A MAN WAS ARRESTED a few days ago for having impure thoughts about a woman at a bus stop.
“So that’s illegal now?” I asked a woman named Wincey, who gave me the information.
I was having coffee with a small group of Chinese feminists (so was saying as little as possible) when Wincey handed me a recent news report she had downloaded from Bulowaya24, a news website in Africa.
It said people waiting at a bus station in Zimbabwe noticed that Clifford Mavete, 27, was “sweating and exhibiting an expression synonymous with that of a person engaging in sex while his eyes were glued at the woman who was standing in front of him.”
In other words, his face was remotely committing assault.
The “victim”, a middle-aged woman, then “told the people who had gathered that she was having some unusual funny feelings in her private parts". (I am not making this up: link here.)
The tense scene involving two people not actually doing anything to each other escalated dramatically when the woman announced that her undergarments had magically vanished.
The crowd took Mavete to the police station where officers found the allegations eminently believable and charged the man with mind crimes. Lucky for them, this has been made a recognized crime: mubobobo, which means magical remote sexual assault.
Lots of people have committed mubobobo in Africa recently. Last month, a man was arrested for “tapping his foot on the ground and facially expressing excitement”.
Lowering the paper, I made an obvious point: “If mind crimes are now illegal, you might as well lock up every man on the planet.”
The women replied: “Good idea.”
THIS WHOLE mind-reading thing is seriously worrying.
The US army last week announced they had invented mind-reading binoculars to be used with weapons. When you clamp them on to your face, they start monitoring your brain activity and learning what your mind thinks of as enemies.
This could be bad. A LOT of bosses could die. And mothers-in-law.
THE FOLLOWING day, I got a press announcement from Toyota of Japan telling me they had unveiled a “mind-reading car” called the Insect.
It spots the owner approaching, unlocks itself, and then guesses where you want to go. “Good morning, Mr Vittachi, we’re off to the Toyota showroom to buy expensive branded accessories again, because your subconscious told me that’s where you’d like to spend your day.”
WHY DO scientists spend huge amounts of time and money inventing stuff that’s CLEARLY bad for society?
If boffins make mind-reading machines, and nations adopt “mind crime” laws, I foresee misery ahead for men everywhere.
For a bit of sanity, I turned to the Asian newspapers. Not a good idea.
Sex crimes are caused by chow mein, a politician in India warned last week, the Times of India reported. Chemicals in Chinese fried noodles make men unable to control their urges. “Chow mein leads to hormonal imbalance evoking an urge to indulge in such acts,” said Jitender Chhatar of Chandigarh.
I love chow mein.
And I occasionally appreciate the beauty of women in random places such as bus stops. Save time. Just execute me now.
IN OTHER NEWS…
REGULAR READERS know that I am giving step-by-step reports on how to get a book published. You’ll have already heard how it was prepared, proofed and printed.
Latest steps: the physical books are being trucked around to various places, firstly in Hong Kong. It’s not yet on the main Amazon site, but is available via the web here.
Yesterday the ebook versions went live, right here.
This morning the Kindle edition sprang up on Amazon.
These are the little jobs that you have to make sure work before you actually do an official launch. The worse thing is to make a big song and dance about something that isn’t actually available.
A general lesson that I have learned over the years, and which is discussed in detail in one of my business books is this: 90 per cent of people spend too much time perfecting their product and too little time getting it distributed. A good product well distributed always outsells a great product poorly distributed (for people with long memories, think Betamax vs VHS).
Here endeth lesson er, whatever it is.
BACK TO mind reading.