Soapbox Speakers

Archive for June, 2018|Monthly archive page

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 17th June.

In News for Speakers' Corner on June 18, 2018 at 10:17 am

“I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.”
Edward Gibbon

1. He’s back!

2. The subjects discussed today:
– Steve Maxwell spoke of ‘The History Wars’ mentioned in the Weekend Australian. The article claimed that the ugly side of western civilisation does not diminish civilisation itself. Steve disagreed.

– Uncle Pete explained the possible science behind spontaneous human combustion.

– A passer-by called Tim gave us a Marxist perspective on why goods are produced and sold. He spoke clearly and coherently, and answered questions well. He did a good job.

– Mr B explained the skeleton differences between communism and socialism. Helmut provided us with a few jokes about communism like, “Communism: What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is none of your concern.”

– When Mr B was undercover in hospital he found himself watching daytime television. Today he let loose. His vitriolic about Dr Phil was unpleasant, and his observations of the show ‘Ellen’ were unsettling. And, he accused the makers of an underwear advertisement of plagiarism. “How dare they steal my term, ‘grasshoppers’!” he lamented, “The advertising executives who visit Speakers’ Corner should be ashamed of themselves.”
(The fact that he stole the term from the 1970’s television program, ‘Kung Fu’, doesn’t seem to concern him.)

– Some people say they don’t believe in a god but claim there is a “life force” that created us all. Mr B went to town on those people. He explained that if the life force is not a sentient entity it could not have chosen to create the universe and we who live in it; and if it is a sentient entity then they do believe in a god after all, because any sentient, omnipotent ‘life force’ must be a god. Using the weasil words ‘life force’ to pretend you don’t believe in a god will not cut the mustard, he said.

– Ray remained speaking near the kiosk, and we have no doubt that he calls his god ‘God’ and not the weasil term ‘life force’.

– Helmut told us that in his wrestling career he had had 167 wrestling matches, many of them against famous wrestlers such as Spiros Orion, Mario Milano and Killer Kawolski. Helmut was obliged to lose to those famous wrestlers, he explained, but when he faced wrestlers of his calibre the winner was decided by the toss of a coin in the locker room before the match. The length of a match was pre-determined too, with promoters assisting by giving a secret sign to tell them it was time to close the match.

– Mr B gave us seven reasons why there cannot be an afterlife. Part of that talk was an explanation as to why there can be no such thing as a ghost.

3. When the sun crept behind the skyscrapers it got cold, so Mr B finished early and Helmut took the ladder at 3.45pm. Helmut spoke about the interchangeability of light and matter. Forty minutes later we collected the chairs and called it a day.

4. Our Facebook page  has over eighty subscribers, but each post only reaches around 20 people. Go figure.

Another photo from the ‘unusual animal’ series:

The blue footed booby.

 

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An outright lie from Mr Bashful.

In News for Speakers' Corner on June 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

Mr B must be feeling a lot better because he is trying to pull a swifty over this scribe. In the past I have never known Mr B to tell a lie, or even stretch the truth. Every regular visitor to Speakers’ Corner would testify that Mr B’s penchant to speak the truth is obsessive. Yet today I received this disturbing message from him:

Dear Scribe,

the surgery has gone horribly wrong. As you can see, my head has been removed. It has been replaced by a mechanical device and tubes.

Fortunately they did not discard my head, and the surgeon has promised to reattach it by Sunday.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

Mr Bashful.

I strongly suspect that Mr B has NOT had his head severed from his body. I believe he is lying, and that these are sinister illusions. Don’t forget, Mr B has been ill recently and it’s possible that these outright lies are the result of his strong medication. We must be forgiving, at least until we ascertain the facts.

Your humble scribe.

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 10th June

In News for Speakers' Corner on June 11, 2018 at 12:01 pm

“For souls in growth, great quarrels are great emancipations.”
 Logan Pearsall Smith

1. Although the weather was uninspiring it was a good day. At one point an American chap called Logan stood high on the Ladder of Knowledge, and with his strong, arresting voice he did a fabulous job. He spoke mainly about people’s relationships with one another. It was quality, interesting material and as one listener said of him, “He is a complete and utter natural.” Logan is welcome back any time he likes.

We got lucky in other ways, too. Peter the Younger argued with Steve Maxwell about Climate Change, and was prompted to get up onto the Ladder of Knowledge and speak about it. That prompted Ben the Whisperer to do the same! Both men spoke well. That is good news! It appears that while Mr B is away malingering we have the next crop of quality speakers shooting up. We have discovered that there is considerable depth in Speakers Corner, and it’s pleasing and heartening to see.

Where Mirko fits into that depth it’s hard to say, but he had a good rave again today.

Uncle Pete didn’t get to speak but Steve Maxwell did. Steve spoke about the fact that historians have strangely ignored the history of birth control. He gave one exception, from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. The Parson’s Tale speaks about such matters, and apparently it  includes references to abortions, condoms and other less orthodox forms of sex. Not bad for the 15th century!

Mr B is still away, though he expects to be at Speakers’ Corner this coming Sunday. If the Ladder of Knowledge isn’t too crowded, he hopes to say a few words.

2. Helmut surprised us yet again. He spoke about drugs in sport, and it turns out that he is a big fan of tennis. He gave a point by point description of the French Tennis Open. Helmut is one of the few people who could make such a description interesting.

These two dogs appear to be interested in the tennis too.

Special notice.

In News for Speakers' Corner on June 3, 2018 at 11:23 am

A handful of you would have realised that the posts have been irregular lately. There is a reason for that and I can now reveal it to you. The dutiful Mr B has been in hospital, undercover. He wanted to ascertain the quality of Australia’s health care system, and to do so he spent five nights in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit faking blood clots in his lungs. He then felt obliged to spend another five days in recovery in a ward, to get an overall perspective.

He is now out of hospital, but unfortunately he is suffering the effects of all the medications the doctors forced upon him. He should be well enough to return to Speakers’ Corner on the 17th June. It is then he will give his grasshoppers a two minute report on his findings.

All this time, your diligent scribe had to remain near Mr B to ensure he didn’t inadvertently end up with a lung transplant or something. That would have been taking things too far. That’s why I couldn’t attend the meetings recently.

But from what I have heard, the meetings have been going very well without him. That’s good to hear!

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