Every Monday the news arrives, along with another episode of ‘Steve Maxwell’s Passing Parade’.
For previous posts go to ‘The Weekly Posts’ in the archives.
For Sunday, July 20
Tony the heckler/speaker doesn’t read the posts in this blog, which is probably a good thing. He says he can’t read them because he hasn’t yet figured out this ‘internet thing’. That’s understandable, given that he is still struggling to leave the 1950s.
So, it wasn’t last week’s post that prompted Tony to leave Helmut alone this week. It was just coincidence. This week Tony chose to abstain from criticising Helmut’s science, and instead, stood on his own borrowed milk crate and gave his listeners ‘the correct science’. All that meant, of course, was that we had two speakers spouting dubious science instead of one. Hardly an improvement. And, with Ray in full evangelical mode, anyone wanting to know how the universe began had a range of opinions to choose from. (It was a bit like a lucky dip – the kind in which the prize you get is worth far less than the price of the ticket.)
John August and Steve Maxwell were firing, and Mr Bashful and Helmut again traded insults to keep themselves warm. It was a good afternoon.
In the video below, Helmut recounts two brief anecdotes about a heckler in the mid 1970s.
This week in Steve Maxwell’s ‘Passing Parade’ we look at one of America’s most exciting Speakers’ Corner: Bughouse Square. Steve provides a link to this year’s special ‘Bughouse Square Debates Day’.
Steve Maxwell’s Passing Parade.
A Pageant of World Soapbox Personalities.
The ‘Bughouse Square Debates’, in Chicago every July.
“Bughouse Square” (Washington Square) is in front of the Newberry Library on Walton Street Chicago. From the 1860’s the square was a place of protest, and it grew into one of America’s leading soapbox venues. The square reached its heyday in the 1930’s.
Over the years, thousands of speakers spoke there: the famous writers Carl Sandburg and Ben Hecht (Kirk Douglas’ script writer); poet Kenneth Rexroth; lawyer Clarence Darrow; and radical unionist, Big Bill Haywood, to name a few.
There were also the not-so famous: the artists, trade unionists, socialists, ‘single- taxers’, and Druids. There were geologists proving the world was flat, and geologists proving the Earth was a hollow sphere. There were atheists, suffragists, and people who had been in communication with the inhabitants of Mars.
Prohibitionists from the Moody Bible Institute also expounded their views in Bughouse Square.
A prominent Bughouse Square identity was Slim Brundage, a beatnik poet and speak-easy manager of the nearby Dill Pickle Club.
In 1968, Mayor Daley had the venue closed during demonstrations at the Democratic Convention.
On behalf of the Newberry Library, the late Studs Terkel, famous Chicago author, helped revive soapbox oratory by promoting ‘The Bughouse Debates’. Every year, for one day in July, the people of Chicago pay homage to the soapboxers of the past by staging these debates. If you would like to know more about this year’s event:
If you would like to win a free, all expenses paid trip to attend this year’s Bughouse Square Debates, simply be the first to email us irrefutable proof that Tony is indeed an intelligent ASIO operative focused on bringing down Sydney’s Speakers’ Corner.
Next week: ‘The New York Commons’.
You will find Steve’s previous postings in ‘Steve Maxwell’s Passing Parade’ at the very top.