author: Tim Robertson

  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Craftsmanship in the age of COVID

    • Tim Robertson
    • 21 July 2020
    9 Comments

    Craftsmanship is a way of seeing and understanding mediated through touch and feel and the body. While the finished product or the stated goal are important, the process — as an act of learning, making mistakes, experiencing both frustration and satisfaction — is equally (if not more) important.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Our not so distant past

    • Tim Robertson
    • 17 April 2020
    9 Comments

    I can’t be the only one who has, in recent weeks, found myself reaching for my dog-eared copy of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, a fictional re-telling of the 1665 great plague of London.

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  • RELIGION

    Dawkins delusion: the legacy of New Atheism

    • Tim Robertson
    • 27 February 2020
    16 Comments

    Contrary to their claims, the New Atheists do have a creation myth. It goes something like this: emerging from darkness into the light, Enlightenment thinkers cast off the shackles of religion and, in so doing, ushered in an age of reason. For the likes of Richard Dawkins, a founding member of the movement, this is an article of faith, and he’s spent recent years casting himself not just as an heir of this tradition, but also as its modern day guardian.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Hypocrisy and hysteria over Chinese influence

    • Tim Robertson
    • 16 October 2019
    8 Comments

    Chinese interference in Australian politics is an issue of genuine concern. But why is the hysteria exclusive to China? Like the outrage surrounding the awarding of the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature to Mo Yan, accused of working within the bounds of China's censorship program, why don't we hold our own government to the same level of scrutiny?

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  • ENVIRONMENT

    Climate protest is existential

    • Tim Robertson
    • 20 September 2019
    5 Comments

    Anyone at Friday's climate strike couldn't help but notice just how much the terms of the debate have shifted in recent years. The crisis is one of being. Climate change denialism isn't simply a political position anymore. To deny the science is to embrace nihilism; it is to be complicit in one's own extinction.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Ending the cycle of violence in Kashmir

    • Tim Robertson
    • 15 March 2019
    1 Comment

    The world leaders who rushed to condemn the Valentine's Day attack have long remained silent on state-sanctioned oppression in Kashmir. That's no longer a surprise; nor is the fact that the attack was covered by every major western media organisation, while the daily injustices perpetrated against ordinary Kashmiris go unreported.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    The implications of loneliness

    • Tim Robertson
    • 19 November 2018
    14 Comments

    Loneliness is framed in a quintessentially liberal way: as a health-related issue affecting individuals. But loneliness is a by-product of the liberal social order; by elevating the market above all else and reducing notions of freedom to individual rights, notions of value are now boiled down to crude forms of economic reductionism.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    We are all neoliberals now

    • Tim Robertson
    • 20 April 2017
    13 Comments

    One of the challenges for progressive parties is to look beyond the existing neoliberal framework for solutions to the current malaise. Labor is so steeped in neoliberal orthodoxy that, even if it was willing to evolve, it's likely incapable of doing so. And while much of the intellectual heavy lifting in forming a picture of what a post-neoliberal future may look like will be done outside organised politics, Labor remains completely unengaged with almost all of these debates.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Hansonism is normal and everything is not fine

    • Tim Robertson
    • 17 February 2017
    11 Comments

    This is not the beginning of the normalisation of Hanson and One Nation: it's the end. In a piece for The Monthly, Dominic Kelly highlighted how large swaths of the rightwing commentariat have embraced the 'more mature', 'disciplined' and 'principled' Hanson 2.0. Despite this rhetoric, for the Right, appeasing One Nation has always been a balancing act. They're guided by one question: How much racism is permissible before it has to be condemned?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Conversations with homeless protesters

    • Tim Robertson
    • 23 May 2016
    8 Comments

    I asked John, a tall, articulate man with long hair and well-maintained hipster beard, if he'd had a chance to read the most recently published Herald Sun think-piece arguing that what they are doing is not a demand for help, but a political protest. He smiled wryly, expelled a couple of bursts of laughter and said that that may be their most accurate reporting of the unfolding situation to-date: 'This has always been a political protest ... that's always been our intention.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Malcolm Turnbull's confidence trick

    • Tim Robertson
    • 25 November 2015
    17 Comments

    The vitriol with which much of the liberal mainstream media responded to Tony Abbott's Margaret Thatcher memorial speech last month confirmed what many rightwingers have been claiming: that Abbott's problem was not his policies, but his inability to sell them. As communicators, he and Turnbull are poles apart. To date, the most striking achievement of the Malcolm Turnbull confidence trick is that he's rewarded for his apparent progressivism, even when he speaks explicitly against it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    If only gender-based violence really was unAustralian

    • Tim Robertson
    • 13 October 2015
    11 Comments

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has declared that violence against women needs to be seen as 'unAustralian'. But sexual violence against women was part of the colonial experience for the Indigenous population, and continues to be a symptom of the punitive measures enacted against asylum seekers that we have a moral and legal obligation to protect. Violence against women is very much 'Australian', and will be until the institutional violence that has defined our past is owned and redressed.

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