Issue No. 34, May 2000
|If ever there was an issue
that I procrastinated writing an introduction for, it was this one.
After all, outside of a few rumors, we still really don't know about an
eighth season for The X-Files, therefore we really don't know the
future of this publication. How can I begin to have (dare I say it)
... closure? ... to acknowledge all the wonderful people who've made the
OBSSE what it is ... to reminisce over the first time I ever read Ask
Autumn and laughed so hard ... to fondly recall the creative fun it's
been when La.. comes up with the perfect graphics ... to thank all our
talented regular columnists ... to pay homage to The Blessed One and that
partner of hers, who have given us an excuse for the last several years
to gather as an online community and enjoy one another's company?.....
Worse -- how to do that in approximately 24 lines of text?
I can't. I won't.
I'll wait until our next issue to wax nostalgic, and celebrate the whimsy and fellowship of this divine little pseudo-religious cult of ours. Bring Kleenex.
In the meantime, enjoy this issue which is truly one of our finest. Along with our regular columnists, The Evil that is Nancy FF visits Roswell, The Homework Princess makes the OBSSE-X-Files connection, Steph-Tacs examines the M&S relationship, and Kirby Dee explores the nuances of face-acting. Plus there's news and marathon updates -- you won't want to miss any of it.
See you after Fest!
S I G N & G R A P H I C S
G U L A R C O L U M N I S T S
N T R I B U T O R S t o No. 34
by Sister Autumn
This issue makes 34, yes, 34 editions of this newsletter to hit the web. We've gone from a little one page edition to a professional monthly publication over the years.
I have no idea if this is one of the last regular OBSSE newsletters or not thanks to the ever irritating FOX network and Mr. I'll Whine For Five Years About How Much I Want to Quit and Then Say Things Like "I definitely could do another year, but I really don't know if it'll happen." The plan right now is for our next issue to be a post-FEST wrapup issue like we do every year. In other words, our Annual Neener Edition. If, come May 18th when FOX announces its schedule for next year and The X-Files is on it we will make some decisions about how this missive will continue.
However, just in case things do wrap up, I wanted to say a few things. If we continue and I have to say them all again next year just forget you ever read this.
The OBSSE has been a weird and wonderful ride for me. I've been here from the beginning, run the mailing list from the start, been involved in every newsletter, been to almost every chat, planned three FESTs and led the group this past year. Despite the recognition I've gotten over the years for my reviews or spoilers, this is the most fulfilling thing I've done in conjunction with the X-Files, and frankly one of the most entertaining things I have ever done. I've made friends in this group who will last a lifetime and had more laughs from the daily barrage of that special brand of OBSSE humor than I can even begin to count. To the over 2000 of you who are members of this crazy Abbey, to those who were with us in the beginning, those who have moved on, those who have just moved in, thank you for contributing to this community.
I also need to make a few personal thank yous to people that have been instrumental in making the OBSSE what it is today.
First, to Nancy Cotton, who coined the name and helped gather up the mighty few from the wilds of alt.tv.x-files and give Scullyists a safe haven to celebrate together.
To Sister La.. who has more artistic energy than anyone I've ever met. A perfectionist with a heart of gold La.. spends hours and hours every month making this little newsletter look like a freaking magazine. She designed the new Abbey literally overnight when we had to move suddenly. She's the person who slaves behind the scenes to make our Scully Marathons the success they are. And you know what? She's like the nicest person you'll ever meet. I'm lucky to know her.
What can you say about Paula? Well, how about she helps keep me sane. Without a doubt one of the funniest people I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She's been a sounding board for me helping me to make the right decisions whenever things got a little tense in the Abbey. Oh, and then there's that little matter of her putting together this newsletter each and every month.
Which brings me to Lensie. Now many people may wonder what Lensie's job actually is as an Elder. In fact so do I sometimes - I have trouble making the connection. But here's my secret. Lensie amuses the hell out of me and is not afraid to step in and be stern Elder every once in a while so I can actually enjoy a vacation or the like. So, I keep her in minions and grapes.
Colin, thank you for your contributions to the OBSSE. For running the OBSSE Information site so newbies can figure out what the heck we are talking about. For being one of our first brothers and lending a helping hand as an Elder. And for the twirls, long may they live.
Mary, you've been here from the start posting the rules and helping out behind the scenes. It's been a pretty thankless job, but I thank you very much for your contributions.
