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.

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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 4th December

In News for Speakers' Corner on December 5, 2016 at 11:07 am

‘We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.’
Viktor Frankl

1.We had a speaker from the olden days speak today. Victor Zammit, credited with having the biggest crowd ever in the Domain, dropped by and wanted to speak. Age had not wearied him. He gave his reasons why Australia should become republic, and he spoke well.

Ray, our Christian speaker, was besieged by three ardent atheists and one agnostic. He eventually emerged tired and philosophical, but not beaten. He found the time to have a long conversation with non-militant grasshopper, Greg.

Steve Maxwell spoke on his own stand, and for a few minutes, on Mr B’s stand, before calling it quits earlier than usual. We expect Steve to be at his fiery best in the new year.

After suffering three tedious weeks of unnecessary interruptions, Mr B was grumpy. Today he went grasshopper hunting.

Grandpa Bashful, acclaimed grasshopper hunter of the early twentieth century.

2. Last week one of our speakers, Andrew Toth, claimed that a heckler had struck his chest vigorously with a finger. He had called the police as a result.  Today that same heckler arrived, and this time the police came. Long discussions with all parties ensued. We don’t know the result, but next week the speakers will be calling for capital punishment to be reintroduced.


3. The idea of controlling our thoughts was discussed. Mr B has been known to criticise the idea, saying that to ask people to control their thoughts is asking too much of them; they’re likely to fail, and feel like a failure as a result. However, David the Interested gave a wonderful example of how a man did manage to control his thoughts, and as a consequence, save himself.

From there the group spoke about attitude, that one true freedom described in the quote above.


4. The discussion then turned to our need to take full responsibility for how our life unfolds.

responsibility5. After recently watching a 4 Corners documentary on television, a grasshopper spoke of her dismay with the many tax havens around the globe that allow people to avoid and evade paying tax. (Tax evasion is illegal. Tax avoidance isn’t.)


6. Mr B described the difference between self-esteem and self-worth, and then gave a warning to those of us who try to earn their self-worth. (In short, we can’t.) For the chapter about that, click here.

7. The poem discussed this week was Robert Frost’s ‘Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening‘. Next week the poem will be Theodore Roethke’s poem, ‘Child on top of a greenhouse‘.


8. Our
Facebook page has exactly the same information as this blog, so why not join up and have the pleasure of reading all this again on a different site?

For that matter, why not waste a few precious days of your life reading past posts in the Archives site?


News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 27th November

In News for Speakers' Corner on November 28, 2016 at 11:06 am

‘Fifty years from now it will not matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, how much you had in your bank account, or what your clothes looked like. But the world may be a little better because you were important in the life of a child.’

1.  Steve was feeling crook but still managed to come along today and do a serviceable job speaking. Good stuff, Steve!

Ray was his usual humble self, giving Speakers’ Corner a wide birth and spreading the word of God near the kiosk.

Mr lost his voice again. His dream to be an opera singer must now be in question.

Helmut warped the space-time continuum by being given five minutes to speak and staying up there for half an hour. Only a superb metaphysicist like Helmut could bend time so well.

2. A police matter! Towards the end of the day Andrew Toth got up to speak on his platform but was soon set upon by a heckler. At one point the heckler allegedly gave Andrew’s chest a stiff finger point, and Andrew felt it necessary to call the rangers and then the police. He wanted the man charged with assault.

Oh my. As if the police . . . as if the rangers . . . haven’t got better things to do. Oh dear.

3. Mr B was asked if the universe was limited to what we can see, and his answer caused consternation. But as usual, he was right.


4. Mr B was again asked the source of his information, and his answer was again ‘the internet‘. He argues that using multiple sources, from reliable sites, is sufficient for making a claim. This scribe disagrees, claiming that using old textbooks printed in the last century provide far more credibility. And even books printed in this century can’t be doubted, because they’re books.


5. Unemployment was again a popular topic, and to deal with it the speaker spoke of free trade, renewable sources, and sustainability.


6. The speaker tried to examine Newcomb’s Paradox, but the hecklers had trouble differentiating between thought and reality. That should come as no surprise.


7. The speaker also tried to examine Buridan’s ass, and that is not as bad as it sounds. Again, the hecklers made it tedious. Sigh.


8. Our Facebook page now has 40 friends, but that’s still fewer than the Facebook pages of Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber put together.

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