Review of the Event “The 1st ABS Balloon Debate” on Friday, 28 January 2022, at the Café Ministerium
by Wolfgang Geissler
Once upon a time, seven professionals were on board a hot air balloon. The seven professions described as being utterly unpopular, even disliked were a Thief, a Used Car Salesman, a Tax Inspector, a Property Speculator, a Cosmetic Surgeon, a Scape Goat and an Asset Stripper. Altogether they were two ladies and five men. As the story unfolded, we learned that insufficient hot air was being produced to keep the balloon afloat, so the occupants, to save their otherwise miserable lives, had to make hot air by talking furiously in their defence instead. It transpired that only one person was allowed to survive. All others had to be sacrificed, presumably by being ditched overboard to their inevitable doom. The drama developed as each of the Seven pleaded with the audience why they should be spared and not the others.
The fight for survival was savage. The last three who had to slog it out were the Cosmetic Surgeon, the Used Car Salesman and the Asset Stripper. The audience showed no mercy. The Cosmetic Surgeon handing out generously sweeties as a kind of bribe promised riches, the Used Car Salesman (there never seems to be a Used Car Saleswoman?) insisted that used cars were a good investment. The Asset Stripper declared that his activities positively benefited society, making many people rich and can even be considered “green”. The Asset Stripper survived, and so the story ended. In Fairy Tales, everybody lives happily ever after, don’t they?
Three praises and a giant “thank you” must be conveyed to Ian Murdoch for creating, arranging and organising the Balloon Debate, the Café Ministerium for once again hosting this event and providing us with such a sensational catering and attentive service and last but not least the Seven Speakers who bravely took part at the height of a pandemic. As Ian wrote today, it says a lot about the Austro-British Society and us!