1.What a good day! Peter the Heckler and Helmut again took the ladder and entertained the crowd, while Mr B across the way talked to a small but loyal audience. With Tony and Mirko chipping in regularly, Mr B’s exasperation could be considered entertaining.
2. We don’t know what Helmut spoke about (science, presumably?) but we do know that Peter talked about:
– ‘The large number of Christian Fundamentalists in government.’
– ‘How government schools should be the leaders and standard setters. And they’re not – sadly.’
– ‘People should consider less heroic medical interventions at the end of their lives. Realistic acceptance of the inevitable seems to be worth thinking about, at the least.’
One of the many pleasing aspects to Peter’s talks is the variety of his topics. Another is his ability to take charge of the meeting and direct traffic in an authoritative, yet entertaining way.
Speaking of schools, it seems even Lord Voldemort takes education seriously:
3. Albert and Jean were in attendance. Albert is 92 and as fit and as strong as a Mallee bull, and Jean is his darling wife. They, as always, had just come from attending a religious service from the Uniting Church nearby. And this is where it gets weird: Albert is a Christian atheist. He doesn’t believe in . . . never mind; the weird bit is that he regularly tells his fellow parishioners that God doesn’t exist and Jesus was a mere mortal. Yet, Albert is never expelled from the church. Today he excelled himself: in response to the topic of the prevalence of guns, violence and cruelty in today’s society, Albert blamed God. He stood up at the front and spoke to everyone, telling them that Abraham’s god was a cruel, callous and jealous bastard who committed genocide on the indigenous Palestinians.
Yes, that’s right. In church, during the service, Albert got up and told everyone that God was a bastard. He used that word.
Furthermore, he is applying to be on the church’s council in the upcoming church elections, and believes he has a chance.
That is one progressive church.
Albert is only eight short years away from being 100. Then he will have to suffer the same fate this poor woman suffered when she reached 100:
4. Having given the church a hard time, Albert moved on to Speakers’ Corner to give Mr B a hard time, who had just explained to The Enthralled (his nickname for his grasshoppers) why the Mona Lisa should be burnt. Mr B claimed that the art gallery opposite displays monochrome paintings which are simply rubbish, and Albert said that he had been in the gallery and that no such painting is displayed. Mr B took umbrage and sent this weary scribe some proof for Albert to see. Mr B claims that all the photographs below were taken in the gallery. (The Art Gallery of NSW.)
Here is another:
What do you think, Albert? Here’s another:
Why not one more?
This scribe takes a different view to Mr B. He believes these works of art are integral to our understanding of the true nature of humanity and the existential suffering of the inner being.
5. Mr B also talked about:
not much, really.
No topic was studied deeply. It was a dog’s breakfast. Mr B skimmed the surface of many topics, or none at all. No one really knows. It was one of those days.
Tony did his best to keep it that way, too, with his endless interjections. Sigh.
6. Steve Maxwell was in good form, and talked about the British nuclear tests held in Australia that took place between 1953 and 1963. Using a recent ABC radio documentary as his main source, he explained how the British were happy to blow bombs up, but didn’t try too hard to ensure that people were out of harm’s way. Nor did they bother to clean up afterwards. As a result, many Australians, mostly indigenous, were poisoned by radiation. (And think of the animals!) Steve also pointed out that the Australian politicians let the British get away with it.
7. We have not yet solved the Miracle of the Chairs, but we are working on it. We are consulting a water diviner. Meanwhile, here is another weird phenomenon:
8. Our Facebook page is thriving in the same way the dodo is thriving. Our archives site, with all our past posts, is doing equally well.
We are ever so grateful to the NSW Art Gallery for displaying these mind altering, soul enriching works of art.