33. A steady trickle.

1.’Wise men learn from their mistakes; geniuses learn from Mr Bashful.’

They were the words spoken today by Mr B himself, prompting this scribe to wonder if he is as humble as everyone seems to think he is.

2. It was story time today. Mr B recounted a story from the Twilight Zone, and followed it with the story about Alice and the Creatures of the Dark Forest. The two stories had everyone on the edge of their seats (getting ready to go).

The point of the Twilight Zone story was: who we have been in the past is irrelevant; who we are now, and who we will become, is relevant.

For example,

Be the person you needed

3. It was a beautiful day and a steady stream . . . trickle . . . of passers-by kept the speakers busy. The subjects discussed were:

– The Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison, a garden gnome of the lowest order. He had recently bragged about how employment had risen slightly, and the interviewer had pointed out to him that 45,000 people had lost their full time job, and more than 45,000 part-time jobs were created. So, even though that is a net increase in the number of jobs, in reality, his figures are misleading. It’s a lot harder to pay the bills with a part-time job. Scott Morrison’s weasel response? “Jobs are jobs.”

– We discussed the scam artist who for a mere $25,000 will arrange to have you in a video talking to a weasel celebrity, so that you can put the video on your website and claim credibility. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a lousy speaker, what’s important is your branding” said the con artist. Plus, you get fobbed off to some life coach in Sydney for a while. Oh, and you are allowed to pay $500 for a set of videos on how to speak. (40 people bought the videos! and at least 6 poor souls signed up to pay the $25,000. Oh dear.)

– One young man discovered what makes him angry. The thirty people around him also discovered what makes them angry. It turned out, the same answer applied to everyone!

– Mr B described instances in which he wrestled with children, and predictably the sleazy jokes and accusations came thick and fast. But they added to the point he was making: that adults are becoming too wary of that healthy, natural behaviour to actually engage in the pleasure of it. And, the kids miss out on that aspect of their developmental growth. (Ah, but they have Pokemons to hunt, don’t they.)

– Four young people suggested that old people have had their turn and should get out of the way. They said that we olds stuffed up the world, and we should let the young ones fix it up before we old ones stuff it up completely. People over 80 shouldn’t be allowed to vote, it was claimed, because their life isn’t going to be significantly impacted regardless of which political party gets to govern. After all, they’ll still get their pension. Mr B took umbrage at this outrageous suggestion and after a bit of haggling he concluded that no one older than 40 should be able to vote. How Mr B lost that haggle he still doesn’t know, he tells me.

– Mr B, an atheist, picked on the atheists in the audience and told them to smarten up and get their act together.

– Mr B’s sister was discussed, in relation to depression. This meme might give a rough idea of what depression is like, though it would vary from person to person.

Depression

4. The subject of grief came up and the death of a pet was used as an example. Mr B described the beautiful death of his dog two years ago. It was a splendid day for her, and she died without fear. Here is a message from the Postsecret website:

euthanising-pets

5. ‘Excuse me: people in Sydney stand on the left to let people pass on the right.’ They were the words Peter the Heckler said to a woman as they went down an escalator on Friday. The woman, as you can guess, was standing on the right side, not the left, though people could still pass her. After Peter had spoken to the woman the situation escalated and both threw around a few swear words. Peter wanted to know our thoughts. Had he handled the situation well?

The incident prompted a discussion on assertiveness, aggressiveness, ethics, and why the hell Peter had felt obliged to say something given that hundreds of people get hacked to death by machetes every day in the Congo. But hey, we’re not in the Congo and Peter was right to say something. At the very least, such incidents are good for practising our assertiveness skills.

6. Tony spoke about people who hear voices. This scribe thinks it’s a shame voices don’t speak on behalf of him. He’d talk more sense.

Madness

7. The solar system was discussed. If a basketball represented our sun, explained the speaker, then Earth would be a grain of rice two metres away and Pluto would be a speck of dust about a kilometre away. And, the chance that the Earth will be visited by intelligent aliens from another planet was zero.

The chance that an alien will join our Facebook page is even more remote.

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