Friday, August 03, 2018

The X-Files X-it & the Death of Conspiracy Culture, Concluded

I'm a big fan of the maxim "stay in your lane" when it comes to popular culture institutions. I don't mean "pound the same idea into the ground until the world screams for mercy," I mean, "figure out what made people pick your idea out of an endless ocean of competitors and clamp down on it like a snapping turtle."

Doing so effectively calls for wisdom and for a deeper understanding of archetype and group psychology, something most creative types aren't exactly known for.

Let me cite two examples from the world of pop music as examples of what I'm not talking about...

Before the formula took hold...

On one side of the ledger you have AC/DC. After mucking around with different rhythms and modes for a few years they discovered that their take on "All Right Now" by Free seemed to resonate best with a mass audience when Back in Black sold a squillion copies. 

So for the next several decades they ruthlessly mined that formula; mid tempo, four-square backbeats, clipped, staccato riffs, bluesy bluster and anthemic choruses.

Or as I used to say, "I like AC/DC. They have a lot of good song."

On the extreme opposite end of the spectrum (in pretty much every possible way) are The Village People. The troupe started off as a gay in-joke played on a sexually-naive mainstream culture, blending Tom of Finland caricatures with dopey disco pumpers rife with double entendre.

The joke wore thin pretty quickly as dumb jokes usually do. And after a few years of broad-spectrum cultural hegemony, the disco party ran out of gas (Plus, cocaine. Plus, amyl nitrate) and triggered a major backlash. 

It wasn't so much the music-- urban/gay dance music continued to sell regardless-- as the slick, elitist culture that surrounded it. And a catastrophic feature film in 1980 (starring Bruce Jenner) did nothing but reduce The Village People and disco itself to a laughing stock.

Feel the CRINGE-- every inch of it.

So the Village People-- gagging for commercial air-- latched onto the culty British nightclub fad known as "New Romanticism" as their ticket to continued cultural relevancy. 

It was a humiliating disaster, but one so drenched in kitsch, desperation and cluelessness (the album's title was Renaissance, hope against hope) that it, um, entered the annals of the great "what the actual fuck were they thinking" career movies, in much the same fashion as The Brady Variety Hour.

In one of those desperate gambits that inspire both pity and contempt, the VP dressed up in outfits apparently pilfered from Spandau Ballet's Goodwill donations and shot a video that played like something Adam Ant might do if his handlers were deliberately trying to sabotage his career.

Renaissance peaked at #138 on the Billboard charts.

The upshot of this is that while both AC/DC and Village People's times in the zeitgeist spotlight have long since passed, AC/DC continued on as a major act and the Village People entered the netherworld of street fair, cruise ship and corporate party gigs, with most of the original members having been whittled away through attrition. 

I can't say for sure, but I'm willing to bet that they don't include any songs off Renaissance in their setlists.

So what does all this have to do with The X-Files?

Chris Carter always bragged that The X-Files offered an "elastic" venue for storytelling. And indeed the series often delved into all kinds of different gears, alternating mini-monster movies with quasi-serialized "Mythology" episodes and comedic relief. 

But The X-Files did one thing really well. And that was telling stories that made the paranormal seem normal by taking the subject matter seriously and grafting Carter's laconic sensibility onto episodic television produced with feature-film production values. 

The show climbed to the top of the zeitgeist heap with a reliable alchemical formula; the lightning-in-a-bottle chemistry of its young leads, understated procedural drama, and the iridescence of that Vancouver mist.

No sooner had The X-Files reached its apex as its makers began fucking with the formula. The first feature film went widescreen with the story, peeling away the intimacy that made the outlandish stories so believable. 

Production then moved from Vancouver to Los Angeles, peeling away the magic and the atmosphere of its former host. The first LA season was front-loaded with weak comedy and high-concept episodes, pissing all over the "this is all actually happening now" flavor the series worked so hard to create.

Personal and professional conflicts began to show onscreen and the series seemed both rootless and aimless throughout most of its sixth and seventh seasons. The quality-control remained high but the magic seemed to be gone. 

The producers worked extremely hard to get back to basics for the eighth season but with David Duchovny on part-time status, the show had changed one too many lanes for some disproportionately vocal fans. And so it went for the ninth season and the second feature.

Unfortunately, the producers didn't really seem to grasp exactly why so many people were excited about for the 2016 revival. And so they took it upon themselves to try to pull some more rabbits out of the hat, in an attempt that the show could still be "relevant" in the 21st century when all pretty much everyone wanted was for the show to give the 21st century the finger and transport us en masse back to the good old days.

I don't know if Ten Thirteen got a talking-to from the suits or if the brickbats had beat the pretensions out of them but it seemed obvious that Carter and Co. were not going to make the same mistake again. 

So fire up the DeLorean, Marty; it's 1995 or bust.

Unfortunately, it was a bit too late.

The 2016 bellyflop scared most of the fair-weather fans away and Gillian Anderson's announcements-- in October and January-- that this would be her last season probably gave a lot of others the impression that she-- and therefore the show's inimitable chemistry-- weren't going to be around this year. 

But the other problem is that David Duchovny and Anderson aren't young and pretty anymore. It's a horrible, superficial thing, but for television it's a terrible fact of life. I'm not too proud to admit that basking in the glistening, fecund beauty of Gillian Anderson's pillowy lips was a major reason I tuned in back in the day. 

