THE BABY OF THE PLOT
On either side the trailer lie
Mulder: We call it the miracle of life: conception. A union of perfect opposites. Essence transforming into existence (note 1) Or is this just nostalgia now? An act of biology commandeered by modern science and technology? Godlike, we extract, implant, inseminate, and we clone. But has our ingenuity rendered the miracle into a simple trick? In the artifice of replicating life, can we become the creator? Then what of the soul? Can it too be replicated? Or is its placement the opposite of artifice, capable only by God?
Like so many things on The X-Files, this monologue reminds me of a family story. When my great-aunt Bitsy DesPetits wanted a grandchild, she built a padded headstand and told her daughter-in-law, Vivi, to use it to stand upside down for fifteen minutes after making love. That, supposedly, is how my cousin Quimby was conceived. I guess this means that even Bitsy, who wouldn't answer the phone when it rained for fear of getting struck by lightning and who refused to observe Daylight Saving Time because she didn't believe in tampering with "God's time," still dared to render the miracle into a simple trick and become the creator by taking the generation of life into her own Rose Milk-scented hands. And Quimby doesn't have a soul. Or something. In any case, Mulder's nostalgia is probably somewhat misplaced, since long before conception was commandeered by modern science and technology, it was commandeered by medieval science and technology, and before that by ancient science and technology. And then there's Bitsy. How does this all relate to Scully? I'm getting to that.
Mulder: How did this child come to be? What set its heart beating? Is it the product of a union? Or the work of a divine hand, an answered prayer, a true miracle? Or is it a wonder of technology, the intervention of other hands?
This part reminds me of a riddle that I just now made up:
Q: What is Scully's baby?
A: About yay big.
That's really my favorite answer. Other potential answers would of course include: 1) a miracle; 2) a product of the technological invasion of the biomedical body; 3) an alien; or, my second-favorite answer, 4) all of the above - just like the rest of us.
According to the Weekly World News of March 8, 2001, 1 in 4 babies born in the year 2000 was an alien-human hybrid. The source cited, geneticist Vittorio Pacedini, was reported to be "baffled" by the dramatic increase over the 1 in 100,000 figure of the previous year. But alien abductees have actually been reporting the existence of these hybrid babies for a long time; what's more, they recount that they have not only been tapped for genetic material by the aliens, but have been asked to demonstrate for the aliens how to cuddle the babies. One woman interviewed by Budd Hopkins described the alien society as "without touching, feeling, nurturing, basically intellectual." This sort of testimony has led some ufologists to theorize that the aliens are, in fact, us; that they've traveled not through space but time, to rediscover the love humanity lost in some evolutionary misstep. Naturally, even Believer!Scully wouldn't unquestioningly accept the truth claim of these statements, but she might give consideration to Jacques Vallee's idea that alien experiences can represent a sort of thermostat of the psyche, tempering "the relationship between man's consciousness needs and the evolving complexities of the world which he must understand." If, in the immortal words of Marilyn Manson, we are all simple monkeys with alien babies, (Note 2) it's worth contemplating why we fear them so much.
That's a cultural "we." Myself, I'm okay with alien babies. Not just for Scully, but in general.
This isn't so easy to admit, in light of the negative understanding of alien babies so pervasive in our society today. Even the OBSSE, an organization whose members do so much to help so many tiny, tiny babies, is not always a haven from anti-alien-baby talk. Disparaging comments, such as "Those alien babies? They suck," "If I never in my life hear another alien baby mewling eerily, it'll be too soon," and "If they make Scully have a freaking alien baby, I may rip open my own chest cavity, tear out my heart, then with my last ounce of strength shove my still-pulsing heart down Surfer Boy's esophagus so that the last thing I see on Earth is that son-of-a-bitch choking on my bloody heart," (Note 3) are not completely unknown in the Abbey.
Of course, The X-Files hasn't exactly made efforts to present alien babies in a sympathetic light. First we met the bitey Alien rip-off babies who birth themselves through Spontaneous Involuntary Caesarian (SIC). Now we are confronted with genetically-engineered hybrid babies who, Lizzie Gill callously informs us, live only a few days, long enough to collect "tissue and stem cells for other experiments." We're not supposed to care that these doomed infants will never telepathically ask someone to chase them around the table with a Playskool corn popper, or use Play-Doh to construct a 3D schemata for retroengineering Thomas the Tank Engine, or listen to the binary code information embedded in the signal noise of Elmo's World while sitting in front of the TV in their Baby Bop pajamas. We're only supposed to care that Scully's baby isn't one of them. (Note 4)
A common understanding of feminism is that women should aspire to achieve the status of the autonomous, inviolate liberal human subject, a status that (white, privileged) men supposedly have always had. The desire for inclusion is motivated by a common-sense commitment to fairness, but embraced uncritically it disguises the fact that the very concept of the liberal human subject is historically based upon an abject Other against which it can be defined, an Other who is marked by sex or race or species, by biology or technology. This distinction between subject and abject/object in turn disguises the fact that we are all already marked by biological processes. Our bodies are all already invaded by technology. We are all already colonized. And yet it's not the end of the world.
