BohemiAntipodean Samizdat

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It’s been said that a biographer is a novelist under oath. A life story cannot be told with facts alone. It must be marshaled to maximum literary effect... In the Footsteps of Giants

Congratulations to Andrew Tink for his book on Lord Sydney, providing us with a fascinating biography of the person for whom our great city of Sydney was named

The former Chairman of the NSW Public Accounts Committee, Shadow Attorney General and Shadow Leader of the House in New South Wales Parliament, Andrew Tink will next week introduce his latest book, Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend at Willoughby City Library’s Talks@Willoughby at 12.30pm, Thursday 2 February at Chatswood Library, Lower Ground, The Concourse, 409 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood. Note also the extract of the book entitled Gamble at the birth of a nation
Offering insight into the difficult political environment of late eighteenth-century Britain, Lord Sydney is a comprehensive biography of Thomas ‘Tommy’ Townshend. As Secretary of State for the Home Department, Lord Sydney was the minister responsible for recommending the adoption of a plan for a settlement in Australia and the man for whom the city of Sydney was named. Since his retirement from politics in 2006, Andrew has concentrated on two of his great passions – writing and history. His first political biography, William Charles Wentworth was awarded ‘The Nib’ CAL Waverley Award for Literature in 2010.

Bookings are essential for Talks@Willoughby, visit library website or phone 9777 7900

SYDNEY WITH A WHY OR AN EYE? Good Lord, there's a story in our city's namesake
HE gave his name to our city. Yet there is no official statue or memorial here to commemorate Lord Sydney, the British home secretary who was instrumental in transporting convicts to NSW.
''I don't think there should be,'' said Andrew Tink, the former state politician turned biographer. ''But the life of the man whose decision it was to order the European settlement of Australia is worth a book.
''There has been no biography of Sydney. And I'm finding it very hard to understand why I'm having so much trouble getting this one published.''

Our book of the month is Andrew Tink's fine new biography of Lord Sydney, promoter of the 1788 settlement of New South Wales and the man for whom our city was named. Andrew Tink spent nineteen years in the New South Wales Parliament, including eleven as a Shadow Minister and three as Shadow Leader of the House. Had he stayed on he would now be in government of course, but he chose to step down in 2007 to concentrate on his writing. He is a politician who can write; and he understands history better than most. Politicians ought to be good at history (otherwise, as we know, they will be condemned to repeat it) but not that many are, and we think none in recent times has dug quite as deeply as Andrew.

The man who gave Sydney its name risked his career in choosing the penal settlement's site and governor. But he was lucky and wise, writes Andrew Tink in this extract from his new biography.
• Risk assessment in the justice system isn’t new; Nation built on second chances [Andrew Tink. Epping, NSW 2121. Central Northern Sydney, Sydney Northern Suburbs. p: 02 9877 0266. ; Lord Sydney: The Life and Times of Tommy Townshend ; Andrew Tink's paper on the naming of Sydney ]
• · Andrew Moore speaks with Andrew Tink, author of a biography of Lord Sydney, Thomas Townshend. Tue, 06 Dec 2011 09:45:00. 2GB archived ; History: Andrew’s Story
• · · The little known part Charles II had in the naming of Sydney. Australia’s most populous city derives its name from Algernon Sidney, a British politician executed in 1683 for treason, following the 1784 decision by his nephew Tommy Townshend, as Britain’s home secretary, to establish a penal colony in its distant territory. ;Andrew Tink, the former MP, fresh from his prizewinning William Charles Wentworth, decided to fill this gap. It was not easy. Most of Sydney’s personal papers are in the Clements Library in Michigan. The records of his role in dealing with George III’s madness are with the Royal College of Physicians in London. Yet when Tink had finished his manuscript, Australian publishers showed little interest. Peter Coleman on Sydney
• · · · It’s taken Andrew Tink 7 years to find a publisher but after the success of his award winning biography of the great explorer William Charles Wentworth Ascension Press have now published Lord Sydney, The Life and Times of Tommy Townshen.; When Lady Frances Sidney ran foul of Queen Elizabeth I, she adopted a family motto which the much-maligned organisers of Sydney's 2000 Olympics might well have copied: God preserve me from calumny! Lady Sidney was born in 1531, the daughter of Sir William Sidney of Penshurst, Kent and the aunt of the poet Sir Philip Sidney. In 1555 she became the second wife of Thomas Radcliffe, who in 1557 succeeded his father as Earl of Sussex. Like her husband, Lady Frances was a trusted courtier, serving as one of Queen Elizabeth's Ladies of the Bedchamber. After the Earl's death in 1583, Lady Frances incurred the Queen's displeasure, as a result of slanders about her treatment of her late husband, so she adopted the motto Dieu me garde de calomnie
• · · · · Premier O'Farrell (right) was accompanied by his colleague Andrew Tink—another veteran of that era-who left politics a few years back and has published a couple of very well received biographies on William Charles Wentworth and Lord Sydney since that time. It was terrific to see him in good fettle this week as he has suffered from ill health in recent times. In Uncharted Waters; What If …
• · · · · · Risk assessment in the justice system isn’t new - A statistics professor says he can predict crime before it occurs Drawing from criminal databases dating to the 1960s, Berk initially modeled the Philadelphia algorithm on more than 100,000 old cases, relying on three dozen predictors, including the perpetrator’s age, gender, neighborhood, and number of prior crimes. Misfortune Teller; Media Dragon predicted the birth of this book by Andrew on Lord Sydney back in 2006 Fortunate Teller

