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 23rd October

In News for Speakers' Corner on October 24, 2016 at 12:01 pm

1.We had a visit today from a ranger, who demanded that the speakers to stop speaking. Mr B is disappointed – not in the ranger, but in the Speakers’ Corner grasshoppers. For four years Mr B has been speaking to them about the importance of identifying our emotions and dealing with them in a healthy constructive manner, yet it took the visit of a novice ranger to discombobulate the lot of them. Instead of calmly dealing with the situation, they got into a tizz and the situation became unpleasant. (Uncle Pete was the exception. Who would have thought?)

It would be pleasing to say that commonsense prevailed, but it didn’t. Technology did. The ranger rang his superiors and the matter was cleared up.

It wasn’t the ranger’s fault – he should have been told about Speakers’ Corner. But then, who would tell him? The Domain Trust doesn’t speak of us, they don’t answer our letters, don’t mention us on their website, and refuse to include us on their maps. They do their damned best to make us invisible, which is disappointing given that we are a fond part of Sydney’s history, and that with a little assistance we could grow into a significant tourist attraction. But no, they pretend we don’t exist, and their refusal to acknowledge us disadvantaged their ranger. Out of courtesy at least, they should have mentioned us to the poor fellow.

But our reaction to the ranger? Abysmal. Four years of solid, intensive training from Mr B was defenestrated when it mattered.

Mind you, it doesn’t say much for his teaching abilities.

Let’s be gentle with one another.


2. Helmut explained how
gravity waves don’t exist, and that objects are drawn together with electro-magnetic force. Yet he conceded that gravity does exist and it’s not an electro-magnetic force. Thanks for clearing that up, Helmut.

Helmut was asked about black holes with the proviso that he didn’t include Isaac Newton in his answer. Helmut began his explanation by telling us about Isaac Newton.

Honestly, you could ask any question about any subject and Helmut would feel obliged to include Isaac Newton in the answer.

Tony: ‘What flavour ice-cream do you like?’
Helmut: ‘It goes back to when Isaac Newton . . .’

It is said that when Helmut reaches that climactic point in coitus he doesn’t scream the name of his partner, or even the name of his dog; instead he screams, ‘Isaac Newton was an ignoramus!!’

3. It was asked, ‘Do the recent power cuts in South Australia indicate how soft and precious we have become? Should we look to ourselves and focus instead on being resilient to such minor inconveniences? Should we refrain from complaining, especially when it means that if we do, the beleaguered renewable energy technology experiences even more pressure?’

This meme suggests that we may be spoilt:


4. Mr B suggested that religious people might be addicted to the thought that there is a god. Does the part of the brain that fires with a gambling, alcohol or narcotic addiction fire in a deeply religious person when they think about their god?

And later, he criticised the smug atheists who insist on Christians supplying reasoned arguments, and evidence, to support their belief in God.


5. The speaker also said that people shouldn’t receive a pension if they own their home and have money. They should spend that money first.

Nor should they be allowed to vote if they’re older than forty. ‘Or have an IQ of less than 120‘, added the studious Uncle Pete. It’s a brilliant idea. Every voter should encounter a question sheet when they enter a toll booth. If they fail to answer every question correctly their vote won’t count. It will improve democracy considerably. Thank you, Uncle Pete!

Q1. Al-qaeda, ISIS and Halal are terrorist organisations. True or False?
Q2. There is science behind astrology. True or False?
Q3. Mike Baird is the current premier of NSW. True or False?
Q4. The world used to be black and white until the mid-twentieth century. True or False?
Q5. Ten percent of $200 is $20. True or False?
Q6. The ‘boat people’ asylum seekers are illegal immigrants. True or False?
Q7. The sun passing between the Earth and the moon is called a solar eclipse. True or False?
Q8. Africa is a country inhabited by elephants and giraffes. True or False?
Q9. Polar bears eat penguins and seals. True or False?
Q10. One way to get hydrogen is to stick a fish in a bowl of H2O. When the fish has used up all the oxygen the hydrogen is left. True or False?
Q11. Dolphins are more intelligent than humans. True or False?
Q12. Albert Einstein invented the Theory of General Relativity and the Perpetual Motion Machine. True or False?
Q13. Joe has B.O. Those letters stand for Bacteria Oxide. True or False?

Of course, including this questionnaire in the voting booth would mean no heckler could ever vote again.

6. Over population became the topic, but no one approved of Mr B’s idea to have a zer0-child policy. He suggested that any person not giving birth to a child, or not siring one, should be rewarded with free accommodation in a five-star nursing home when they reach 70. That would act as an incentive to not have kids. Tony intervened before the logistics could be explained.

It was also pointed out that even if we were to keep our population at 7 billion, our current use of resources would still not be sustainable. The way an educated person uses resources means that the Earth will still suffer severe environmental degradation in the near future. And, a grasshopper explained, when oil runs out our grandchildren will suffer a profound drop in their standard of living.


That same grasshopper also suggested that our carbon emissions might not be enough to prevent an imminent ice age. Goodness gracious. Ice ages are normal climatic conditions for the Earth, he argued.

7. Other subjects spoken about:
– Artificial intelligence. No matter how intelligent a computer might become, it will always be impotent and benign because it won’t have emotions. It won’t have desire, ambition, malice or curiosity, for example. And without curiosity, and without those other emotions, why would it attempt to solve any problem it was not requested to solve?

– A grasshopper linked the origin of the universe with consciousness and the subconscious. The link bewildered Mr B and it served him right.

8. Donald Trump climbed into the conversation, bless him. Here’s an idea for an aspiring American:


9. A Scotsman wanted to know why he didn’t exist. (That’s what Mr B’s sign said.)  Mr B generously explained why the man didn’t exist, though the man still looked real to the rest of us.

The answer had something to do with paradigms, which Mr B said are beliefs held by a society. For example, a person born and raised in Japan will believe they’re Japanese simply because their malleable brain has been acculturated to adopt the ways and beliefs of Japanese society. So, they are not inherently Japanese; they have been made that way. And once we see that, we can begin to make new choices.


How about adopting this view instead, he suggested:


10. If you subscribe to our Facebook page you will get an opportunity to read everything that you have just read in this post, again! What joy.

If you look at our Archive Site you can read every post written in the past three years. Nirvana!




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.


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