News for the OBSSEsed - continued
Issue No. 31, January 2000

There is grand news to report this month. Our own Sister Nascent's fanfic is back up an available on the web after a too long hiatus. You can find her wonderful casefiles here complete with a new story to read called "Compass." This month I also enjoyed Dasha K.'s unique and entertaining story of a future where even lack of memory and a brave new world cannot prevent Mulder and Scully from finding each other: "Blinded By White Light."


To greet the new year how about a fic about the end of the world? This story will not be for everyone. It's dark. Really dark. But it is also very well done, and not like anything else I've read which at this point I always consider a minor miracle. Try out "Everybody Having a Good Time" in which really no one is. For pure character study about Scully's reaction to a wedding of an old friend and the road not taken "Dance Card" is an interesting and involving read. All of her fanfic can be found at this website.


After writing a few short pieces, Jerry bites the long story bullet and gives us a MSR/casefile in "The Substance of Things." In this story Scully struggles with her commitment to her faith and confusion about Mulder while working on a kidnapping case with a partner who doesn't want to fight anymore. All of her work can be found at this website.

After Christmas Tales

Some very nice holiday fanfic came out this year too late to include in the December newsletter. So, while we are still enjoying the last bit of the holiday season, allow me to make a few suggestions from authors that have been featured in this column before to warm you up this winter. First, from Annie Sewell-Jennings we have a Scully family Christmas in Colorado in "Wearing Icicles." After that, Scully catches a ride on Christmas Eve with three women who are not what they seem in the delightful "Silver Belles" by Revely. Finally, for a bit of NC-17 fun, Dasha K. and Plausible Deniability show us the wonder of the Magic 8 Ball in "After Eight."

Sisters Bryn and Sassejenn engage in analytical discussion of the CHarc (Clothing and Hair arc) in an attempt to bring enlightenment and historical perspective to this critical element of The Blessed One's character development.

I.  Agent's Scully's Wardrobe, Past and Present:
Fashion Evolution and the Resolution of Self
by Bryn

Plaid and Choices in Hosiery - Presymbolic Experimentation 
In the beginning there was "Pilot," which brings us the plaid suit, which
our Jennifer-Oksana has termed the Ross Dress-for-Less look (on a side note, Scully's choice of patterns evolves to a more subtle pinstripe at the
beginning of "Quagmire").  Scully chooses interesting color combinations and wears opaque hose.  Much as I hate to say it, Our Saint just doesn't get it. Early CHarc reflects a lack of sophistication.  She's figuring out her place in the X-Files, and her wardrobe is an experiment in progress.

The Inner Voice of Beige
I have to explain the unfortunate Season 2 beige period?  Crap.  I mean, uh, no problem.  You see, according to my dictionary, "beige" comes from the French for the color of wool when it is undyed and unbleached.  Scully is in her natural phase.  She does not yet fully understand the ramifications of her abduction (like cancer and green goo babies) and thus her clothing does not reflect the later layers of angst.  In Seasons 2, 3, and 4, her suits
are conservative, her sweaters and blouses feminine yet tailored.  Scully
seems firmly entrenched in her role as scientist, choosing classic blazer
cuts and colors (shades of wine and blue) to complement to her classic skepticism.  But are there hints of underlying doubt?

Transitions in Neutrality:  From Tesos to Trevor
Take an episode like, oh, "Teso Dos Bichos."  Yes, seriously.  In the
opening scenes, Scully wears various shades of brown, or possibly gray and black. She is trying to be neutral, but she can't figure out how.  She
knows her job is to back Mulder's theories with facts and proof, but gosh,
he seems to be right 65% of the time or whatever.  Scully is struggling to
redefine her place in the X-Files while staying true to her own beliefs.
This explains in part The Blessed One's recent penchant for black, in
contrast to the varied maroon, navy, and forest green tones from earlier seasons.  She has chosen her brand of sleek neutrality and she's sticking with it.  In Season 6, she relieves the all-black look with an occasional splash of sky blue ("Trevor"), showing that her faith and courage are still there, tucked beneath a somber façade of midnight suits.

