Why I Created Bright Rock Media

You may have seen me around online, throwing around bad sarcastic witticisms or spouting off some sophistry attempting to be insightful or wise and thought “Who is this guy?” Well, I’ll tell you who I am…


It’s mindblowing. Sit down.

I’m just some guy.

I could talk about my degrees, or my work experience, or my eclectic media taste. I could talk about all the other projects I’ve done in order to try to establish my authority, but it doesn’t matter. When you care, you’ll go find that stuff out and I won’t have to say a word.

I wanted to talk a little bit about why I started Bright Rock Media. Let’s get into it.

1. To counterbalance the media
Everyone knows the media is exceedingly left leaning. I play video games. If I want to read about them, I have to sift through Kotaku and Polygon’s pages and pages of social justice warrior op-eds. I like movies — every other article on Screenrant is about how James Bond should be a woman. I love music but, again, same. I love all these subjects, but the content on offer is unreadable. The communities are alienating and hostile to statements that challenge their groupthink. I’m no right winger, but I am an independent thinker, and I don’t play well with groupthink. When I first envisioned creating a site, the blueprint I gave myself was: the exact opposite of buzzfeed. Buzzfeed: liberal, partisan, bubbly, pop, female focused, shallow; Bright Rock: libertarian, independent, edgy, rock, male focused, deep. I figured if I have the demand for such a thing, lots of other people might as well. I still think this, strongly.

I’ve seen some conservative, libertarian or independent political outlets try this: they are terrible at it. They know absolutely nothing about media and have no passion for it. It’s all self-satisfied lecturing about the superiority of classical music, tired think pieces about The Fountainhead and odd opinion columns about how there should be more Christian rock bands or whatever. None of that is cool. That is some grade A old man yells at a cloud stuff. When they do try to tackle something contemporary or modern, their analysis is about as well informed as my 65 year old father’s. More than that, it’s all politicized, more of the same problem.

You won’t find politics in my game reviews or my musician profiles. Politics stays in its lane here, and even the politics is non-partisan. That’s why that section is called ‘thoughts’ and not ‘politics’. I’m not spreading anyone’s political message. I’m saying what I think, and you can disagree with it, but you can trust it. And having a political site with random thoughts about media is a different beast than having a media site with random thoughts about politics and news. From all I’ve seen, only Colin Moriarty gets it, and to a lesser extent Reason Magazine. I’m going for Rolling Stone, here, not Wall Street Journal. We wear aviators here, not blazers.

2. To expose my audience to new things
When I was growing up, one of the things I loved to do for my friends was make playlists for people on Napster, recommend movies, and tell people about games they haven’t heard of. I don’t want to talk about Avengers Infinity War. That’s boring to me. You’ve heard of it. You come to my site to find out about something new, because I dug through the obscure talent to find the gems for you. Yeah, the new Kanye album is on its way and everyone is talking about it — but who’s out there telling you about Polkadot Stingray’s new album that came out in Japan last year? No one, that’s who. Who’s telling you about the great indie game that got Kickstarted 2 years ago that’s finally coming out? No one, and you don’t want to find it yourself, looking through a thousand garbage indie sidescrollers before you find something really worth a spotlight.

3. To provide insight and wisdom
I don’t view myself as an entertainer. I can be funny, if you’re into dry wit, but a big part of what I’m trying to offer people is insight, wisdom and exposure. A different take on today’s big news story. A contrarian viewpoint about a conventional wisdom. Something other people aren’t covering. There aren’t a lot of other people out there writing about the positive side of AI, or how the superhero genre is a form of American mythology, or how identity and personality have supplanted character in the way we evaluate people’s measure. I’m not saying I’m right about these things, but I’m trying to get people thinking about subjects that are important that may not be on their radar, or to see subjects relevant to their lives from a different angle. I’m trying to kick off your critical thinking muscle and break the wheel of a media that comes to conclusions immediately, with little thought, and then agrees with itself aggressively for months until its take is accepted as true.

4. To influence the media zeitgeist
These things, movies, films, music — there’s such a wide range of content to consume and comment on that running a website like this acts as a de facto curation. Among games, I love jRPGs, strategy games, rhythm games, etc, but not so much mainstream AAA action games and shooters. Among films I love movies like Nightcrawler, Amelie, Fight Club, Hesher, Lost in Translation, The Royal Tenenbaums, high style artistic movies with a lot of craft and an offer of insight into the human experience; but what’s popular now is superhero popcorn flicks. The relationship of these media sites to the media that’s produced is an ouroboros of schlock. Influencers talk up movies I don’t want to see, their followers watch those movies, the studio sees demand and creates more at an opportunity cost of everything I like. Meanwhile, the stuff I like loses relevance and as a consumer, I’m left unsatisfied. I want to consolidate and increase the demand for a higher order of modern art that really makes you feel and think, really enriches your human experience. I want to affect what people talk about, give thought to, care about and consume.

5. To build a platform
My ambitions don’t stop at having a media site that people disenchanted with the current media landscape can enjoy. I don’t plan to be a one-man show forever, either. I want to get big enough that I can bring more writers on board and have a greater variety of columns and verticals. I know my articles come from an individual taste; I want people who share my vision and have a complementary, but ultimately different taste. I want to pair up with like-minded people and have a platform where I can help out other people with similar goals by letting them guest post, or showcase their comic book that other places won’t touch, etc. Not only that, I want to create media in the future.

This is all version 1.0 — one guy, regular posts, 170 odd followers and a book for sale. One day you’ll wake up and you’ll check it out and it’ll be dozens of writers on a popular site, publishing original books, comics, games, animations and movies. That’s my dream. That’s my goal. That’s why I’m doing this. I’m just some guy, yeah, but some guy with a lot of grit, passion, intelligence and vision. I appreciate anyone’s help that comes my way, but if none comes, you’ll see me at the top of the hill just the same. It may be five years from now, maybe ten, but I’ll see you there.

Also, I’m always happy to talk to anyone in the comments. I’m a real person out in the world and I don’t care about your follower counts. Whatever that gene is that everyone else seems to have where you treat people differently based on their perceived status or who’s friends with who, I didn’t get it. You’re all people to me.

Ryan is a writer from Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter here, and be sure to buy his new book, Gods of the American Wild.