The X-Files: A Guide to Rural America
If your views about the human race were informed only by the X-Files, what would you think about rural America? Far fetched, you say? Well, that’s what people thought of Mulder and Scully, the FBI agents in the science-fiction television show that aired on Fox from 1993 to 2002. In honor of the show’s current six-episode reunion, we’re republishing this piece from 2015 by Dale Mackey.
An anonymous source obtained the following document through unknown means and forwarded it to the Daily Yonder. We reprint it here without comment. Despite repeated attempts, we have not been able to verify this document’s authenticity.
TO: Fellow Extraterrestrials
FROM: Mitchel, Your Leader
In preparation for our imminent invasion of planet Earth, we have compiled the following primer to help gain an understanding of rural life on the land mass known as America.
As outlined in previous correspondence, urban America will be relatively easy to colonize because of the dense populations, their reliability on easily dismantled and astoundingly fragile infrastructure, and their limited mobility due to “skinny jeans.“ Our greatest challenge lies in the vast rural regions, where natural resources are abundant, the population is more dispersed, and they seem to be able to fix or do without damn-near anything we’ll be able blow up.
Our information about rural America has been gleaned exclusively from the Fox television series The X-Files. The show, which was originally broadcast in the 1990s, has become popular again via video streaming (a technology humans consider cutting edge – ha). This new craze of “binge-watching” is one reason we are moving up our invasion date (please check the group calendar for more details).
Below are the five key lessons we have learned about rural America by watching The X-Files.
Lesson 1: Rural Americans Are Distrustful of and Disconnected from Urban America
From The X-Files, we learn that the rural and urban sectors of the United States rarely interact. In Home (Season 4, Episode 2), Sherriff Andy Taylor of the fictional town of Home, Pennsylvania, describes how some of the town’s inhabitants (later revealed to be “feeble” in-breeders) raise their own food, aiding their ability to stay disconnected from the outside world. This same sheriff expresses his desire to remain isolated from urban society. He says, “I knew that we couldn’t stay hidden forever, that one day the modern world would find us, and my home town would change forever.“ We remain eager to confirm his prediction.
In another episode, Theef (S7, E14), an uneducated Appalachian man uses “backwoods voo-doo” to murder the family of a doctor he wrongly believes is responsible for the death of his daughter.
Lest we worry that urban citizens will flee to the county during our invasion, The X-Files shows we have little to fear in this regard. Agents Mulder and Scully seem to have so little understanding of rural terrain that they regularly find themselves impeded by sartorial hindrances and the inability to navigate rural roads.
Lesson 2: Everyone in Rural America Is White, Homogenous and Known to Each Other
In Home, Sherriff Andy remarks “Everybody knows everybody.” We see this reinforced in Modern Day Prometheus (S5, E5), an episode in which a doctor in small-town Indiana has created a Frankenstein-like son, whom the agents investigate. The presence of outsiders is of such note that the local newspaper runs a story on the agents for the three consecutive days they are in town.
With the notable exception of the Sherriff in Home, we see no evidence that any Americans of color live in rural America.
Lesson 3: Small Towns Are Havens for Depravity and Are Bound in Secrecy
In almost every X-Files episode set in rural America, the town’s inhabitants know a secret and they work hard to keep it. These secrets range from cannibalism, Satanism, a mutant worm, Amish killers and genetically produced monsters. In each case, townspeople were willing to commit violence to protect these secrets. In Our Town (S2, E24), residents of Dudley, Arkansas, go so far as consuming outsiders in a cannibalistic ritual to remain healthy. In Roadrunners (S8, E4), the people of Cedar City, Utah, kidnap visitors and use them to incubate a mutant worm they believe to be a religious deity. (NOTE: We now believe that this episode was inspired by the time Citizen Gryphorg sent his pet worm to Earth for his amusement. Gryphorg, if you’re not going to take care of it, you shouldn’t own a worm. Please refrain from this in the future. )
We see, then, that while the program illustrates that rural Americans may lead simple lives and be of relatively low intelligence, they are cunning and violent, and we should plan accordingly.
Lesson 4: Rural Americans Do Not Tolerate Otherness or Change within Their Communities
In The Red Museum (S2, E10), members of a peaceful meditation group located in the fictional small cattle town of Delta Glen, Wisconsin, are mistreated by other locals because of their vegetarianism. Youth from this group are bullied, and their actions are covered up by the adults in the community.
Sherriff Andy Taylor in Home says that he’d “like it if the way things are around here didn’t have to change” and likewise, the very people he’s investigating tell the agents: “This is our home. Let them know this is the way things are and this is the way it’s going to stay.”
This indicates the rural population will be resistant to our invasion and mistrustful of our disguise as Google Car operators coming to document the community. This may require a slight change of plans. (Note to self: Does Bing have cars?)
Lesson 5: Rural Citizens Are Unintelligent and Law Enforcement Is Inept
While we see that rural Americans are dangerous and secretive, the good news is that as a whole they are even less intelligent than their urban peers.
X-Files tells us that for the most part, rural Americans are intellectually inferior and unsophisticated. Their command of language is subpar (the hoo-doo man in Theef couldn’t even spell this simple word correctly), and the citizens in Roadrunners were imbecilic enough the worship Gryphorg’s’s pet worm, Larvey. The inbred family in Home are feeble minded, and the characters in Modern Day Prometheus share a mob mentality and are incapable of critical thinking.
Local defense and law enforcement ranges from simply inept to openly hostile. They often work to cover up the very misdoings that agents Mulder and Scully are investigating. In some cases, they are at the root of the evil themselves.
Let us learn from agent Scully and please refrain from wearing any spiked footwear for the invasion. Once we have shut down the power grid and incapacitated the urban centers, we will focus our attention on rural America. Beware of voo-doo, in-breeders and cannibals, who may mistake us for other humans. Rest now, extraterrestrials. The invasion is near.