A Letter to Earth From Outer Space 

Tim Sampson gives his column to aliens from another world. They are confused.

click to enlarge Comic-Con - ALAN CROSTHWAITE | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Alan Crosthwaite | Dreamstime.com
  • Comic-Con

Tim Sampson, who normally writes this column on the weeks that Randy Haspel doesn't write it, is off this week, and he asked me to write this week's Rant for him. I am a friend of Tim's, but you don't know me because I live on a different planet than earth. Yes, there is life out there beyond what you might think.

I live on a peaceful planet far, far away, but we have and always have had the ability to watch you earthlings and the way you have evolved — or in many cases, have not evolved. We are confused by many of the things you do on your planet. Tim has tried to explain them to us, but he finds himself scratching his bald head much of the time when trying to tell us the reasons for many of the things that happen on your planet, in your country, and in your city where Tim lives.

First and foremost, we are astonished at earth's obsession with war. Your planet has been at war for almost its entire existence, or at least since the creatures on your planet evolved into humans. We don't understand why from day one you wanted to fight and kill each other, mostly in the name of religion and the various deities you worship. Look at you, United States. You were founded by some people called pilgrims, who left England to start a new country because they were religiously persecuted in their mother country. Yet from day one you have done nothing but try to force your own religious beliefs on everyone else in your country — and elsewhere. You fought the Revolutionary War to have your own country, one that allowed religious freedom, yet you based your entire government on Christianity and you are still operating the same way hundreds of years later. What's up with that, earthling Americans?

Then, once you got your own country, you kidnapped millions of Africans and brought them there and made them into slaves, despite your devout Christianity. This makes no sense to us. And then you had to have another war to take care of that. And then you had your Spanish-American War. And then you had your World War I and World War II and Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War, and the War in Afghanistan, which still rages on. We know you are not solely to blame for all of this and that some of your other countries do things that are not nice, but for you, is war always the answer?

Your entire planet, except for maybe Luxembourg and Finland, seems obsessed with war. This thing you have going on now with the Israelis and Palestinians is causing us much confusion. You are killing innocent people and little children in the streets as they play. Do you look in the mirrors and say to yourselves, "This makes total sense"? We wonder about you a lot.

Sometimes we just chuckle at you. For years we have observed your country's Comic-Con festivities, with people dressed in all forms of costumes based on comic book characters and super heroes. There are many of you who do this. And now, it looks like a lot of sexual harassment at these gatherings has started taking place. We don't really understand the idea of sexual harassment or any other kind of harassment because we don't have that on our planet. But in your country, at a convention where men dress as female characters and women dress as male characters and women wear very little clothing for some events, the men among you have begun cat-calling at the women and taking pictures of them when they bend over. And you all drink a lot while doing this and you do it in public, year after year. We don't understand this at all, but we find it vaguely amusing, except for the harassment part.

But we see that you also have bigger issues with which to deal. We wonder why the women in your country seem to be far and away smarter and more compassionate than the men, yet they still are not treated as equals to men, like there is something inferior about them. This makes our tentacles furrow a bit in confusion. Your country doesn't pay them as much as men who do the same work. Your government wants to control what they do with their bodies. We feel that you have much progress to make in this area and wish that we could come to your planet and show you how to relax and allow everyone to have the same chances as everyone else.

And you build big fences at your borders — well, some of your borders. You seem to have a lot of animosity toward your Hispanic neighbors to the south of your country, but you don't feel the same way about your Canadian neighbors to the north. Why is that the case? And you don't want little Hispanic children to come to your country to have a better life. You'd rather they remain very poor and without access to medicine than just allow them to come to live in your country, which has a lot of space for more people.

Well, there are many other things we wonder about your country, and when Tim writes his next column maybe someone can help him explain. We leave you in peace. Don't screw it up, any more than you already have.

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