Five years later I guess my answer is Yes, to all of the above. I wanted to bring the life of the list to a larger stage—and more than the life of the list, the life of the people involved in our daily discussions. I wanted to share that and see how it could grow, free from the intense focus of headphones, without safe boundaries. This group of people meant (and means) a lot to me. I’m proud of you, proud to count you among my collective thinkers. What would happen if we unfurled our freak flag? Who else we might attract? I was probably insensitive to it then (and I probably am to this day, as a person who still needs to control himself from ripping the headphones off complete strangers), but my McMurphy-like desire to take us out for a deep-sea fishing trip wasn’t shared by all, as one longtime participant, known here as The Great 48, would so eloquently put it:
I may not be the only person here who’s less than enamored of the idea of moving RTH to a blog format. This is partially because personally I like the insularity of the list — it’s kind of like that one late-night restaurant in Chinatown where the city’s kitchen staffs go after work to unwind and talk shop — but also because I can’t imagine that many people outside of this group being at all interested in what goes on here. I mean…who cares?
Well, I did and I still do. In a world where a no-talent, gossip-column hound like Sienna Miller and her pregancy are considered worthy of publication, why shouldn’t the crap we kick around share the same media space? What’s any less ridiculous about anything one of us gets on a soapbox about than Rick Santorum‘s public proclamations involving gay marriage and bestiality? And honestly, what’s healthier for people to read, should they so choose to read either: news on Sienna Miller and Rick Santorum’s love puppy or a group of music lovers fighting over the merits of the Love‘s Forever Changes album? More honestly, what we talk about is fun and important to us. We care. Every couple of weeks someone else does too. Perfectly cool people are out there, wishing they could get in on those late-night discussions among kitchen staffers. Our doors are open. A level of self-perceived, possibly deluded coolness is assumed.
With the chance to breathe and see the light of day, maybe stuff we care about will turn someone else’s head. I spend New Year’s Eve content in the company of my oldest friends. There’s no other way I’d rather spend it, but the other 364 days of the year I’m happy to run into as many people who share similar concerns and similar means for discourse as possible. When the race to elect alexmagic‘s long-discussed President of Rock is held I want to know there’s a bloc of voters out there willing to sort the wheat from the chaff. And capable of having fun doing so.
Populism and public discourse have their hurdles. Over the years the participation of some vets, sadly, dropped off. A few dropped out altogether. Many new voices, however, have since joined the fray, posted comments, and took on the responsibility—and yes, as was feared by many, that word responsibility connotes an element of W-O-R-K involved in crafting threads for public digestion—of developing new content for discussion, new quips and insults to resonate longer in our heads than would be expected in the head of a “normal” person.
This place still brightens my day, leaves me with a laugh, teaches me something new, and brings a cool mix of music lovers together. I wanted to wrap this up by looking ahead, but what’s the point? If we choose to keep the chatter going, if we allow ourselves to be open to discuss how we feel about music, something worth our time will result. Thank you.