Soapbox Speakers

News for Speakers’ Corner, Sunday 9th December.

In News for Speakers' Corner on December 10, 2018 at 10:41 am

‘It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity, and not have one, than to have an opportunity, and not be prepared.’
Whitney Young

1. Thank goodness for shade. It made the day perfect. Ray turned up to save a few souls, as usual, and he stood near the kiosk behind the big Morton Bay fig tree. Mr B was on the other side of the tree and started his meeting with a talk about the Rothchilds. Unfortunately, he had confused them with the Rothmans cigarettes his mother had smoked. When he realised his mistake he cut short his talk.

Was he trying to be funny?

Anyway, he then suggested to his grasshoppers that it wasn’t just men who have been keeping women oppressed for the last seventy years, it was also women. Women usually made the decisions in the family, and they would reinforce the accepted norms by telling each other that a women’s place was in the home, etc.  He suggested that those women were more influential than men. His grasshoppers helped him out by fleshing out the topic. The status of being married was a big driver of their influence, they suggested. And that, ultimately, it was the institutions which had the real power, and they were run by men. That’s what made the difference.

2. Steve Maxwell turned up a little late, but then he got cracking. He gave five examples of when the Wrecking Ball of Australian History made an impact:
(1) 1788. (The arrival of the First Fleet from Britain.)
(2) World War One
(3) World War Two.
(4) The Whitlam dismissal. (A sad day for Australian cricket?)
(5) Foreign ownership 
3. On the Ladder of Knowledge was Mirko. He was there to talk about the diesel crisis in France. That was a welcome change from the diesel crisis he usually talks about: the one imminent in Australia. Thank you, Mirko.

4. Peter the Younger then got up to talk about feminist lies, and calmly informed us that he hadn’t prepared for that talk so he would talk about something else. Sigh. As it was, he held our interest with a talk about history, even though Killjoy Bashful had banned history weeks before. For that matter, he had banned Peter two years ago. And, he had banned dissent as well, about six months ago.

It seems Peter the Younger doesn’t respond well to bans.

Anyway, Peter spoke about how the far right governments of the 1940s (the Nazis and fascists) were in reality far left extremist socialist governments like the Soviets. He included Italy, Germany, Tonga and China. Maybe not Tonga.

5. Then Mark the Grinner appeared and had five points to make. Your ashamed scribe is forced to admit he was too engrossed in the talk to take notes, and can’t remember the points Mark made, so you’ll have to imagine Mark’s talk for yourself. If you imagine a talk that is provocative, insulting, insightful, and with a huge double-dollop of bullshit, you will be pretty close to the mark.  (No pun intended on the words ‘close to the mark’, because Mr B banned jokes based on word-play three weeks ago.)

Oh, one thing I do remember: Mark the Grinner doesn’t like ‘niceness’ and reckons girls/women should aim to be less nice and more honest.

6. “The plays of William Shakespeare are overrated.” So said Mr B as he drew upon the Scottish play for evidence. For example, he said it was a bit rich for Shakespeare to suggest that a forest walking up a hill is the same thing as a bunch of men carrying twigs in their pockets for camouflage. Shakespeare wouldn’t get away with that nonsense today, said the sage Mr B.

It would be fair to say that Uncle Pete was not in total agreement with Mr B.

Uncle Pete impressed us all with his intimate knowledge of the play and his passion for it. He kept quoting bits like he’d actually read the thing.

Despite Uncle Pete’s objections, Mr B did convince this conscientious scribe that Shakespeare is indeed past his use-by date. However, for some reason, the other grasshoppers were not keen to jump on board. (‘Jump on board‘ is probably a Shakesperianism, bless him.) They seemed to side with Uncle Pete.

Would Phyllis Diller have made a good Lady Macbeth?

7. At about 4.30pm Mr B began explaining the many ways men get a bad deal in life. And, he spoke about sexual consent. Pretty soon there was a vigorous debate and the crowd swelled. We didn’t stop until after 6pm. There were plenty of contributors and they made it an interesting discussion.

From the Postsecret website:

8. In our Unusual Creature Series we present to you the atelopus frog, native to Costa Rica, Panama and Tonga. Maybe not Tonga. It shares its Facebook page with us.

 

 

 

 

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