Soapbox Speakers

The speakers and hecklers!

In Speakers and hecklers. on March 8, 2015 at 11:51 pm

“I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” 
Gerry Spence.

This sums up the relationship between the speakers and the hecklers.

This sums up the relationship between the speakers and the hecklers.

Some people say the speakers at Speakers’ Corner are a little eccentric. There might be a skerrick of merit in that point of view. Whatever the case, they’re an entertaining bunch.
Click here to see their 2015 highlights.
Click here to see their 2014 highlights.
Click here to see their 2013 highlights.

Find past posts  on our Archives site.

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The Speakers and Hecklers.

Steve Maxwell, historian and political commentator.

Steve Maxwell

Steve Maxwell, legend.

In various personas, but always engaging, Steve talks about religion, Australian history and politics. Click here for highlights. To see more videos of Steve, go to the archives site. From his book, ‘Soapbox Oratory‘ Steve writes: ‘In a modern city, there must be a place where strangers can meet and discuss the issues of the day without fear of persecution; where the right to retain one’s individuality is allowed.

Helmut Cerncic, metaphysicist.

Helmut 4

Helmut used to be a professional wrestler going by the name of Helmut Rommel. He took on the likes of Killer Karl Kox, Mario Milano and Spiros Orion. And, he once beat Arnold Schwartzenegger in a body building contest.
More importantly, Helmut knows a lot about metaphysics (more than Arnold Schwartzenegger and Killer Karl Kox combined), and he is happy to explain why Isaac Newton was an ignoramus.
His battles with hecklers are fun. He calls his listeners his ‘groundlings’. Here are some highlights.
For more videos of Helmut, go to the archives site and to his own site, ‘Is Science the New Religion?’.

Mirko Terzic, 21st Century inventor.

Mirko

Mirko has created a phonetic alphabet to be used world-wide, and it’s better than Esperento. He has solved the problem of perpetual motion and has diagrams explaining how to get free unlimited energy from hydropower. Mirko knows how to think outside the square. Here are a few highlights of Mirko. For more videos of Mirko go to the archives site.

Ray, Christian.

Ray is concerned about your soul.

 Ray is passionate about spreading the word of God. He takes the task seriously but isn’t confronting. He is a gentle man willing to answer your questions. Here are a few highlights. For more videos of Ray, go to the archives site.

Mr Bashful, epiphany specialist.

Mr B 2

Mr Bashful, the epiphany specialist.

Epiphany specialist Mr Bashful tells us he is the spiritual advisor to the Dalai Lama, though that’s yet to be verified. He calls his listeners his ‘grasshoppers’ and his foes ‘garden gnomes’. (He himself could be called ‘King of the Cheap Shots’.)
  Among other things, Mr Bashful talks about New Age scams,  happiness myths, and why we should burn the Mona Lisa. One thing he isn’t, is bashful.
To learn more about him and see videos of him in action, click here.
He now has a Facebook page.

 

THE HECKLERS

Uncle Pete (heckler and occasional speaker)

Peter - best

During the week Uncle Pete teaches students, and if he teaches them with the same verve he has for the Sunday passers-by, they are lucky students indeed. Click here for a few highlights. For more videos of Uncle Pete, go to the archives site.

Tony, atheist.

Tony
New-Zealand born Tony used to be a speaker and is a fervent atheist scathing of the Catholic Church. When he is not berating Christianity he is either sinking the boot into other religions, or supporting Palestine. In this video  Tony expresses a few of his well considered opinions. For more videos of Tony click here.
He has retired as a speaker but keeps his eye in being a heckler to the other speakers.

Max (Quiet listener)

Max

Max is one of the gentler regular visitors. Says little, but when he does speak it’s sensible. A pleasant change for Speakers’ Corner. Click here to discover why he visits Speakers’ Corner.

Arthur (Heckler)

 Arthur 1

Arthur is not what you call the shy type, and is generous with his opinion. I caught him searching for disciples.

Jack (Quiet observer)

 Jack

“The old grey owl sat on an oak.
The more he heard, the less he spoke.
The less he spoke, the more he heard.
Now, wasn’t he a wise old bird?”

Click here to hear a few words from Jack.

Silvia

Sylvia

Silvia drops by and stays for some time. We hope one day she expresses an opinion.

Peter the Younger

Pete

The well-read Peter knows an awful lot about many subjects, and in particular: geo-politics and U.S. shenanigans.  Click here to hear why Pete comes to Speakers’ Corner.

Howard

howard

Howard is always polite and reasonable, yet despite that he fits in well at Speakers’ Corner. His contributions are appreciated by all. Click here to hear why he comes to Speakers’ Corner.

Mark the Grinner

mark-the-grinner

Mark regularly gets a hearty laugh from the crowd with is meticulously crafted questions, and his serious comments are  insightful. His companion, Sue, is less vocal, but she has no trouble speaking her mind when she has something to say. Click here to hear why Mark comes to Speakers’ Corner.

Jean

Jean 2

Jean tries so hard to be feisty, but she’s just a big softie. Click here to hear why she comes to Speakers’ Corner.
Her husband Albert is below. Both of them are excellent value at Speakers’ Corner.

Albert

Albert 3

Albert may be 92, but he is as alert as anyone, and fit. When he helps Mr B unload the chairs he carries six at a time.
Albert wrote an absorbing book titled, ‘Civilisation Hijacked’. It explains how good men are persuaded to do bad things.

Book
If  you would like to buy a copy ($20) email Albert:  al.morris@optusnet.com.au
Albert is the husband of Jean.

Bring your money!

In News for Speakers' Corner on August 17, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Bring your wallets, your loose change, and that gold sovreign you’ve been keeping in the bottom drawer for that rainy day.

