they import all your historicals and then grab it every night so you’ve got refreshed information daily. The magic lies in how they present it. I’ve used it myself and the way it breaks out your spending habits and classifies the purchases is almost unreal – I have no idea how the classifying feature works, but its uncanny. After looking at my spending, I am indeed the ‘corner store king’ as I’ve stated in the past. Anyway – I’m not really trying to write a whole post on it when their site explains it much better. With that being said, I co-sign, its fresh. No pun intended. ***Plus the whoel naming and branding thing??, refreshing money management. A mint, where they print money..etc. Brilliant and simple.

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Boy Better Know!!!!

I am still on the Grime music thing outta the UK. In my book this kid JME is has waltzed straight to the top of the game alongside Wiley & his brother Skepta, Dizzie, & Kano. I listen to BBC religiously and whenever I get bored listening to the Hip Hop stations I have been all about the Grime & UKG channels for that alternative Hip Hop sound. The mixtape game over there is wildly popular like the 50 Cent days stateside. But where JME his ‘Boy Better Know’ camp have taken it to another level is the T-shirt game. Yea, t-shirts. So much so that the boolteggers are not only bootlegging the mixtapes but the T-shirts as well. So what does JME do, flip the logos and sell T-shirts directly off his myspace after a quick paypal transaction straight to his account. I love it. So many people claim t-shirt in general are ‘overdone’ etc. That’s like saying water is played out. T-shirts will always be desired no matter how many you have. JME is smart, why not capitalize on 2 of the most important things in young entertainment demographic, music and fashion. Ha…my favorite line at the end of this freestyle session, “I do a lot like ACME, my brain is like an everything factory”.

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Live and direct from the S33D conference!

First things, I don’t really like conferences. They always have this feeling like: ‘Oh hey, come to this conference and learn how to be successful! Take a bunch of notes and then go back to your work-place with some one-liners and be smarter sounding than everyone.’ So yeah, needless to say that’s not my style. So with all that negative stuff said - I have enjoyed this little conference today. Just observing how the people that run 37signals act, talk, move, dress, interact with people, an ultimately what they have to say has been fun. 37signals is one of my favorite companies - and hearing Jason speak about how he’s grown the company has really re-affirmed my love for what they make. And then there’s Jim Coudal. I honestly hope I’m as cool as he is when I’m his age, ha. Is he old? If not, my bad. Seriously though, Coudal Partners is one of those ‘Peter Pan’ companies. Seems like they are always having fun right? Love that. And this video right here is nothing short of brilliant. Alright, back to this conference.

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It’s an almost-the-weekend randomzzz post!

Did everyone have a good week? Pretty good over here. So this weather in Grand Rapids - it should be freezing, but I just rode to my office and broke a sweat, weird. There is an instrumental version of Common’s Finding Forever on iTunes…nuts, The People sounds amazing alone. No diss to Common though. Travel - I’m about to do it up I think. Spends some euros out in europe, you know? Ahh…speaking of euros, are Banksy’s pieces really worth 80,000 of them?! Check Supertouch…whoa. And speaking of Supertouch, man, I’m late on this blog - I always knew about it, but never really checked. It’s offically made it onto my favorites bar in Safari, thats a coveted spot FYI, ha. Virgil dubbed Jay-Z the ‘Apple, Inc.’ of hip-hop - I love that. With that said, yeah, I’m nervous about the new album…I want it to be ‘Jay-Z-amazing’. Music…the Mad Decent Radio podcasts from Diplo on iTunes…where have I been? All that great music…for free. More music..Kanye over the Heartbeats track…a hipsters dream. I love it too man. Do you ever just get bored of the late-night, out-and-about, bar, club, social scene? I’m reverting back to house parties - and I’m only drinking wine, see attached picture, ha. That should about do it…everyone have a brilliant weekend!!

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How people program or write code for anything beyond the most basic of HTML is totally beyond me…honestly, I just don’t think like that. So whenever I find things like Textorizer, I’m immediately just thinking “how did they do this?!? How does someone know where to begin creating a simple little application that does something so complex?!” So once I get past being fascinated by that, I try my best to just enjoy toying around with these things. Textorizer basically takes an image that you give it using a URL, words that you type in, and numbers you adjust to recreate that picture using those words based on those settings you chose. Basically it takes your picture and makes it this abstract design made of colored words that reminds me of something Joshua Davis might do if he spent a day with our favorite word artist Thomas Broome. However, it still seems a bit primitive and like there’s room for refining, but I could totally see Photoshop or Illustrator utilizing something like this for a plug-in or filter in the future… I could honestly see this as the basis for entire ad campaigns. As far as I can tell, Textorizer was created by Paul Downey. Cool work Paul…

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I commissioned an oil painting from Dennis Nagelkirk!

I got my first original Dennis Nagelkirk painting about 6-7 months ago, maybe even longer, as a gift. Some very generous mentors of mine knew I liked his stuff and grabbed me a smaller one from a gallery/restaurant we would eat at for meetings…and pretty much ever since then I have become a bit obsessed with owning original artwork. Specifically photo-realistic oil paintings as Dennis does. Lucky for me, Dennis is a local artist and I have been able to both get to know him as a person as well as commission a painting from him…which is really, honestly, one of the more ‘thrilling’ things I have done in a long time. Having something made for you personally by an artist you admire is one hell of an experience. The final product??? Mind blowing…a 6x6ft oil + linseed painting of a crushed Diet Coke can. His work is amazing. This picture I took in his studio of the final piece doesn’t do it justice…but you get a feel for the size and scale. I’ve been waiting 5 months to make this post!!! I love it. Check the link below…