To our wonderful regular columnists, and every one who has contributed to this newsletter over the years - thank you for making me laugh and think almost every month "wow, this is our best newsletter ever."
To those of you who run other OBSSE sites and archives, thank you for helping chronicle our history.
I wish I could mention every person I know and love from the OBSSE, but you all know who you are.
And last, to Gillian Anderson, who will never know the joy she has brought so many people with every eyebrow arch, "I'm fine," anger dimple, and performance. For making Scully a woman we could all enjoy and celebrate. For being the reason we all found each other. And for being a damn fine actress. May we long enjoy her performances.
A Few Fun Pages
Let it never be said that the OBSSE does not know how to amuse itself. While some of our members were enjoying the Vagina Monologues in Los Angeles, others decided it would be a good time to construct their own little ode to Scully's clothes and hair modeled after them. Check out the CHarc Monologues Page for a laugh.
We also explored our poetic side as a group and came up with this ode to the X-Files and those who have died on it called The Ghastlyfiles Xies based on the late Edward Gorey's poem The Gashlycrumb Tinies.
A few highlights from the first issue of News for the OBSSEsed:
Issue No. 1, March 1997
OBSSE NEWS PREMIERES
Welcome to the premier issue of "News for the OBSSEsed," a monthly Web newsletter for members of the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic (OBSSE) and visitors to our humble virtual sanctuary.
Remember, you must ALWAYS defend St. Scully - even when the cards are stacked against you. If Our Dear Dana thinks that contaminated groundwater made a book spontaneously combust, then so be it. Fangs must be calcium deposits despite what others may say. Photographic howlers can be created by old film and a heater - really! That snake tattoo is downright charming. This can be difficult for even the most devout, but remember, it is OK to laugh (with her - not ever at her), before taking up her defense.
GILLIAN ANDERSON RACES TOWARD TRIPLE CROWN
First the Golden Globes, most recently the Screen Actors Guild Awards...Gillian Anderson is two for two in the Best Actress in a Television Drama category this year, winning both awards for her ever-amazing performances in The X-Files. And after the stunning Memento Mori, Anderson certainly has more than a fair shot at putting the third jewel in the triple crown of TV acting--the Emmy.
dazzled by her notions!
can read all the back issues of this newsletter and relive the laughs over
the years by visiting the Press
If you aren't attending one of the OBSSE's Scully Marathons this month you're missing out on a huge amount of fun. Please remember that you can still gather pledges and make donations yourself to this wonderful event as a way to say thank you to Gillian because without her there would be no OBSSE.
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am at some of the items up for auction by our friends at GAWS during their Fourth Annual GAWS Auction for NF which is going on right now. Please pay them a visit and pick up something cool for yourself. I know I will.
By Nancy FF
This past Christmas, my family and I got the opportunity to take one of those trips we've always wanted to take: a cross-country roadtrip from our home in South Carolina to the West Coast, namely to Los Angeles. One of the things we like to do, time permitting, is schedule little side trips to see things that we've always wanted to see or just find too tempting to pass up. So on our little voyage, we arranged a half-day's detour to visit a place near and dear to the heart of any X-Phile, Art Bell aficionado, conspiracy theorist, or other harmless nutjob: Roswell, New Mexico, a town near the fabled Area 51 and supposed ground zero for the massive government conspiracy to cover up the evidence that extraterrestrial beings have visited Earth.
In related recent news, a private company posted detailed aerial satellite images of the base believed to be the infamous Area 51, the Groom Dry Lake Air Force Base, that can be viewed for free and downloaded at a nominal price, here. However, the site has been very difficult to access since it was announced, and Chris Carter himself expressed some doubt that the company had the whole picture; you can read more about that here.
We traveled on a gorgeous, cold, sunny Sunday. We turned off I-20 onto whatever combo of rural highways we took toward Roswell and were greeted with one of the most desolate stretches of road I've ever seen-the infamous miles and miles of miles and miles, covered with tumbleweeds and scrub and your occasional oil derrick.
As you start to pull into Roswell itself, you notice some rather interesting stuff. East of town, the highway passes through a pretty nondescript stretch of modest old houses and junk shops and the like, until you notice the FREAKING HUGE UNMARKED HANGAR on the left of the road, several hundred yards back. At this point I started to get really animated and tried to get a picture from the moving car. And later, when I got them developed, it didn't turn out. Hmmmm.
