Just the other day, when I was walking down the streets of my neighborhood, I heard a strange noise that made me stop and look around. It was a summer afternoon and the streets were empty, so I didn't understand where that low buzz could come from. I walked on and again I perceived the unusual hum. I turned around and this time I saw it. I say "it" because it was not a "she" or a "he", I mean, a human being. Nor it was an animal, as I expected. It was a short, five-legged, single-handed, blue-skinned, long-necked, three-eyed being looking at me and still buzzing. I am not a drug user, and, although high, the heat of the day was not particularly hallucinatory. Thus, the alien, or whatever it was, had to be real, and not a product of my mind. Before I could utter any reasonable expression, I heard it speak. Or better said, I heard its voice inside my head. It was communicating to me telepathically. It had been on our planet for a while, it explained, and it experienced many things about our species it just could not understand. Among the many unexplainable phenomena, it mentioned "money", "fashion" and "luxury". It seems to it that, no matter where it went, everybody here on Earth seems incredibly obsessed by grasping these apparently valueless tickets of different colors and dimensions. It was also puzzled by the weird behaviors of Earth people, especially when it comes to wear pieces of clothes and showing them off. I was speechless, er, thoughtless. Meeting an alien in the middle of the street was the last thing I could expect that day, let alone one asking me such unpredictable questions. Seeing that my reaction was far to come, it sent me a very powerful set of brainwaves that left me bewildered, as if I were hit by a train. Then, it disappeared. You are about to read here below the content of the message I received by that "thing". It's a list containing 5 considerations related to luxury, money and fashion as they are seen by the alien. You will notice that the way it sees our world is very peculiar, if compared to our mainstream perception of reality. I don't want trouble with the police and the press, so I didn't report to the authorities the event that occurred to me. I content myself with publishing the following list in my post, trusting that you will give it a thought now and then. I think that 99,99% of Earth people is not ready to share the alien's view, so it's better to keep a low profile, at least until things change.
1. Sport cars: people have two legs and can use them to walk. So why spending so much money with these strange four-wheeled coffins? The alien observed that it seems that owning a fast, sport, expensive car makes feel the owner (usually a male being of our species) more important and respected, which is hard to understand, considered how polluting these vehicles are. It also remarked that although the car users seems to love speed, when challenged to run using their legs only they either refuse or turn to be quite slow.
2. Precious jewels: if the first item is more palatable to males, this one seems to attract females more, so our alien noticed. What it could not fully understand is why on Earth (no pun intended) people endow stones with so much values. It could not tell the difference from any stone it picked up from the ground and those exhibited so proudly by our women, usually around their necks, in some of their fingers or hanging from their ears. The fact that entire nations (by the way, it hardly understood the concept of "nation" either) hold reserves of a special stone called "gold", and that those stones confer an added value to the nation according to their quantity, it is something that goes beyond the alien's understanding.
3.Name-brand clothing: fashion comes second only to luxury, in our poor alien's irrationality list. It noticed that millions of people wish to wear the same garments according to what they see on flat screens (billboards, TV, smartphone and PC screens). By doing so, people feel at easy and unique. It seems nobody is able to grasp the paradox of the whole thing.
4. Hairstyles, piercing, tattoos. Same as above. We are entering the realm of fashion, something the alien labels as highly disturbing and irrational. Through its wave-communication system, it told me that its species possess special skills, like projecting their minds in the future. Using this device, it made a simple experiment on our planet. It showed to 100 young units of our species pictures of hairstyles and fashions that will be trendy in the next 10 years. 100% of the sample screamed horrified, claiming that never and never they will ridicule themselves by dressing in such an embarrassing way.
5. Technological gadgets. Where it comes from, the alien explained to me, technology is practically invisible, noiseless and effective. It is provided for free to every member of its species and its use is strictly bound to functional reasons. Therefore it could not really understand why people here constantly show their piece of heavy machinery and utilize it for frivolous and useless tasks, like making a digital copy of already existing reality and share it among selected members of their species, probably to reassure them that the reality they recorded is still there and didn't disappear (the alien could not find any other reasonable explanation of this bizarre behavior).
Besides those listed here above, the alien added quickly further factors of puzzlement, namely the obsession to possess large properties in form of houses (and floating houses, which it later learned to label as "boats" and "yachts"); the inclination to gather to some fancy places, usually in the evening, and provide plenty of tickets (money) to eat dead animals, cooked and well served by submissive servants wearing white uniforms; and the attitude to sojourn in glamorous residences (so-called 5-star hotels) when traveling. The alien came to know that only a small fragment of human beings can afford such way of living, and they are the target of admiration, envy and emulation from their fellow species. It's a strange planet indeed.