From time to time, The X-Files mytharc has flirted with an extremely grandiose narrative, trotting out Chariots of the Gods Alien Genesis and War of the Worlds Alien Apocalypse and, increasingly, Messianic humanism embodied by Mulder or Scully or, now, Scully's "very special" baby, our only chance to survive the "final days." Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you feel about it), these overburdened myths of origins and overblown teleologies tend, like everything else on The X-Files, to be constantly undermined by epistemological failure and indeterminacy. While this confounds conventional narrative pleasures such as closure, portraying "The Truth" as always resisting representation also offers the fantasy of escaping unsympathetic meanings that are imposed upon us, and maybe even opens some little space of possibility for a world with no beginning and no end, with no definite categories or hierarchies, where we monkeys can freely embrace our alien babies without dithering around like a bunch of Sneetches on the Beaches obsessing over who has a soul and who doesn't.
Scully could actually do a lot worse.
Like, instead of a baby that's about yay big, she could have one of those GIANT babies. I think we can all agree that nobody wants to see that.
Note 1: Ellipted is Mulder's observation that without conception "mankind would not exist, and humanity cease to exist." Hmmm.
by Sister Autumn
I've spent a fair bit of time over the years giving the boys at 1013 productions a hard time for their foibles. It had to be done. So, it's only fair that I also take some time to say a few nice things as well. And after this year's last few episodes, I am feeling in a charitable mood. This might never happen again, so enjoy it while it lasts.
I honestly did not think you had it in you. I really did not think you would give the fans their happy ending for Mulder and Scully. I was wrong. Sure, I wish it could have been done without dragging out the pregnancy like 17 months with no verification of paternity while we sat through such "classics" as metal men and butt genies, but in the end you came through. And for the same reason I can't help but smile anytime I hear the song Walking in Memphis I am smiling now. If you leave things alone I may just see your second movie if you manage to convince someone to fund it. I might even bring 100 of my closest friends to see it with me.
Dude, you are one pathetic time keeper, and usually not the best at that little thing called continuity. We can tell it got to you. Luckily, you struck back in fine form. Frank, Leyla Harrison was a member of the OBSSE, a damn fine fanfic writer, and a great young woman struggling with something no one should have to struggle with. Leyla lost her fight, but you immortalized her. I watched Alone at a Scully Marathon with a bunch of fans. We appreciate what you did. It was, in my opinion, one of the best things to come out of 1013 ever. You captured the focus, the silliness, the geek factor, the heart and the love of the fan. Thank you. I even made everyone on the OBSSE list say nice things about you for a whole week. So you know I'm serious about this.
I'm glad you got to be showrunner on The Lone Gunmen, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT ABANDON US THAT WAY AGAIN. Vince, if Chris does leave next season we need you. One episode a season will not cut it. For every episode you don't write we get stuff like SureKill. Please do not do that to us in season nine. If The X-Files is to be about Doggett and Reyes the show needs someone that knows how to fill out characters, and you are that man. It seems Gillian has to do next season. I'd like to leave Scully in your hands. Just don't have her lose her tattoo and shove a slug in her back again. That was hard to forgive. We could use a clever episode again. Do you have another Bad Blood in you? If so, bring it on.
Um. Hey. Cute baby.
Oh, and John, you may have only written one episode this year, but oddly enough Badlaa brought more mirth to the Abbey than any other episode this season even though it was not intentional.
Season 9 News
Well, FOX gave the Lone Gunmen time and promotion but it still ended up being one of the worst rated shows on the tube. It's pretty sad when you actually lose audience from Police Videos. While The X-Files will be back, just how it will be back is a question. Chris Carter's involvement is still unknown and if we even see a Duchovny cameo we'll be lucky. Meanwhile the FOX honchos are saying all systems are go and Gillian Anderson will be participating in the episodes. To make things even funnier the FOX honchos actually said that the paternity of Scully's baby was still in question. Guess they don't actually watch the show as they are too busy with their courses in Dead Horse Beating 101 which they are hoping to turn into a new reality series called When Dead Horses Go Bad.
More Plastic Incarnations on the Way
Just when you thought you'd dressed up your action figures in every outfit imaginable there is good news on the horizon. That's right folks we are getting ANOTHER plastic Scully! Moore Action Collectibles has announced it will be producing a new action figure series for the show. So make room for company for your Parka!Scully.
I have a deep and abiding love for Scully - her intelligence, her strength, her character, her hair (all styles) and more. She is the personification of womanhood and what I aspire to be. I would be honored to be a part of this group, to learn more and more about all things Scully (hee hee - all things), to spread the love of Scully throughout the world....and eventually... do my part for the OBSSE to help world domination.
Sister Merry on Sainthood
I enjoy the idea of sanctifying a fictional character...there don't seem to be any other good real-life candidates for beatification these days.
Sister April Tells Why She Belongs
I seek admittance into the Holy OBSSE so that I may make better use of my red tresses; namely, that I may grow wise in the ways of creative home appliance placement, doing good deeds without desk or chair on which to rest myself, listing my symptoms with precision in times of medical emergency, and wearing black bras under white blouses with style and heavenly grace. Long have I been a devotee, through times of poof and curl, shoulder pads and pantsuits, and do now seek the company of others so enchanted by her Supremely Special Agentness.
Sister Hadley has a Good Point
I've actually tried a non-fat tofutti rice dreamsicles. If that isn't dedication, I don't know what is.
Sister Sam Antha Pleads Her Case for Admittance
Oh where to begin? I can sing and tap dance. I do a great British accent. Oh sorry...this isn't my resumé, is it? Oh, I know! I plan to get Scully's tattoo from NA. Seriously. So check back with me to make sure I didn't wimp out (not likely). But if you don't care about any of that, I have one more bargaining chip which I believe will seal the deal. I hear you people have some kind of thing for cheese. I'm from Wisconsin. I've got you covered.
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