Sue me.

What's more, Scully isn't really the combustible emotional powderkeg she once was either, and you noticed. Or at least I did. Not once did I think, "Oh, c'mere baby, Daddy will make it better." 

So it wasn't totally like the 90s.

Anderson was perfectly serviceable (and remains a perfectly handsome woman) but didn't really bring her A game to the table. Duchovny, on the other hand, did act the hell out of his scenes, which may be why the writers steered the drama in his direction, most notably Chris Carter with "My Struggle IV."


"Ghouli"-- Jim Wong's second pass at harmonizing the show's mytharc with its standalones-- reminded me of an old anecdote I once heard in which Jim Shooter-- Marvel's 80s Editor in Chief-- gave everyone a "Marvel-by-numbers" story he and an artist worked up. The story was an object lesson in how he wanted stories told in order that even someone who'd never read a comic book before would know exactly what, who, when and where the story was about.

So, rather than getting buried by a quarter-century of continuity, Wong created an archetypal X-Files episode with "Ghouli," in that it starts off like a "Monster of the Week" episode, delves into the psi pond the series so often fished from before morphing into a straight-up, burger-and-fries Mytharc ep, reintroducing us to William Mulder and the Deep State players chasing after him.

I don't know how closely Wong and Carter worked here but "Ghouli" certainly set the plate for the series' finale. So did "Founder's Mutation," in fact.

Wong seemed cognizant that after 200+ X-Files stories there wasn't much to do that would surprise anyone, so he went for the old favorites; "Ghouli" dives into the teen angst of eps like "Die Hand Die Verletz" and "Syzygy", lifts swathes of story from eps like "Pusher" and "Folie a Deux" and serves up all kinds of prototypical X-Files hospital-bed melodrama.

Gabe Rotter, Carter's longtime right-hand man, also went for X-Files by Numbers with "Kitten," an episode that didn't seem to impress fans or critics (it's not the strongest-directed X-Files ever) but is right up Secret Sun Alley.

The traditional X-Files pattern of twinning a Myth ep with a story about hallucinogens holds on to the bitter end with this episode, which centers on MK-NAOMI, the successor program to MK-ULTRA. 

Lifting component parts not only from previous X-Files eps but from Jacob's Ladder, Full Metal Jacket and Beyond the Black Rainbow, "Kitten" flashes back to Skinner's days in Viet Nam and shows how exposure to an unnamed nerve agent transformed a scared-shitless Marine draftee into a cruel, sadistic killing machine.

Unfortunately, the war never ended for "Kitten" and he continued to be tested upon in a military insane asylum. Worse still, the military then selects his old hometown as testing ground for a new and improved version of the NAOMI gas. 

There are echoes of XF conspiracy classics like "Blood" and "Wetwired" all over the place here and the ep guest-stars 90s wunderkind Haley Joel Osment in a dual role. Osment very much looks like he's done some hard living since his glory days and as such is perfectly cast.

Rotter brings to light the low-intensity war America has always waged on its working class-- particularly the white, rural working-class (read: "Scots-Irish")--since its founding. In this, the NAOMI nerve agent might as well be an airborne Oxycontin, ravaging entire communities and leaving nothing but human wreckage in its wake.

Following "Kitten," the X-Files reached back into the techno-nightmare kitbag with "Followers," written by Kristen Cloke (who guest-starred in "The Field Where I Died" and played Lara Means on Millennium) and Shannon Hamblin.  

A lot of critics saw this eps as The X-Files trying to steal some of Black Mirror's thunder, but real fans knew these very themes are, um, hardwired into The X-Files, dating as far back as "Ghost in the Machine" early in the first season. 

Some might see this episode as a kind of an exercise in "X-Files Lite" but what we're really looking at is an exercise in postmodern gallows humor. 

I couldn't help but think of criticisms aimed at the producers of This is Spinal Tap. Industry types howled that the film wasn't really a comedy because all the ostensible jokes were how the rock business really worked. But that's precisely why the movie is so pant-pissingly hilarious.

Similarly, the jokes in "Followers" are only slightly-exaggerated takes on current-year reality. So maybe this is in fact the scariest X-Files ever made, because your odds of waking up in this particular dystopia are one hell of a lot higher than throwing down with liver-vampires or butt-genies.

This is a dystopia a lot of the 90s conspiracy theorists failed to prophesy. Why bother with shock troops and mind control when you can simply drive someone to raving, drooling insanity with an automated customer-service line?

New writer Benjamin Van Allen was next up at bat and his "Familiar" probably came closest to melting away the horrific century we're all being punished with and conjuring that elusive mid-90s flavor from history's grave. 

As such, "Familiar" has a wicked double meaning; it's about familiars in the black magic sense but it's also deliciously familiar in tone and spirit to long-time fans.

Hell, if you CGI'd Anderson and Duchovny's 90s faces over their present ones in post, you'd have an episode so 1995 it would drive legions of Mandela Effect types to the looney bin for good. 

In other words, Van Allen set out to write a classic X-Files ep and succeeded way beyond anyone's wildest dreams. But underneath the rich, cozy glow of nostalgia is a scorching rumination on witchcraft, child abuse and mass hysteria. 

The sick joke here is that at the same time we have Mulder and Scully wringing their hands about witchhunts and McCarthyism, they're in fact hunting an actual witch whose spell-craft is slaughtering very small children-- babies, really-- in the most horrific ways. (Mind you, "Familiar" isn't even close to a comedy, that's just a figure of speech).

