Author Archives: John 3000

A NEW (OLD) SEASON IS NIGH

We have less than two weeks until “The Blessing Way” begins season 3 twenty years later.

This is obviously very exciting, but we cannot let it distract us. We have jobs (or whatever). We must resist the urge to lie on the living room floor from now until then staring at Netflix in anticipation. Go to work, fools. Don’t be hapless, listless jerks.

We shall reconvene on 22 September and kick off the new season together while live-blaghing.

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Important Graphs and Charts

John Nelson, a data visualization specialist, plotted geographic distributions of UFO sightings over the last 90 years. Fascinating work. All XX-philes should obviously read the linked article and then also John Nelson’s work and then probably also spend some time at the National UFO Reporting Center website, just for good measure.

Maps Show Where And When UFO Sightings Occur, From 1925 To 2014 | io9.com

Keep watching the skies. Happy hunting.

So, your town is inhabited by insane cannibals…

What to do? Well, OBVIOUSLY you join in. OBVIOUSLY.

My synopsis of this episode is: “What? Forest sex? Masks? What the hell is going on here? Weird diseases? Where are they getting… Oh! Cannibalism? What the bleeding, lunatic hell is going on here? HOW COME NO ONE NOTICED THIS BEFORE MULDER AND SCULLY? What on earth? CABINETS FULL OF HUMAN HEADS? HUMAN SOUP BONFIRE?”

wat

wat

This episode demonstrates to us the importance of really never, ever going to small rural towns or interacting with the people in them. If you do this, you are very likely to end up in the soup.

This episode is incomprehensibly bonkers. It is like a Craigslist date. Not even a weird Craigslist date, just a normal one, which is admittedly pretty weird.

This episode might also be a comment on those weird white people clubs that have their basis in some-vaguely exoticized interpretation of some mysterious eastern culture. Is that what the Shriners have been doing all these years? The Elks Lodge may just be a cannibal soup smorgasbord or whatever. There is literally no way to know for sure since the main manner of finding out would be going to these places and potentially being eaten.

Best to keep away from all that. Stay safe everyone.

Trains are very dangerous

Okay, so, this episode is about what can go wrong with trains. There are a lot of things: bad brakes, derailing, running out of whatever powers trains, tracks that lead to a bridge that is out, etc. But the most dangerous possibility by far is that of a poltergeist messing with kids so that they walk in front of novelty trains. Truly horrifying.

Also, can we talk about the weird “childproof holster” that Teddy’s mom tied him to the sink with? Is that a thing? I remember when there were those weird spring leashes for kids for mom’s to have in stores so that their children wouldn’t get snatched in the 1980’s. Everyone was worried about the abduction of children in the 1980’s. Presumably it happened a lot or they wouldn’t have been so worried. I was not abducted as a child, so I really don’t know about that.

Anyway, back to poltergeists. So, the crazy old Roma lady, Golda, screams about how the child is a devil child. This episode would be impossible today, as there are so few well-behaved children anymore that they would be identified as the devil children for being so well-tempered and polite. Instead, children are now expected to scream continuously, particularly in movie theaters and the like, and always wherever I am sitting whilst trying to eat lunch. It is also totally normal now for children to send their malevolent, ghostly doppelgangers out to harm those around them.

Golda, on the other hand knows the business. The chicken guts on the roof trick. That is the good stuff. If more grandmothers threw chicken guts on the roof, maybe their grandchildren wouldn’t be such devils. Of course, the idiot government people want to bring social services into the mix. They do not know how to deal with evil children and poltergeists. All they have is bureaucracy. What they need is chicken guts to throw on the roof. They do not have any of those.

Why are the cops and everyone else so freaked out by Golda’s religious practices. First amendment, jerks. If she wants to draw backward swastikas (the not-Nazi kind) on kids and bleed chickens dry in her bedroom to protect herself and her family from nutty stuff and ghosts, let the lady be.

BUT NO, Scully. You have to call social services.

Back to bleeding roosters. The technique portrayed in this episode is impeccable. Big bowl. Lots of rooster blood, and what happens: the bound poltergeist child gets trapped in smoke. But even the daughter can’t appreciate a good ol’ avian bloodletting spirit-binding ritual. How dare she toss the old Roma grandmother out on her ass. Rude. She is clearly the only thing standing between this family and utter madness. I mean, here is Charlie bringing dead, bled-dry roosters back to life. What the hell is social services going to do with a kid who has a poltergeist who can bring dead animals back to life. That is way worse than those pre-psycho kids killing neighborhood cats when they are teenagers.

So, back to trains. When you are booking your next train trip, be sure to ask about the rate of poltergeist-related accidents the railway company has experienced in recent years. They are legally obligated to tell you. If there are a lot, I might rent a car or something instead. You don’t want to mess with poltergeists and trains. They are already super slow and prone to all sorts of delays. Poltergeists will only make that way worse. There will be exorcisms involved. Nobody wants to deal with all of that just to go on a train without bother.

