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Jealous of Abandoned Nineties Vancouver Apartments

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hipstre

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Jul 30, 2020, 4:25:17 AM7/30/20
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I was watching some very old episodes (of The X-Files) and found myself jealous of the high-ceilinged, nineties-era, abandoned, filthy Vancouver apartments they always seemed to be filming in. The show was so dirty in the beginning. It seemed like they threw a dart at a map and said, "Let's film in THIS abandoned alley way!" or, "Let's set this episode in an un-mown suburban side-yard full of broken Big Wheels." No one thought to "prettify" the show until about season five, and even then it was hit or miss. The show really seemed to be taking place in an abandoned, half-forgotten, semi-suburb of a major city.

I just want to move in to half the places. With just a coat of paint and a couple of lamps, they could really be beautified (after the Lizard man who needs to eat a human spleen every six years because he has a nutritional deficiency is cleared out of course).

The other thing I miss is all the TIME that all the characters seem to have in their lives. It starts with Mulder and Scully, who allegedly work for the FBI, but literally do nothing all day (and all night). The FBI is like their Secret Clubhouse. But ALL of the characters are just... relaxing all the time. Even the monsters seem to just be chillin' in the sewers, or at the bottom of a well, or underneath a porch that they've lined with half-digested human brains and newspapers or what-have-you.

It is not often seen as such, but The X-Files is a Slacker's Paradise. The whole nineties notion of "The Slacker" has all but disappeared. Viewing a random episode of Season Three really brings it all back.

Daniel65

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Jul 31, 2020, 7:12:06 AM7/31/20
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I can't say the settings left much of an impression on me (too wrapped
up in the mystery, maybe!!) but I would bet that, now, those places that
you reckoned you wanted to move into have all been done up and made look
'trendy' .... if not knocked down and rebuilt in the latest "stylish"
fashion!! ;-P
--
Daniel

hipstre

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Aug 1, 2020, 1:03:17 PM8/1/20
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> I can't say the settings left much of an impression on me (too wrapped
> up in the mystery, maybe!!) but I would bet that, now, those places that
> you reckoned you wanted to move into have all been done up and made look
> 'trendy' .... if not knocked down and rebuilt in the latest "stylish"
> fashion!! ;-P

No doubt you are right about that! I only notice because I've watched every
episode more times than I care to count. Which brings up another oddity
about The X-Files. It's place in my life is not as a horror show, or a cop show,
or even a mystery show. It's very relaxing to me. It's extremely comforting
to me. Everyone belongs in The X-Files. Even the monsters, who are almost
always representations of people who have been rejected by society are
usually trying to find their place. They often HAVE found their place, and
society comes in with its expectations and wrecks everything. Mulder in
particular is very non-judgmental about the monsters. He seems to see them
as products of nature, as belonging to a lost time. The monsters haven't
changed, the world has changed around them, and they are just trying to sur-
vive in a world that no longer has a place for them.

oaks.m...@gmail.com

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Aug 1, 2020, 10:06:30 PM8/1/20
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Dang, I never noticed that about the earlier seasons and I never thought about the show being comforting in that sense, but it rings true to me. I think Mulder doesn't judge the monsters because he knows what it's like to be judged and not fit in. He is essentially a "human monster" to his coworkers. Though they may not fear him, he's a joke and a loon to them, he's Fox "Spooky" Mulder, to them he is nothing more than their first impression of him, the crazy guy who brought up alien vampire babies during the kidnapping briefing. He is nothing more than their moniker for him. In the same way that many monsters in the show seem dangerous/scary at firt glance, *they* may be the one who is scared, and it is the first impression of them that is wrong.

Daniel65

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Aug 2, 2020, 2:45:44 AM8/2/20
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oaks.m...@gmail.com wrote on 2/08/2020 12:06 PM:
> Dang, I never noticed that about the earlier seasons and I never
> thought about the show being comforting in that sense, but it rings
> true to me. I think Mulder doesn't judge the monsters because he
> knows what it's like to be judged and not fit in.

Hmm! I hadn't really considered this, but you are, probably, right!!

> He is essentially a "human monster" to his coworkers. Though they may
> not fear him, he's a joke and a loon to them, he's Fox "Spooky"
> Mulder, to them he is nothing more than their first impression of
> him, the crazy guy who brought up alien vampire babies during the
> kidnapping briefing. He is nothing more than their moniker for him.
> In the same way that many monsters in the show seem dangerous/scary
> at firt glance, *they* may be the one who is scared, and it is the
> first impression of them that is wrong.
>And the really sad thing is .... don't we all know RL people that we put
in this category!!
--
Daniel

Daniel65

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Aug 2, 2020, 5:53:36 AM8/2/20
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Just fixing up my previous post!!
--
Daniel

hipstre

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Aug 2, 2020, 7:19:26 AM8/2/20
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> He is essentially a "human monster" to his coworkers.

Yes. Mulder knows that maybe humans are the real monsters. Just because one emerges from the bottom of a lake in Kentucky every hundred years, and needs to eat the kidneys of a pregnant woman in order to survive, does that make one a monster!? Maybe WE are the monsters to the guy who has half-goat DNA and was created by Nazi Scientists who came over with Werner von Braun to Mississippi right after World War Two. Did you ever think of that?