There's classic X-Files messaging at work here; sure, there are hysterical witch-hunts and they're terrible business. But guess what? There are also real witches out there and they're pretty awful too. 

"Familiar" doesn't directly address controversies over pedophilia but it really doesn't have to. It's a lot more effective-- and considerably less polemic-- by tackling them indirectly. It gives the denialist side of the argument a very fair hearing but very clearly illustrates that we're not just looking at "alt-right" propaganda here. 

Stopping child predation should be a resolutely nonpartisan issue (Denny Hastert, anyone?) but we're not allowed that luxury anymore, are we? 

Politics uber alles!

The real problem with mass hysteria is that it too often scapegoats the innocent and lets the guilty off scot-free, based on prejudice and misconception. In that context, it makes you think "Familiar" would have been more effective on an elite college campus than in a stereotypical small town.

Not content with poking around the pedophilia (which is a misnomer; the proper term should be pedopathy) hornet's nest, The X-Files then dives straight into the Spirit Cooking wood-chipper with "Nothing Lasts Forever," yet another black comedy.

The growing satanic darkness gnawing away at the Hollywood demimonde seems to be an unspoken thruline this season. You have one of the serial killers in "Plus One" identify herself as a famous child actress, you have kiddie TV characters murdering toddlers in "Familiar" (recalling recent controversies with Elsagate and Rick and Morty), and Hollywood has-beens chasing the sweet bird of youth through blood-drinking and cannibalism in this episode. 

The episode's written by Glen Morgan protege Karen Nielsen but one can't help if there's a bit of inside baseball at work here, in the classic X-Files tradition. 

The episode's main villain--Barbara Beaumont-- is a has-been TV star who fancies herself a pop diva, even though she can't carry a tune in a basket. And her henchman is a mad genius who parasitically feeds off the life-force of a fading actress by grafting her to his body.

Maybe it's just my imagination but is this a subtle (but nasty) dig at the X-Files' ruling triumvirate? I can't say, but it wouldn't be out of character for this show and the legendary infighting Ten Thirteen was once notorious for.

After a season of comforting familiarity, Chris Carter capped it all off with an episode that genuinely surprised me. And pleasantly at that.

I'd been dreading "My Struggle IV", particularly after the "My Struggle III" clusterfuck. But I realized after the giddy rush of "Plus One" was that the problem with this latter-day mythology was Carter's boredom and exasperation with the arc, despite whatever brave face he might have put on it to the press. 

"My Struggle" was flawed in many ways but didn't lack for passion. It seems like a purgative for Carter's worst fears, which should be especially unsettling considering how connected he is to power players in the intelligence community. 

"My Struggle II" is a mess, which I blame on overwork and first-draft scripting. It could have played a lot better had Carter handed it off to one of his writers to de-cringe the dialogue. But it too had an underlying "the Microbes are Ready" urgency, even if the effect was mitigated by the careless writing.

Conversely, "My Struggle III" is a trainwreck, an attempt to retcon a story that was almost certainly meant to be a series finale. Some critics compared it to the Sopranos finale, in which fans were left to wonder if it wasn't all designed to give a high-concept take on Tony's assassination.

This time, I knew we were in trouble when Carter's science consultant Anne Simon tweeted Carter had just finished the script for "My Struggle III" around the same time the season was slated to start shooting. 

Never a good sign.

That being said, I absolutely adore "My Struggle IV" and have no qualms at all about going to the mat to defend it as a work of straight-up genius and the only real way to end this tortured mythology in 2018. 

After all, asking Carter to drag the mytharc out of mothballs after 15 years was always going to be a dodgy proposition, in much the same way it was unreasonable to ask Jack Kirby to end the Fourth World saga with a couple of stories 15 years after he'd had the books taken away from him. 

Plus, the real power behind the Mythology throne was always Executive Producer Frank Spotnitz, who took the reigns to the storyline in the third season after serving an crash-course apprenticeship in the second. 

Make no mistake, Carter was deeply involved in the mythology to be sure, but it was Spotnitz who set the pace. 

This was both a good and bad thing- Spotnitz had a great knack for Byzantine plotting but could plot himself into a corner now and then. Carter's own strength was in the emotional stakes of the drama and so you'd have stretches in which that wouldn't be baked into the cake so much as mixed into the frosting when he wasn't involved in the original plotting.

And as such that punch-you-in-the-face effect of episodes like "The Erlenmeyer Flask," "Duane Barry" and "Paperclip" wasn't always on the menu.

In a perfect world, Carter would have worked with his writers to produce a serial event series back in 2016 and iron out all the kinks from years of continuity out properly. That isn't what happened, since Carter decided instead to give the vocal fans what they said they wanted. Well, kind of. 

There's a much stronger sense of continuity in the eleventh season and the Wong-Carter tag team worked well in trying to square some of the circles, especially the demarcation between the myths and the monsters. 

But I very much get the feeling with "My Struggle IV" that Carter simply dispensed with the burdens of the past and went back to basics, in this case his eternal love for Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

And so it is that Carter decided to end the series with a monster of the week episode. 

