A few people over the past few years have suggested to me that what I am really doing on Ravenmount is not just music blogging, or media/entertainment blogging, but in fact creating and promoting a lifestyle, the Ravenmount lifestyle. I was flattered, of course, the first few times I heard this, but knew I was nowhere near ready to embrace such a concept on this site. However, Ravenmount has now expanded to several new blogging sites, and I have begun reviewing books for several more sites. In addition I am now working on the research and first drafts of several fiction and non-fiction books, so my own focus has expanded far beyond music. So, yes, I suppose Ravenmount, in my mind, has now become a lifestyle, and an approach to life that I believe in and hope to share with others.
This may seem to come out of left field, and in a way it has. A relative by marriage loaned me his copy of a book called Neothink, by Mark Hamilton, and I am about halfway through reading it. Now, Neothink readers may scoff at the notion that I think I know what their movement, or Society is about, but I have a perhaps rare background that makes this book part of a very familiar world-view I have already held for decades. I first picked up Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged in 1993, and since then I have reread that book probably 30 times or more, along with everything else Ayn Rand wrote, and much of what her followers wrote as well. Neothink is not Rand’s philosophy verbatim, but in the same way as Ragnar Danneskjold was a student of Hugh Akston, and went on to devise his own philosophical conclusions based on his own rational assessment of his world, so too Hamilton must have read Rand’s books and understood them as thoroughly as I do, in order to write his book Neothink, using the terms and phrases he does.
So how does this relate to Ravenmount? The underlying ‘common denominator throughout all of Ravenmount’s manifestations is the idea that each person has the responsibility and the right to choose music, art and books that he or she actually enjoys. Buying and listening to the same 40 songs everyone else listens to, if you don’t really love those songs, is just as wrong as buying and reading the bestsellers’ list books just because they are on the bestseller’s list, or buying art or prints of art that one dislikes simply because one is supposed to like those pieces. Beyond that, we all have the right, responsibility and ability to think for ourselves in all things. We also have the responsibility to admit the limits of our own knowledge, not by making up fantasies or by accepting other people’s fantasies, but by acknowledging that we don’t know.
If you follow me on twitter you’ve seen the sorts of news I retweet, including current events around the world and news about science and technology. I think it is very important that we all strive every day to learn something new, so if you read an article about Ghana and you recognize you know very little about Ghana, perhaps today is a great day to google “Ghana” and read a few websites about that country. Then, if it seems interesting enough to you, find a book or two and read more. If you hear a piece of music you like by an artist called Post Paradise, google “Post Paradise” or search for them on spotify and listen to more of their work, follow them on social media, and check out similar artists. If you read a blurb about a book that sounds interesting, google it, find it on Amazon.com or at your local bookstore or favorite book site, and read it. We live in a world full of amazing people who create amazing things every day, yet most of the people on our planet seem to be content to settle into bored ruts, barely living and just waiting to die. Ravenmount, at its core is about filling in those ruts and connecting people to things that can enrich life and inspire more creative, happy lives.
So, yeah this is still a music blog, but it is also a lot more. I hope you all enjoy the ride. I know I will.