Tuesday, February 5, 2013

musings on The X Files

I decided to write my Ethics paper about the X Files (specifically CSM) and Bonhoeffer. This meant I had to rewatch some episodes because it's been over a year since I've watched any. I also had some new revelations in some of the episodes where I realized some of the things that happened made more sense. I also decided that the aliens also watched the X Files and decided too many people knew about their plans for recolonization, which is why they decided not to come back on Dec. 22 after all.
Because I was specifically paying attention to character motive while I watched these episodes, I felt somewhat more involved with the characters, and never could decide if I felt sorry for CSM or just think he's slimy and twisted. He has sacrificed his entire life to his work on the Project, his work with the Syndicate, and his quest for power. He believes, really, in neither good nor evil but merely might and survival. The one that manipulates best wins, the one who plays the game best wins, and at the same time he is lonely and and somewhat of a coward. He knows so much more than most, and believes it is his responsibility to keep it that way. He may be right about most people not being equipped to handle all this information, but when highly classified information is maintained among the types that are typically drawn to such secrecy and seclusion, the blood trail is surely close behind (literally or figuratively).
Bonhoeffer struggled with some of these issues. He became privy to information that was not widely known, and he also had to face the responsibility that comes with that. The difference between Bonhoeffer and CSM is their allegiances and their trust in something greater than themselves. To CSM, there was no God, only aliens, and his highest allegiance was to his country and his survival. Bonhoeffer put his faith in Christ as his highest allegiance, and thus, in some ways, shares a role with Mulder in his attempts to expose the truth and change the course of history.
We don't all get put in a place where we learn things we have to deal with the way Bonhoeffer did, but we still make choices every day based on our highest ideals and what they represent. What do our choices convey about our deepest allegiances?

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