Soapbox Speakers

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 27th August

In News for Speakers' Corner on August 28, 2017 at 11:19 am

“It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior’s life”. 
Stephen Pressfield

1. The buoyant Steve Maxwell had three main topics today. He was asking the question: “What in your opinion is the most important issue that will affect the world in the future? Will it be . . .
– the corruption of the state?
– Automation, and the concomitant large percentage of the population being unemployed?
– Man-made pollution and its affect on nature?”

One of the many good things about Steve as a public speaker is his propensity to introduce new topics each and every week. And make them interesting.

Steve Maxwell (Photo by Joseph Iliades)

2. Mr B spoke about happiness and its relationship with the Hadza, a hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania.

“Onwas is an old man . . . Across his arms and chest are the heiroglyphs of a lifetime in the bush: scars from hunts, scars from snakebites, scars from arrows and knives and scorpions and thorns. Scars from falling out of a baobab tree. Scars from a leopard attack. Half his teeth remain.”
Michael Finkel, National Geographic 2009.

“A Hadza hunt at night: Walking through Hadza country in the dark is challenging; thorn bushes and spiked acacia tress dominate the terrain, and even during the day there is no way to avoid being jabbed and scratched and punctured. A long trek in the Hadza bush can feel like receiving a gradual full-body tattoo. The Hadza spend a signifcant portion of their rest time digging thorns out of one another with the tips of their knives.”
Michael Finkel, National Geographic 2009.

3. Mr B claimed that Aborigines were not the first to discover Australia 65,000 years ago. They didn’t “discover” it at all! Unlike Earnest Shackleton, Christopher Columbus, Abel Tasman, and countless Polynesians and Melanesians, the Aborigines weren’t explorers searching for and discovering new lands. 65,000 years ago sea levels were lower, and the Aborigines would have walked across the land bridge between the land masses we now call Papua New Guinea and Australia, taking advantage of the abundant fauna along the way. It may have taken the tribes hundreds of years to cross. Then, they “woke up one morning” and found that the sea level had risen and they were “stranded”.

That’s not “discovering” a continent, argued Mr B. That’s “getting stuck on an island when the tide comes in.”

But he readily agreed that the white fella was wrong to invade over 200 years ago.

(Apparently, the Aborigines colonised the continent by going along the East and West coasts, until they finally met in South Australia. There was a land bridge to Tasmania too.

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

5. Other subjects discussed:
– Gay marriage. Mr B explained why he is in favour of it.
One grasshopper told us that both his mother and father were gay. Ironically, the Church would have approved of that marriage of convenience. (We also learned that genuine love did grow over time.)

– Why was a young boy deemed missing in Barcelona after the terrorist truck-driving incident, when he was simply one of the unidentified dead? The media were taken to task about this. (The media regularly get a walloping at Speakers’ Corner.)

– What are the legalities regarding people being filmed in the park? Can someone refuse to be filmed? (More about that next week, hopefully.)

– Mirko took the Ladder of Knowledge and talked about stupidity and smart phones. Heaven help us!

6. The warm day suddenly turned cold and black clouds threatened. We finished early at 4pm.

Our Facebook page received two subscribers this week. Does that mean it has gone viral?

If you have something important to do but you’re a procrastinator, then you might as well check out our Archives site.

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