My Review of Episode Four (“Home Again”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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In my review of the premier of the return run of “The X-Files,” I longed for episodes that were based on monsters rather than extraterrestrials, but related I would “probably enjoy shows about ‘little green men’ as well as long as they do not come with a dose of blue state men’s politics” as was the case in the premier. It was good that we were given a monster installment last Sunday night. Unfortunately, by “The X-Files” standards the show was weak overall and both political and preachy in a blue state sort of way.

Trashman

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Having the monster mysteriously appear from behind an equally mysterious garbage truck as the vehicle drives off was a nice touch. The concept of the monster itself was more silly than scary.

The Band-Aid Nose Man monster, played by John DeSantis, is born from the angry thoughts of a homeless artist known as “Trashman” (Tim Armstrong) who becomes upset over the city of Philadelphia’s insensitive treatment of the homeless. His clay sculpture comes to life and begins killing powerful people who show a particularly high lack of empathy towards the homeless.

The Homeless and the Collective “We”

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In an exchange between the artist and Scully the two articulate one of the themes of the episode. The artist remarks that the homeless “ain’t got no voice. They get treated like trash.” After he makes a few more comments Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) responds: “You are responsible if you made the problem. If it was your idea then you’re responsible. You put it out of sight so that it wouldn’t be your problem. But you’re just as bad as the people that you hate.”

On the surface, Scully is chastising the artist for creating a killer monster. But her words are also intended by the show to leave the viewer with the impression that the collective “we” are responsible for the fact that people are homeless.

Just to what degree are “we” responsible for the homeless? Democrat Mayor Ed Koch, one of the most effective mayors any big city has ever had, came up with a solution to much of the problem of homelessness in the 1980s. Koch accepted what all reasonable people know. A great many street people live the way they do because they are severely mentally ill. Koch decided he would send out a large team of professionals to interview and medically examine the homeless. Those who were determined to be so mentally ill that they could not care for themselves would be institutionalized. If Koch’s plan had been implemented, a large portion of the homeless would have had a warm, safe place to live, healthy food and free health care. If at some time their mental health problems improved to the point that they could care for themselves they would be released. Unfortunately, the awful American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which undoubtedly shares the same political ideology as the shows writer[s], successfully stopped Koch’s plan in the court system. The next time you see a poor unfortunate soul shivering in the gutter while arguing with himself and stewing in his own bodily excretions, thank the august ACLU. Are “we” responsible for what the ACLU did? Only those amongst us who are supporters of the ACLU are responsible for that segment of the homeless population that is homeless due to severe mental illness.

Some homeless are so because of poverty. A research study completed in the recent past showed that if a person living in the U.S. never gets arrested, completes high school and waits until marriage before becoming a parent there is a 93% chance that person will never spend a day in poverty and therefore never become homeless.  Only a minority of those who become homeless for economic reasons therefore become so for reasons other than bad life decisions. Since individuals have free will the collective “we” are not responsible for the bad choices some make which lead them into homelessness.

I believe that another portion of the homeless population can be attributed to drugs and alcohol addiction. During a visit to Manhattan late last year I walked about forty minutes north from Penn Station and noticed an average of one nodding off, begging opiate addict per block. It was unsettling to see how bad things have gotten under comrade Mayor Bill de Blasio in the world’s greatest city.

As I have gotten older I have begun to wonder just how effective is drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Is the reason why AA refuses to release statistics on how successful the program is because its success rate is so dismal? Perhaps some are just born with a physiology and psychology that is so heavily inclined toward addiction that throwing away their lives away on drugs and alcohol is almost an inevitability and no amount or type of rehab will save them. Are “we” responsible for the way people are born?

I do believe that society can and should do a better job of treating mental illness and educating people about how to live their lives in a manner that allows them to avoid poverty. However, I nonetheless strongly disagree with the episodes writer[s] on the degree to which the collective “we” are responsible for homelessness and the homeless.

Concept that Ideas are Dangerous is Very Scary

The same homeless artist also states: “An idea is dangerous. Even a small one.” Once he lets go of his hate his clay sculpture stops murdering people. I believe what the installment is shooting for with this theme is a connection with American politics.

The Left in the U.S. has a short memory when it comes to the presidency of George W. Bush. Rotten fruit was thrown at his limousine as he was driven to the White House on his first day in office. He had barely been in office long enough to get his office chair warm before Democrats started calling him the “worst president in history.” The refrain continued for eight years. One Liberal columnist even went as far as penning a piece that attempted to “prove” that Bush was mentally retarded.

Yet for the last seven years the Left has pushed a narrative of angry Republicans who oppose President Barack Obama and have been saying and writing “dangerous” things (“hate speech”) and espousing “dangerous” political ideas.  I think the episode reflects the fear of the writer of the installment that if Hillary Clinton does not win the next election we will instead have a Republican president who is a racists, sexist, homophobe who wants the homeless and poor people in general to suffer while dying a slow death.

The concept that ideas can be dangerous is actually a lot more scary than anything ever seen on “The X-Files.” One example are “hate crimes.” If a person murders someone for money they receive a certain amount of jail time. In some states, someone who is convicted of the exact same murder will receive many additional years of prison if they were motivated to commit the crime by hatred of a particular group of people. This means that individuals are being kept behind bars for what goes on inside their heads. The thought police have arrived and are prosecuting people for thought crimes.

The insanity of thought crimes can be easily seen in the example of a case that worked its way through the justice system not long ago. A man was arrested for a series of muggings of gay men. He admitted that he was singling out homosexuals and was charged with hate crimes. However, he said he only robbed gays because he assumed there was less chance they would fight back. Should he have been charged with a hate crime even though he did not act out of a hatred of homosexuals?

The notion that ideas can be dangerous also plays out in the Left’s attacks against free speech. The Left justifies speech codes that restrict free speech on university campuses because of this notion. The same can be said of the left’s belief that people who dare to do things such as speak out in opposition to gay marriage should not just be fired from their jobs but be blacklisted and never be able to work again. Many examples of people which this has happen to could be cited.

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Other Plot Lines

Two other plot lines in the show may at first seem to have nothing to do with the show’s homeless theme but actually do. When Scully’s mother Margaret, portrayed by Sheila Larken, lies dying she calls for her estranged son, Charlie. The take away here is supposed to be that a parent is doing the responsible thing by attempting to reconcile with her son before she leaves the earth. Agent Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully later fret over their own responsibility for the son they were forced to give up for adoption and have never seen since. Just as Scully’s mom and Mulder and Scully feel responsible for their sons,” The X-Files” wants us to feel more responsibility for the homeless. It is an interesting manifestation of the Leftist notion that government should be our mommies and daddies.

My thoughts on all this are summed up well by a comment I made in a different blog post about another television program. I wrote: “No one likes to be lectured. That those doing the preaching come from an entertainment industry that is often hedonistic and peopled with many who would sell their mother for fame and fortune is particularly irksome.”

I do not want to be entirely negative. The episode did have some very funny lines. Despite its drawbacks it was still more entertaining than most everything else on TV. Let all of us fans of “The X-Files” hope these last two installments can end the miniseries on an upward trajectory.

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