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Here's to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year, to all media dragons! I thought it would be difficult to decide what to write for my first blog entry. I thought it would need to be original, witty, unique, and somehow perfect. Yet, I don't have a perfect track record when it comes to new years resolutions, so this year MMXII I am not even planning to change the world for the better. The reality is that in 2012 Media Dragon is 10 years old and how the decade just flew. My daughters will be both in their twenties and how I managed to get grey hair is beyond me ... I might be older, yet the mind and idiosyncrasies of women and computers are still a foreign language to me. I must have done something strange in my previous lives to be blessed with four sisters, two daughters etc ... ;-) New Year's Resolutions I've Already Broken.

There's been a dramatic end to New Year's Eve celebrations in Melbourne, with the iconic Arts Centre spire catching fire - (hat tip to MT iphone).

Tens of thousands of revelers filled Melbourne Streets, while we watched George Cluney in the Descandants, to ring in the new year Saturday night. Counting backwards from 10, the crowd cheered as the clock struck midnight and fireworks even peppered Catholics at St Kilda

Wishing one another a happy new year, many people shared a kiss with a significant other, while others traded high fives and hugs. May this new vintage be a bit more than peppered with good intentions ;-) Happy New Year to media types everywhere

If your conscience is clear, you've nothing to worry about. Your innocence will be proved, but you have to fight for it! I believe that if one doesn't give way, truth must always come out in the end. Maria in Václav Havel, Vyrozumení (The Memorandum) (1966)

-In certain countries, theatres do not merely hire half-starved performers to act out the writings of half-starved writers. They also launch (escapes and)revolutions! Absurdity and truth: the passing of Václav Havel

The Joy of Quiet: Happy New Year to Quiet Douliae types everywhere Gabbie Melbourne Gal: Out with the Old, and iN with the New
When telegraphs and trains brought in the idea that convenience was more important than content — and speedier means could make up for unimproved ends — Henry David Thoreau reminded us that “the man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages.” Even half a century ago, Marshall McLuhan, who came closer than most to seeing what was coming, warned, “When things come at you very fast, naturally you lose touch with yourself.” Thomas Merton struck a chord with millions, by not just noting that “Man was made for the highest activity, which is, in fact, his rest,” but by also acting on it, and stepping out of the rat race and into a Cistercian cloister.

I never ... watch TV ... Nor do I go to cocktail parties, dinners or anything like that.” He lived outside conventional ideas, he implied, because “I live alone mostly, in the middle of nowhere.”

Around the same time, I noticed that those who part with $2,285 a night to stay in a cliff-top room at the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur pay partly for the privilege of not having a TV in their rooms; the future of travel, I’m reliably told, lies in “black-hole resorts,” which charge high prices precisely because you can’t get online in their rooms.
Has it really come to this?
In barely one generation we’ve moved from exulting in the time-saving devices that have so expanded our lives to trying to get away from them — often in order to make more time. The more ways we have to connect, the more many of us seem desperate to unplug. Like teenagers, we appear to have gone from knowing nothing about the world to knowing too much all but overnight.

• · Hat tip - Gina F The man whose horse trots a mile in a minute does not carry the most important messages [A Variety of New Year's Resolutions
‎ - 666 Pure Vodka run a workshop in NY where Sam Ross (former Melbourne bartender, now manager of Milk & Honey in New York and recently awarded American Bartender of the Year at the 2011 Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards) described his bartending philosophy and shared various cocktail techniques to a mostly industry-only crowd. It was a really interesting session (I took lots of notes, nerd that I am) Melbourne Gal in love with her city - Milk & Honey ; Chichi Bella and her recommended readings Divine Simplicity of Life in Melbourne; Gabbie and her How to do stuff sites Crafts]
• · · Melbourne erupted in a blaze of colour and light at midnight as Australia ushered in the new year in style Melbourne Arts Centre set ablaze during fireworks ; Sydney turned on a dazzling display of fireworks on the harbour that cost $6.5 million and lasted 12 minutes Cities of light deliver hope in darker times
• · · · Happy 2012 for all crossworders ... ... but may it be a bad year for the crossword gremlins; Metropolis
• · · · · Sydney and Hong Kong set the standard with glittering extravaganzas, while London geared up for a firework display over the River Thames to usher in a year in which it will host the Olympic Games World rings in New Year in blaze of fireworks ; The NSW Minister for Planning has asked two lawyers and ex-State Government ministers - Tim Moore and Ron Dyer; one Liberal, the other Labor - to review the NSW Planning System. Into the swamps of the current system, or a clear view of where to go?
• · · · · ·In announcing the end of the Iraq War, President Obama ignored its horrors, so as not to further upset its still-powerful supporters. But his silence removed the context for Pvt. Bradley Manning's moral decision to expose these crimes of war. Bradley Manning: traitor or hero?; Apocalypse now: caught in the Web of Revelations - In Hell there is nowhere to hide. It's official: we've all gone to hell