1.It was as cold as the proverbial witch’s tit today, which is probably normal for England’s Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London.
Speaking of that Speakers’ Corner, rumour has it that it has gone downhill in the last thirty years. Not literally. The earth there hasn’t sagged, and there have been no excavations. I simply mean that the place isn’t as interesting as it used to be. You should have known what I meant. Smarten up.
If you Youtube the place you will see what I mean. Don’t waste your time Youtubing it though. Instead, waste your time reading the rest of this post.
2. Poor Mr B. The gentle, unassuming soul had to put up with an extraordinary phenomenon today. A few garden gnomes insisted on speaking to Mr B while he was talking. Rather than put up a hand to gain his attention, they simply talked at him and expected him to listen while he spoke. Mr B is talented, agreed, but he is yet to master the art of talking and listening at the same time.
If you want to present a point of view, no matter how dopey, put up your hand.
We have mentioned it before but it’s worth saying again: the man has the patience of a saint.
3. Mystery is afoot. When it came for the helpers to pack the chairs into the waiting automobile, there came a quandary. The chairs were packed in their usual fashion, yet there seemed to be plenty left over. Had the number of chairs increased, or had the automobile shrunk? Hopefully next week we can provide an answer.
And why had some of the chairs turned blue? Why did others have dried mud on them? From whence did the mud come?
We hope and pray it’s mud.
4. Steve Maxwell talked about:
– Turkey’s history, and what was behind the attempted coup in Turkey. He examined Mustafa Akyoll’s article on the subject.
– Is it a phobia when the fear is a rational fear to have? What do we make of Islamophobia? Do we irrationally or rationally fear religious extremism?
– Steve again spoke about creating more states in Australia, because the current system (in which the Federal Government rewards the main capital cities disproportionately to the rest of the place) isn’t working.
The photo was taken by Armita Abdollahian.
So was this one:
Thank you, Armita.
5. John August spoke for 45 minutes about his experience contesting for a senate seat in the recent election. He runs the Pirate Party, which has something to say about current copyright laws.
It’s hard to believe John received less than 1% of the vote. Is it possible that when voters saw the name ‘Pirate Party’ they had trouble taking it seriously? No, that’s unlikely.
6. Mr B, when not being almost heckled to death, was asked about:
– Pauline Hanson. Is she serving the country well when stating her outspoken views?
– Do atheists choose to not believe in God for emotional reasons? Is their choice based on emotion, not logic? Mr B claims that’s the case.
– What is the nature of happiness, and how did it evolve? (Yes,that old chestnut.)
– Mr B was strongly in favour of the state governments keeping Stamp Duty payable on the purchase of a dwelling, rather than replacing it with a Land Tax. He gave three good reasons which convinced every listener, even though they remained doubtful. It must be asked: how could they be convinced yet remain doubtful? It’s an indication of what the poor fellow had to work with today.
– Does 2 + 2 always = 4? ‘No’, said Mr B patiently, ‘not always.’ He generously gave two convincing examples. Peter the Heckler was not persuaded, and threw every toy out of the cot saying so.
– Mr B argued that Chinese, Japanese, Australians, Aborigines and Jews don’t actually exist. He said no race existed. A Jew was in the audience (at least, a man who perceived himself to be Jewish, Mr B would say) and took umbrage, suggesting that Mr B was a racist. The demure Mr B pointed out that if a race does not exist, it is hard to be racist. That rejoinder didn’t assist his cause. The tenet of Mr B’s argument was that we are all social constructs and products of acculturation.
– Mr B was then asked to explain in a sentence what he would do to solve world conflict. The humble Mr B accepted the challenge and replied: ‘Many of the world’s problems would vanish if each and everyone of us realised that races do not exist, that we are merely social constructs and products of acculturation.’ (You can see that the previous discussion came in handy.)
It’s not often that an infallible blueprint for solving a world-wide problem is presented in just one sentence. It should happen more often. Indeed, it’s a habit Mr B aims to foster.
Speaking of saving the world:
– He then complained about the self-serving councillors who tend to name parks after themselves, and put up plaques that tell everyone that they made (whatever it is) happen. Gross misuse of power, he claimed. Who else erects a plaque that declares they have done the job they have been paid to do? Those councillors erect those plaques because they have the power to do so. And then they wonder why we question their integrity.(You can tell that in this rare instance this scribe agrees with Mr B.)
– Mr B explained why religious organisations should not be taxed. David The Interested then inconveniently asked a question so insightful and so pointed that Mr B’s argument fell in a heap. Mr B immediately changed his mind. An employee of the United Church happened to be listening and was confused by the abrupt change of mind. In his discombobulation the poor man was asked to get the details of how the Uniting Church works its finances, and he is to present the information upon his next visit. He has not yet been asked to embezzle from the Church. That comes later.
– These are just some of the topics we discuss at Speakers’ Corner. The last topic we discussed before pulling up stumps was the concept of a global citizen. Are the people who are getting DNA tests to determine the race of their ancestors wasting their time? Can they rightly call themselves global citizens just because their ancestry includes people from a hundred regions? Or should a person be deemed a global citizen only when they take the people, the animals and the environments of other nations into account when making decisions about what they do and what they buy?
7. There are more than 7 billion people on the planet, yet only 25 people on our Facebook page. How exclusive is that!! Join now to be a member of such an exclusive band.