They say the truth is out there. I want to believe that. But I trust no one. The truth is the catch-phrase laden X Files doesn’t weather so well. I watched the shit out of that show when it was on TV in the 90s. Everyone I knew did.
We wanted to believe the government was evil and something to rebel against like the hippies did the 60s. But we didn’t really have anything. Life was pretty good in the 90s and pretty bad for artists and anarchists. Even though the Bush cronies actually were beginning to work their Voldemort-like machinations back then, they were frankly it was too subtle for us kids to see. Hippies had Nixon and the punks in the 80s had Thatcher/Reagan’smore obvious douchieness to take on. Us grunge kids had… Friends and New Kids on the Block to combat? The first Gulf War was over before we could rally against it and, well, life was pretty comfortable otherwise. But Roswell cover-ups! We knew the bastards were hiding something.
And I think the popularity of The X Filestied-in to another social need of the 90s. New Age hullabaloo was huge in the 90s. Supposed athiests were realizing at this late stage in the liberal dream that humans need to believe in something. At least a large percentage of the population does to be happy. For some people it’s Jesus and Yahweh giving meaning and order to complicated lives, for others it’s a vague interconnected “spiritualism” half-based on Eastern philosphy, half-based on soap scents and ecological imagery that controls our destinies. Still others who want to believe in something over-seeing their lives, controling it for better or worse, turn to the secular version of an all-powerful, wrathful diety: a conspiratorial government.
I think for a lot of conspiracy theorists and conspiracy fans the idea that no one is in control is unacceptable. Better an evil, Machiavellian government deviously controlling our lives than nothing or no one at all.
Personally, conspiracy theories are too nerdy for me.