Being Agent Scully

One of the “joys” of working in an archives is hearing about everybody’s research. Sometimes it’s interesting, sometimes it’s dead boring (hello, genealogists, I don’t care who your great-great-uncle was), and sometimes it makes me want to claw my eyes out. People come looking to us to validate their wonky theories about this or that historical person, and you have to be polite as they spin moonbeams.

I’m under orders not to engage on a certain topic. I don’t mind. I’ve already discovered that if I try to argue about a certain subject then I’m immediately branded as someone who has drunk the kool-aid. The fact that I’m the one with all the primary sources doesn’t seem to matter.

There are days when I wonder if this is how Scully felt in the early seasons of the X-Files. You spend all your time collecting data, performing autopsies and questioning witnesses. You struggle to keep your theories in line with your growing data, trying not to get too far ahead of the facts while still trying to make useful theories in the hopes of solving this thing before another body shows up.

Meanwhile, Mulder has already decided that it was aliens. Actually, he decided that three minutes into the episode, because this kinda looks like an X-file he read once, and it was aliens then, he’s sure. He shrugs off alternate theories and he crams whatever facts he finds into his aliens theory. He knows it’s aliens, and he’ll keep on knowing that until the curtain is pulled aside and it turns out to be a secret government weapons program.

And somehow, I’m the one that’s close minded.


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