Denial Has a Color
Season 6 saw the recurrence of the Dread White Blouses (yes, they are
different -- look at the collars and the number of buttons).  Unlike the
beloved tiny white tees, the blouses are professional attire, symbolically
tied to Scully's career.  They represent the innocence she cannot recapture and the faith and idealism that keep getting shot down  e.g. "Mulder would never kill me on Christmas Eve" --> BANG.  Her persistence in donning these DWB is a testament to her determination not to let Them win.

Turtlenecks and the Contextualist Viewpoint
More recent clothing developments include a radical rethinking of necklines. The turtleneck we remember best appears in "One Son."  It's confrontational. It's a personal statement.  It's damn hot.  Turtlenecks are
cropping up in S7 too, interspersed with more daring décolletages.  Scully has seen the artikifact, and her belief system is undergoing a change.
Despite her insistence to Mulder that their cases have scientific
explanations, the alternation between extreme necklines shows she has been tested to the limits of her rationalism.  It's not what she says; it's what
she wears that shows her mental state.  Scully is wavering between complete denial and complete acceptance of paranormal phenomena.  Forget neutrality and the collarbone-level sweaters of S2 and 3 and the rare plunge seen in S4. She's on a mission.

Less is More: Pervasive Minimalism
On a happy note, Our Saint is donning satin jammies more frequently.
According to my Theory Devised on a Train After Slamming Pixy Stix, an ep in which Scully wears pajamas can't be all bad.  It's small touches like this in The Blessed Clothing that make a difference.  Although there isn't space here for a discussion of exciting topics like earrings, shoes, and "The Lilac Folie a Deux Suit: What Does It Mean?" let's ponder for a moment how even minimal CHarc enhances an episode.  Consider "One Breath," in which Scully mainly wears tubes, hospital gowns, and a black trenchcoat, or the pinnacle of minimalist wardrobe: "Chinga." St. Scully just can't go wrong in bubble bath...hooboy and amen.

II.  Facets of Follicular Disorders, Therapeutic Outcomes,
and Defining Essential Components of a Great 'Do
by Sassejenn

Overcoming Adversity: Pseudo-Flips
The interesting and wildly varied appearance in Season One was not limited to Our Saint's clothing.  Her hairstyles (we put the 'H' in CHarc!) went from good to interesting to just plain unfortunate.  From sleek shoulder length bob in 'Beyond The Sea' to a pseudo-flip retro look in 'Squeeze', our Blessed Agent is clearly uncertain about many things--not just her coif. The indecision manifested here is a reflection of inner experimentation.  She is a Saint in Progress.

Curling Irons and the Collapse of Self/Systemic Influence of Bangs
They are words uttered quietly and with trepidation in the Abbey:  Curling
Iron Hair. Was it alien abduction?  Swamp gas?  What began this grievous period in Scully's life? Can it be explained?  <deep breath>  Certainly. The wild turmoil of Curling Iron Hair is representative of Our Saint's increased inner turmoil.  Both before ('Blood') and after ('Firewalker') her abduction, Scully's sense of self and her concept of her professional duties were shifting wildly.  And so were her bangs.   See 'Excelcius Dei'--this is one confused TBO.

Poofiness and Personal Milestones
By Season Five, however, Scully has found herself, as well as a better
stylist.  Her short and sleek bob is both attractive and functional.  It
says, "I know who I am, and I know I don't need heated curling implements!" Now a confident agent, Scully is certain of her choices in life and in work. Her choice of an ever-shorter 'do is representative of her choice to shed society's expectations and demands.  Occasionally, mussed or poofy hair appears as she questions  the choices she has made.  (See The Movie.)

