What Millennials think about “The X-Files” #sabbaticaldiaries

I promised a post today about a conversation I recently overheard between two twenty somethings discussing the 1990s hit TV show The X-Files. I actually spent a couple of hours working on a post that grew to be too long. It’s also Friday and I know that when I tweet this post out I’ll get far fewer views than if I wait until Monday. So I decided to offer a bit of a teaser that, like the best X-Files episodes, will leave you hanging and waiting for the next installment.

The teaser…

Last week I decided to try out Berkeley’s newest brewery, Fieldwork Brewing Co. Given its proximity to the field where my daughter’s soccer team practices, it saved me riding my bike home after drop-off and then back again 90 minutes later to pick her up.


There I sat, finishing up the last chapter of my summer reading assignment, What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain (more on that in another post), when at the table next to me I can’t help but overhear the following conversation between two friends most likely in their late 20s:

Friend #1: My boyfriend and I started watching The X-Files on Netflix.

Friend #2: Are you binge watching?

Friend #1: Not really. He doesn’t watch TV at all, so the most I’ve been able to get him to watch is an episode a week. It’s probably going to take us like 10 years to finish the series.

Friend #2: So how do you like it so far?

Friend #1: It feels pretty dated. It’s like this pre-war on terror and pre-global warming era when the only thing people had to worry about was whether or not aliens exist.

Friend #2: Wasn’t it also about government conspiracy? Or fears of government cover ups?

Friend #1: Yeah, but back then the concern was more with what the government was hiding. Today we don’t care what the government is hiding from us. We’re more worried about how the government gathers information about us and what it knows about us.

Like characters in an episode of Gilmore Girls (who were known to rattle off a page of dialogue “twice as fast as the standard screenwriters’ page-a-minute formula”), these two friends finished the topic of The X-Files and moved on. Meanwhile, I couldn’t get back into my book and instead contemplated the idea of the 1990s as a “pre-war on terror and pre-global warming era.” Check back Monday when I’ll share my intellectualizations of this conversation in a post I plan to call “What I think about what Millennials think about ‘The X-Files.”

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