The American Dream in The X-Files: I think these Conclusions will be Final

The introduction to this series of posts on the depiction and criticism of the American dream in The X-Files can be found here:

So I've reached the end of Season 4 and I think I can truthfully say I'm now burned out at this series of posts and shouldn't pick it up for another whole season. Of course I may comment if an episode I watch in the future particularly makes me think of the subject.

I have three over-riding conclusions from doing this series of posts.

The first is that as an outsider the picture of the American dream which is in my head is probably formed by The X-Files. That's why the show makes me think of the subject, and obviously blogging is cheaping than therapy. I have realised that actual Americans tend to see the subject differently and accentuate different things.

The second is that the show tends to foreground something (for example part of the series mythology or a monster of the week) while what is in the background connects the show to the American dream. I suppose this is inevitable in any show, that it would necessarily feature the nation where it is set in the background (G*d help anyone who thinks The Avengers showcases Britain in the background, although we could definitely do with Steed dealing with a megalomaniac Prime Minister before marching off into the sunset with Britannia, while scattering Euros to the populace). There is absolutely no evidence anywhere that any reference to the American dream was deliberate, so it may simply be my reading of the show. Nonetheless the show's clever weaving of reality into the fiction naturally brings up key aspects of American life and the show focuses on the sort of things you would expect it to: injustice, lack of transparency, unethical experimentation, inequality. Of their nature these things poke holes in the American dream so the connection is rather inevitable.

Thirdly I am particularly proud of my theory that you could read the show as indicating that the American dream is a part of the conspiracy depicted in the show. The whole point is that the American populace are being distracted from the reality by a governmental (or para-governmental) conspiracy, so naturally life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are part of the distraction.