Long ago I watched my first episode of a series I would one day love and hold above all others. The series was the cult classic, "The X-Files". When I speak of love I mean that I was obsessed with the show. It was the only show I would watch—there just wasn't room for any others. To bring perspective to my love of "The X-Files", which I watched during my high school years, I want you to realize that my room was a wallpapered shrine. I owned the 1998 movie in a time when VHS was the definition of clear picture and sound. I owned all the VHS waves that came out of the most popular episodes. I owned action figures from "Fight The Future". I printed out images of my favorite characters and collaged them on my school binders. I had posters, calenders, and was a member of the Official Fan Club year after year. While everyone was busy reading the latest fiction novel, I was reading episode scripts (some even before the episode aired). To my schoolmates I was "that geek", "that nerd", "that strange girl obsessed with a scifi TV show".
But to me, I was proud to call myself an X-Phile.
I fell in love with Mulder and Scully. I enjoyed their UST just like any other 'Shipper. There was a time when I hated Diana Fowley (I was even a member of the Diana Fowley Haters Brigade [DFHB]). There used to be a time when I would watch "The Post-Modern Prometheous" and think it to be the best episode ever simply because Mulder and Scully danced at the end. For years I saw no end to my love of "The X-Files". I believed that forever I would participate actively in the fanbase. I believed no other show could top it. No other dynamic could top Mulder and Scully.
I write this as my farewell to a fandom and a series I once loved.
In the distant time before online interactivity, I enjoyed the show. It wasn't until the turn of the millennium—and by that, I mean the year 2000 and not 2001—that the online world really began to change. Openly I was a Fence-sitter, meaning I wasn't sure if I wanted Mulder and Scully together or not. One would say my fate as to which subcategory of X-Phile I was, was sealed with a kiss. I fell off the fence and landed proudly into the land of the Noromos (as in, No Romance).
The Noromo side of things, the Dark Side if you will, had always intrigued me. I found their sense of humor to be something I could relate to. They had topics of conversation that actually discussed plot and mythology rather than hand holds and mythical gazes. So, much to the puzzled dismay of my fellow X-Phile schoolmates, I was a Noromo. My friend (the one responsible for my former state of Shipperdom) erupted with terror that I had fell into the hands of the Dark Side. How ever was she going to talk about the show with me, a Noromo?
But she got over it in her own way.
The online world cannot say the same.
My sister, known back then as "foxytime" and currently as "Dana Doggett", and I created a website called The Bee Dome. Bees, for those of you unfamiliar with the past, are responsible for the interrupted near kiss between Mulder and Scully in the first feature film, "Fight The Future". So we were The Bee Dome and we found like-minded individuals who joined our Bee Dome Forum in discussions.
We were trolled by a handful of 'Shippers from the 'Shipper website/forum, Haven For The FBI's Most Unwanted (shortened to simply: "Haven"). These rude and intolerable Havenites (as some refer to these forum members) flamed and harassed us.
Looking back, they were hardly a problem compared to what lay ahead on the horizon.
David Duchovny, who portrayed Fox "Spooky" Mulder, left the show and it was decided that Robert Patrick (aka: the "Liquid Metal Guy" from James Cameron's "Terminator 2: Judgement Day"—or just "T2", as the cool people call it) would join the show as a new agent assigned to a task force to find the disappeared and abducted Mulder. Ultimately, Patrick would be the new guy working with Agent Scully on the x-files.
At the end of season 7, when Scully announced she was pregnant, I was finished with the show. I was done. It was the last straw for me. But when I found out that Robert Patrick was going to be on the show, I was convinced. I've been a fan of T2 for as long as I can remember. Patrick's intensity in the role of the Terminator was enough to convince me to continue watching "The X-Files" into its eighth season.
John Doggett was a breath of fresh air. He was the secret ingredient needed to spice up a dull meal. His character was intriguing and I fell in love with him. The love and admiration I have for John Doggett is still strong today. Where I have fallen out of love with Mulder and Scully, I remain in love with John Doggett.