You proceed to the center of town and you find right away that Roswell has embraced its claim to fame-there's a sign on the Arby's that says "Aliens Welcome" with a big green guy waving at you. The car dealerships invariably decorate using the alien theme. It really was much more charming than, say, a surfeit of Confederate battle flags. Not that I'm bitter.
There's something you should know about my family. We give nicknames, and we make voices. The big screeching alien that was featured in the XF movie and in The Beginning scares the bejeebus out of us, as evidenced by the three of us holding our ears while he had Caveman Sushi and Dr. Braunschweig Tartare during the movie. He's much less terrifying if you call him something like "Screech" and make him say silly things in, for example, the voice of Moe the Bartender from The Simpsons. So we proceeded to wander around Roswell using this dramatic device from time to time, postulating whether Screech would have found the accommodations to his liking.
For instance, what would he have thought of the International UFO Museum and Research Center, right in an abandoned theater on Main Street? You walk in the front door and are greeted by a wonderfully friendly lady who explains your touring options and gives you pushpins to mark your hometown on the large map in the lobby. This place, incidentally, does quite a lot of tourist traffic-we weren't even the only South Carolinians there during the previous three weeks of December. I heard that. You take that back right now.
The collection in the Museum and Research Center is impressive. Large printed displays guide the visitor through the story of the Roswell Incident as well as provide a comprehensive history of other alien/UFO sightings. Highlights include an actual weather balloon and wooden dummy passenger that are the U.S. government's Scully Rational Explanation of the event, and a strangely compelling collection of experiencer art on display for sale, topped off by a large onsite mural of the Roswell Incident. A large map in the back room lights up to show the locations of different types of sightings and reported contacts, and a thick three-ring binder shows different depictions of extraterrestrial visitors throughout history. Plus there's lots and lots of pegboard; as the daughter of a former Radio Shack manager, I'm a sucker for pegboard. I even managed to choke back my shudder of simultaneous erotic longing and revulsion when I saw the big picture of Kyle MacLachlan on the Roswell poster.
We spent a good hour or more looking at all the stuff and then proceeded to the gift shop. I weighed my vast array of refrigerator magnet and conspiracy theory-screed options while listening to the two fiftysomething clerks have a debate about which church in town provided the best after-services potluck, and I had to smile. I would like to think that if Screech really had made it to town, he'd be happy to join in the sampling of congealed salads and Frito Pies and offer his own opinion.
I know for a fact that he would love the alien spacecraft made by some enterprising artisan that graced the front yard of the Roswell Visitors Center, where church services were being held this Sunday. It is one bitchin' vehicle; you can't tell until you're right on top of it that it's made entirely of bumpers and fenders and other scrap metal. It is a thing of beauty. I'd like to think Screech would grab a couple of cold forties and strafe a retiree or two, snickering the whole way.
Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, the art gallery adjoining the Visitors Center was closed; Roswell has a legitimate art community like many towns in New Mexico, but I was curious to see how much alien and experiencer influence was in the collection. I did feel the need to take a picture of the Roswell Do It Yourself home improvement center. I'd like to think Screech would help me repair stucco, once he was sobered up, of course.
After calling Sister Kirby to neener a minute and discuss Screech's tragic lack of anger dimples, we left town. I'm including this part of the trip because it has henceforth become My Favorite Stretch of Road Ever. You leave Roswell headed for Las Cruces on US 380 and you meander through some mountains and across a reservation. In fact, this part of New Mexico looked for all the world like Tennessee or West Virginia. On this particular day, there was a light dusting of snow on the treetops and it was simply beautiful. You finally leave the mountains and pull into Alamogordo, where we stopped for gas, and you proceed onto the longest, straightest stretch of road I've ever seen, which was made that much more beautiful by the setting sun to your right and the increasingly looming purple mountains in front of you. On this straight stretch of highway, you pass the famous white sands and the entrance to the White Sands Missile Range, until finally you pass Los Alamos. I think I liked that drive most because it was the biggest variation in terrain I'd seen in such a short distance, coupled with the psychic weight of being in the cradle of the atomic age. Screech notwithstanding, that's the real scare in our corner of the universe. I strongly recommend the trip.
Not only has the date been set, it is now fast approaching. FEST planning is in full swing now and we currently stand at 109 lucky Brothers and Sisters attending the annual OBSSE shindig in Minnesota. If you still don't have your travel arrangements nailed down, Reade has put up a How to Get to Fest page with travel information and links.
