Soapbox Speakers

What is Speakers’ Corner?

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.

Every Sunday, from 2pm until 5pm, people gather in Sydney’s beautiful Domain park to discuss matters. The ones standing on ladders are ‘the speakers’, and they believe it’s their job to educate  their ‘grasshoppers’ or ‘groundlings’.  The ones sitting in chairs believe it’s their job to point out why the speaker is wrong, and to heckle. Both parties are kept busy.

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

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

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.

Find us on Facebook.

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.

Mark the Grinner.

As a heckler, Mark regularly gets a hearty laugh from the crowd with his meticulously crafted questions. As a speaker his humour is still there, but his talks have substance. He comments on human behaviour and attitudes, and he doesn’t hold back.

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

His companion, Sue, is less vocal, but she has no trouble speaking her mind when she has something to say.

Mr Bashful, 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’.
  Mr Bashful’s favourite topic is his evolutionary approach to happiness and resilience, but he ends up talking about almost anything else.  He has presented an Ockham’s Razor talk on ABC Radio National and believes 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 but rarely contributes to it.

John August (Occasional speaker)

John speaks earnestly on a wide range of subjects, and if you’re in Sydney you can listen to his radio program on Radio Skid Row, 88.9 FM every Tuesday, from noon until 2pm.

John is an active member of the Pirate Party, which is a serious political party devoted to making Australia more democratic. He and other pirates speak at the Domain now and then about their policies and other topical matters. (That’s ‘topical’, not ‘tropical’.)

To see videos of John performing at Speakers’ Corner go to his Youtube channel.
John also has a website in which he comments upon current affairs, both here and abroad.
He is a busy man.

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 Speakers’ Corner, 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 but now he heckles the other speakers.  In this video  Tony expresses a few of his well considered opinions. For more videos of Tony click here.

Max (Quiet listener)
Max

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

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.

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.

Ben the Whisperer

Although Ben is softly spoken, when he does speak, people listen. Click here to hear why he likes Speakers’ Corner.

Kieron

Click here to hear why Kieron likes 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 94, 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.

Advertisements

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 19th May

In News for Speakers' Corner on May 20, 2019 at 11:53 am

“The best cure for sea sickness is to sit on the lee side of a church.”
Anon.

1. It was the morning after the Federal Election but the election wasn’t mentioned at Speakers’ Corner. Why? Because Speakers’ Corner is the place for discussions you don’t get elsewhere, and discussions about the election were everywhere else.

That is why Speakers’ Corner is head and shoulders above every other media outlet on the planet.

. . .

Your poor scribe just had a coughing fit. I’m alright now, thank you.

2. It was perfect weather and all four speakers: Steve, Helmut, Mr B, and even Ray, had steady crowds all day.

And, all day, ultra-pest Mirko earnestly tried to inform everyone about the importance of the past, present and future. Mr B was patient with him but this scribe chooses to be less diplomatic. Mirko: Your past must have been a nightmare, you haven’t been in the present for twenty years, and you have no future except for Friday night’s banana custard. Let it rest, for goodness sake.

3. Uncle Pete was keen to learn more about the process of natural selection, and Helmut was keen to learn the Ist Law of Thermodynamics. It’s heartening to know that men that old still have enquiring minds. They are an inspiration to the rest of us.

4. Mr B has changed his mind. For years he has been saying schools should teach their students life skills, and he has received plenty of opposition. “Where would we find the time to teach these skills?!” cried the outraged teachers in the audience. Unlike Mr B, your thoughtful scribe thinks they make a good point. After all, how could they teach a student how to change a flat tyre AND the year in which the Battle of Hastings was fought?

Yes, Mr B points out that he also wants history banned from the curriculum. He argues it would not only enrich each student’s life, it would also free up time so that life skills could be taught. But that change won’t happen any time soon, we both suspect.

Anyway, today he recanted a little, saying that kids can learn some life skills from Youtube. The Battle of Hastings is safe.

The Battle of Hastings. A copy of this print is just $10.66, plus postage.

5. Other subjects discussed:
Alice and the Dark Forest

– What were the unfortunate circumstances of Mr B’s loss of virginity? (Yes, folks, he has lost it. Though not recently.)

– Who leads you? It’s certainly not Scott Morrison.

– Which school subjects are the most important? Is maths one of them?

6. This week’s Unusual Critter is the amblypygi, found worldwide in tropical areas. Although it’s harmless, you probably wouldn’t want to sleep with hundreds of them. The one pictured is a regular contributor to our Facebook page.

The amblypygi

 

 

 

Ready to vote?

In News for Speakers' Corner on May 17, 2019 at 10:39 am

“If voting could change the system it would be illegal.”
Anon.

When you vote tomorrow keep in mind these 16 parties:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: