|"Situation critical. Need to see you both. ASAP." So Director Skinner announces that the X-Files needs to be reopened, and Mulder and Scully need to go back on the job. X-Files fans are in full agreement with that idea.|
You may be aware that there have been many articles written in the MSM the past few days in the run-up to the premier of the new season of X-Files, that say the first episode, "My Struggle" is a dud. Some of these articles make the further case that Chris Carter, the creator of X-Files and writer/director on "My Struggle", is himself a dud, who can no longer write interesting X-Files stories because he is so jadedly lost in the garbage-heap of the show's mythologies.
As Joanna Robinson writes at Vanity Fair:
"'My Struggle,' the premiere which aired Sunday, January 24 on Fox, was far from the show’s best work. Written and directed by creator Chris Carter, the jumbled hour was enough to cause many critics—including myself—to wish Fox had never rebooted the series in the first place."And so, let me tell you in plain terms that when you read those assessments, you are reading halfwitted hacks who all need to be fired and certainly no longer read for any reason. Because Chris Carter is back. X-Files is back. And the first episode of the new season is one of the greatest X-Files episodes I've ever seen. Carter has completely reinvented the show for our soulless, braindead age. And I don't mean by this he is pandering to the great undead horde of zombies. In keeping with the sharp wits the show always demanded, it is quite the opposite. And of course that's the problem.
The main mythology of the show, which rests on the premise that there is something deeply and profoundly and destructively conspiratorial going on in the USA and the world, if only we could figure out what it was, has gone from being kitschy tabloid headlines—the inspiration for 1993's original X-Files—to being our 24-7 dreadful reality in 2016. It isn't that something beneficial will be gotten if only we can figure out exactly which conspiracy is true, and how so. It is that all the conspiracies are true. All the rotten, evil, "uber-violent fascist elites" (as Mulder puts it) are doing all the horrible things to all the rest of us that you can possibly imagine.
"My Struggle" makes the case that the real conspiracy is complete and all-consuming, and has invaded and corrupted the entire body of our civilization. In fact, the name "My Struggle", in addition to being an English translation of Hitler's title for his Nazi manifesto, Mein Kampf, is also the English translation for the 6-volume bio-novels of Norwegian writer, Karl Ove Knausgaard. Chris Carter says:
"I think [Mulder's] been struggling with depression. I saw the Knausgaard titles as, really, for me, indicative of how Mulder was looking at his own life."The first few pages of the first volume of Knausgaard's books, discusses how upon the moment of death, "enormous hordes of bacteria", having previously waited until the body was all used up by its original owner, then "launch their invasion of the new landscape." As Knausgaard points out, this corruption of the body can only occur when the defenders of the body have abandoned their posts in admission that there is nothing left to save.
Chris Carter seems to be asking are we and our civilization at that point already, in other words the point where the body (politic) "belongs to death"?
The MSM, which trends overwhelmingly corporate-liberal, views such questions as inherently attacking the leadership of the nation, particularly that of Barack Obama. In fact, Obama, who recall has often been attacked for his alien nature (even in the sense of his being like Star Trek's Spock) in a sense stars as the Satanically-grinning face of government, laughing off the suggestion that he or his minions would ever lie to citizens, about outer-space invaders or anything else.
|Creepy still from the Obama appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where Obama plainly admits that outer-space aliens "exercise strict control over us." Of course, Obama was attempting to mock that idea, but let us say President Hope-Dope hasn't inspired the greatest confidence in the American people in his honesty or integrity. As Mulder says, Obama is making fun of his (i.e., the conspiratorial) lifestyle. And as head of the main perpetrator of evil (the US government) in X-Files, Obama is, after CSM, the main enemy of the people.|
I've seen a lot of people the last few days declaring themselves real X-Files fans but then they make a distinction between two kinds of fans: the myth fans and the monster fans. The myth fans, so these declarations argue, are those who go for Chris Carter's politically-tinged indictment of the evils of government conspiracies. The monster fans, on the other hand, were the viewers who were only buying into the show to have fun, and who it is suggested aren't quite as silly as the fans who invested deeply into trying to decipher or even keep track of the show's labyrinth of conspiracy theories.
Let us just say about this alleged split, that it only exists for non-fans of the show. People who made the all-in investment in X-Files never saw or acknowledged any such dichotomy. While what became known as the monster-of-the-week episodes were definitely a kind of comic relief from the gloomy-doomy central arc of the show, they weren't an antithetical diversion supplied for that purpose. No, the real idea Carter was exploring was again to pose this question: what if all the conspiracy theories, and all the cryptozoological creatures, and all the ghost and monster stories were true?
And of course these allegedly farfetched propositions were used as metaphors for examining what we as citizens of political and cultural organizations should ever trust in the claims and actions of those who have power over us.
In the 1990s, those questions were aimed at critiquing trust as a naive feature of citizenship that we could no longer afford to give to authorities. These critiques built in power through the 1990s until we saw in popular media products like The Matrix and Fight Club suggestions that open rebellion against government authority was not merely an option, but was the only viable moral choice left. Then 9/11 happened, and all bets were off, and all political opposition evaporated in the massive hysteria intentionally created to keep the American people in perpetual terror. For a while, Americans hopefully bought into the idea that government, even government run by a worthless piece of dreck like George W. Bush, was looking after their interests.
In 2016, few people with any brains are suffering from that delusion. And while the terror of immediate death by religious fanatics has given away to a general dread that doom and destruction are out there—like the truth—awaiting all of us, the general sense of the inevitability of this fate, combined with an utter loss of trust in the credibility of government authority, has also eroded any hope that anything can be done about it. The American people are exhausted looking about for any political solution to their myriad, metastasizing problems.
And in that kind of context, one either sinks into the lethargy of depression, or one keeps alive a tiny candlelight of hope, manifested in the idea that if an elected official cannot or will not come to our rescue, maybe there exists a rogue spirit, or someone whose basic wisdom and good nature seems in our dire situation to be aberrant and dangerous, who can yet save the day.
Inside the context and the mythology of the X-Files, this hope takes a reassuring and familiar form, with Scully looking at Mulder towards the end of "My Struggle", and saying the plain truth, and the only one that needs to be found, out there or in here, or anywhere:
"Someone has to stop these sons-of-bitches."