The Truth is Out There?
Updated: Oct 30
I am not entirely certain why re-watching The X-Files was quite so comforting. Of course, the nostalgic power of watching characters with 90’s era cell phones and haircuts cannot be under estimated, but there was something more to it. Something particular to watching it in 2020.
I kept thinking over and over what it could be, reminiscing about the main themes of this cultural phenomenon and why it was resonating so strangely in my mind. Trust no one. The truth is out there. Don’t trust the government. It felt like the conspiracy theories so central to the once outlandish storylines where things that I was now seeing on a daily basis in the current news cycle.
The X-Files came at a time where the population’s trust in the government was somewhat good. Yes, undeniably eroded by years of scandal, Watergate, Erron, Whitewater… but compared to what we are currently dealing with, these scandals now seem adorable in comparison.
The world of 2020 is not only dominated by a global pandemic, but also by fake news, QAnon conspiracy theorists and a complete and utter distrust in the information we find in trusted news sources. Major organisations make it hard to believe that the truth is in fact out there. We question the very nature of truth.
This being said, it gives the X-Files, once a show littered with the themes of distrust, a comforting appeal. For Mulder and Scully, there is a factual truth to be uncovered, and although it may be obscured for most of the show’s run, it is never in question that it does in fact exist.
I find that notion deeply comforting. There is a truth. We may not see it yet, but we will get to it, and hopefully we will not be distracted by "alternative facts" and baseless conspiracies that do nothing to benefit our quest to find it.
Conspiracy theorists in The X-Files were presented in stereotypical ways, just short of wearing tin foil hats. Today, they masquerade behind semi legitimate YouTube channels and dubious " news" organizations. I realized that as with a great many things, I prefer the old ways.
So grab your tin foil hat, a cup of tea and enjoy the show. Because it was perhaps the last time that we were able to function under the notion that truth was in fact out there.
S1E1 "Pilot", S3E17 "Pusher", S5E12 "Bad Blood"
Teas drunk while recording:
Kelly: August uncommon Tea Know by Heart
Marika: Pitch Black North Necronomicane
Teas drunk while geeking: :
Kelly: Grown & Gathered Hay Buddy
Marika: David's Tea Lapsang Souchong