“If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”
1. My apology to those of you who received half of this post earlier. You might think the wrong button was pressed, but no, it was the Russians trying to hack this site.
2. Why is it cold in winter and warm in Summer? Not just this year, but every year? It’s the same in the Northern hemisphere! It seems too extraordinary to be a coincidence, so what’s going on?
Thankfully, it was warm in the sun today at Speakers’ Corner, but as soon as the sun was hidden behind the city’s buildings it got chilly. We finished early, at 4.20pm.
3. Normally, Mr B refrains from talking about God, but as soon as he stood on the Ladder of Knowledge the subject was broached and he got sucked in before he could swat the question away. On one side of the audience was a believer (though of what we still don’t know), and on the other side was Helmut barking his version of God. That stereophonic nonsense kept Mr B busy for twenty minutes.
Even Jean, Albert’s wife, got up to speak about the non-existence of God. No one argues with Jean. Jean is formidable.
Only when the words ‘intelligent design’ were thrown at him did Mr B shrug of his stupor and change the subject.
4. At one point Helmut threw the First Law of Thermodynamics at Mr B. If you have forgotten what that first law is, it’s:
5. Sprightly Albert stood on the Ladder of Knowledge and spoke about Collective Consciousness. He managed to plug his book as well. Interestingly, the price of that book goes up and down like the proverbial bride’s nightie.
6. Albert also talked about how he turned from being a sceptic into a believer when he saw evidence of his wife’s psychic powers in palm reading. Jean had met a man, read his palm, and told him that thirty years ago his first wife had drowned in a bathtub while having an epileptic fit. It turned out to be true! (Or the man let her think it was true.)
This scribe does wonder how the creases in the skin of one’s palm manage to convey such information. If Jean can translate those creases, can we get her to translate the Voynich Manuscript?
7. Our ‘Something Nice’ segment, to charm some and irritate others.
8. Years ago Speakers’ Corner had an indigenous man, Donny Dodd, as a regular speaker: Donny turned up today and accepted an invitation to stand on the Ladder of Knowledge. After a slow and shaky start, Donny became his old wily and vibrant self. He asked for questions and made damned sure he didn’t answer them. He fired back questions of his own and made cryptic points to astound and befuddle us all. It was easy to see how entertaiing Donny would have been back in the 1970’s and 1980’s, because he was entertaining today.
9. In the Anecdote/Regret/Something that Changed Your Life segment Mr B recounted how he nearly accidentally shot himself dead with a bow and arrow 12 times. Yes, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
Why are we not surprised?
10. In the same segment, Uncle Pete gave us an absorbing story of the time when he was eleven and sent to sit in the chook pen for punishment. When Peter started throwing muck at the chooks, his exasperated father drove off to his brother’s place and retrieved some random books for Peter to read. The books were chemistry books, and Peter found them so interesting he couldn’t put them down. They changed his life. He has had a rewarding life as a chemistry teacher.
Even though Uncle Pete knows a lot about chemistry, his still finds it hard to keep up with Mirko’s advanced 21st century knowledge.
Mirko was quiet today.
11. We had our Jokefest, too.
12. The speaker complained of how mean it was of the media to give blanket coverage to an incident in which two male AFL executives were fired for having an affair with two female underlings. As if that were news! How much unnecessary pain and embarrassment did the media cause just to get a story, to fill the a dunce’s void?
And, he complained of how weasil-like it was of the AFL to give a press conference to announce their departure, in an ironic effort to prove that the AFL has integrity. Yes, the AFL publicly threw the men under the bus to prove to us they have integrity! Amazing.
And of course, the media swallowed it up because they knew the public (who has no right to know such gossip) would lap it up. The public are very good at accepting the dross they’re given as news.
13. Other subjects discussed:
– The Sandcastle Story, though one grasshopper provided us with a different interpretation.
– The speaker explained why there is no such thing as an Aborigine (or Anglo Australian, or Japanese, or Jew, or etc.) Unfortunately, the indigenous Donny didn’t hang around to hear the explanation.