The punchline here is that the ultimate product of all the striving, struggling and suffering Mulder and Scully underwent in their pursuit of "the Truth" ultimately results in their son turning out to be the most dangerous monster they'd ever encountered, the sum of all their fears. (I have my doubts about the Smoking Man paternity per se but I won't risk making a fool out of myself again by citing precedent).

In other words, Scully gave birth to the Antichrist and not the Christ child as fans had long expected. Probably not a message anyone wants to hear.

I know a lot of fans didn't like the finale but that's OK. We all make mistakes. I think the passage of time will allow people to look back on the episode and judge it on its own merits and not under the weight of a quarter-century of speculation and disappointment. 

What I especially enjoyed was that the writing was free of Carter's ear-scraping Chris Claremontisms, all that stilted, proclamatory word-salad that we heard so much of in the prior My Struggles. 

Carter isn't a perfect writer by any means but he can write crisp-enough dialogue when he's invested in the story. There was some petty nitpicking over some of his choices, but that's the Internet for you.


So ultimately what we have here is a victory lap for a pop culture hallmark. And that's OK, even if most of the viewership sat it out. 

I loved The X-Files best when it was a secret. I liked it least when it was a ubiquitous mass-market product, especially a product that people who knew nothing about it felt entitled to opinionize about. The fans who tuned in this season were the hardcore, kind of like the Biblical Remnant, so it was usually interesting to hear what they had to say. 

Ironically. the show retains its prophetic kick even as the masses have passed it by. As Gordon pointed out during our wrap-up on Rune Soup, Chris Carter presented us with the realities of the Breakaway Civilization, the secret space program and weaponized space viruses. 

All of which being plucked from the back pages of the news no one bothers to read anymore. 

And as we saw, the techno-surveillance state, child predation and elite satanism were all well-referenced in the revival as well as transgenics, CRISPR CAS9 and all the other real-world horrors people are studiously ignoring while they fight over Trump and identity politics.

No one seems to care much about fighting power anymore. The struggle now is over who exactly gets to control the machinations of mass death and complete control. People--most especially the Rockefeller Republicans wearing the flayed skin-suit of the long-defunct Democratic Party-- don't have any problems with endless war, oligarchy or surveillance anymore. They just want to sit as close to the big boy table as they possibly can.

They're all in for a big, nasty surprise, is all I have to say about that for now.

In this context, William Mulder isn't just a movie monster, he's an avatar. He is the Angel of Death, the inevitable outcome of the National Security State. The battle isn't over steering him away from his horrible destiny, the battle is over who exactly will be behind the steering wheel.

I think everyone understands this, at least on an unconscious level. Attentive fans realized this back in the ninth season. And as such, The X-Files leaves the stage with a prophecy no one wants to hear but know in their hearts is true.

NOTE: I heard a lot of grumbling that the thing with 50-something Scully being pregnant again was somehow unrealistic. Well, I have a friend who got pregnant at 50 and had triplets. So maybe it really isn't all that preposterous.


  1. When a head of state claims to have the rather anti-authoritarian agenda of fighting the "Deep State", and the mainstream media finally reports about the QAnon phenomenon I don't really see the end of conspiracy culture.

    By the way, I loved the books of Robert Anton Wilson, and as far as I remember: his illuminati were the good guys (thanks to Ewige Blumenkraft and psychedelic drugs)!

    I have a hard time figuring out QAnon. His posts are so contradictory. On the one hand they are so cryptic and weird that they remind me of RAW's left-leaning, anarchistic Operation Mindfuck. On the other hand they are very much on the right side of the political spectrum with all that religious stuff and the calls for unity.

    They don't give you answers but force you to research and think for yourself, which is quite progressive and libertarian, but at the same time they ask you to lean back and "trust the plan".

    CNN about QAnon:

    1. Consider this, my friend: cultures die when they are appropriated by the masses. Cultures only exist in contradistinction to other cultures.

    2. You seem to be trying to work out the politics of Q. I wouldn't even try. I wouldn't even assume that Q continues to be the same person as in the beginning, or that the same people are behind him. There are feints within feints within feints there.

    3. But isn't the inherent purpose of the conspiracy culture to reveal secrets to the masses, not to keep its identity as a perpetual subculture of society and by doing so, being secretive itself?

    4. @ Maria Rigel:

      That might well be the case. But even if another person or collective (or even an A.I.) has taken over, this Q entity continues to have a very unique style of communicating.

      And through its growing number of worldwide followers it has caused a certain momentum, pushing many fringe topics right into the mainstream.

      So, even if it's a LARP or a PsyOp, it has definitely developed a life of its own.

      But I'm really looking forward to the first time that President Trump himself addresses this topic. At the moment this mysterious cult-like movement seems to help him with his supporters, but he is in a tricky situation:

      If he denies personal involvement with QAnon, than Q is discredited.

      But if he confesses to know him (or even be Q himself), than the mystery would be gone and the sobering facts could really drag him down.

    5. QAnon is using techniques of ARG (alternate reality gaming), culture jamming, and other breaking the fourth wall techniques that were pioneered by the 60s counterculture, but they're being employed here on the side of the fascist right.

      It's nothing new. The fascists have also largely copied postmodernism and turned it toward their ends.

