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.

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.

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The Speakers and Hecklers.

Steve Maxwell, historian and political commentator.

Steve Maxwell 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 once beat Arnold Schwartzenegger in a body building contest. He knows a lot about metaphysics, (more than Arnold Schwartzenegger), and is happy to explain why Isaac Newton was an ignoramus. But 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 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.
He now has a Facebook page.

Tony, atheist. (Speaker and  heckler)

New-Zealand born Tony is a fervent atheist and 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.


Peter the Heckler (and occasional speaker)

Peter - best

During the week Peter 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 Peter, go to the archives site.

Jovo (occasional speaker)


 Jovo is a charismatic man, which may explain why he is also known as ‘Rasputin’ and ‘The Wild Man of Serbia’. Throughout the world he is envied by monks, yogis and gurus for his ability to tap into a stream of consciousness and verbalise it. 

Andrew, the exhibitionist. (Heckler.)

If you have any questions to ask of a flasher, Andrew is the guy to ask.

If you have any questions to ask of a flasher, Andrew is the guy to ask.

 Andrew used to be a speaker – he used to be the only flasher in the world prepared to stand up and talk about flashing, and support it. There are four entertaining videos of Andrew speaking.  Here is just one. For more videos of Andrew, go to the archives site. His award winning book about exhibitionism (flashing) is available on Amazon.

Max (Quiet listener)


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)


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



Click here to hear why Pete comes to Speakers’ Corner.



Click here to understand why Daniel visits.


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 is Albert, below. Both of them are very good value at Speakers’ Corner.


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.

If  you would like to buy a copy ($20) email Albert:
Albert is the husband of Jean.

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 16th October

In News for Speakers' Corner on October 17, 2016 at 10:43 am

1. Mr B opened with a joke that he seemed to think would have us rolling in the aisles. He tried to convince us all that the current spate of menacing clowns was a serious issue, and that we should arm ourselves with . . . a popgun.


Who writes his stuff? The Grim Reaper?

2. It wasn’t long after that when Mr B was asked for his thoughts on Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Nostalgia. Sorry, for Literature. We’d like to say Mr B was magnanimous, but that’s a quality he lacks. He was, as you would expect from him, critical. He responded by suggesting that if Bob Dylan got a Nobel Prize for Literature, then Mirko should get one for Science.


3. Unfortunately, Mirko got wind of Mr B’s “support” and took that as an invitation to continually interject. Mirko was at his very best today, in terms of being a pest, and it was only the very real threat of having his laminated signs frisbeed to the five corners of The Domain that prompted him to behave himself.

If there were a Nobel Prize for Being a Pest, Mirko would get that too.

You can forget about Global Warming: Mr B’s exasperation levels were at an all time high, and we could have fried an egg on him. Fortunately, a life coach was nearby and saved the day. Caroline Southwell took the ladder and replaced Mr B.

Suddenly there was calm.

The calm dismayed Mr B. After all, the hecklers hadn’t shut up for him, but as soon as Caroline had begun speaking they were like lambs on Valium. She had made them silent with just a look, and with her intriguing way of discussing a subject.

What dismayed Mr B even further was that as soon as Caroline had begun speaking, the crowd grew. It was as though a Flash Mob had appeared. Mr B had been working like a dog all afternoon and had only managed to get a trickle of a crowd, and he had been losing his voice in the process, so he was galled to see a crowd suddenly appear after a few gentle words from Caroline. (For the rest of us it was like a breath of fresh air.)

Thanks, Caroline, for showing Mr B how it’s done.

For all we know, he’s still sulking.

Caroline’s command of the ladder may have had something to do with her piercing eyes. She only had to look at someone to let them know she was giving them 100% of her attention. She kept her listeners spellbound as she answered questions about Love, the Unconscious, and Neuro-Linguistic Programming.


4.  Here is a glimpse of Caroline at work:

You’re welcome back any time, Caroline.

And Mr B, if you want to take a long holiday for any reason, that’s alright with us.

5. When Caroline departed, Mr B took his ladder back. A grasshopper claimed that we are motivated by only two emotions: love and fear. Michael Leunig wrote something similar. (Click to enlarge.)

