Soapbox Speakers

News for Speakers’ Corner, Australia Day, 26th January

In News for Speakers' Corner on January 27, 2018 at 12:51 pm

“A good accountant is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of any company, but for God’s sake don’t give them the steering wheel or they’ll have you in a ditch in five minutes.”
Kerry Packer.

1. Today was Australia Day, and eerily, on the road near where we pack the chairs, someone had painted an image of Australia. Extraordinary!

You might ask, “Where is Tasmania?! Where is King Island?”

Look below! They’re there, where they should be. And, you’ll see Hawaii to the upper right, also where it should be.

Some artist has gone to a lot of trouble to celebrate Australia Day. But who? Who would go to all that trouble?

2. And what a day it was. Despite the warnings in last week’s post, three regulars turned up to hear Steve Maxwell and Mr B alternate on the Ladder of Knowledge. The fear was that the regulars would hear material they had heard before, but that didn’t happen. Well, not much, anyway. Instead, the meeting rattled along nicely and didn’t finish until 6.15pm! More than four hours of fun. (Or bullshit, depending on your perspective.)

It made a big difference that Mark The Grinner and Uncle Pete contributed as well. The Grinner got up four times! Here is an example:

3. And here is another:

4. Given that it was Australia Day, Steve Maxwell acknowledged the displeasure Aborigines feel with the date: 26th January. After all, that’s the day the first fleet arrived to invade the continent. Steve recommended that we change the date to the day Aborigines were recognised as citizens. That got plenty of support.

Mr B recommended 29th January instead. His reasoning:
From the 19th to 25th we would have Naidoc week (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee). Each of those seven days could represent ten thousand of the seventy thousand years Aborigines have been on the continent, before the white fella arrived on 26th. The 27th would represent all the migrants that came from around the world to create the non-indiginous nation before 1901, and the 28th would acknowledge all the migrants who have come since federation in 1901. Therefore, with every group acknowledged, we could celebrate every Australian on Australia Day, January 29th.
Most importantly, it would still be a summer’s day. It’s not much fun having a day off and a barby in the winter.

5. Here is this scribe’s solution to last week’s ‘Sleeping Beauty Paradox’:

Nuh. Who gives a stuff. Not one person attempted to solve the paradox on this site or on our Facebook site, so let’s not waste more time on it. Sorry Mr B, but you can sulk all you like.

Our dear readers might like to try answering the following question instead, asked today: “Mary’s father has five daughters: March, April, May, June . . .  What’s the name of his fifth daughter?”

Surprisingly, this stumped a few people.

6. This remarkable lookalike of Ray was sent in by a keen reader. Thank you!

7. Who says some of the hecklers can be a little weird?

No one. No one needs to. It’s pretty self-evident.

8. Other subjects discussed:
– Why didn’t the Aborignes develop technologically like other nations did? (Hint: they didn’t have the domesticatable animals that provided milk & cheese, transport and plowing, and they didn’t have the crops like wheat and barley. You can’t harness a wallaby to a buggy or plow with a wombat. You can’t milk a koala.
Other reasons were given, too. In short, it’s a matter of circumstance. Had circumstances been reversed, Aborigines would probably be the technological powerhouse of the globe.

– Mark the Grinner spoke about John Webster, and how most of his audience were twenty-year olds. He made a few comparisons between Australians of yesterday and Australians today.

– Mr B and Mark the Grinner spoke of the proposed sugar tax. Mark the Grinner was in favour of it, while Mr B recommended that every product with sugar should have on its label a clear visible indication of the number of teaspoons present.
Why not use both methods, fellas?

– Mr B explained why his home hasn’t had cockroaches for twenty years. (It’s not due to his cleanliness!)

– After John Webster died, the Domain Trust wanted to charge the Wayside Chapel (a charity that feeds the homeless) $10,000 to allow them to spread Webster’s ashes in the Domain. The Chapel didn’t pay up, but the ashes were sprinkled in the Domain anyway, under the cloak of night.
(I guess the Trust created that $10,000 charge to dissuade other people from doing the same. After all, they wouldn’t want ashes laying everywhere for picnickers to have to deal with. The chapel did know that the ashes were spread (there is film of them being spread!) and they didn’t try to charge the chapel afterwards, so that’s telling.)

– Two students admitted that if they were given a loaded gun, they would not point it at their foot and pull the trigger. Yet, Mr B wanted to know, why is that so many people choose to shoot themselves in the foot by taking narcotics, or by consuming excessive alcohol, or by driving too fast?

– What truly matters?

– Should Australia become a republic?

– Steve talked about the history of Hyde Park. Mr B criticised history and said it should be banned. That didn’t go down well with Steve.

–  Then Mr B explained why Aborigines don’t exist. (Nor do Danes, Scots, the Japanese, Englanders, Jews, Anglo Australians, etc.)  This was hotly disputed by Steve Maxwell.

– But when Mr B combined his two arguments, Steve exploded. Then it was on for young and old.

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