      QAnon is escalating. I think Robert Mueller is in danger. The narrative it's building is that Mueller is actually working for Trump to take down the "cabal." If/when Mueller moves on Trump this will conflict dramatically with that narrative. The 40k sealed indictments cabal roundup narrative being pushed by QAnon is clearly prep for a mass arrest of dissidents, but what of Mueller himself? Why, he'll have to be assassinated, and when he is Trump will claim he was assassinated by the cabal to head off their planned roundup. In fact it could be Mueller's assassination that kicks off the coup with him ironically being used as a martyr.

      I hope I am wrong.

    6. @Anon 6:37

      There are two competing narratives about to clash: The QAnon Cabal takedown Vs the Russian Fascist Revolution.

      I think it's obvious that the Russian-Fascism story is going to be the loser, mainly because has always been transparently false.

    7. The sad and ironic aspect of this is that MKULTRA was itself an extension of 'dual' forced realism.
      Since all of 'this' came from ONE 'source', it itself is not this or that; it is BOTH.
      Imagine a reality where THIS and THAT were just expressions of the SAME THING!
      No game, no competition, no need to 'win'.

    8. I'm pretty certain that Q is a psyop controlled by actors within the Trump administration and used to perpetuate the Trump V. Deep State myth. The appearance of "I'm with Q" signs at the rallies only confirms this for me. Q is not a larp or some rogue element within the administration, Q is sophisticated disinformation!

    9. As St Terence of the Mushroom told us, "Culture is not your friend."

  2. And one of the biggest clues to the nature of the 'big, nasty surprise' is to understand why the secret sun has always been secret, and why pains were taken to prevent its discovery in the early 19th century, and to keep it thus hidden ever since...

    1. I'm not seeing the relevance to this piece here, Zod. Care to elaborate?

    2. "Routine" keyword highjacking, it has always appeared to me.

    3. Relevant in terms of being the biggest conspiracy, that even the X files wouldn't touch, and thus ultimately being THE surprise to those who have as yet no clue as to the causes behind your observations here:

      "And as we saw, the techno-surveillance state, child predation and elite satanism were all well-referenced in the revival as well as transgenics, CRISPR CAS9 and all the other real-world horrors people are studiously ignoring while they fight over Trump and identity politics.

      No one seems to care much about fighting power anymore. The struggle now is over who exactly gets to control the machinations of mass death and complete control. People--most especially the Rockefeller Republicans wearing the flayed skin-suit of the long-defunct Democratic Party-- don't have any problems with endless war, oligarchy or surveillance anymore. They just want to sit as close to the big boy table as they possibly can.

      They're all in for a big, nasty surprise, is all I have to say about that for now."

  3. My mom had my little sister in her late 40's. Sometimes it happens...

    I think conspiracy theories have become normalized. Anyone can log online and watch the alex jones show. Before the internet you had to live in austin to watch his public access channel and hear him on the radio.

    Its like, how did we get to a place where mainstream media is publishing articles about qanon.
    And why is qanon even a thing. I came up with a theory, boomers cant handle the internet age. They literally see the internet as some sort of magic 8ball giving them hidden messages about the deep state and trump.
    But it isnt just the right wing. The left wing boomers have transformed into 80's republicans. They think russian hackers are trying to steal their precious bodily fluids.

    On another note the big alien culture of this era was ancient aliens. That retard with the big hair on the history channel saying aliens built everything and humans are dumb. Oh also that greer guy trying to trick everyone into giving him money to see a dead alien fetus and how he would get the government to confirm alien disclosure. Finally as we leave the 2010's the final big alien news was the blink 182 guy trying to build a space ship and the government saying UFO's are real, and they dont know what they really are, and releasing some videos, and everyone sort of shrugging and saying "okay, cool"

    1. Ironically, belief in AAT is polling many multiples higher now than at any time in our history.

      Maybe that's the key to the Trump enigma. True persuasion comes from playing the Fool. At least in the electronic Babel of our times.

    2. And maybe the best way of playing the fool is being one...

      Actually, all that's going on is that people don't know what a good thing is until they lose it. A pigeon, feeling the air against their wings, may think they'd fly better without air. Same with gatekeepers in a society. If you think you're better off without them, you're making the pigeon's mistake. You can't even have a society without them. Trump became president because the usual gatekeepers weren't there. Newspapers have gatekeepers, and that's also a good thing. You cannot function without them, and you are getting to see why.

    3. A.Jones was on CIANN "Wag The Dog" TV News,because they always interview and promote real conspiracy theorists,not just controlled-opposition types...and all the modern MIC-agent 'Celebrity' UFO hucksters are just sad and pathetic.Who can bring the end to the early 2000s mindlessness Idiocracy Culture? A little good news: Generation Z has said the Internet and socialist media is boring!

    4. Im some ways, conspiracy "culture" just following a consumer arc that appears for other consumer products as well. Consider the old days when American beer was dominated by three or four crappy US companies making the same crap beer. That's also what our media was for years, albeit perhaps a slightly highter quality. Still it was all bland and planned, beerwise and mediawise.

      Yet some Americans tasted foreign beer and even began to prefer it. Long story short, the US beer world blew up with all sort of outside influences finally unleashed. I think that may be kind of where we are at now with conspiracies.

      Keep in mind, as others have noted, some conspiracies go back generations and other countries have had their own insights into better-known conspiracies as well as their own conspiracies unknown to us until recently. Others we may only have been passingly familiar with before, much as we were familiar with rumors of delicious dark beer from Europe in our blind US beer days. Now it's up in our face 24/7 a generation or two later. So there's an overwhelm element when so much becomes available at once and it's certainly one reason for the fake v. real confusion. We've been overloaded, perhaps deliberately.