Interchangeable Length: Trend or Transformation? 
Season Seven saw the occurrence of a brand new CHarc trend--the SDLV, or the Scully 'Do Length Variation.  In 'Amor Fati', for example, a nearly shoulder length cut was radically shorter by the last scene.  By 'Hungry', however, it was back to her shoulders, or so it seemed in the brief glimpse I caught of Scully.  'Rush' was follicularly uneventful, but there was a scene of random poofiness in 'The Goldberg Variation'.  This somewhat alarming trend is easily explained.  The Scully 'Do length variation is a physical manifestation of the dichotomy of burgeoning believer and staunch skeptic.  Our Saint, while rooted in her doubting ways, is experimenting with a policy of belief.  Can these two behavioral patterns co-exist?  Can her hair be two lengths at the same time?  The answer is obviously "yes"--at least until 1013 can get their shooting schedule straight.


by Sister Jenn

Directions:  Select the answer that suits you best.

1. Reflecting back on those periods of my life when I felt a bit naive and
uncertain, I was usually found:

a. Wearing beige ensembles
b. Rifling through my three lingerie drawers in search of that perfect something
c. In hotels with holes drilled into head
2. The first thought that comes to my mind when I see the words "curling iron" is:
a. Wait a minute. I did what..with that..thing...?
b. How can I use this to attract former FBI partners?
c. Isn't it true that the Paramilitary complex is able to track people with these things by monitoring their frequencies?
3.  Today I expect to do a LOT of running to solve a case and rescue my
partner. I go to my closet and pick out:
a. Black 2" running heels
b. An industrial-strength bullet bra
c. Camos and body mounted radio and radar jammers--so they don't find me!
4. At those times when I'm feeling Kick Ass, I:
a. Blow that wisp of hair from my face
b. Put on my industrial strength bullet bra and suck up to my former partner
c. Get new holes drilled in my head because I'm tough!
5. My favorite casual wear would include:
a. A lovely v-neck button up sweater
b. A sheer nightie with feather trim (g-string optional)
c. A straitjacket
Scoring:  If you chose mostly "a" answers, you have a very keen CHarc
sense.  Others look to you for your wisdom and guidance. You are able to
spot wrong hairedness a mile off!  Why, I bet you even have a Scully
suit hanging in your closet!!

If you chose mostly "b" answers, you have NO CHarc sense. You are an
Anti-CHarcist. Do the initials DF have any significance for you?  I thought
so. Be gone! Shoo! Shoo!

If you chose mostly "c" answers, I have scheduled an appointment for you to have a session with Dr. K or Dr. S. Tonin. Be sure not to leave their offices until you have been given your rx for some new meds. 




P O L L   R E S U L T S

We asked our readers in the last edition what they would bring as a "hostess gift" to Scully's apartment if invited for an impromptu holiday party.  Many thanks for all the contributions!  Here are a few ideas.

Sister Anji:
"A comfy t-shirt that reads "I See Dead People" (hey, it works on so many levels), a knife sharpening kit (good for machetes and scalpels), and a hunky 20 year old guy with whom she can regain her groove.  (Hunky Guy will be certified 'Sane,'  Can be returned within 90 days in exchange for Skinner.)"
Sister Molly Marco:
"Her own nanobot pocket toy.  Now she can mess with Smoking Man's repro organs and such! Imagine how much fun she could have!"
Charles Scully:
"Dana loves antiques.  This year I bought her a silver antique hairbrush with a matching mirror that was made in the 1890s.  She will be ever so happy."
Sister Lauren:
"Cheesy tourist t-shirts from every state in the nation.  I'm sure the Maine t-shirt could use some company, and heaven knows the CHArc could use some variety."
Sister Bruce:
"A nice bottle of red wine.  Maybe then she will treat the real Mulder to her way cool method of opening a bottle with just a cork screw and her knees."
Sister Pepper R.:
"A brand new 'click your cleavage' push up bra! You can even click while running!"
Sister Rebekah:
"A pair of high heeled sneakers, so that in case Mulder should ever invite her to go for a run again, she won't have to 'pass' as she did on their first case together..."
Sister Emilie:
"Ice cream. After all, she IS looking a little thin lately (nothing's wrong with that, though. It's chasing around that [bleep] of a partner...)"
"Chapstick.  From the looks of it...she's gonna be needing it more than ever...."
By Sister Autumn

