Throsby

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.

Teenage

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!