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If there is a special Hell for writers it would be in the forced contemplation of their own works, with all of the misconceptions, the omissions, the failures that any finished work of art implies.
-- John Dos Passos

Blog Posts for March 2010

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The Journey is Always More Important Than the Destination


As I painted Tamara's wedding bouquet this past Sunday, I improved as I went. The last element that I painted was the rose, and I remember looking at Tamara and saying to her, "This will all come down to the rose. If I nail it, it will work. If I screw it up, it'll look like 5th grade."

I had to forget that it was a rose. I worked to erase any knowledge of it in my head... it was just colors and edges.

And I think it came together fine. I remember thinking while I was working on it that I had no idea how it was coming along. Nonetheless, I kept pushing ahead.

Only when I was done did I really step back from it and solicit opinion. Aaron, who is always honest with me about my work, nodded his approval. Whew!

So much of life is like that... we have no clue how we're doing in the midst of it, but we must keep pushing ahead. Be it raising kids, cooking dinner, the task at work, etc... if we just see it for what it is and leave our assumptions behind, and apply ourselves to it, it might work out.

And even if it doesn't work out, we need to remember how important it was for us to screw up - to help educate us forward.

The journey is everything...


by Brett Rogers, 3/3/2010 2:15:39 PM

The Argument Against Fifty Plus One


Thank you, Barry.


by Brett Rogers, 3/3/2010 5:33:14 PM

Scratching Yours


I'm a big Peter Gabriel fan, and I bought his latest, Scratch My Back, last night. In it, he takes a completely different direction than in times past.

  • He's covering songs, not writing his own.
  • He uses orchestration and not his usual band.
  • He puts a ton of emphasis on his voice.
I don't mind Peter's change of direction - it's not the first time that he has changed direction completely. (Passion did that for him and changed his music forever and for the brilliant.)

Joni Mitchell, back in 2005, released Both Sides Now, which revisited her portfolio of songs but with orchestration, and to wonderful effect. The song, Both Sides Now, was utterly reborn. Take that and mix it with the occasional American Idol contestant who takes someone else's song and reworks it for a completely different spin on it. That mashup is this album.

He chose very emotive musicians to work with him on this. Every song (mostly obscure choices) wrings what it can out of the song, both with instruments and voice.

I only have two issues with this release, and they're not small.

  • It's depressing. It has all the oomph of Arvo Part meets Perry Como.
  • Peter's strength in the past is to have such a rich variety across his work. Each song was a surprise. With this album, randomly pick a starting point and you'll not know that you've left the previous song.
Hopefully, this is a phase. Mixed in with his other efforts in the past, something could emerge from this that remakes the music landscape, just as Passion did. But as it is, it's not something that will get a lot of frequency from me.


1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 3/14/2010 10:39:13 AM

Telling Others What to Do


Some people in life like telling others what to do.

"You can't have a romantic relationship with someone of the same sex."
"You can't make 10 times more money than your neighbor for the same number of hours worked."
"You can't put offensive lyrics on the radio."
"You can't drive a car that uses a lot of gas."
"You can't just say anything you want about the government."
"You can't use drugs anywhere at anytime."

Note that in these examples, no one is directly hurting anyone else, nor is anyone limiting the freedoms of others.

There are folks who are, for lack of a better term, busybodies. They make it their business to know what your business is. They tend to believe that people should live as they live, and they tend to expend some amount of effort trying to force others to live how they believe life should be lived.

There are only a couple of ways to do that:

  1. Make your best pitch and work to convince others that your way of life is better than what they currently know.
  2. Find any means necessary to force them to comply.
The first respects freedom of will. The second completely ignores it.

Because the second way is easier, it's usually the means adopted. The first way is simply too hard... it leaves room for someone to just disagree with you and ignore you. And damn it - you won't be ignored, will you?

Therefore, these busybody types tend to become involved in government.

govern (verb): to control
They seek to use the government to make you do what they believe is right. They aim to control you and regulate your activities. Your business is their business. And to make their busybody activities life sustaining, they will take money from you to fund their busybody activities. It's for your own good, you see. Never mind that they are not producing anything. Never mind that you don't want to pay them what you earned through your own production. You owe them - because they're so right about this. It's for the good of everyone.

There are only two reasons to get involved in government:

  1. You want to tell others what to do and what to think.
  2. You want to stop those who want to tell others what to do and what to think.
There is no polite way to say, "Fuck you," to the busybodies of the world. It's going to be a fight, replete with disagreement and consternation and awkward moments. But so be it. Because they insist on their unproductive busybodiness.

What worthless human beings busybodies are.


by Brett Rogers, 3/14/2010 1:19:35 PM

Joke, and No Joke


Joke: If Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi were stranded in a leaky boat in the Atlantic Ocean, who would be saved?

Click here for answer

No Joke: I saw a friend of mine last night who is a doctor.

"If ObamaCare passes, I'm quitting my practice."
People who still drive around with Obama bumper stickers are complete idiots.


by Brett Rogers, 3/18/2010 8:34:56 AM

Bruised (aka Today's Beauty)


Poor Tyler...

ETC: An update


by Brett Rogers, 3/18/2010 4:57:20 PM

Just a Reminder


You're neither generous nor compassionate when you're spending other people's money.

Well said from last year:

For those who don't get what's happening, it's most simply explained here:


by Brett Rogers, 3/22/2010 12:52:49 PM

You Might Be a Racist If...


In honor of the continuing lefty meme that seeks to smear patriots...


by Brett Rogers, 3/23/2010 1:14:52 PM

Today's Beauty



1 Comment
by Brett Rogers, 3/24/2010 7:54:25 PM

Not for the Faint of Heart


Business is a tough sport, and without going into a lot of detail about it, these past two weeks have been difficult.

Des Moines Local Live is the Internet radio channel of which I was to become a partner. We never did sign papers about it, formalizing the partnership. About two weeks ago or so, I reached an impasse with one of the intended partners.

Before entering into any partnership, you have to know that you're all working forward in the same direction. I came to learn that this wasn't the case - there was a difference of vision and in my opinion, it was substantial enough that I believed it would harm my investment in the business.

So I stopped dead in my business tracks and informed the third partner that I couldn't move ahead and formalize the partnership. A pattern had been emerging where there would always be contention and drama, and frankly, business is best when partners come together, jointly determine the best direction for the future, and then drive like hell for it. But if someone on the team is constantly yanking the wheel right or left for their desire for ice cream for themselves and you're fighting for course correction to get to the destination, it won't be a safe journey. You'll arrive exhausted, if you arrive at all.

No thanks. I don't have time for that nonsense.

After stating my position, the third partner (Duane) looked at both sides and decided the original vision was best and urged me to stay with him. I did, and yesterday we signed papers dissolving the previous verbal intentions.

Over the next week, the new multimedia company will begin anew as Central Iowa Local Live, under the broader banner of Worldwide Local Live. Lots of cool things will come to play. Exciting stuff ahead!

I'll keep you posted.


by Brett Rogers, 3/27/2010 8:55:56 AM