We've also settled on a scrub shirt design. This year's design contest winner was Minor Shannon. If you'd like to order one of these shirts you need to let me know ASAP by signing up for the "Shirt Only" option on the FEST Registration page and sending in your money pronto.
Also for those of you wondering about the mysterious Saturday night "Talent Contest" as in just what the hell is it, what are the rules, and what are you supposed to be doing - all will be revealed soon on the FEST mailing list.
FEST Shirt Design
Ahhhhh, the end of an era. Hmmm...or is it? Truly, this is a strange time for X-Philes, especially for those of us who need to write a column for the newsletter. I mean, should we be filling out our season 8 wish-lists already? (Just in case, my wish list includes: (1) sex and (2) Season five hair and that's about all.) Should we be making a list highlighting all the best parts of the show? Or should we just stick with what works--the CHarc? My gut instinct is to go with CHarc, but all I have to add to the vast, in-depth discussion is, "Hey, wasn't the skirt that Scully wore for the last couple of scenes in all things much shorter that the one she was wearing for her last scene with Dr. 'Oh God, Please Not Sam' Waterston?"
So, my second instinct was to use this column to further my own personal crusade. Frankly, we need a bike rack outside the Abbey. How is this possibly related to Scully or OBSSE? Well, there was that little scene in Return To Me which featured a nun riding a bicycle. Hee hee.
Anyway, clearly, none of those thoughts were leading me anywhere. So I thought I'd do one of those columns wherein the writer rambles on for a few paragraphs about how she agonized over what to write, and finally settled on something. Namely, the point. I'm always a sucker for those, anyway.
So, I humbly submit for your approval:
I Don't Think That Mulder And Scully
Now, granted, this discussion only has merit if you are a fanfic junkie, and every season seven piece you've read has established MSR. Or, if you are like me, and were convinced by little things like, I dunno, the implied sleeping arrangements at the end of Orison or...gosh, maybe that seductive little lip-caress-action Scully gave Mulder at the end of Amor Fati. Or perhaps the secret smile Scully gave Mulder after his First Person Shooter confession: "I feel the need to blast the crap out of something."
Oooookay, maybe that last one was just me.
Anyhoo, I had been convinced of the sexual nature of M&S's relationship prior to the Events (with a capitol E) in all things, but I (unfortunately) have two strong arguments against it. [sigh.] It's always something with those two, isn't it?
EXHIBIT A: Scully's Side
Let's take a moment to relive this excellent scene from all things:
SCULLY: You've come at such a strange time.Ahh, the acting, the lighting, the emotions...where was I? Oh yes, why M&S are still, um, unestablished at this point in time. I hate to be so indiscreet about things like this, but I'm pretty sure that if Scully had been getting it on with Mulder, she'd know what she had.
Yup, she would know indeed.
Now, I realize that this may be non-feminist
of me...I mean, Not!Sam asserts that she has a life, and here I
am saying that since she denies it, this means she's not sleeping with
Mulder?! What, am I saying that if you're a woman and you're not
sleeping with a man, then you don't have a
<Banging head on desk> Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. <Banging head again>
Seriously though, we define ourselves and our lives by our relationships with other people, and like it or not, the Scullster's only real, time- consuming, emotionally layered relationship right now is with Mulder. (And how sad is it that it looks like this is the healthiest non-familial relationship she's ever been in? [sigh] I have got to start getting my vicarious kicks from some other show...)
But how does Scully define this relationship?
How the hell should she know?
If they were sleeping together, then she'd have a clue, but from her tearful "I don't know what I have," I get the strong indication that THEY HAD NEVER BOINKED.
EXHIBIT B: Mulder's Side
If you will go back to the line from Chimera
that made me schmoopy as
WOMAN WHO I'M SURE HAD A NAME, BUT WHATEVER. IT WASAwwwwww. Ain't that cute. ...What? Oh! Yeah! Point! Okay, let's rephrase this conversation slightly, shall we?
WOMAN WHO I'M SURE HAD A NAME, BUT WHATEVER. IT WAS INCONSEQUENTIAL: Do you have a life?You see? Mulder and Scully were clearly Very Much On Each Other's Minds, And Yes, I Mean It In That Way, but neither is quite sure what to make of the relationship.
I guess my only point is, if they had been [insert euphemism of choice here], neither one of these conversations would have taken place.
Of course, all of this is moot, because
they're TOTALLY sleeping together
month's column is a little different. Since this is quite probably
the last newsletter for the OBSSE, I think it's time to see if you all
have been paying attention, and taking your little notes.
