Author Archives: observeroftimes

Where do atheist writers go when they die?

I first met Michael Alan (his pen name) in 2007 on a British Arts Council–funded writers’ site when his work was randomly assigned to me for review. In those days YouWriteOn attracted real talent; writers of high calibre along with … Continue reading

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The Sky’s the Limit: notes towards a profile of today’s flat-Earth mindset

The first I heard of the recent revival of suspicions that our Earth is a disc, not a sphere, was early last year, from a business-minded friend with a post-grad degree. F and I had met up one clear summer … Continue reading

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The Indivisible Forest

We live in a medial reality. All modern experience is mediated: via technology, the media, language and even thought. Our processed diets and sterile environments promote dissociation from our bodies and from nature. We enter a forest only to find … Continue reading

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Visions from Underground

Has anyone, lately, glanced up from their smartphones for long enough to notice how fast our planet appears to be going to hell in a handcart? My fringe-dwelling friends are responding in various ways. One chooses to boycott the news, … Continue reading

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Prose & cons of outsider status as a writer

The art world has a name for work produced outside the mainstream by untrained creators who conform to marginal norms (e.g. eccentric recluses, criminals, schizophrenics and visionaries). And, like most else under capitalism, Outsider Art has become an industry. You … Continue reading

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Challenging sacred cows

Humane is a confusingly versatile word. Lately, it’s featured in the Oz media, and beyond, with public outcries for humane treatment of refugees and our livestock exports. Re the former, just for starters, ‘humane’ would mean not incarcerating those who’ve … Continue reading

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