The big news this month, if you ask me, is the news that Gillian Anderson may very well be working on a script for the show. She's been in story meetings with the writing staff before the Christmas break which seems to indicate to me that we'll at least see a "Story By" credit for her on an upcoming episode. Seeing as though every time Gillian's made a few suggestions before we've gotten things like Never Again or the fight scene in Kill Switch, this ought to be something special.

So, here is the latest episode schedule. You know the drill by now. FOX likes to change its mind

Jan 2 - Field Trip
Jan 9 - Orison(7X07) W:Johannessen D:Bowman
Jan 16- The Amazing Maleeni(7X08)
        W:Spotnitz&Gilligan&Shiban D:Wright
Jan 23- Signs and Wonders(7X09)W:Bell D:Manners
Jan 30- Repeat
Feb 6 - Sein Und Zeit(7X10)Part 1 of 2
        W:Carter&Spotnitz D:Watkins
Feb 13- Sein Und Zeit:Aliatope(7X11)Part 2 of 2
        W:Carter&Spotnitz D:Manners
Feb 20- X-Cops(7X12)W:Gilligan D:Watkins
Feb 27- Untitled(7X13)W:William Gibson D:Carter
At least we won't need to worry about a conflict of interest when Signs and Wonders airs at the same time as the Golden Globe Awards as the X-Files was completely shut out of nominations this year. Then again it is the Globes, noted more for the party and rather odd voting (Felicity anyone?) than anything else. Frankly, it's a wonder X-Files ever won at this event, but it had more about the show being hip at the time than anything else if you ask me. Keep your eyes peeled for the Screen Actor's Guild nominations out February 1st for a bit more of a realistic indicator of who has earned what.

Rumor has it that in addition to the February special show in Los Angeles, Gillian Anderson is in talks to perform a two-week stint of the Vagina Monologues in New York City this spring. Rather than sharing the stage with a multitude of other actresses, this would be a three-woman show rotating in various actresses including Ms. Anderson. We'll keep you posted here at the OBSSEwood Minute as details emerge.

According to Gillian Anderson we'll probably be waiting until this fall before we see her latest project, House of Mirth. It's scheduled to premiere at the Cannes Film Festival that runs May 10-21st and will hopefully pick up a U.S. distributor at that time.

Lastly, the new Morgan and Wong run series The Others is starting up on NBC February 5th. It looks promising from everything I've heard.

"No, Mulder, I will not star in your new exciting idea for an 'artistic video' Dana Does Disney..."

By Sister Skullhead

Many of you are aware that I reside in the country of thermometer- smashing temperatures, cartoon-character politicians and strangely deformed wildlife, otherwise known as Australia. It is less commonly known that I was in fact  born in Canada, and recently spent two months there becoming acquainted with my relatives. I will never forget this experience. I know because I have tried quite hard.

During the course of my stay, I spent a week with my cousin in Ottawa. I was  privileged to become acquainted with her friends, who managed to update my mental dictionary's definition of insane. At one point, one of these friends inquired what American TV shows were exported to Australia. I answered (a  few good shows and lots of crap, in case you're wondering) and then I was asked an intriguing question...

"Are they dubbed in Australian?"

Once my hysterical laughter had subsided, I began to ponder the implications  of this poorly informed inquiry. I soon arrived at the conclusion that a TV show dubbed in Australian would be a rather amusing novelty. The Australian language is a wonderful thing. We have interchangeable vowels and our R's turn up in the most creative places imaginable. Our teeth remain closed at all times, as do our noses in some cases. Animals receive the rough end of the stick, as everything negative is compared to wildlife in one way or another. Every word is abbreviated, and gratuitous swearing is inserted into a sentence wherever possible. That is not to say that we have a poor grasp of English. We just have a different take on it, much like Americans with their personal vendetta against the letter U.