6. Later on, Andrew Toth replaced Mr B, who by then was becoming used to being replaced. Andrew spoke about the meaning of life, while across the way, Steve Maxwell spoke about the absence of God and lazy Christians.


7. We have a Facebook Page which has numbers lower than Malcolm Turnbull’s approval rating, and we have an Archive Site that gets fewer visitors than Ted Bundy’s grave.


News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 9th October.

In News for Speakers' Corner on October 10, 2016 at 11:24 am

1. Who would have thought? Uncle Pete pointed out that if John Lennon had not died (John Lennon was a “musician” from an archaic forgotten pop band) he would be 76 today. Who would have thought that that trite, banal observation would have sparked a conversation that lasted ages and drew a crowd bigger than the AFL and NRL Grand Finals put together?

Mind you, if John Lennon were still alive today he’d be dead by now, with all the drugs he took. The speaker made a passing reference to this:

2. Why was there a big crowd? Was it because the speaker was eloquent, erudite and charismatic? Was he entertaining? Inspiring?  No, none of that, unfortunately. There was a big crowd because the hecklers were fantastic. Uncle Pete was in good form, as usual, and a sprightly, confident woman didn’t hold back with her stories and claims. Her companion was a gentle, perceptive man who spoke at just the right time, and three deep thinkers intermittently made some powerful points. Further, a lovely, sensitive man coped with harsh words from the speaker while passionately defending people with alternative views. And, elsewhere in the crowd, a polite young woman put up her hand to make some biting observations. Nearby, a philosopher with wit (who is becoming a regular) was as sharp as ever, and the guy with the grin reminded us all not to take any of it too seriously. It was a good reminder, and we didn’t. It was a beautiful, enjoyable day.

(Although this scribe felt sorry for the poor speaker, who continually looked beleaguered.)

3. The hecklers ignored the poor speaker and robustly thrust their
opinions upon one another. To begin with, they argued about role models and drug taking and alternative medicine. This scribe’s head was spinning.


4. They didn’t stop there, because somehow, the Illuminati crowbarred its way into the conversation when it was ‘revealed’ that they had caused the Malaysian MH17 plane to disappear with its sixteen stem-cell scientists. Holy moly!

And, we learned how the Illuminati keep covering up the beneficial effects of vitamin B17. (No sir, nothing to do with B52s.)

They are cads and bounders, those Illuminati.


5. The crowd was in a frenzy but they were just warming up. They moved on to speak about media manipulation, and even Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds got a mention. As did The Dead Kennedys.

The hecklers were like a surging attack of army ants, and this scribe had to take a Panadol.

6. Then suddenly Donald Trump was the topic. And then Edward de Bono’s wheelbarrow!


7. But did they stop there? No, of course they didn’t. The subject of ageing came up, and some pretty interesting claims were made.


8. One topic discussed earnestly, and for a while, was gay marriage. The meme below displays two photographs. The top photograph is of two couples who married after meeting each other for the first time just ten minutes earlier, and the second photo is of a couple who have been together for decades but can’t marry. The difference? It’s something to do with the definition of marriage, apparently.

9. The conversation about gay marriage prompted occasional speaker, Tony Boyce, to move away and speak about the subject nearby.  The ideas he expressed were a little different to Mr B’s. Indeed, they were ‘a little different’.

10. To calm the crowd down, the speaker explained why no one over 40 should be allowed to vote, and that perhaps we should introduce three-and-a-half-day weeks. (i.e. One half of the population works half the week, the other half works the other half week. That would create twice as many jobs and increase productivity, he argued.) The response to both ideas was tepid, and the crowd settled.

It was like a mad bull calming itself.

11. Steve Maxwell, avowed atheist, boomed from the podium and spoke about his encounter with a Jehovah Witness. Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that encounter!

Mind you, Steve would have heard the Jehovah Witness’s claims before, and the Jehovah Witness would have heard Steve objections before. It would have been like two old buddies meeting up to talk about old times. And fun to watch.

12. Meanwhile, Mr B was asked about a quality he valued. He replied, ‘gratitude’ and this meme says it all:


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Our Archives site has a similar restriction: now, the only way you can read past posts is to go to the archives site. There is no other way.

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