by Nejmi MuHammad
ONCE When we were in London in August, 1986, si‘ Smeet’, er, Smeeth and I went out on a long walk together.
It was the Bank Holiday weekend when as is well-known Londoners love to go to the country and sit for hours in crowded trains and on the highways. So we decided to stay in town and actually see the sites. We planned to walk the length of the old Roman wall which surrounds old London itself, and traces of which may still be seen–at least when the Londoners and summer tourists aren’t all in the way! On our way on foot from Kensington to the Tower to begin our tour we took a long detour north through Hyde Park.
There at the northeast corner is the famous “Speakers’ Corner.”
The Speakers’ Corner is perhaps THE famous ancestor of all of these present-day “weblogs,” for there Englishmen can–and do!–talk to whoever will stop and listen. They talk about anything under the sun, and the number of of actual cranks proportionately is about the same as “online.” Also just as in your computers there is often interesting information to be found, especially by students of sufism.
Today was no exception.
As si‘ Smeet, er, Smeeth and I approached we came upon perhaps the largest crowd we were to find in the entire city that holiday Sunday–a dozen or fifteen people. A man was indeed speaking (he stood on a small stool and NOT a soapbox!), and as we approached he came to his triumphant conclusion.
He was true Londoner indeed, celebrating the treasured rights of Englishmen and free speech:
‘WINSTON Churchill hindeed!’ he was saying.
‘Prime Minister Churchill ‘isself!
‘SIR Winston Churchill….
‘An’ just ‘OO WAS this Winston Churchill I should like ter know?
‘WHY We should ‘ave never ‘ave ‘eard of ‘im–hif hit ‘adn’t ‘a bin fer–HADDOLF ‘ITLER!’
PEOPLE Truly do often UNDERSTAND more than they “know.”
[Emmett R Smith
[all transcription rights reserved
[19 May 2006]