  4. JB (of The Meta-Logic Café)9:52 AM, August 03, 2018

    The only episode I really have a big problem with (no, not "My Struggle III", I gave that entire episode a free pass due to the CSM's monologue at the beginning, ballsy as f**k showing us the fake moon landing) was the Mandala Effect comedy ep.

    The Mandala Effect IRL is one of the most mind-blowing and very disturbingly real paranormal phenomena imaginable. But for the first time Morgan basically told the audience "people who believe in this nonsense are either stupid, insane, or simply have a s**tty memory".

    All of his previous comedy episodes over the years were genius due to the fact that he played around with how inherently absurd the paranormal can be, while not at all denying that it truly does exist, John A. Keel or almost Charles Fort style.

    But I'm guessing that for "Forehead Sweat" he just didn't bother doing his homework and decide to laugh at the people reporting the phenomenon instead, like the mainstream media usual does. Its as if he made an episode about KEK and meme/chaos magic, but instead of finding the humor in the inherent absurdity of this new reality, he just did a hit piece saying "these alt-right internet nerds are CRAY-ZEE!"

    It WAS a very funny episode, though.

    1. Well, Darins gonna Darin. He's never been shy about his POV so you take it as it comes. I think the Mandela FX stuff was a bit of red herring- the real meat of "Sweat" is the canny analysis of the Post-Truth Era that the Boomers endowed us all with.

    2. The ME began in the USA and was first discussed by
      American Generation X.Perhaps this is why the topic is so hated by MSM? The Effect is like a bucket of ice water
      dumped on the sleeping.Some of us collectively noticed "the effect"
      as far back as the Millennium.There
      are USA based online forum discussions and even books published by American Scientists about 'reality changes' from this time period.The Effect has since become a global phenomenon with videos / forums in several languages.Many Baby Boomers,Individuals who are mind-controlled and those who work for the Gov-Entertainment Complex apparently can't even begin to comprehend the true meaning and literal consequence of the Effect.Perhaps X-Files creators were forced to deny the phenomenon due to orders from Psychological Operations - Intel Agency HQ?.The odd behavior and hostile response of Mandela Effect deniers is a well-known and discussed topic.The main Reddit discussion forum is still full of hostile and aggressive Shills denying the existence of the phenomenon (on every post) 24/7 since it was created a couple
      of years ago.Why is so much time,energy and money spent to negatively alter public perception against the subject? The Mandela Effect represents the "loss of control" to a rapidly aging generation tyrannical American Baby Boomers and the security-state Media Masters.PS: Most of us don't hold much hope for a 'indy' feature-film about the topic "The Mandela Effect" (2018)

    3. According to others quantum computing (and the LHC) may also play a role. For some out there stuff check out Clif High. His claim the ME correlates with D-wave concentrations seems something that should be monitored.

      He also thinks QC opens access to the entire library of information in the Universe. I hope he's wrong about that part, as that sort of power here would almost certainly not end well. Unless maybe we all learn to QC our way out whatever hell is created by those who would misuse QC and adopt horrors from basically anywhere horror is found.

  5. Hello! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous
    room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this
    article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thank you for sharing!

    1. It reminds me of your previous roommate as well. I think that was my initial inspiration.

    2. I agree - this is a piece of truly genius work by Chris.

      Even if one were to completely abstract from the topic, it combines clever exposition with candid critique and deep knowledge of pop culture history, outlines the political implications and finally serves up a prophecy that draws on the very essence of the otherwise elusive XF formula.

      So courageous, intelligent, informed, articulate, effortlessly moving across disciplines, pulling no punches, honest to God. And so very rare. A veritable symphony of what the human powers of reasoning and observation can produce when they're not beholden to political masters and corporate owners and marketing budgets and regression analysis methodologies and the many other straitjackets our world is full of.

      I'm very impressed.

  6. Chris,

    Oy vey, I remember that episode of the Tomorrow Show where Tom Snyder had the Village People on, explaining their New Romantic change. First time I'd ever seen a performance act commit suicide in public.

    Re: "The Lost Art Of Forehead Sweat" - I'm re-watching the season now, and laughed out loud when in Ep 2, as Mulder was reviewing the online version of the X Files, a picture of Reggie's FBI ID flashed by.

    1. You're a genius, Mo! I forgot exactly where I saw that trainwreck but now I remember it was on Snyder. Even at that tender age I felt the cringe was strong with those ones.

      The clip montage on Sweat is one for the books as well.

  7. It's sad that the public overwhelmingly still believes they have free will and independent thought. The fruits of roughly 80 years of mind control studies and technology are now in full bloom all around us and still almost no one clues into it. Just get some popcorn and enjoy the show as there's f**k all to do about it.

    As I said, Chris, the gulf between us and others widen as they clasp tighter and tighter to the programming. I agree with you that its isolating but we didn't choose it, did we?

    1. Will the Purge be livestreamed? Question answers itself, no?

    2. They Live and 5G: Harmful Effects Of A New Technology We were warned! "This is your brain on 5G...any questions?"

    3. trying to reply to 1118.


    4. 1118 speak for yourself. IF you find you do not have free will and are stuck in bondage I encourage you to do something about that. Seek inside of you.

      I for one do NOT agree with that at all.

      You get what you focus on. Period.

