I recently wrote a piece using The X-Files as a case study in propaganda, particularly as it pertains to the right-wing populist, new world order conspiracy theory. In the latest season of The X-Files you have this ongoing alien/NWO narrative in addition to the ever-popular “Muslims are scary” theme, and what I’m going to briefly discuss here, which is in my opinion an even more sinister and recurrent propaganda or even psychological warfare tactic. I also covered this topic in an article called, “Thanks Hollywood, For Teaching Us About Revolution!” †
In Season 10, Episode 4 of The X-Files, Mulder and Scully investigate bizarre and brutal murders of city officials involved in persecuting the homeless. The victims are torn limb from limb by a golem type monster known as “Band-Aid Nose Man.” The monster was made from clay by a street artist called the “Trashman” and it somehow comes to life to take revenge against the government officials abusing the homeless. Here is part of an exchange between Agent Scully and the “Trashman”:
Trashman: The people on the streets, the homeless, the street people, they ain’t got no voice, right? They get treated like trash. I mean actual trash. It’s like this: you throw your grande cup, or your pop bottle in the right trash can under the sink, recycle’s here, trash there, you tie the little bag, you take it outside, put it in the right dumpsters. Pat yourself on the head. You’re a good person, yeah? You did the right thing, you fought global warming, you love all the little animals. Well Friday come, Wednesday maybe, garbage man takes the trash away it’s not your problem anymore. Magic! But it is your problem, because it piles up in the landfill and the plastics leak toxins into the water and the sky, but if you don’t see a problem, there’s no problem. Right? People treat people like trash . . . I just wanted to scare ’em, scare anyone that took dignity away from the homeless. That’s when the violent idea popped in my head. It was just an emotion that ran through my head. An idea is dangerous, even a small one.
Scully: You are responsible. If you made the problem, if it was your idea, then you’re responsible. You put it out of sight so it wouldn’t be your problem, but you’re just as bad as the people that you hate.
This kind of bourgeois moralizing is a very common propaganda theme you find in TV shows and films all the time. It promotes the notion that the victim has no right to fight back against his oppressor; if he does so he will became “just as bad” as them. What can one say about such drivel? It is beyond ridiculous, but apparently it is effective in convincing most people to passively accept exploitation and abuse, and resist only through so-called nonviolence and reformism. Don’t fall for it!
† In paragraph 6, after the first quote, the meaning may be unclear. I should have clarified that the theme of “revolution corrupted” was the intended political message the establishment would have people take from The Hunger Games films and books. Obviously, I do not want people to take this message to heart!