It’s a long way to the top… and I’m not even close.
Born 1944 in the little village of Springwood in NSW’s Blue Mountains.
Parents and grandparents battlers all. They begot a young child who scampered his way through the fifties in a string of egalitarian public schools comprising tree-studded playgrounds and beige wooden classrooms.
The sixties found me in high school amid the smoke-laden airs of Newcastle. 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’.
Stints in the Newcastle Morning Herald, Radio 2KO, local ABC Radio, then local Television, followed a career 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 dingy sodden 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-making 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.
And what has one Throsby done with his decades? Suffice it to say it was not at Her Majesty’s pleasure, nor Uncle Sam’s for that matter – nor as a client of ANY related institution in any country.
No, like most of us, his waking hours were consumed managing a personality stretched too thin within the social torsion that stresses workers of this late-industrial age. Quite simply put, I was too busy earning a living to do anything useful.
I became a hack, intellectually stagnant for two decades, then woke up to find myself within perhaps 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, this forlorn 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 web. The horses are fed, rested, saddled, and in stirrup. 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! Off into the digital wild west!