#2. Every Song He Writes Now Is About Space
Speaking of failed subtlety, all four albums Tom DeLonge has released with Angels & Airwaves have a picture of space on the cover, replete with lyrics that center on a joyous fascination with human emotions, seemingly written from the point of view of a comet-hopping moonman who is just now discovering the concept. It's like if Data wrote a book of poetry immediately after activating his emotion chip for the first time and then read it aloud over a bunch of mid-career Pink Floyd instrumentals. DeLonge went from writing pop-punk songs about pirate sex and masturbation (see "pooping nudity music videos," above) to penning an entire catalog of sweeping, atmospheric prog-rock songs about the intangible facets of being. In less than a year.
Some of the song titles seem to document DeLonge's Klaatu-esque journey ("The Adventure") to bring a message to the Earth ("The Gift") and save us from mutually assured destruction ("The War," "Behold a Pale Horse") before he is forced to eradicate us for the greater good of the universe with his robot friend Gort ("Start the Machine"). Others reference the beginning of the space age ("The Flight of Apollo") and an otherworldly fascination with confoundingly specific celestial bodies ("The Moon Atomic," "Moon as My Witness"). The bottom line is, Tom DeLonge is now all about space, and he wants you to know that shit.
Even the "O" in "love" is a moon. Spaaaaaaaaace!
#1. He Made a Movie About Space to Document His Experience
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DeLonge then went on to make a goddamned movie about space. It's called Love and is about an astronaut trapped inside a space station, watching as the Earth blinks out of existence below him, who winds up transcending existence as we know it. If that sounds familiar, it's because it is the exact subject of the song "Asthenia," which I mentioned earlier. It stars Gunner Wright as the astronaut, which is interesting because Wright also plays the main character in the Dead Space series of video games, who is also an astronaut.
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"I want there to be so much fucking space in this movie, you have to wear a helmet to watch it." -Tom DeLonge
The end of the film is ambiguous, but it seems to indicate that Wright downloads his consciousness into a collective mainframe containing the thoughts and memories of the entire human race. This is what happened to Tom DeLonge -- he was taken to the edge of the universe and absorbed by an ethereal alien collective. Now he's returned to share his experience and try to convince us to lay down our arms and join the United Federation of Planets. It's actually genius -- in The Day the Earth Stood Still, Klaatu's biggest conundrum was how to deliver his message to the entire world simultaneously, instead of talking to various government leaders one at a time and letting them disseminate his words to their respective peoples. Tom DeLonge has that problem figured out -- he and his alien handlers are using music and movies to deliver their message, which are two things with immediate worldwide distribution (judging by the Internet, they are also the only two things anybody cares about). He doesn't have to waste time fumbling around with stuffed-shirt presidents and prime ministers when he can instantly beam his galaxian moonlove doctrine to anyone in the world who wants to listen.
One final piece of evidence to silence any doubting Thomases (because my name is Tom, as is the subject of this column, so to doubt any part of it is to both "doubt Thomas" and be a "doubting Thomas." Hold your applause) is an interview DeLonge gave back in December 2012 for the UFO enthusiast Web series Spacing Out:
Now, compare that video to the earlier one taken from the Penishole Chronicles. It's like watching two different people. He's talking about the exact same things, and he even tells one of the same stories, but he's doing so in a charming and mildly self-deprecating manner that totally disarms us, like he's reciting an anecdote about the time he shit his pants at a taco stand instead of casually informing us that flying saucers are currently orbiting the Earth's sun. Whereas 2002 Tom DeLonge was half-mumbling and fidgety, 2012 Tom DeLonge speaks clearly and authoritatively, with more charisma than Jon Hamm in a house of mirrors.
Like Klaatu, he is attempting to deliver a crucial message to our planet by behaving like the most affable guy in the universe. See, DeLonge is trying to brace humanity by calmly assuring us that aliens have always been here, building pyramids and sending telepathic messages to Indiana Jones. So we'd better get with the program and stop being a bunch of nuke-happy assholes or else intergalactic nuclear defense robots are going to zoom in through a wormhole and destroy us.
Tom (Reimann) owns every Blink-182 and Angels & Airwaves album, a Tom DeLonge signature Epiphone, and a pair of Tom DeLonge sneakers, which is in no way sad. Read his novel Stitches and follow him on Twitter, where you will notice that his username (@starthemachine) is the title of an Angels & Airwaves song.