On conspiracies

by look i have opinions

“During my initial run of X-Files viewership, I had been rooting for Mulder and Scully to get together fairly hard. Watching it again now, I realized why: I spent a good chunk of the 90s in a series of intense, ostensibly platonic relationships with women who I was totally in love with. We would be ‘best friends,’ spend a lot of time together, and of course not discuss the most important thing in our lives, our weird not-relationship, which was in fact a constant emotional drain. So of course, Mulder and Scully’s are-they-or-aren’t-they thing made sense to me, while I was watching the show the first time around. They were caught up in a two-person conspiracy so dangerous they couldn’t talk about it, even with each other. Watching them surreptitiously mooning over each other now, years later, was painful, and so when they actually got together just to make sad eyes of sadness at each other, my reaction was one of faint disgust combined with there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-etc. Here’s what happens with hidden conspiracies, in the end: They either vanish when you look at them too closely because they were never there in the first place, or they just turn out to be more real life that you didn’t know about before. But that sick thrill you felt about them goes away either way, and it’s better that it does.”

—Josh Fruhlinger in this essay

Much as I enjoy that sick thrill, it’s nice to know that dorks like us do eventually grow out of it.