Seven things that prove the world has gone of­fi­cially in­sane

The Jakarta Post - JPlus - - Between the Lines - — Nury Vit­tachi Send ideas and com­ments on the au­thor’s Face­book page

NORTH KOREA’S GOVERN­MENT banned sar­cas­tic com­ments against them (they ac­tu­ally did, this is not a joke) so I sent them an email: “Great idea, you bunch of ge­niuses.” They’re sure to thank me.

The world’s gone mad. A reader sent me a news story about po­lice check­ing so-called “sacks of rice” which driv­ers were de­liv­er­ing across a bor­der and dis­cov­er­ing that the bundles were re­ally — (creepy mu­sic) … DEAD BOD­IES. No, wait. I just read the item again. What it ac­tu­ally says is that the driver told po­lice he was mov­ing dead bod­ies but shocked of­fi­cers dis­cov­ered that the bundles were re­ally… bags of rice. This took place re­cently in Nige­ria, where tax is payable on im­ported foods but not on corpses. “Noth­ing to see here, of­fi­cer, just dead peo­ple.” “You sure it’s not… gro­cery items?”

It re­minded me of a time a few years ago when a friend was at the se­cu­rity gate at Ph­nom Penh air­port. He put his bag through the x-ray ma­chine, and the guy next to him put his AK-47 ma­chine gun through the ma­chine. “What were the guards look­ing for in­side the ma­chine gun?” he pon­dered. “Men’s cos­met­ics?”

Hu­man­ity is now of­fi­cially in­sane. More proof: a top drug watch­dog in the United States re­cently re­vealed that af­ter Wall Street took over phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal firms, or­di­nary pre­scrip­tion pain pills cost six times as much as il­le­gal drugs from your lo­cal pusher. Both make you feel bet­ter, but the cheaper one comes with a trip around Jupiter on a pink space ele­phant.

A col­league who cov­ers fash­ion said her world had al­ways been mad, but the insanity level had risen alarm­ingly. Her ev­i­dence: top fash­ion com­pany Golden Goose just launched cheap fab­ric shoes that look old, shabby and held to­gether by duct tape. “Dis­tressed Su­per­star Sneak­ers” look EX­ACTLY like the an­cient things you find in the bot­tom of your teenagers’ cup­board — but are hot fash­ion items cost­ing US$585 a pair.

Why can’t buy­ers just look in the bot­toms of their own teenagers’ cup­boards and get the ex­act same thing with the added re­al­ism of that stinky feet smell?

More back­wards logic came from a drought-rid­den part of the US. The Los An­ge­les Depart­ment of Wa­ter and Power banned peo­ple from us­ing sprin­klers on their lawns — and then were ex­posed us­ing sprin­klers to wa­ter their own grass. Of­fi­cials pointed out their lawn was not grass, but plas­tic turf, which ben­e­fited from reg­u­lar clean­ing.

I did find one ex­am­ple of mod­ern re­verse-logic that was ac­tu­ally pos­i­tive. On a visit to Kampala in Uganda, I saw posters ad­ver­tis­ing “ladies’ shape” pills: “Bot­tom not big enough? Now you can in­crease its size eas­ily and quickly,” they said. My host as­sured me the prod­uct was com­pletely se­ri­ous, de­spite the fact I did not see any­one who needed it, as bot­toms in my field of view (not that I am an ex­pert on this sub­ject) ranged from “im­mense” to “Rock of Gi­bral­tar” to “Hi­malayan”.

Okay, I just no­ticed that my shoes are an­cient, fall­ing apart, and have a hole in the left sole. If you’ll ex­cuse me, I need to nip over to New York to score a big sale. Fash­ion­istas gonna love them.

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