Tuesday, February 5, 2013

X-Files -ophilia (1995-1998)

Good morning!


First of all, thanks SO MUCH for all your comments on my video blog yesterday! Since no one ran screaming to the hills from the simple sound of my voice (that I know of), I think I'll try and do another one some time soon on something else that defies the usual scanning/photographing/sharing set up of the regular blog format (you'll have to wait and see just what!). Exciting! You guys were so nice to leave such positive feedback! Maybe my Hollywood closeup IS just around the corner... :)

Today's business at hand? Junk. And The X-Files. Above, you can see a true life photo of me in the green room of my house, which is a kind of office slash place to watch tv on the internet, earnestly going through a pile of junk in an attempt to restore order to my bookshelf. Matthew and I have been experimenting with the novel idea that every nook and cranny of our house doesn't have to be stuffed with things that belong to me, and the resulting trips to Goodwill have actually been to take things there rather than to bring things back (I can change! I CAN CHANGE).

Why do I have so many? Why do I STILL LOVE THEM SO MUCH?

Cognizant of a time in my grandmother's life in which she literally had an entire camper truck in her backyard filled with seventies' issues of Redbook and Better Homes and Gardens, which, tangentially, would have been a goldmine to teenage me if they weren't too musty and mildewed to read, I am really good about not hoarding magazines. Books, yes, but magazines usually go dutifully to either my dad or the recycle bin when the next month's issue turns up. These are special though-- a secret cache of nineties' X-Files cover stories ranging from 1995 to 1998. How could I get rid of these? 

I was a huuuuuge fan of the show right around the time the movie was about to come out and the FX network began re-running episodes from earlier seasons every night. Remember when VHS tapes of tv series were prohibitively expensive, and if you wanted to watch a show again and again you had to tape it off tv? Those pre-Tivo days! How will I explain them to my grandchildren? At any rate, I used to tape the episodes every night and meticulously label the cassettes with the episode name and number, with a library copy of  The Unofficial X-files Companion : an X-phile's guide to the mysteries, conspiracies, and really strange truths behind the show by Ngaire Genge (which is sadly no longer in NPL's collection, but is available starting at $0.01 on Amazon) in hand to make sure my notations were accurate. Do you ever think about the amount of time you had as a kid to invest in the things you were interested in? The mind marvels.

Years later in college, I found all five of these magazines, obviously someone's intact collection of X-Files memorabilia, in the free bin at McKays, and of course I took the bait. How could you pass up such a time capsule?

I love looking back at these mid-nineties' photo layouts and remembering how risqué or "out there" some of the concepts were-- look! Scully and Mulder are in a morgue, but in some weird suggesting-post-coitus mostly naked pose! Scully's licking Mulder's head! Mulder's wearing a dress! What will they think of next?! In the post-Kardashian era, I have to say, it gives me a quaint little feeling of nostalgia for a time when any of these pictures would raise an eyebrow. Or cause my parents to prevent me, their pre-teen daughter, from spending lunch money on "racy" publications for love of a tv show.

I don't know what it is about vintage People magazine, but they seem to have a KNACK for taking horrible cover photos of people. Reference this picture of Fleetwood Mac I dug up a few months ago...I didn't know it was possible to make my patron saint Stevie Nicks look so unlike her usual gorgeous self, but somehow, they did it. Their camera must have a "de-glamourizing" setting. What is with Gillian Anderson's hair and Duchovny's dad sweater in this one?

Also, they lo-o-o-ove to share pictures of the stars as children.  Duchovny in those two tiny sweaters is possibly worth the price of admission for this whole magazine. Cutester!

I got back into watching the show when it was available on Netflix, and I really think the appeal of it has held up...at least enough for me to, over the course of a few weeks, watch the entire series over again!!  I'm sick to death, now as I was then, of the reoccuring alien plotline, but I think that's a personal failing on my part. I know, I know-- I'm supposed to be really into the whole conspiracy thing, that's the point of the show, etc, etc-- but wouldn't it have been more fun overall, as a series, if they kept doing those one-off, non-arcing, "let's go see about this weird thing in this weird place" episodes rather than all that hand wringing over the Smoking Man and Mulder's sister and Scully's alien baby and whatever else the writers threw at us that week? Kind of like a paranormal version of Law and Order, where the characters do have certain stories come back to remind us that it's a continuous show, but each episode is its own thing. I guess that's why they don't pay me the big bucks to create and implement highly watched television shows. Le sigh.