It's definitely a theme on the show. Maybe some of these monsters just need a little understanding! Did you ever think of that, you pack of FBI Frat Bros? The monsters are always trying to build a home, it seems to me. They are just trying to live a normal life like everyone else, only they need to suck pituitary glands through people's noses with a special straw made of wood from a rare Australian tree. Other than that, they are just your average Joe or Jane. And the building of a safe, secure home is an unacknowledged theme on the show as well. Mulder is incapable of building a home (he sleeps on a couch). Scully is pestered by her family in the early seasons to essentially stop chasing Mulder and build a home. But she never really had a home herself. She moved from base to base her entire childhood. Mulder's childhood was destroyed by his parents handing his sister to a sinister alien cabal who were trying to... vaccinate... bees? Did we ever figure out what that Sinister Alien Cabal was up to? They were cloning bees to vaccinate alien hybrids to target cancer patients in a plot to... WHAT? WHAT!? Chris Carter makes David Icke seem like insurance salesman sometimes.

jtmpreno

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Aug 3, 2020, 6:17:50 AM8/3/20
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And maybe some of us are in that category.



hipstre

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Aug 3, 2020, 9:28:49 AM8/3/20
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> And maybe some of us are in that category.

I think very few of us are actual "monsters", but there is one thing that all of us are most of our lives that The X-Files captures very well. And that is "Nobodies". A lot of the monsters, most of them even, are just trying to be a "nobody". "Just leave me alone," is a common sentiment in the show. A true monster does not know it is a monster. Monsters think they are the heroes, in fact. This is one way in which many X-Files monsters deviate from traditional monsters. They often have a little self-knowledge. They are trying to carve out as small a place for themselves as the world will permit them.

I feel this way about my life. Please don't MAKE ME be a monster. I am just trying to live my life here in this mucous and newspaper encrusted cocoon I've carved out of an airshaft between two buildings in an abandoned industrial warehouse somewhere in Vancouver. Can the FBI just LEAVE ME ALONE!? All I ask is that I periodically be allowed to drink the spinal fluid of a child with a rare neuro-degnerative disorder that makes the whites of their eyes turn blue. Is that SO WRONG!? Look, here's a newspaper clipping from the 1950's with me in the background of a photograph working as a janitor at the small recovery hospital set up for these kids. I haven't aged a day!

kohsif

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Aug 5, 2020, 1:04:47 PM8/5/20
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Yeah, Ponce de Leon isn't a monster just because he's over 400 years old and he slowly transformed into a red eyed, forest dwelling creature that can blend into shrubbery and has an underground tunnel network filled with corpses. Sometimes you have to invade a home in the middle of the night and try to murder a child after kidnapping his father because they encroached on your territory. Does that make you a bad guy? I think not.

The home bit is interesting, another thing I didn't notice! You keep stirring up my brains! In the earlier seasons the only time we ever really see Mulder and Scully fully relax around one another and become more friendly is when they are staying in motel rooms. Horrible things constantly happen in their homes. They get attacked, people they love get murdered, there are times when they are monitored in their homes, etc. The only time they can escape danger is when they are on their way to or working a case, which often means indirectly or directly facing the entity/organization (indirectly through whichever "monsters" they're responsible for) that is endangering their lives while at home. In a universe where nobody is ever truly safe, the only way to be safe is to fight back.

hipstre

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Aug 6, 2020, 1:58:16 PM8/6/20
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On Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 10:04:47 AM UTC-7, kohsif wrote:

> Yeah, Ponce de Leon isn't a monster just because he's over 400 years old and he slowly transformed into a red eyed, forest dwelling creature that can blend into shrubbery and has an underground tunnel network filled with corpses.

LOL!

> The home bit is interesting, another thing I didn't notice!

Excellent points about Scully's and Mulder's homes. Scully's home is invaded by Monster #2, I believe. That'd be Eugene Victor Tooms, who is sort of the default "monster" in The X-Files (mutant, deficient in some nutrient he can only get by killing people, lives by instinct, emerges every few decades to kill before going into hibernation). Scully's home becomes the target of all the best monsters in the series. When they have a really good monster, they know it, and save it for Scully. Because going after Scully is attacking the "soul" of the show (at least after season 3 or so, before that it seemed like Carter was trying to make Scully a temporary character). The best example of this is Donnie "Is your hair normal or dry?" Pfaster, if you ask me. That was very early in the show. In fact, I would guess her performance in that episode is what saved her character on the show.

I think the show itself says everything about "home" it needs to in the episode "Home" (season 4, episode 2).

kohsif

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Aug 6, 2020, 10:25:37 PM8/6/20
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>And the really sad thing is .... don't we all know RL people that we put
in this category!!

Yeah, but in a way it's just human nature. When an animal can't make sense of something, no matter how innocuous it actually is, its amygdala lights up and tells them to be afraid, just in case. Thankfully we have the ability to overcome our animal instincts once we consciously notice the pattern.

kohsif

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Aug 6, 2020, 10:59:51 PM8/6/20
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Your descriptions cracked me up too!

Gillian has had a big impact on the show. When she got pregnant during season 2, they had to alter their plans and shoot the storyline where gets abducted and is in a coma for a bit. Because of that, they wrote very sentimental scenes of Fox desperately wanting to save her and breaking down emotionally. The writers said they probably wouldn't have gone in that direction had it not been for Gillian's pregnancy, and it opened up this whole other side to the show that they could explore.
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