Mulder’s Expense Account

So, Død Kalm, our most recent episode, raises some interesting questions about just what the hell the US government is paying for. Mulder manages to charter a trawler and sail it near to the Arctic Circle to ensure that its entire crew dies and that it almost kills him and Scully as well.

None of this was inexpensive. I can only imagine what his expense report looked like after he woke up from nearly dying of old age or whatever.

Expense Cost Justification
Last minute flight to Norway $6800.00 My back hurt. I had to fly business class.
Flight for Scully $6800.00 We obviously both needed to go to Norway.
Trawler rental $18000.00 I don't see how you expect me to do my job if I can't rent a trawler whenever and stuff.
International waters rescue $48000.00 What? Were you just going to leave us out there to die of old age?
Hospital costs $286000.00 Dude. I was dying of old age. That is ex-pen-sive, yo.
Coffee at Dulles $18.00 I held off on asking for another shot and extra whip. What do you want from me?

I would hate to be the admin who had to deal with that. Or Skinner, having to sign off on those expense reports? His boss must be ready to kill him most days.

The truth is that this would never work these days. The bureaucratic processes involved in reimbursement at governmental institutions are much more advanced than they were in the 1990’s. That means that a reimbursement that took a month then might take 48 years now.

Sweet Demon, North Carolina

Lovely, maggot-hallucination-ridden Folkstone, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune right next door. Nutty things happen near military bases. Particularly Marine bases, probably.

Anyway, as Xfiles20yearslater’s south-east correspondent, it is my duty to discuss this episode since it is set in the great state and one of the original 13 colonies. Amanda has long familial ties here as well. We are all North Carolina loyalists here at Xfiles20yearslater. We’re also the first to admit that there is some crazy magic up in here. We don’t need any imported voodoo to have some nutty things happen in the Superior Carolina. We’ve got about all we can handle.

There is a place, about 40 miles from where I live, called the Devil’s Tramping Ground. It is a circle in the woods upon which nothing will grow. It is suspected that this is because the devil tromps around it when no one is looking. It looks a bit like a bonfire pit.

The Devil’s Tramping Ground in Bennett, NC

BUT IT’S NOT. It’s demons or something, y’all.

This state is filled with stories about crazy things happening at the hands of supernatural forces. Take the Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, for instance. It was the first English colony in the New World. It didn’t last very long. After a failed attempt at settlement in 1585, colonists returned in 1587 to give it another go. When John White left and returned again in 1590, the colony was completely gone, leaving only a tree emblazoned with a crude carving of the word “CROATOAN.” CREEPY.

CROATOAN

No one knows what “Croatoan” means. No one ever will. Actually that is not true. It likely refers to the name of an Island south of Roanoke where some English-friendly native Americans lived. John White instructed that if the settlers he left behind decided to leave Roanoke, that they carve the name of the place to which they absconded into a tree. It is like texting your friends to tell them that you went to a different bar because you were bored where they planned on finding you, but with trees and carving with knives.

Anyway, it is a better story for the Lost Colony to just be lost. Scary, scary. The Outer Banks of North Carolina are host to loads of creepy stories about creepy things. Also pirates. Like, proper pirates. Like, Blackbeard. The actual Blackbeard. Edward Teach. Look him up.

So, back to the X-files: the moral of this story is that this is what we get when we don’t regulate immigration properly. Voodoo. Dead marines. Crazy chicken feet stabbed through military paperwork. Obviously, we should be doing a better job at this kind of thing. Or, we should maybe not pay so much attention to ghost stories and actually pay more attention to the humans around us. Maybe immigration reform is a good idea. We should perhaps be more compassionate. If we were, folks wouldn’t do so much voodoo on us.

I leave you to contemplate that with this song. Enjoy.

Oh, and try not to get buried alive. That would be a total bummer.

Good News for XX-Philes: X-Files May Have a Revival

Yesterday night, the Internet exploded in confirmed rumors that our favorite show may be returning to us. This is great news for X-Files 20 Years Later and our merry band of XX-Philes, as it would turn our project from a decade-long endeavor into a project that spans nearly a quarter of a century.

Our own self-interest aside, this is great for X-Philes of all stripes. We would maybe finally have a more satisfying end to the series than the last film.

This is good news, very good news indeed. We want to believe that it will happen. If it does, then we’ll be here, watching it 20 years later.

Simply Irresistible

This episode reminds me of that song and the song reminds me of this episode and so I will have this playing in my head for the next week. So now you can as well. You’re welcome.

What a great episode. It is one of my favorites. It was 20 years ago as well, but my past self did not know that until later when another past self had seen all of the episodes. Thankfully preferences and emotions can propagate backward through time, as was covered in the recent science documentary film, Interstellar. It allowed me to know then what I know now that I knew then. See? Regardless of that, I find this episode compelling because there is absolutely nothing supernatural going on here. Amanda noted in our live Google Hangout about this episode that it is “not an X-File at all,” rather “just an episode of Law and Order: SVU” (she promises to blog about this tomorrow. I’ll link it from here [SECRET: everything is linked]). This guy is just completely bonkers.

