Monday, July 28, 2008

Public Preacher at Union Square

The young man on the left is a preacher and the man on the right with a microphone was an audience member asking a question. This sort of Q&A sessions or public forums are fairly common in NYC, especially at Union Square where freedom of expression is embrassed wholeheartedly.

But what is most interesting about this session was that it was very well-organized. Notice the large square area defined by the white tape and the smaller square where the man on the right was standing. If an audience member has a question, he or she was encouraged to stand in the small square and a microphone would be presented to him. I stayed and watched the debate for about half an hour and I am glad to report everyone was respectful, despite their differences in opinion.

It is common knowledge that certain topics are not appropriate for polite dinner conversation. Do you know what they are?

16 comments:

Peter said...

I don't have the list, but I guess it's the question of with whom you are dining? ... and then there is the "after-dinner" conversation.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Religion and politics are two that are off limits around here.

Elizabeth said...

We seem to be swirling in the same circles!
I was up at Union Square on Saturday.

Yes, SEX. POLITICS and RELIGION are not suitable for dinner party conversation.
Also we should ban dreams unless specifically asked for.
Re religion and politics: everyone is a true believer in their own religion or lack of one. everyone things their own opinion is the right one.
All you are setting yourself up for is a fight!
Happy week!

NYD said...

Yes, I do, yet those things are exactly what I like to talk about; so I do not often get invited to people's homes anymore.

If I talk to someone it's like taking a photograph. I want to see the entire picture, not just the cropped off portion.

Anonymous said...

Sex, money, politics and religion. Not necessarily in that order.

Anonymous said...

In my country we should never talk about partisan politics or religion... not even at family gatherings... but we always end talking about shit or sex. We are very peculiar.

Changes in the wind said...

Religion and politics:) How I wished people would remember that....

marley said...

This all looks very civilised. We don't have things like this round here.

Inappropriate topics? Religion and politics. Or sex and drugs. I'm not really sure :(

Virginia said...

THese days discussing politics at the dinner table would take one's appetite. Steer clear of that one. Also, I am fascinated with how intent the crowd in your photo is in listening to the speakers. I guess I thought people in large cities would just hurry by. An interesting photo.

Dee Dee said...

I suppose Religion and Politics...exactly what needs to be discussed in a civilized manner, though doubtful if you have opposing opinions....If I know the one I am dining with is on the "same sheet of music" we do enjoy batting around the opposition's point of view...most assuredly convinced they are quite misinformed :)

• Eliane • said...

Avoiding speaking about religion,sex, politics and money will keep you out of trouble. And I think there's something like, it is more than ok to speak about those subjects with your inner circle (immediate family and friends) but not in larger audiences, family reunions and vague acquaintances. Something like that.

Now, I give you a lot of credit because I don't have much patience with the kind of scenes depicted above. I understand the whole civil debate, which is great. But the "preaching", "converting" and "in your face" aspect of this is something I find really annoying. To some extend, I think it should be forbiden/illegal. I am thinking about those scientologists bothering tourists and easily impressed individuals in Times Square. And those crazy people haranguing passersby in the street about hell, abomination, abortion, deadly sins, and reciting bible verses ... This is unbelievably annoying and so laughable at the same time.
Now, I realize that by bringing that up I have (1) demonstrated that I was not raised on this continent and (2) have completely disrespected the rule you were so carefully reminding us of. ;)

Anonymous said...

Yep, sex, money, politics and religion in no order....still true in LA.

Doris

tigerfish said...

I just saw 3 stores at the background which I've all gone to. WF for groceries, DSW for shoes, and Forever21 - just to window shop. LOL!

citygirl15 said...

hmm.... wonder what they were discussing in the square.

I try not to discuss anything controversial with my kids over dinner.... they claim I cause them too much stress.

Keropok Man said...

Oh, I realize another topic to avoid is between meat eaters and vegetarians or vegans.


How interesting to have lines for the discussion. So so organized! I wanted to say, so Singapore. hahaha...

Gecko said...

Hmm, very interesting. We don't have anything remotly like that in thiss country (that I'm aware of), and I find it so interesting. And I can't tear my eyes away from that guy's shoes!