In 1972 a twenty minute film was made about Domain speaker, John Webster. It is called, ‘Webster’s Domain‘ and its producer is film maker Peter Marjason.

This scribe hoped to find a digital copy to put on this site and on Youtube so that those who fondly remember John can see him again. However, the film is no longer in the State Library, and it’s not in any other library in Australia. The only copy this diligent scribe could find is in the National Sound and Film Archive (NSFA) in Canberra.

They have quoted $405 to make and send me a digital copy of the film. (That’s without the timecode rudely intruding.)

This scribe is wondering if you regulars might be interested in contributing towards the cost?

Dear regulars, if you’d like to see a film of the famous John Webster, bring your rent money and your child’s moneybox with you on Sunday. And part with it.

And bring something to auction off. An auction might help too.

If you do choose to contribute, Mr B promises to refrain from calling you a blithering idiot for the first fifteen minutes of the meeting. (After that he can’t guarantee he’ll be able to hold back.)

With regards to all,

The Scribe.

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 13th August

In News for Speakers' Corner on August 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm

“The great majority never brood, never philosophise, never ask questions about the meaning or purpose of life. They take things for granted; they swallow the universe like a glass of beer.”
Walter Murdoch.

1. A challenge to any Christian!

Mr Bashful doesn’t talk about the existence or non-existence of God, and he normally doesn’t debate Christians about the Theory of Evolution. That’s because Mr B has found no Christian able to explain to him the process of natural selection. He figures that if Christians are willing to dismiss a theory they haven’t taken the time to understand, why waste time with them?

But after an experience today (albeit pleasant), Mr B wants this accommodating scribe to announce for him the following open challenge to each and every Christian:

“Christian: please describe to Mr B and his grasshoppers the process of natural selection in Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Please indicate how a new species can come into being, according to the theory.”

Mr B isn’t expecting the Christian to believe the explanation they provide. He only wants the Christian to explain it. He figures that if atheists are cognisant of the Christian’s point of view (having had it thrust upon them throughout their life), then it’s only fair that Christians are cognisant of the atheists’ point of view, even if they (the Christians) don’t believe it.

Mr B suspects that in all the years to come, up there on the Ladder of Knowledge, he will find no Christian successfully meeting that challenge.

Of course, many Christians do believe in evolution. (And many are scientists.) They seem to be the ones who don’t feel the need to introduce the subject of God in the first place. But if one of them does successfully takes the challenge I will laud their effort on this site.

As it happens, Mr B will be answering that very question this coming Sunday. And, perhaps the humble Uncle Pete will find the courage to contribute as well.
If you want to understand the process of natural selection and how new species come into being, come along this Sunday.

2. Mr B also wants it known by Christians that: the origin of the universe, the origin of life, and the Theory of Evolution are completely different issues. Put another way, evolution has nothing to do with the origin of life, and the origin of life has nothing to do with the origin of the universe.

Yes, dear Christians, discuss those topics with consenting speakers if you must, but please don’t confuse those topics with one another. They are different issues entirely!

3. Steve Maxwell made a sign that welcomed people in forty languages. Unfortunately, he couldn’t find a translation for the term ‘soapbox speaker’, so foreign speakers still didn’t know what the hell was going on at Speakers’ Corner. But that didn’t stop Steve: he had a steady crowd all day.

As did Tony. That may have had something to do with his sign, which read ‘No Same-Sex Marriage’. “It’s topical”, he explained afterwards. Yes, it is, Tony. But please would you join us in the 21st century!


4. The ‘Something Nice’ segment, to hearten some and irritate others.

5. Mr B wasn’t popular today. That’s because he was telling people what to do, by criticising the social media zombies who look at Facebook five hours a day, and the couch potatoes who watch television five hours a day, and the brick breakers who train in martial arts five hours a day. It was that last suggestion which inspired the most insults. Apparently, the public respect people who spend a big chunk of their life learning how to harm folk.

Mr B doesn’t yet understand that as the martial artists perfect their ability to kill people, they’re developing self-discipline and growing spiritually.

And it seems he doesn’t understand that people on Facebook for five hours a day are developing inner core body strength, and wisdom.

And that people watching television for five hours a day are gaining compassion and resilience.

It’s time to wake up, Mr B.

6. Who won the fabulous prize for answering last week’s question posed by Uncle Pete (about the Earth circled by string)?  Answer: no one. Uncle Pete left before people put forth their responses. My advice? Be there this coming Sunday and we will definitely resolve the matter, early!

Uncle Pete

7. Towards the end of the day Helmut stood upon the Ladder of Knowledge and said a few harsh words about Sir Isaac Newton. We, his groundlings, suspect that Sir Isaac Newton might have once sleighted Helmut, and Helmut has never forgotten it. We can think of no other reasonable explanation to explain Helmut’s incessant vituperation of poor Isaac.

Following Helmut was the fervent Christian, Gary O’Shea. Gary answered questions about Christianity and appeared emminently sensible. Gary plans to come back next week to speak on a separate ladder. If he steals Mr B’s crowd, Speakers’ Corner will be the better for it!

8. Other subjects discussed:
– Mr B was about to explain abstract paintings when he was sidetracked into explaining why the NSW Art Gallery is not an art gallery, but a financial institution.

– We delved into a man’s subsconscious to discover his meaning of life. (It turned out to be straightforward. No mental gymnastics were necessary.)

– Why do we have religion? Mr B gave four (of seven) reasons.

– Should we change the curriculum in schools? If so, which subjects would we introduce, and which would we ditch?
As expected, Mr B wanted to ditch foreign languages and all forms of history. His criticism of history prompted a strong reaction, too!

9. If you would like to read all this in a different font go to our Facebook page. And try our Archives site if you haven’t already.

 

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