Feb 11, 2013
10 Things I Learned From The X-Files
Originally posted in slightly different form at Novl
Anybody who’s read my novel Adaptation shouldn’t be surprised that I used to be an X-phile — that is, an X-Files fan — because that book is inspired in many ways by the TV series about two FBI agents investigating UFOs and the paranormal. In fact, I learned a lot of things from The X-Files, and some of those lessons may have found their way into Adaptation and its sequel, Inheritance (coming Sept. 18, 2013!).
Here are 10 things I learned from The X-Files.
1. Conspiracy theories are everywhere…including the real world. On The X-Files, Agents Mulder and Scully investigate a shadowy organization called “The Syndicate” that involves leaders from many different governments and government agencies working together to cover up the existence of extraterrestrials. Sound like a tall tale? Let me introduce you to the Bilderberg Group, an annual meeting of world leaders who get together in closed meetings to…well, we don’t really know what they do. (Cue X-Files theme song.)
2. The real world is a lot weirder than it seems. Remember the history of cattle mutilations that Mulder mentioned in the Season 1 episode “Eve”? As Mulder explains to Scully during one of his famous slide shows: “Since 1967 over 34 states have reported unsolved cases of cattle mutilation. The trace evidence is remarkably similar. Incision marks of surgical precision. The area around the mouth and often the sexual organs has been removed. There’s a substantial degree of blood loss without a trace of blood at the scene.”
Turns out cattle mutilations actually did occur in reality, and the FBI did look into them. Don’t believe me? You can download the FBI documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, from the Internet Archive.
3. That’s why you should be careful where you buy your chicken. Or any meat products, really, because you want to make sure that the animal wasn’t fed, um, human remains left over from a cannibalistic ritual, as Mulder and Scully discovered in “Our Town.” (Factory farming is the least of your worries!)
4. You should also stay away from bees, because they can spread alien viruses! Plus, if you’re having a sexual tension-filled relationship with your co-worker, be doubly wary because bees can also get in the way of finally kissing him/her after years of
frustrating viewers careful courtship.
5. Teenagers have no self-control and are potentially highly dangerous, as shown in episodes such as “Syzygy,” “D.P.O.,” “Schizogeny,” “Rush” and many more. It’s best to stay away from teens if possible, unless you want to be sucked into some kind of paranormal vortex of reckless power?
6. Be aware that if you get a nosebleed, it probably means you’ve been abducted by aliens. Be sure to not remove the implant in your neck or sinus cavity either (trust me, it’s there), because that tracking device that could potentially control your mind against your will is the only thing keeping you alive.
7. If you encounter some kind of weird, unidentified gelatinous substance and want to find out what it is, all you have to do is stick your bare fingers in it and smell it. At least, that’s what Mulder does. (Scully prefers to snap on the latex first.)
8. It is possible to run in heels…as long as you get Agent Scully to teach you how.
9. Do not go into any bathrooms ever. That is where you can get attacked, murdered, abducted, bitten by bees (see #4), infected by a giant fluke worm, or discover rats in your toilet. I’ve warned you.
10. Trust no one…except your partner. If the whole world is one big conspiracy, you can only rely on each other. If that’s not a recipe for true love, I don’t know what is.