And so, dearest sibliren, you are about to experience your cultural lesson for this year and receive an answer to the burning question, "Would Scully sound as good if she were Australian?"

Let us take a simple example to begin with. In Deep Throat, Scully's pearl of wisdom was "Mulder, you're crazy." Depending on the level of perceived insanity, this sentence can have a variety of translations. A simple interpretation would be "Mulder, you're berko." However, this is quite a poor effort when all is considered. At the very least, the great Australian adjective (not considered profanity over here) should be included, making Scully's comment, "Mulder, you're bloody berko." Even this lacks colour.  More creative choices would be:
  • "Mulder, you're barmy as a bloody bandicoot,"
  • "Mulder, you're bent as a bloody scrub tick,"
  • "Mulder, you're off your bloody kadoova," and "Strewth, Mulder, you've got bloody kangaroos in your bloody top paddock."

All of these expressions would be perfectly acceptable transliterations. 
However, in the great Australian tradition, Mulder would be required to come back with an equally witty rejoinder, with relevance of course being optional. Examples:
  • "What the bloody hell's crawlin' on you, Scully?"
  • "Aw, nickywoop, Scully,"
  • "Put a cork in it, Scully,"
  • "Go dip your eye in hot cocky cack, Scully," and
  • "For crying out loud, Scully, for a bushfire blonde sheila who's no more'n knee-high to a grasshopper you've sure twigged onta chuckin' the wobblies." 

Let us take another straightforward example. In Fight the Future, Scully's 
saintly query was, "Are you drunk, Mulder?" It is important to note that the state of intoxication is a very common one in Australia, so there are of course many adjectives to describe such a condition. Here are some illustrations for your enlightenment:
  • "Are you paralytic, Mulder?"
  • "Are you shickered, Mulder?"
  • "Are you stonkered, Mulder?"
  • "Mulder, are you as pissed as a possum?"
  • "Are you as full as a fairy's phone book, Mulder?"
  • "Mulder, are you under the affluence of inkahol?" and of course,
  • "Cripes, Mulder, you got a face like a chook's arse. Anyone'd think you were lit up like a bloody Christmas tree."

Once the simple renditions have been mastered, one can address the more complex sentences. In Detour, our saint let loose with a little innuendo: "I must remind you that this goes against the Bureau's policy of male and female agents consorting in the same hotel room while on assignment." This is a reasonably intricate sentence; let us take each phrase on its own. "I must remind you" is really an unnecessary component of the sentence, since tact has no place in the Australian vernacular. If one really wanted to include a translation, options would be:
  • "Tell ya what,"
  • "Cripes," and
  • "Onya."
"Goes against the bureau's policy," is a straightforward matter; it paraphrases easily into "pulls a swifty on the bloody wallopers." "Male and female agents" becomes simply "bloke and sheila blues." The vital part of the translation lies in the word "consorting." Australia has no use for euphemisms; this phrase clearly refers to sexual interaction, and thus we are presented with some colourful options:
  • "arsing around"
  • "buffin' the muffin"
  • "camping like a row of tents" and

  • "banging like a dunny door in a gale" are the most popular.
A hotel room is a "lamb-down shop" and being "on assignment" becomes "doin'  the hard yakka." Thus, Scully's comment becomes: "Tell ya what, the dekko's that bloke and sheila blues banging like a dunny  door in a gale in a lamb-down shop while doin' the hard yakka really pulls a swifty on the bloody wallopers." Impressive, is it not?

I will leave you with one last example to conclude your cultural cognizance 
for today. In Quagmire, our saint affectionately informed her partner, "You're so consumed by your own personal vengeance against life, whether it be its inherent cruelties or its mysteries, that everything takes on a warped significance to fit your megalomaniacal cosmology." Even coming from Scully, this was quite a mouthful. My apologies, sibliren --  I require a moment to cogitate upon this one.