Yep - time for a Pop Quiz.
This month we're playing:
Chemical Compound, Scary
Disease or Body Part,
Here's how it works: For each term, please decide whether you think it's
a) a chemical orHere's a sample question:
Ok, here we go...
Six questions. Think fast: Answers are at the end of the test. Each correct answer is worth two points.
Chemical Compound, Scary
Disease or Body Part,
Take one point off if you thought it had anything to do with the mailing list.
Admit it -- you briefly thought
it was that expensive water, didn't you? I
8 to 13: A+ You've obviously been paying attention, and taking your little notes. You have a fine career ahead of you in the natural sciences, or maybe as a character-actor- and-Nixon-speechwriter cum game show host.
4 to 7: C+ Well, we could have prepared a little harder for this, couldn't we, hmmm? Time to brush up on your medical knowledge. I suggest you settle down for a nice evening with your Physician's Desk Reference (you do HAVE a physician's desk reference, don't you?), and an evening of Trauma: Life in the ER. That should do it.
-3 to 3: F You've been drilling holes in your head again, haven't you?
fashion contest, then?
Attention Fest goers: it's time to start planning your entry for the 2nd Annual Scully Action Figure Fashion Contest! The theme: Outdoor Action Wear. I know, I know ... you're all wondering how -- HOW -- you can top the fashion accessories shown here. After all, what says "Minnesota Vacation!" better than a back pack, leg holster, and strap-on margarita survival canteen? (Not to mention the fact that just out of the picture is the walleye Scully was holding just seconds earlier -- you betcha.) Sisters La..Dee..Da.. and Paula will once again be judging the entries, aided by our local expert in Minnesotan outdoor action togs, Kirby Dee.
The competition will be held Friday night at Eddy's. We'll see you and your PI there.
Gillian Anderson's recent writing/directing/acting tour de force, all things, took the world of the OBSSE by surprise. Not because of the quality of the ep, or the clever directing choices, or even because we found out that Scully apparently has no problem using the bathroom with the door open when Mulder is around--no, the OBSSE was shocked to discover that the episode was chock full of references to our jolly little Order. Nuns, margarita mix and the Blair Witch Project--Scully might just as well have been munching on tic-tacs rather than drinking all that tea (which is probably why she was in the bathroom in the first place, but that's a different story).
All this got me to thinking--is it possible that this isn't the first time the OBSSE has been mentioned in the X-Files? Have we, in our disdain for the writers, ignored their subtle cries for our approval? Has Chris Carter really been lurking all along? (I would guess yes, but only because he has a crush on Sassejenn.)
I spent the past
several weeks in research, watching my tapes over and over and over and
over, and I've found conclusive evidence that the boys at 1013 have been
watching us, using us for material, SINCE THE
of the Coprophages: Scully says 'Smart is Sexy.' Since
she's mocking Mulder at the time, we conclude that she means it in jest,
and therefore believes that smart people who belong to MENSA are self-obsessed
Little Green Men: Scully ruffles Mulder's hair in an apparently affectionate manner. Upon closer viewing, however, I could tell a certain disdain in her touch, as if her fingertips were saying, "You really do use a Flowbee, don't you?"
Teso Dos Bichos: (courtesy of Rania) Yaje sounds like YooHoo, which we all know is a nod to Her Dimpled Evilness, Nancy FF, and the creation of the Five Crack Quints.
Fresh Bones: Scully is in North Carolina. North Carolina is the home of Cheerwine. Scully has red hair. Cheerwine comes in a red can. Coincidence? I think not.
Brand X: Darryl Weaver smoked a lot, which anyone knows gives you bad breath. And how do you get rid of bad breath? Tic Tacs!
Fight The Future: Scully and her sidekick Mulder mysteriously get from Antarctica to DC without any trouble whatsoever. Since Mulder needed a GPS to get there (which, of course, HE LOST), we must conclude that Scully didn't need to be shown the door, because she KNEW HER WAY OUT.
Duane Barry/Ascension/One Breath: Scully has bad hair. She gets abducted. She comes back and her hair looks much better.
Small Potatoes: Scully stays home on a Friday night to work on a monograph, which is after all just a fancy way of saying she was doing a homework assignment. I bet she added the word 'recidivist' for extra credit.
Tithonus: We complain about Scully being in nothing but black. They shoot her in black and white with a colorful backdrop. Then they shoot her in the stomach. Obviously they're mocking us. Hey, I didn't say all the references were positive.