The announcement that Patrick would join the show as a full-time cast member erupted rage and disapproval from the loud majority of the fanbase. Simply put, they hated him. They hated his fans and anyone who supported him.
Here I thought that being a Noromo (a type of fan that is against a romantic relationship between Mulder and Scully) was hard enough. Now I find that merely showing my support for an actor (who is only doing his job) is far worse.
I would like to take a moment now to pause and clarify that the following decline in my love of "The X-Files" has absolutely nothing to do with Robert Patrick. I love his acting. I think he is brilliant and intense. He was a great addition to the show.
I was hated for liking Doggett. I was hated for liking the idea of a romantic relationship between Doggett and Scully. I was flamed, even threatened, because my enjoyment somehow threatened others in the fanbase.
The ninth and final season brought in new characters: Monica Reyes (portrayed by Annabeth Gish) and Brad Follmer (portrayed by Cary Elwes). My liking for these two characters on their own and their romantic relationship began unlike my liking of Doggett.
For a long time there were other fans who liked Follmer and Reyes together. Most of the people I came across liked Reyes. Though there were a few who found Follmer "slimy", they left me alone and their hatred was nothing like the mass fandom's reaction and hatred of Doggett.
Finally, I had found a small hole where I could enjoy something about "The X-Files" that wouldn't get the rabid MSR 'Shippers and Havenites with their knickers in a knot.
I began making websites for these characters. No Frickin' Way was my Reyes site; Addicted To Follmer my Follmer site; and You Know I'm On Your Side was my Follmer/Reyes relationship website. All were active with fans participating in polls and creative challenges. Looking back it was such a great time to share my interest with others and not having people hating.
A new relationshipper category was created by fans who like Doggett and Reyes together. They called themselves Drippers. Where 'Shippers found things "shippy", Drippers found things "drippy".
I opposed this chemistry-lacking relationship between Doggett and Reyes quietly for sometime. Lesson learned when I became a Noromo, right? Well finally I got tired of always receiving Drippy fanfic or Drippy artwork or Drippy comments on my websites. I pay for my hosting, so why should I host fanfic and artwork I do not want to pay for?
The reaction to my decision (one shared with my sister who shared sites on the same paid server) was cataclysmic. Online friends I thought were my friends were madly enraged. People who participated in Follmer/Reyes challenges (including the first ever FRR Awareness Month in 2004 that had oodles of creative challenges) were turning against me and my sister. They were vicious. Sites were hacked. Forums were hacked. I was even threatened. Others who had problems with these malicious fanatics blamed me for their misfortunes because they were associated with me. What a way to show support for someone being victimized too, huh?
I only had a small handful of people I could trust. A small handful of people I could call my friends.
The siege against me and my sister was unending, spanning over the course of many years. Still, to this day, the threat of these vengeful people lingers. Always, it seems, they are a dark presence over everything I do. Hacking, threatening, stalking.
Was this really what my love for the show was turning into?
Some of the most venomously hateful people in the world are actively online and praised for their contributions to fandoms.
I am a fan of Robert Patrick, but I do not dare to interact with his fans. Though I personally have not been attacked by them (or so I can recall...) my sister has.
I am a fan of Annabeth Gish, but Hell will have to freeze over and the Earth's rotation will have to change before I ever go back to interacting with her fans.
Once there was so much love for this show, but now all of it has been tarnished and destroyed because I am a free-thinking being. I have no desire to be a part of "The X-Files" fandom.
I began this as a story of my venture through fandom and as a way to say goodbye and let go of something I could have enjoyed for a long time.
I have been through love, hate and now indifference. I'm indifferent to the show. I'm indifferent to the things about it I once cared for. I'm tired of wondering if one day I'll ever be able to watch an episode and enjoy it. I'm sick of the fandom and their hope for a movie franchise. I'm sick of it all.
So, I say adieu to "The X-Files" and its fandom. You, the loud-mouthed majority, have run me out and I wish nothing more to do with you or the series. I have my friends, and we have our small hole where we can enjoy one another's company and that is all I need. Go your own way, travel down your narrow, one-dimensional path and let's forget we ever met.