Every man is an island.

1.Mr B has a knack of saying something in two hundred words when a quote would say it better in twenty. He takes the long-winded approach because he can’t remember the quotes. He tries to recall them and stumbles about like a drunken sailor. The crowd have come to expect this, and Max falls asleep.

Mr B has in this instance insisted that one of his quotes gets said. So here it is:

‘No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less . . .
Any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in Mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.’
17th Century philosopher, John Donne.

Mr B wants to say that when John Donne wrote the words, ‘No man is an island, entire of itself’, he was saying every man (and woman) is an island, but each ‘island’ is still a part of the main. In other words, we really are alone, but so is everyone else, and for that reason we are all in the same boat together.

Whether he’s right or wrong is irrelevant. It’s a bit late now.

2. Steve Maxwell held a crowd all day, and that night opened the doors to the Rationalists Society’s headquarters in Surry Hills. At 7pm he held a meeting with a guest speaker. This scribe was there and found that everyone in the audience willingly participated. That made it a great night. Thank you for hosting everyone, Steve.

It will be a sad day when the society is forced to close its doors. The place is cosy and conveniently near tons of public transport. (The building is being compulsorily acquired.)

3. A weighty issue was discussed briefly: can Laurel and Hardy still be funny? How about watching this 1928 video and deciding for yourself. Let Peter the Heckler know your thoughts when next you see him.

If you find the video just too slow at the beginning jump to 8 mins 27 secs.

4. It appears that the phenomenal growth of Speakers’ Corner over the last few years has led to a dramatic increase in the number of tourists coming by bus. Steps are being taken to have the bus drivers switch off their ignition and coast by Speakers’ Corner, so as not to disturb our discussions.

Added bonus: they will save fuel and reduce global carbon gas emissions by up to 26%.

5. The merit of affirmations was discussed. This postcard from the postsecret website presents a point-of-view:


6. Peter the Heckler was in such fine form being a heckler that one blunt lady asked Mr B to vacate the podium and give it to Peter. Mr B did what he was told, and through gritted teeth introduced Peter, who received a round of applause as he took the podium. He proceeded to do an outstanding job up there, speaking mainly about the government’s role in education.

This postcard from the same postsecret site is about education. As usual, click the photograph to enlarge it.