Speakers Corner

Old Mar 30th, 2007, 09:48 PM
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Speakers Corner

I have this idealistic image of speakers corner in Hyde Park going back to childhood. Home of the original soapbox, I believe. I have a fantasy of standing on a box giving a good rant on some political topic or other, plenty of those going around today. Missing the right nerve to stand up to withering attacks I'm affraid. However, it is one of the few lifelong desires to witness such an open exercise in free speach. Am I romanticizing this too much? I can't imagine , since I am staying in south Ken, that I won't find myself wandering by and catching an earfull! Anyone care to comment on their expierence at speakers corner? thereyet
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 10:22 PM
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Can be fun still, but it seems to attract the regular speakers, many of whom are "one short of a dozen", but harmless
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 02:52 AM
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Hi T,

Most of the folks up on the soap boxes seemed to be one sandwich short of a picnic the day we were there, but it was fun for an hour or so.

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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 02:52 AM
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>Missing the right nerve to stand up to withering attacks I'm affraid. <

I don't think that any of the spectators would be that interested.

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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 05:30 AM
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Once in a while you will luck out and hear some sort of interesting/intelligent/provocative discourse.

But as the others say - most of the time the speakers' lifts don't go to the top floor . . . . . .
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 05:36 AM
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I recall seeing (hearing) them back in the sixties and everytime I see the panhandlers outside Kensington Market in Toronto with their wine bottle between their legs, babbling incoherently I remember the oratory at Hyde Park.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 05:44 AM
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What a wonderful selection of euphemisms for someone who is slightly bonkers!
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 05:45 AM
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Sooo, basically you are saying someone from the local asylum lost their keys? Or worse yet a Reagan type decreed that all those institutionalized and on medication werem't really crazy afterall and put them back on the street like here in Ca.? At the State House in Sacramento there is a perpetual demonstration against everything under the sun with bullhorns and all. Is it something like that? I suppose I would rather watch Parlament argue it out on the floor of the House of Commens but sadly they are out of sesssion when I visit in July. thereyet
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 05:50 AM
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Oh NO. You misunderstand.
Their speeches make far more sense than the House of Commons.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 06:01 AM
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Slightly off topic

Being a good Ca. liberal Dem. Is the reputation of the American tourist, ugly american, damaged beyond all repair aka FUBAR with the current bungalings going on in Washington the past 6 years? thereyet
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 09:14 AM
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No, don't worry. That is to say, we have plenty of thick people who think all [insert nationality] are the same as [insert current political stereotype/caricature], but I don't think they're the majority here any more than in any other country.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 09:22 AM
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Awsome, I don't have to go incognito then. I will leave the bowler hat and monacle at home! I'll leave the cowboy boots/hat at home for that matter. Enough of the political posturing then. thereyet
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 10:10 AM
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I think you're romanticizing it, but even the concept never sounded so fascinating to me, although I have been by it when in progress so heard some blowhards. I just have no reason to care what some stranger has to say in Hyde Park about anything. There are too many people mouthing off like this everywhere in life already (like call-in talk radio, not to mention the internet) that I find it so special.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Took my family of four to witness this last summer. I am from Texas and speaker asked me if I knew George Bush.I have met him so I said yes. I was promptly surrounded by dozens of almost screaming folks( I concluded they did not like him). My wife and kids ran off into Hyde Park. I finally said I was from South Carolina and was just kidding so I could adios.
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 06:22 PM
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as i said, "one short of a dozen"
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 08:05 PM
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I enjoyed speakers' corner. My favorite speaker was a gentleman with a yellow suit with a pattern of Christian crosses all over it. It was a hoot! He was wearing cowboy boots, too. Needless to say, he was trying to save our souls.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 02:17 AM
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My husband always wanted to see/hear Speaker's Corner, so we made our way to that section of Hyde Park on a Sunday afternoon.

By the time we got to the area, there was only one guy left, extolling his beliefs in circumcision. Needless to say, we didn't hang around to find out if he was in favor or against. Talk about a real nut case...

Peace, Robyn >-
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 03:00 AM
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It was both a novelty and an important public space in the days when newspapers were small and perceptions of public order and what was proper to say in public were much more restrictive, even in "free" countries. Even 10 years ago it was seen as a gimmicky throwback for the then Prime Minister to deliver a speech from a soapbox to an apparently impromptu crowd.

But nowadays you get yourself a blog rather than a soapbox (much more comfortable) - or a loudhailer like the irritating evangelist at Piccadilly Circus - and Speaker's Corner is left to people who really are, shall we say, only peripherally connected to the everyday realities of the rest of us.
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Old Apr 1st, 2007, 07:41 AM
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So the Blog has hastened the death of (sane) public discourse, so sad. thereyet
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