USA Today – Want to save planet Earth? You could apply for NASA’s Planetary Protection Officer role. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is currently looking for someone with a secret security clearance to ensure alien life, or “organic-constituent and biological contamination” doesn’t make it’s way back in a space ship. More than that, this person is “responsible for the leadership of NASA’s planetary protection capability, maintenance of planetary protection policies, and oversight of their implementation by NASAs space flight missions,” according to the job listing.
This is it. This is what Tom Delonge envisioned when he walked away from Blink 182 to officially kick off his career hunting extraterrestrials. Touring the world making millions of dollars playing songs you wrote to thousands of adoring fans gets old and is as arbitrary as it is unsustainable. On the other hand, getting a nice six figure salary to work a 9-5 building and maintaining a “Planetary Protection Program”? That is steady, honest, and important work.
What are Delonge’s credentials you ask? Well allow me to lay them out. First of all this role appears to call for earth’s diplomat, ambassador if you will, in regards to extraterrestrial life. Being a musician and lyricist, especially in the pop punk genre, means Tom Delonge can communicate feelings and emotions better than the average human being. Such messages such as “eradicating our population with that photon beam will sadden me greatly” will probably not be lost in translation with Tom delivering them. How’s that for diplomacy?
A lot of this role also involves policy. Tom Delonge isn’t a master of consistency here, but he certainly has a knack for flexibility, especially when it is him dictating the need for it. He was the cause, for the most part, of the stop-start nature of Blink 182 over the past decade, which included a Tom-induced 7 year “indefinite hiatus”. This culminated in the latest new, substantial policy change of Mark and Travis hiring Matt Skiba and continuing as a band without him. He certainly also knows how to institute policy, as he has executed 6 contracts with, to quote Tom himself, “best-selling authors”, to publish 15 books. Now I myself don’t know much about conflict of interest policy, which would seem to be at play here, but I do know a bit about general best practices as it comes to overworking folks and this seems like Tom is grinding a little too hard. But hey, he used to spend months on end in a van with 2 other dudes driving around the country eating fast food so I’m sure he can handle it.
Finally, we need to address the fact that Tom Delonge has already been doing this job for a number of years. He has been hunting aliens, researching aliens, and trying to figure out what makes aliens tick for as long as anyone can remember. Music was his job, interplanetary species are his passion. I think there is a Seinfeld episode where George actually does this, wants a job so just starts doing it. Maybe it’s “Always Sunny”, I dunno. The bottom line is if I need someone defending my world from aliens in a pinch, I’ll first and foremost go with the guy who has already been defending my world from aliens for love of the fucking game. NOW HIT IT!