There was this UFO table thing in the corner of Barbican Weekender, and appeared on the little screen on the side was the discussion topic: “Why the long queue for the rain room?” There were 2-3 people around the table, and a man sitting in the middle passing on the mic from one to another. They were talking about weather.

The atmosphere was easy and equal. I don’t like voicing public opinions, but it drew me in and I sat down by the table, and raised my hand to answer the question, “I think we are just being control freaks, we were never able to control the weather, and now we can have rain drops not falling on us, and we all wanted that.”

Questions and opinions – should we be in control; why do we want to be in control; realisation of we cannot control everything; controlling the weather to avoid catastrophes like Katrina and Sandy.

The topic changed from weather to being in control.

I raised my hand again, “Sandy made me realise that technology helped us be in control, but Mother Nature will always be more powerful. We have to be in control, yes, but we must also respect the environment we are in. Respect Mother Earth.”

The lady beside me chipped in, saying that there are billionaires are doing projects that are trying to control -something-, they are like the Bond villains who think they are doing good but actually not. The man across the table would prefer that he is in control because losing control is not a good thing. I said that it is not necessary to be in control all the time; we must trust human brain, when it loses control, it gains something else and very often, it is the “ah” moment, creativity.

The topic changed from rain, to weather, to being in control to human creativity.

I loved it. I love discussions. I love asking questions about “the norm”. I love challenging my own thoughts, even got into fights.. I mean, debates where I “attacked” the arts and my own profession – which happens a hell lot in public debates anyway. (If I couldn’t defend myself, everything I do now loses meaning within the wider context. But if I could, I will be very, very pleased.)

I hope to be in another Talkaoke soon.

Reverse side of a Talkaoke banner.

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