When Corruption Was Entertainment

by Chris Bodenner
The Stranger's Annie Wagner examines the evolving context of the X-Files:

The X-Files was, after all, unusually grounded in the psychological climate of its time. It’s fascinating to go back through the seasons now, in the wake of 9/11 and especially Hurricane Katrina, to see how the serieswhich went on the air in 1993, near the beginning of the Clinton administrationenvisioned an American government so monolithic, so complacent in its power that one had to suspect things were more complicated than they seemed. In the 1990s, we were sufficiently bored with prosperity and globalization ... that it was entertaining to imagine that an international cabal might be pulling the strings behind the scenes. The chasm between that way of thinking and the current political atmosphere became obvious to me only after I rewatched the last movie. Released in 1998, it went so far as to suggest that FEMA was a second shadow government, just waiting to take the reins after alien colonization. Thanks to Mike (“heckuva job”) Brown and the Bush administration, FEMA is an embarrassment now, not a fearsome symbol of government’s reach into the most obscure corners of our lives.