I regret that my conclusion is this: Australians are simply not that articulate, and Scully's sentence is lamentably untranslatable. If Scully were in fact a resident of Australia, she would simply have returned to our original prototype and remarked,
  • "Mulder, you're bloody berko."
This concludes your cultural instruction. It is my hope that you will take time to ponder upon your lesson. It's all fair dinkum, mates, all wool and a yard wide. No worries.


Sister Rebekah Shares 

I take long baths, I dress real nice,
I even dyed my hair red (twice),
My skin is fair, my eyes are blue,
My weight is less than my IQ,
I drive my partner up the wall,
Berating him each time I call,
My pets don't seem to last too long,
Folks cringe when I burst into song,
A friendly Indian haunts my den,
I'm great with kids, and bad with men,
I've equal skill with frown or hug,
(And once I even ate a bug!)
I arch my brow, I know my stuff,
I bite my lip and act real tough,
But still -- alas!-- I'll never be
The Blessed One... I'm only me.

Sister Beth Testifies

I follow Our Lady of the Unfailingly Accurate Pistol Shot with the reverence and devotion that is her due.  I view every episode through a Scullyist lens, loudly pointing out to all who will listen (and many who won't) the ways in which our saint is mistreated by the PUNK.  The adornment of my working space with pictures of both Her Short Statured yet Extremely Intimidating Holiness and the Earthly Incarnation of her grace have been known to "give the wrong idea" about my sexual preferences.  I dream sweet Scully dreams at night and follow her example in my daily life: I wear black for celebration as well as mourning.  I respond to queries of my physical, mental, and emotional health with a pithy, "I'm fine."  I take long bubble baths. I try to see the vacationary appeal of the state of Maine anytime other than mid-summer.  And perhaps most telling of all, despite strong liberal, pacifist, and gun-control-is-great leanings in what I like to call my personal life, I once took a target shooting class so that I could learn what it feels like to shoot a semi-automatic pistol.  It's all baby steps, but I strive to be just a little more like Scully every day.

Ebba Declares

Calm. Quick. Controlled. Classy. Surely these simple words could describe a handful of folks who fit the profile, but when you add into the equation the ability to make a person rethink his reason for living with a single eyebrow arch, the only product could be the ever-enigmatic Agent Scully. I walk the road to salvation, accepting Scully as blessed with the light of righteousness, but I am in desperate need of the confirmation of her sainthood. I have come to you for help in the completion of my total conversion. You quote Scully with, "If I can save you, let me." I know you are the disciples of her teachings, and I will gladly place my faith in your hands. I want to share the glories of her conquests, but, like Scully herself, I am in search of more evidence. I want to believe.

Sister Linda Informs

 I believe I would make a wonderful candidate for the OBSSE because I don't understand what it would be like to go a day without studying the phrases of the Blessed One and lighting her Black Candles (not because she's dreary or boring, never, but because she looks so chic in it, and should surrounded by her favorite...uh...neutral tone).  Also, I constantly have dreams where the Blessed One gets a foozball bat, whacks Mulder once or twice, and steals his desk, forces him to do all the paperwork while she further empowers herself through a shopping excursion for more three-inch black pumps (the Blessed One's job is so hard on them - I think we should buy her a shoe store).  Lastly, I think that if Ally McBeal can have a dinky spin-off all about her life and mental problems, the Blessed One should have one, also!  We should Lobby 10-13 and Fox until the Blessed One gets the attention she deserves in her own 24 hour network of SCULLY or DR. SCULLY moments from the X-Files.  Because of this deep mental fixation with the Blessed One and this insatiable desire to
lobby people about her, you should make me a member as soon as humanly possible!

The X-Files is owned by FOX. No copyright infringement is intended. The OBSSE and News for the OBSSEsed are intended for entertainment purposes only. In other words, it's a joke folks. Thanks to all who contributed this month. All articles and columns appearing in News for the OBSSEsed are copyrighted to the authors.