‘X-Files’ Returns, As Does Distrust of Government
Sometimes, it’s difficult to know the truth. For example, is there anything less believable than the 2016 presidential race? Are they putting us on? What else explains the campaign’s weirdness?
On one side we have a Democratic Party candidate who elicits the head-slapping reaction, “Are you kidding me?” On the other side, the leading Republican is, perhaps charitably, described as a crackpot.
When in days past would a perpetual back-bencher like Bernie Sanders have lurched into contention for the Democratic nomination, despite forever intentionally estranging himself from his own party as a dyed-in-the-wool socialist? When, in the staid history of the Grand Old Party, has a candidate like Donald Trump surged to a stunning lead despite his principle appeal being that he’s a crude, offensive and obnoxious contrarian?
What’s going on here? Has the nation lost its mind?
Allow yours truly to suggest an explanation because “The truth is out there.”
Those words of assurance were the theme of the television series “The X-Files,” which ran on the Fox network from 1993-2002. In the “The X-Files,” FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigated inexplicable cases involving paranormal phenomena. They also were investigations that FBI hierarchy overtly impeded. What was going on?
Irish playwright Oscar Wilde said art imitates life. (Of course, the same guy also said, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life.”)
But if art does imitate life, “The X-Files” was a creature of its time. It spanned an era bookended by the political concepts “Read my lips, no new taxes” and “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”
As politics became transparently fraudulent, television explained the era. The premise of “The-X Files” was that government conceals truth from people, and only rogues like Mulder and Scully could be trusted to tell us what’s really going on. In an earlier era, they would be conspiracy nuts. In their era, however, Mulder and Scully were beacons of light amid deliberate obscurity…
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