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Throsby   Jun 15 2005

Filed under Olio by Editor

It’s a long way to the top… and I’m not even close.

Born 1944 in the fabulous little village of Springwood in NSW’s Blue Mountains.

The sepia-blue mists of winter and the scorching rusted summers marked a world both breathtakingly beautiful and lethally violent to the wide-eyed child in Australia’s post-war optimistic austerity.

Parents and grandparents battlers all. But, typical of their desperate crawl from the oppressive swine-like subsistence of the thirties depression, a heroic teeth-gritting fight for literal survival in the fearful six-year world conflagration of the forties, they brushed from their heavy woolen clothes the dust of the past and proceeded to vote conservative for two decades – if only to prove they were free of that lower-class yoke .. and sadly, ironically, to become a generation lost, separated from their roots – Labour, the workers’ and shearers’ party, and trades unions, who a century earlier fought the titans of agriculture, then industry, and collaborators in government for life better than mere slavery.

They begat a young child who scrummed and barefooted his way through the fifties in a string of egalitarian public schools comprising tree-studded playgrounds and beige wooden classrooms resembling lined-up “Queenslander” homes.

The primary teaching staff, he recalls, a contrasted mix not unlike the mountainous seasons of his birthplace – sweet, intelligent and kind maidenly ladies yet a largely fearsome, arrogant, sarcastic troop of aging schoolmasters who brooked no fools, nor little children in any form, it seemed.

The primary teaching staff, he recalls, a contrasted mix not unlike the mountainous seasons of his birthplace – sweet, intelligent and kind maidenly ladies yet a largely fearsome, arrogant, sarcastic troop of aging schoolmasters who brooked no fools, nor little children in any form, it seemed.


The sixties found me in a selective boys’ high school amid the smoke-laden airs of Newcastle. Another fearsome troop of serious professional male educators, polished and confident masters of their profession, attempting control of rebelliously-contained charges soon to create the age of peace and love, flared pants and mopped heads.

Intellectual maturity established itself (to some degree) in school’s senior years and our dies were cast.

It was an odd era. We knew not ourselves baby-boomers, yet felt ill at ease with our parents’ discipline and social suffocation, and dimly sensed the times were a changin’.

Work age

Stints in the Newcastle Morning Herald, Radio 2KO, local ABC Radio, then local Television, followed a carrer consecrated as a long-haired, ink-slinging pencil-necked git, strutting with pipe and waste coat down the upper precincts of that tidy little tight-minded city.

Following the great and wondrous career was, fortunately for independent thought, not my way, so I only headed to the old country, London approximately, Earls Court precisely, because what was good enough for Bazza MacKenzie, and Mssrs Humphries, James, et al, was probably medially OK for me.

Worked a string of shabby pommie dailies across that shabby wet town of London, saw first hand the fall of the Times and the dark cheapening influence of Murdoch’s early thrust, then took a quick boat to the New World to pot and potter around the Village, its Voice, Rolling Stone, with some copy-cutting at the epoch-resounder Ramparts Magazine.

To my dying days I regret passing up an offer of casual subbing at Boston’s Atlantic Monthly, deigning the posting too demeaning. I guess the sheer size of the Trimenjus Apple let me see only trees at dirt level, unable to discern steadfast giants of the trade from the mere bark ‘n branches where I nested.

Time repeated, at Harpers it would have been spent.

Recent Times

And what has one Throsby done in the past two decades? I shall not share that with thee, dear reader. Suffice it to say my obscurity was not at Her Majesty’s pleasure, nor Uncle Sam’s for that matter – nor as a client of ANY government-run institution in any country.

No, it’s been consumed consolidating a personality stretched too thin within the social torsions that stress youthful workers of this latter-industrial age. Quite simply put, I was too busy earning a living to achieve wealth, status or fame.

I became a hack, intellectually stagnant for two decades, then woke up to find my life within a decade of finality and nothing that prided me, just a deep gnawing dissatisfaction… might I suggest, desolation.

Lacking the intellectual wherewithal to storm the towers of academia, or the testosterone to battle the road warriors of publishing, one Throsby lapsed, as must 95% of wannabes, to mediocrity and self-loathing.

No Longer Meek

Then something wonderful happened.

As the century turned, the meek began to inherit the Earth. The Internet turned the world of… the world of EVERYTHING, on its proverbial head.

This inspiring, democratizing, enchanting new cyber space was an open slate, a virgin frontier, for we of dull-ember intellect who saw our lives and potential routed, dead-ended, and terminally deep-sixed, destined to cower forever in the shadow of the shrill-voiced, hairy-testicled alpha males of our respective trades and professions.

It’s a large flat cyber grassland, the Internet, and a very wide world-wide web. The horses are fed, rested, saddled, and stirruped. The mountains of competition are distant, and it’s a free-for-all gallop from a even and standing start to the foothills and fertile valleys of citizen publishing.

Hi-ho! and off into the digital wild west!

Down Under


Ink Irresistable

Not the NYT Montaigne's what would I know? Huxley's almost anything about almost everything. Or Bierce and nothing matters. Codifying life's inimitable impromptu inclines irrestistably to essay.

Civilization ..

   defiles itself

Times past when warlords, priests and royalty hoarded luxury, life was a short grim struggle. Today most want for little yet still deny dignified survival to working poor, and ravage entire countries as collateral to our laissez faire fiesta.
double arrowOn not shedding a tear ..

A Century of Imperialism

     ..hasn't dulled the urge

American foreign policy never a pretty sight, finesse of the mobile crane chase from Terminator 3. Export democracy? Cure worse than disease. double arrow Read more ..


~ its own reward

And what's going on in Land of the Free, Home of the Brave? As 40% of kids fail graduation the Iraqistan wars suck $2.4 trillion [CBO 2017 est]. Imagine this staggering sum applied to rebuilding The Great Society. Think of others.
double arrow Where Charity Begins

This lazy unemployed

..crack-smoking welfare queen ran up U$15 trillion debt

lazy homeless scum
Odd how the ultra-wealthy gull even working poor to blame unemployed, disabled, weak, and vulnerable while but for the grace of God go all.

If he's a welfare leech then your soul is with the sociopaths and predators who own Warshington and its minions, the Repugnicans and Dumfocrats, gutting a once noble nation that aspired to equality.

This elite will survive the US economic train wreck, land softly on 300 million plundered taxpayers, then from fortresses of luxury and privilege prey elsewhere for spoils.

The dawn of civilization was greatly exaggerated.

Munch Montage

Painters, such a sad old bunch
None it seems more so than Munch
Upon that bridge with skies afire
A meme took flight to never tire.
2arrow gif

Quote Me

"I am an obsessive rewriter, doing one draft and then another and another. In a way I have nothing to say but a great deal to add
~ Gore Vidal

"Rulers of state are the only ones who should have the privilege of lying" (Well, that explains the last 2500 years)
~ Plato

"By 'known unknowns' I was referring to the universe's dark matter.."
~ Donald Rumsfeld

"I have neither time nor inclination to communicate the fullness of my heart in speech, I am resolved to do it in writing, and to print myself out.."
~ Joseph Addison