The "South Park Rules!" header is cracking me up. Also, "Spice World". Think about it. It's been fifteen years!

This cover was really neat because, as you see, the little holographic sticker flips between being a traditional alien head and a traditional David Duchovny head. I wish I could order up about a hundred of these and use them as the seals on my wedding invitations. Seriously, someone get on this, I need them.

Look how much has changed in three years, from that godawful People cover! This is actually, with the possible exception of Duchovny's hair, something you could see on the news-stands today!

Oh, wait. Nevermind. Look at this weird, late nineties', semi-symbolic inside the magazine shot. I take back what I said.

The kicker to all this? As a bookmark, lodged in one of these magazines, I found a business card to a now defunct Hot Topic location at Hickory Hollow Mall. Question: what did Hot Topic managers need business cards for?

How about you? Were you a crazy "x-phile" back in the day? Do you have whole episodes committed to memory? Do you remember taping that "David Duchovny, why won't you love me?" novelty single off the radio? God, I am now feeling old.

That's all for today! See you guys back here tomorrow for slightly older vintage ephemera. Til then!


  1. funny! I was also a huge fan of the x-files. and annoyed by what you have described - this man smoking and so on. Perhaps they were afraid with no "common thread" that people would not turn back every week. thanks for sharing this!

  2. Although I love the Xfiles and the fact that I am not the only one who hoards magazines [I recently threw away an issue of people that featured a saved by the bell reunion and it gave me heart palpitations.], the biggest takeaway from this is that hot topic managers had business cards. WHEN WOULD THAT BE NECESSARY!??!?!

    1. I forgot to mention the paper-- the card is printed on that really matte-style photo paper, not like a regular business card, and actually says "fuji-paper" on the back of it. Can you imagine the manager printing these off in his tiny office off the stockroom and cutting them apart himself? Poor guy!

  3. I watched the X-Files from the start and I never could understand that damn alien conspiracy! My favorites were the really creepy episodes and I still love watching them. What's funny is that I was watching the 1998 movie last night before I went to bed. Also, Mulder & Scully were the first couple I ever "shipped".

    1. Right? I hated to not be as "into" it as I thought I should be, because again, I LOVE Mulder and Scully, and I LOVE paranormal/strange goings on in serialized tv. Isn't it funny how the '98 movie is pretty much like this huge budget, two hour long episode?

    2. Yeah, I know. I went to that movie when it came out in 1998. I dragged my poor husband with me, he was not an X-Files watcher like I was I'm sure he was thinking WTH is this? lol.

  4. Lisa - I too feel your pain. I have recently been trying to clean nooks and crannies in my house that have my stuff in them. With me it was 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' I have recently unearthed several magazines with Sarah Michelle Gellar on the cover, and boxes of VHS tapes with BTVS & Angel shows on them.(trust me, you never change,you just get better at closing your eyes and walking (running) by something that is calling to you from a shelf) Repeat after me: "Hi my name is Yvonne and I'm an addict..." Love the your covers BTW! Maybe it's time to frame them and re-purpose them as wall art.

    1. Hahaha, I'm glad you feel my pain, Yvonne! And you're right, making them into wall art might be just the trick!

  5. i had a bunch of pictures of them on the huge collage or magazine pictures on my door (oh how i wish i had a picture of that!!) but i didn't watch the show regularly. i just remember the creepy doll episode. i DID used to tape every episode of whose line is it anyway. i still have those tapes, i just can't throw them away! I went through a MASH phase as well and would cut the episode descriptions out of the newspaper and make myself a schedule for myself every week! i think we would have gotten along in middle/high school.

    1. Whole- door collages and meticulously archived VHS tapes of your favorite tv shows...HECK YES, WE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN ALONG IN HIGH SCHOOL. I'm the same way, as you can tell from this confessional, I just couldn't toss the little mementos of that period in my life. Do you remember how FERVENTLY you used to love stuff back in teenage days? I mean, I still do, but it was so weird looking back at these magazine articles and remembering how I po-o-o-o-ored over them back in those (for me) pre-internet days.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...