Who am I?

I’m Marshall Roberts. I live in the Huon Valley, Tasmania, Australia, on a farm. I also do IT stuff. And I’m an idealist, apparently.

What’s this about?

I occasionally have some things to say, so I decided I’d say them here. I’m also a frustrated writer at heart, so I may even get a bit creative at some point.

This site is called “an idealist” because it recently struck me the number of times I’ve raised what I thought were very valid points about an issue, only to be told something along the lines of, “ah… you’re obviously an idealist”, as though that meant an inevitable end to the conversation.

I guess I am an idealist, but I don’t think I’m an idealist to the point of being impractical. I’d like to think that when people set out to do something, they at least aim for an ideal and then make concessions as necessary. That’s a perfectly reasonable approach. I think what irks me is that making concessions often ends up being a slippery slope; there are some concessions that have to be made, and there are some that are made just because of habit or being prepared to settle for second best, or even just laziness. Recognising that for what it is, is not, in my opinion, an overly idealistic position.

Sometimes windmills look like giants, but sometimes giants look like windmills. Sorting out which battles are genuinely quixotic endeavours is something I take seriously, because I do think there are real issues to deal with, as well as little things that can be improved.

I’m very aware that I too am beset by that affliction known as “the human condition”; despite attempts to be even-handed I am a mix of contradictions (for example, I’m a vegetarian engaging in commercial beef farming). A psychologist would probably postulate that my rants here are a function of not being able to resolve my own contradictions, and there’d probably be some truth in that.

If you’d like to sue me, please don’t; how about reading my Legal page instead?

What’s with the lame graffiti logo?

In the mid to late 1980s there were some talented graffiti artists at our high school. As you can see, I wasn’t one of them. But I did enjoy watching them work (on paper, mind you, I was never cool enough to see them do their real work) and I was interested enough in the scene to do (as all wannabe graffiti artists do) a bit of reading about the sociological aspects of engaging in graffiti as a form of expression (now, seriously, if real graffiti artists did that, how much better off would they be in their police interviews?)

Blogging is a bit like graffiti – making your mark on the enormous public space that is the internet. Sometimes it’s subversive, sometimes it’s constructive, sometimes it’s art, sometimes it just a bucket-load of expletives, and sometimes there’s a little bit of self-obsessed nihilism in there.

So I thought I’d do a graffiti logo. Not least because that’d save me thinking of a real one. Now try telling me I’m overly idealistic.