6. More fish for Steve Maxwell.

“When one person suffers from a delusion it is called ‘insanity’. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called ‘religion’.”
Robert M Pirsig

1. Last week Steve Maxwell put out a long canvas for passers-by to paint fish on. His aim was to bring that canvas each week until it was covered with pictures of fish, and then submit it with  a petition to the government to better manage our waterways. This week the canvas was finished, well ahead of time. His canvas, and his message, were popular all day.

Thank you, Steve, for your innovative ideas. They bring life and variety to Speakers’ Corner.


2. We often have Janet popping by. Janet has designed a flag to replace the current one we have for Australia.

In her flag a red earth circle represents our island continent; the white dots, our coast; and the blue, the ocean. The cluster of blue dots represents the states and territories (the centre dot represents the territories and the six blue dots surrounding it represent the states).

You can vote for Janet’s flag, or any other flag, on the Ausflag website: ausflag.com.au

4. Mr B also gave us a story about the Tibetan yogi, Milarepa: One day his cave was invaded by fearful demons, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t get rid of them. Finally he invited them to stay, and at that point they left. Except one, the largest of the demons. Milarepa placed his head in the demon’s mouth, and that demon disappeared too.

He then ruined the story by presenting a homily on how we should move through fear.


5. Mr B is still insisting that James Hardie Industries should not be compensating asbestos victims. And, he keeps insisting that the company’s executives were acting morally when they concealed the compensation money off-shore.

And yes, some of his grasshoppers keep disagreeing. They keep insisting that James Hardie Industries are culpable and should be paying compensation.

The main problem seemed to be that Mr B’s grasshoppers were focusing on James Hardie’s legalobligations, whereas Mr B was focusing on their moralobligations. The righteous Mr B believes our moral compass should be based on what is right, not on what the law says.

How subversive can you get??

He has a point. It’s interesting to note how on one hand, so many people disrespect lawyers and think there should be significant law reform, yet on the other hand, sheep-like, they allow their attitudes to be shaped by what the law says.

Mark the Grinner pointed out that in America, a corporation is a sentient entity. If that’s true, this scribe suggests he should bring that mind-blowing fact to the attention of those researching consciousness.

Your helpful scribe is happy to answer a grasshopper’s question: Bernie Banton worked for the company until 1974, long after the warnings were given.

6. Mr B read the poem, ‘Prayer Before Birth’ by Louis MacNeice. Uncle Pete said he read it poorly. Helmut said he should have memorised it. Your scribe  thinks he should have worn a tuxedo for the occasion and sprinkled the ground with rose petals.

7. Other subjects discussed:
– A leaked document from a Dept of Health funded body reveals that many doctors give their patients an unnecessary physical examination, and unnecessary blood tests, simply to keep the patient happy.

– Mark the Grinner believes all police officers should be over 40 and female. He says the male ones enter the profession for the wrong reasons.

– Mark T. Grinner also said that Australia does not have a diminishing rate of fertility, as the media like to tell us; instead, we have a low rate of fecundity. After looking up the word ‘fecundity’, your scribe thinks this claim should be examined next meeting.

– It was observed that the NSW State election is only six weeks away, yet we have barely heard a murmur from any of the parties. What’s going on?

– Tony kept Helmut on his toes today and their intellectual sparring match was a pleasure to witness. Helmut was trying to explain the origin of the universe and Tony was trying to stop him. It was clearly a case of ‘The Immovable Force meets the Irresistable Object’.

– Mr B was asked if trees can hear. He explained why they couldn’t, and Uncle Pete said they can hear. “They need to hear the man with the axe coming.” Sigh.
Peter the Younger informed us that trees can sense vibrations (that helps them find running water) and Mr B said trees communicate through their roots using a fungus. But they can’t hear. When they evolve ears he’ll reconsider the matter.

– One man put forth the possibility that we, as individuals, exist before we were born. Soon it was a “discussion” between that gentle man and the “boisterous” Uncle Pete. Their “conversation” morphed into a group discussion about the importance of faith, evidence, speculation and philosophy. The gentle man coped well with Uncle Pete’s bluster. Good work, sir.

8. In our Unusual Critter Series we present to you the English Angora Rabbit. It has trouble reading our Facebook pagefor fairly obvious reasons. It avoids being eaten by English foxes by disguising itself as an avalanche.