    5. What you fink 'bout is wat 'appens so be real carelike wen u 'fink. Fnord.

    6. Anon 2:08,

      You obviously have no idea what I said. Reread.

  8. R/iamverysmart



    1. Explain that for those of us who don't chan...?

    2. It's a sub on Reddit where people post screen shots of stuff people post that think they are above average intelligence but come off as jackasses.


    3. Sounds like you are describing r/topmindsofreddit (TMOR).

  9. Sweet post! Loved the first 6 seasons of X-Files, after that, was down to certain episodes only. Your idea of William Mulder as an avatar made me think about this past season (& whole series for that matter) in a new light.

    As in--the "inevitable outcome of the National Security State" being analogous to...Kalki?

    Or maybe Dark Phoenix. Can't make up my mind. Decisions decisions...

  10. I don't know if the writers at are Secret Sun fans or syncronicity is just at play but this article made me giggle. "The Secret Strangler" laments "A SAD STORY TO TELL. TRUTH WAS YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL AND NOW SHE IS DEAD. STRANGLED BY THE LIES OF THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA. SO SAD."

  11. It ain't a real back-in-the-day 'X-Files' experience if Mitch Pileggi ain't doing voiceovers & hostings of 'Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed' or 'Exploring The Unknown', also no red speedos (THE real 'X-File' as they could suggest 'TX-F' & 'The Red Shoe Diaries' take place in the same universe) were on display, bring 'em back for Season 12 & the show will be a water-cooler moment maker once again.

  12. Two paths. Will we be crushed by the communists and their progenitors, as happened in the USSR, or will we crush them instead, as happened by the Country That Shall Not Be Named? Nobody gets to play Little Lord Moral High Ground where we're going.

  13. I enjoyed all of the new xfiles. I think they did a very good job.

    It gets an A++++ from me but of course I am a die hard fan.

  14. 33: Carr fire, 134,000 acres. 143 mph fire tornado. Omega lane and alpha circle fire. ?

    1. The shasta fire is about alien warfare. Seriously. We Arcturians are running off the pleiadians/reptilians.

  15. 'The X-Files' as 'Mengele Effect' upon our frame of existence:

    'A METEOR exploded above the site of the Thule Air Base in Greenland as it entered earth’s atmosphere, home to the US’ sensor-triggered ‘early missile detection system’, prompting scientists to reflect how a ‘freak’ incident of the same nature could trigger nuclear war by mistake.', 'NASA was first to confirm that an unknown object was traveling at a speed of 24.4 kilometers per second (54,000mph) when it blew up, 43 kilometers (27 miles) above Thule’s missile detection system.'

    Nukes = cancer sticks = dad = boss

    1. X files Mengele effect? WTF, seems a washed-up tv series writer with a blatan agenda brainwashed you into a parrot.

  16. The implied endgame from the show? The military-industrial complex will eat itself & real-life superheroes (super soldiers) will go off the rails, "beyond good & evil" being the best case scenario.

  17. Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this
    blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  18. Hey this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if
    you have to manually code with HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding skills
    so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  19. Conspiracy is dead. Long live conspiracy ...and X Files too

  20. New CC interview


    Since this technology in Trump’s campaign via Cambridge Analytica was using 40-50,000 variants of ads every day that were continuously measuring responses and then adapting and evolving based on that response.[1], they are using these same techniques on the truther communities, learning their syntax/grammar/worlview, and create episodes of conspiracy hollyweird-fabricated false rabbit holes/false awakenings/limited hangout on steroids while inserting the real life ‘crumbs’ to ‘validate’ (street cred) that it’s a ‘real’, that Q is a ‘true patriot’ (most certainly NOT). Feedback loops using AI Bots, gamification and social science, Cambridge Analytica, Palantir, NLP-techniques, etc. probably even Mossad Talpiot 8200 units involved in this Q-anon social engineering and weaponization of conspiracy theorists,
    The Deep State-created COINTEL simulacra is then taken to be real by sincere truth seekers hijacked and on constant dopamine highs. Oh, the epic evil irony…


    [1] Cambridge Analytica was able to use this real-time information to determine which messages were resonating where and then shape Trump’s travel schedule around it. So, if there was a spike in clicks on an article about immigration in a county in Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, Trump would go there and give an immigration-focused speech.

    In a 2016 profile for Das Magazin, a Zürich-based culture magazine, Kosinski talked about the predictive power of his (Kosinski’s) model.

    Here’s how the authors summed it up:

    The strength of their [Kosinski and his Cambridge colleagues] modeling was illustrated by how well it could predict a subject’s answers. Kosinski continued to work on the models incessantly: before long, he was able to evaluate a person better than the average work colleague, merely on the basis of ten Facebook “likes.” Seventy “likes” were enough to outdo what a person’s friends knew, 150 what their parents knew, and 300 “likes” what their partner knew. More “likes” could even surpass what a person thought they knew about themselves.


  22. The Qanon MK Ultra victins are an echo chamber effect (and Astroturf operation also), just like the Flat Earth PSYOP, but whereas Flat Earth is primarily guilt-by-association to make the truth movements look kooky, Q is a much more sophisticated (and NLP/Gamification/AI-related) dangerous operation (popularized by Alex Jones and Jerome Corsi – 100% controlled opposition):

    It’s a bigger PSYOPS than Flat Earth, but much, much more refined and coordinated, and the psychological usurpation and weaponization of the truth movements against themselves, the shaping of a fabricated false awakening with limited hangout elements that will be used against the enemies of the deep state. Just like Trump being the ‘hero’ against the Deep State is a faux narrative (in spite of the huge kabuki-game pertaining to the mainstream media VS Trump). Control the minds and you control everything.

    Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem, tells the story of humans encountering a non-human intelligent ocean on a far planet, and in humanity’s attempts to communicate with it, the Other presents each member of the space ship’s crew with a completely realistic, living person from their past to interact with, showing that the Other knows more about each crew member than each crew member knows about himself. The humans get self-referential loops and find out nothing much about the alien intelligence, in other words. They are all far too involved, and soon totally absorbed, in the “real hallucinations” to coin a phrase, they are presented with, to find hardly any perspective on what’s happening. *The being défends itself by turning the enemy’s attention on the enemy itself.

    In the real world 2018 a variation of this are micro bubbles in unknowing compartmentalization being used aganst their own flock; the conspiracy theorists’ (the most dangerous enemies of the empire), all the while many truthers are subcobsiously hijacked but thinking they are fighting against the empire. The weaponization of conspiracy theorists….eerie and creepy like hell.

    1. At what point in history do you think that conspiracy theorists were not dupes who willingly swallowed false information fed to them by the complex? Chapel perilous ain't no joke buddy. Even though most of us are laughing.

    2. My hypothesis on flat Earth is that it was a test run to see just how nutty they could go and gather followers and also to compile lists of extremely gullible individuals. The latter could prove very valuable for later more serious campaigns.

  23. The problem with conspiracy theories is that the truly powerful don't have to conspire. They legalize whatever they want to do and then do it right out in the open, as "normal business". Conspirators are wanabees.

    1. It's not quite that cut-and-dried simple, though yes, your are correct that much is hidden in plain sight in ways peopled are apparently conditioned to ignore/not notice/feel disempowered to confront.

      However, as the anti-politics/politicians folks in all parties are realizing, our system of legalized bribery, corruption and control, like "regulatory capture" to use just one example, is rather apparent if one takes the time to look and see what is really happening.

  24. Sweet blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News. Do you have
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  26. 'Conspiracy Culture', whatever that is, will be proven right, ultimately. As seems quite clear, we're now living in the Times of The Revealing. Apocalypse. All will be exposed in it's time. Transgeneticism, transhumanism, cosmic cataclysm, human consciousness, human past, space/time, fuckin aliens, you name it - that's the next X number of years in our Earthly reality. It's been an amazing ride, but this phase of human and planetary development is OVA! And Conspiracists called it years ago.

  27. Oh Engrish spam...

    Does anyone else here have heavy Mandela effect stuff *that they get what feels like warnings-to-silence when they want to lay out what happened*?

    Asking that its-self is uncomfortable.

    I get scared when I attempt to push to describe my account. Feels physically dangerous. (Constriction of chest/breath + heart. Basic panic stuff, but very dependent upon specific will to speak of The Thing.) Weird, huh?

    Does that pesky collider act as a multidimensional gagging order as well as the other stuffs? I wonder... If I write In My Own Hand Of Write, then photograph it and upload, that might fix my disclosure anxiety.

    1. Particle Accelators were first tested in the 1930s and some have been
      continuously running since the mid-1960s.As much as the LHC and d-wave are being used as a effective propaganda tool,you should look elsewhere for the cause of symptoms.Hint : this is a very real Spiritual Battle.Some people have made videos on YouTube,who were also afraid (at first).These videos can be hard to find on YT,but they do or at least
      did exist.Thanks for the interesting comment and i would be interested in hearing more of the experience.Perhaps,this "powerful controlling force" effectively describes why Americans have settled for a Cartoonish Dystopian Society : where 10s of millions use prescription drugs for depression/anxiety and a corporate media promoting "divided and conquered" narrative instead of a bring the elite globalist criminals to justice narrative...The Effect and resulting Consciousness Awakening is the greatest fear of the TPTB.

    2. Well, I had plenty of odd before I decided to see what it was like APing into there, but it approximately coincided with a Those Blooming Bears thing, and stuff. I am not sure whether or not there is a relation between the two.

  28. Why the war on conspiracy theorists? Why the social media purge? Its not complicated, & it ties right into the new Cold War:

    If you can, watch the interviews Oliver Stone did with Vladimir Putin as well. Because we're all being played.

  29. What a terrific detailed post on commenting.

  30. Chris, not sure how to contact you, this is my best bet, I need to know what happened to Steve Willner. He was the best synchromystic, where did he go??? Please help. Thanks for your synchro-service.

    1. Steve is still out there. Check FB or Twitter.

  31. What a surprise!
    A look of terminal shock in your eyes!
    Things aren't really what they seem!
    No! This not a bad dream!

    Sheep:(Animals, Pink Floyd)

    We're not dreaming the nightmare anymore. We're IN ONE.

  32. X-Files are over once again. There is always History Channel’s coming TV series “Project Blue Book,” looks pretty good.

  33. "NOTE: I heard a lot of grumbling that the thing with 50-something Scully being pregnant again was somehow unrealistic. Well, I have a friend who got pregnant at 50 and had triplets. So maybe it really isn't all that preposterous."

    Was your friend previously diagnosed as BARREN?