This could be a headline in the Daily Sport or, quite plausibly, a plot for The X-files, the hugely popular imported American sci-fi TV series on BBC1. Slickly made and entertaining, it plays on every paranoid conspiracy theory and on every wildest wet dream. It is total bilge!
For those three people who haven’t seen the show, it depicts two FBI agents who investigate paranormal events and invariably discover that they are caused by aliens, government conspiracies, a cult, or all three. Or have some other bizarre cause. Recent plots, for instance, have included vampires, alien bounty hunters and — weirdest of all — Southern US cannibals running a chicken factory.
The show is a success because it taps into a rich seam of paranoia in American (and now it seems British) society. Millions of American people have asserted in surveys that they have been abducted by, or seen, aliens. A large number also believe that the government has know of the existence of aliens for years but keep it secret. (There is never any explanation for why they’d bother to keep this secret).
This paranoia is an indication of how little control people feel in their lives; there must be a conspiracy working behind the scenes. It is the psychology of a small child who really doesn’t control his or her life.
The X-Files translate this paranoia into pseudo-factual TV, adding a bit of New Age, Mother-earth, peace, more herbal tea, vicar? bullshit. I suppose this is an attempt to give a purpose to all these conspiracy theories.
As such things do, The X-Files, has generated a Star Trek-type cult fan club. Why do naff sci-fi shows always have such massive nerdy fan clubs? I suppose it’s vaguely more interesting than trainspotting.
To any X-file fans out there, I say this: look, you with the X-file t-shirt, X-file mug of tea, X-file video and tin foil wrapped around your head to stop aliens invading your brain, grow up! Get a life! Read a book instead!
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