Monthly Archives: May 2010

Guest Commentary: Adelaide v Richmond, Round 7 2010

An occasional series where celebrity guest commentators offer their thoughts on the football.  This week Allen “Buddha” Ginsberg reviews his beloved Tigers on the road to Adelaide. ROAR  Allen Ginsberg                      For Damian Hardwick                             I        I saw the … Continue reading

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Guest Commentary: Geelong v Richmond Round 6, 2010

In which our guest commentator, “Big Karl” Marx offers us his somewhat belated thoughts on the 3rd anniversary reprise of the match which set Geelong on the path to the 2007 premiership. The Sixth Round of Bomber Thompson. Karl Marx … Continue reading

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Spoil sport

Competitive balance in the AFL is improved by salary caps, player drafts and revenue equalisation measures when compared to sports played under free market economic rules. Continue reading

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Tracing James Camm, hung for piracy in Hobart 1832

It was a slight shock to discover I was descended from the man who may well be the last person in the British Empire to be (legally) hung for piracy. James Camm was hanged at Hobart in April 1832 for his part in the prisoner mutiny and piracy of the brig Cyprus from Recherche Bay in 1829. Piracy ceased to be a capital offence in the British Empire in 1837, although the new offence of Piracy with violence became a capital offence and remained so until late in the 20th century. Two of Camm’s fellow pirates hanged at Execution Dock in London in 1831 were the last people hung for piracy in Great Britain. A fellow escapee was sentenced to death for his part in the piracy of the Cyprus in Hobart six months after Camm, but his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment and he was transferred to Norfolk Island.

When I have outlined the story of the Cyprus to people they have suggested that it has the makings of a ripping yarn and should be written up. And that thought has occurred to a number of people before now; Marcus Clarke For the term of his natural life and Richard Flanagan Gould’s book of fish (2001) have dealt partially with these events in their novels about the Macquarie Harbour penal settlement. A number of more factual accounts are provided in Warwick Hirst The man who stole the Cyprus (2009) and Chapter 11 of John Mulvaney The axe had never sounded: place, people and heritage of Recherché Bay, Tasmania (2007). Mulvaney is fairly dismissive about the factual accuracy of an earlier effort from Clune and Stevenson, The pirates of the brig Cyprus (1962), which he describes as undocumented ‘faction’. Further, Mulvaney tells us that David Sissons has disproved one of the assertions of the pirates that they sailed to Japan in a recent paper in the Journal of Pacific History.

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How to win the Archibald prize

The Archibald Prize is a prize offered for the best Australasian portrait. It is valued at $50,000 and probably generates more media coverage than any other Art award in Australasia. We are all allowed and encouraged to have an opinion on the Archibald, to the extent that the parallel awards made by the Gallery packers and the voting public are also widely publicised. The Art Gallery of NSW manages to turn the public distrust of the judgement of art ’experts’ into a profitable sideline by selling tea towels, t shirts and coffee mugs with a quote from a gallery packer to the effect that art schools have a lot to answer for.

The Archibald tells us it is, in keeping with the original bequest, an Australasian award and in previous years the roadshow has travelled to at least Victoria. This year the travelling show only makes it as far south as Albury and as far north as Coffs Harbour. No doubt there are good art politics and funding reasons for this NSW parochialism but it does seem a shame that it can’t get around the capital cities of Australasia so we can all join in the fun.
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