Really, the episode is a catharsis/PTSD episode for Scully to process through the trauma of her own abduction, etc. Getting abducted by someone who is going to mutilate her corpse would be totally traumatic given that she was abducted before by aliens who mutilated her body. Very simple plot device. Very effective.

Originally, apparently, this episode was written to be about Donny Pfaster’s necrophilia, but the network declined because they were a bunch of prudes or something. So the script was re-written to just be about a guy who fetishizes death. Gross either way. Upon watching it again, I’m not sure really how it is not just still about that.

What did the original script actually contain? Scully’s report is clearly about necrophilia. Did Chris Carter accidentally just write a snuff porn script? I can imagine the conversation with the network executives:

Carter: I think you’ll really like this one, guys.
Fox Execs: I mean. This is just porn. With dead people. It’s gross. Teenagers watch this. No.
Carter: Come on guys. It’s not porn. Sure, it gets a little graphic in a couple of places but we’ll shoot it really tastefully.
Fox Execs: I don’t think…
Carter: No, you know, like that movie. What was it called? The one with Helen Mirren and Malcolm McDowell? Franco Rossellini produced it with Bob Guccione? Romans and stuff?
Fox Execs: CALIGULA?!
Carter: YEAH! Caligula! Just like Caligula, but without so many Romans and with more corpses.
Fox Execs: No.
Carter: But…
Fox Execs: Leave now or you’re fired.

In any case, it is a masterpiece.

Scully’s best line: “I’m going to modem it out to you,” referring to a print found on a victim’s thumbnail.

300 baud, yo.

She meant that she was going to take copy of the photograph of that print, scan it into a computer, and then use the thing pictured to transmit it one bit at a time at 300 baud to a computer in Minnesota, where it would resolve on a screen in really low resolution and then be printed onto paper using a dot-matrix printer.

The process would have taken thirty years. That transmission is still going through. It will arrive ten years from now, when we are watching X-Files 30 Years Later.

Sunflower Seeds

Mulder poses an interesting point about sunflower seeds in the most recent episode, Aubrey. Scully, as usual, poo-poos it. Read the transcript below:

Mulder: Well, on a basic cellular level, we’re the sum total of all our ancestors’ biological matter. But what if more than biological traits get passed down from generation to generation? What if I like sunflower seeds because I’m genetically predisposed to liking them?
Scully: But children aren’t born liking sunflower seeds. Environments shape them; behavior patterns are taught.
Mulder: There are countless stories of twins separated at birth who end up in the same occupation, marrying the same kind of people, each naming their child Waldo.
Scully: Waldo?
Mulder: Jung wrote about it when he talked about the collective unconscious. It’s genetic memory, Scully.

So, the main question of this episode is: “What makes sunflower seeds so delicious?”

I think that it is the fact that they come from the sunflower plant already roasted and salted. I am given to understand that there are also kinds that are not like this, but I do not want to meet them. I have been confronted with kinds that have an outer husk that must be chewed off and spit on the floor of the Cairo Metro, but I also do not like that kind. I prefer the naturally roasted and organically salted variety.

Why would their be a whole episode about whether or not people like sunflower seeds? Well, clearly there is a deeper message encoded here about how they can cause intergenerational madness in babies born to mothers who eat them. As Scully rightly retorts, children indeed are not born liking sunflower seeds. But sometimes, Scully, they are born with genetic memories that make them carve fraternal and sororal designations in peoples’ chests, I guess.

How do you like them apples, huh, Scully?

Happy New Year, Reality Sync Issues, Etc

Wow. Man. It is already 1995 20 years later. Time flies when you are moving through it 20 years late. So, last we checked in, it was the beginning of season two, then some awesome episodes happened, then now. How is that for a season 2 in progress recap? I know. It’s awesome. You’re welcome. You’re too kind.

Fine. I’ll give an episode by episode rundown since Duane Berry, the most important episode of the season (see last post):

2X05: 14 October 1994/2014: “Duane Barry” (S02E05)

Awesome. Sweet alien abduction nutjob hostage stuff. Red speedos for those out there who are into that.

2X06: 21 October 1994/2014: “Ascension” (S02E06)

More awesome nutjob madness. Scully is in trouble, yo.

2X07: 04 November 1994/2014: “3” (S02E07)

Frigging vampires are real, Mulder. Figure it out.

2X08: 11 November 1994/2014: “One Breath” (S02E08)

WTF, Scully? Row to shore already. Also, where the hell is Nurse Owens?

2X09: 18 November 1994/2014: “Firewalker” (S02E09)

Josh Lyman in a volcano. Crazy things happen.

2X10: 09 December 1994/2014: “Red Museum” (S02E10)

Ever wanted to be in a cult? Now you don’t.

2X11: 16 December 1994/2014: “Excelsis Dei” (S02E11)

Ghosts are real. Ghosts are also the result of eating a bunch of shrooms. Ghosts can also kill or injure you if they are mad at you (or just generally mad).

There we are. All caught up.

Now, on to Aubrey. I hope we’re all ready for some science that still doesn’t even exist at all. What also doesn’t exist is syncing up reality between Chapel Hill, NC and Washington, DC. We have had some problems, but I think that we are now go for launch.