When the vast cosmos looks down on our floating blue orb, what a maddening spectacle it must find.

Hell’s bells, if I were an extraterrestrial landing on this planet in my gleaming silver UFO, I’d think I’d stumbled upon a party that’s not just out of control but hell-bent on its own destruction. A place where the music’s too loud, the drinks have run dry, and the fat sunburned, “cruise ship life” inhabitants are setting the damn house on fire.

From the black depths of space, an alien observer would see a strange species. Here we are, apex predators on a lush and lively planet, equipped with brains that have unlocked quantum physics, mapped the human genome, and mastered the art of the perfect cappuccino. And yet, like a trained SEAL in a bar fight with a drunk clown, we’re inexplicably losing the battle.

Climate change? Ah, the great existential thundercloud of our times. We’re not talking about changing the thermostat in your rickety Vegas hotel room but rather cranking up Earth’s temperature with our relentless addiction to fossil fuels. It’s like watching a man sawing off the branch he’s sitting on, expecting to float when it gives way. Dear alien visitors, you’d think this would be Priority Numero Uno. Instead, what do we do? Argue about it, of course. Deny it, debate it, and drown in our own delusions.

And speaking of drowning, our oceans, those vast expanses of blue that look so picturesque from space? Teeming with plastic. You might assume our top minds are devising methods to clean up this soupy mess. But, more often than not, we’re busier slurping through plastic straws, ignoring the silent screams of strangled sea turtles.

Sea Turtles
Sea Turtles in their colorful, albeit plastic filled habitat.

Surely, an advanced species wouldn’t wage war on its own kind, right? Wrong. Rather than banding together like a SEAL team behind enemy lines, we fragment, bicker, and drop bombs on one another and declare moral outrage. It’s as if we’ve decided that mutual annihilation is a sport. “Ah, look,” our intergalactic visitors might say, “They’ve discovered the art of self-destruction. How quaint.”

The climax of this cosmic comedy? Our inexplicable obsessions. We poison our air, clog our veins with cholesterol, and drive species to extinction. Meanwhile, in the glaring, pulsating epicenter of our global chaos, we have… Barbie. And Botox. Goddammit, humans, when our ship is sinking, is this really the time to worry about wrinkle-free foreheads and whether a plastic doll has an unrealistic waistline?

And while we’re on the topic of bizarre human constructs, let’s dive into the rabbit hole of Earth’s religious institutions – a seemingly eternal hotbed of controversy. It’s a wild ride of holy wars, inquisitions, and archaic customs that frequently defy logic.

The Catholic Church, for instance, has been embroiled in a scandal of cosmic proportions. Their monumental failings around the globe regarding the systemic child abuse by their clergy is a staggering display of the power structures that keep the mighty shielded and the vulnerable in darkness. It’s a surreal horror show where the very shepherds meant to guide their flock have, in some instances, devolved into wolves. They’ve danced a dangerous tango with denial, even as evidence mounted and victims’ voices grew louder. One might think that an institution rooted in teachings of love, compassion, and penance would face its sins head-on, but the maze of bureaucracy and reputation management often trumps genuine atonement.

Imagine waking up to headlines proclaiming that countless children were abused at Nike sports camps over several decades, with the top brass of the company having full knowledge of it. Imagine learning that, instead of addressing these heinous acts, the company merely shuffled the perpetrators from one camp to another, allowing the cycle of abuse to continue unabated. The public outcry would be deafening. Boycotts would be organized, stores would face protests, and social media would be aflame with #CancelNike and #JusticeForVictims. Within weeks, maybe even days, Nike’s stock would plummet, sponsors would jump ship, and the brand that once stood for pushing human limits would become synonymous with betrayal and horror. The company’s legacy would be forever tainted, and it’s not far-fetched to assume that its survival would be at stake.

Contrast this with the Catholic Church, an institution even more globally ingrained and influential than Nike. The Church’s history of child abuse is not fictional or hypothetical; it’s a dark, undeniable reality. Yet, despite continuous revelations of abuse and cover-ups, the Church remains a potent force worldwide. Yes, it’s faced backlash, protests, and even declining memberships in certain regions. But it has not crumbled. It has not been “canceled.” It continues to wield significant influence over billions, guiding spiritual beliefs, and the Church is still shaping political landscapes.

But the Catholics don’t stand alone on the stage of religious recklessness. History is laden with instances where religious institutions, spanning multiple belief systems, have been on the wrong side of science, social progress, and basic human decency. They’ve waged wars in the name of gods, persecuted those who dared to think differently, and have all too often clung to outdated tenets that hinder societal advancement. They’ve stoned, beheaded, and excommunicated. They’ve throttled progress, abused children, stifled voices, and turned blind eyes.

If our interstellar visitors are tallying up the human record, these religious escapades would certainly raise a few extraterrestrial eyebrows. The vast cosmic expanse is filled with wonders beyond comprehension, yet here on Earth, religious dogma sometimes seems to shrink that universe to a tiny, controllable box, where fear is a currency and blind faith a mandate.

When the grand tapestry of the universe unfolds its mysteries, these restrictive doctrines and their atrocious consequences might be seen as a glaring stain on humanity’s collective consciousness. It’s as if Earth’s residents are caught in a perpetual spiritual adolescence, struggling to grow up and understand their place in the vast cosmos. Maybe it’s high time we shook off the shackles of religious rigidity and embraced a more inclusive, compassionate, and enlightened worldview. Before reaching for the heavens, perhaps we should first learn to navigate our earthly realm without tripping over our own dogmas.

First contact! The ideal global response to potential extraterrestrial life

Read Next: First contact! The ideal global response to potential extraterrestrial life

Don’t get me wrong. A bit of levity, a dash of vanity – it’s all part and parcel of the human experience. But when we’re on a crash course, perhaps it’s time to switch the radio from the pop hits and tune into the emergency broadcast.

In conclusion, dear Earthlings: Let’s cut the crap. If our current trajectory were plotted in a mission briefing, even the aliens on the short bus would know we’re in the danger zone.

As we continue on this trajectory of willful ignorance and blatant hypocrisy, one has to wonder if the much-feared AI takeover might not be such a terrible outcome. If humanity can’t save itself from its self-inflicted wounds, perhaps we’ll need an impartial machine mind to course-correct our destructive tendencies. The universe has given us a planet, a playground of resources, and brains big enough to do something about it. Instead of squandering it on pettiness, perhaps it’s time to pull our heads out of our asses. Forget the Barbies, Church socials on Sunday, and the Botox.

We should get damn act together, and it starts with voting and raising awareness on your socials. Let’s do this, before the next alien Yelp review reads, “Visited Earth. Lovely views, but the inhabitants? Utterly fucking bonkers.”