wendelah1: (Dana Scully - IWTB)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] scully_fest
Three years ago on February 26, I wrote this character manifesto for [livejournal.com profile] het_reccers, which happened to nearly coincide with Dana Scully's 47th birthday. Since I am too sick to get anything new written, I thought I would go ahead and repost it. I updated the picture. There may be some new thoughts added at the end, if I think any new thoughts and don't fall over from the weight of thinking them.

 photo 09684578-88bc-420a-a5f7-a2fc06eb1def_zps5871094f.jpg

Dana Scully turned 47 on February 23rd of this year. There was a meme of a sort circulating last week, which quoted from an article Rebecca Traister wrote about the character for Salon back in 2008.

In an entertainment world where women are disappearing from multiplexes, where men bulk up as superheroes while women don't eat but sip pink drinks, we need to remember that there was once a very short heroine who hunted monsters and talked about Einstein, who kicked ass and questioned her faith, who went to work with a man she loved but didn't rip his shirt off over lunch, who didn't want to believe, but opened herself nonetheless to possibility. We need Scully back, even for a moment.

It's a wonderful article, and I highly recommend you read it. Traister is a professional writer and she is most eloquent as she writes about her love for the character and the series.

But what was striking to me was the way people here responded to the meme. Let me explain. Fox Mulder's birthday is October 13, 1013, which is also the name of the production company, and the birthday of Chris Carter, who created The X-Files. There are always picspams of Mulder posted here on October 13th and there is, I would say, a celebratory atmosphere on that occasion. By contrast, this year, for Dana Scully's birthday, there was barely a murmur. Just the meme, and nothing else, really. The response to the meme, and to her birthday, too, was one of sadness and loss. "I miss her." "I miss her too." "Word." "Word." "Word."

But she hasn't gone anywhere. Yes, the series is off the air, but that happened, what, nearly nine years ago. There was a little flurry of excitement in the fandom in 2008 leading up to the release of the second (and very bad) X-Files movie. I miss that excitement, too, especially since I wasn't around for the fandom's heyday. Well, I was around, I just wasn't watching the show or even online. What can I say, I'm a late bloomer.

It's not hard to see how I fell for the show. The writing is just so-so, although it did have its moments, but the show looked great. For awhile I watched the show with the sound off just to admire the award-winning cinematography. The chemistry between the characters of Mulder and Scully was second to none. Heck, I'm a gen person, and even I can see that. I got hooked on the Romantic Quest and the prettiness of GA and DD, and the banter. The peculiar combination of humor and horror. But what drew me in finally, what keeps me in the fandom, reading and writing and critiquing its fanfiction, is the character of Dana Scully.

I love her shapeless suits and her ridiculous high heels and the way her hairstyle changes, season by season. I love the looks of scorn and incredulity she turns on her partner while he is advancing his cracked theories. I love the way she defends him to the other agents anyway. But most of all, I love her mind and I love her heart. She has utterly captivated me. I am a prisoner of love.

I love the way she insists, beginning in the pilot episode, that it is fantastic to assert that there are answers beyond the realm of science. The answers are there, she adds, if we only know where to look. I love how she stands up to Mulder, episode after episode, insisting on real proof, real evidence to back up his theories.

SCULLY: But, Mulder... during your time with the X-Files, you’ve seen so much.
MULDER: That’s just the point. Seeing is not enough, I should have something to hold onto. Some solid evidence. I learned that from you.

I love how fearless she is, holding the so-called reporter hostage and rescuing Mulder from the military base in "Deep Throat." I love how she stands up to authority for what she believes is right, choosing jail over testifying before a congressional committee when she thought it might jeopardize her partner's life in "Terma." I love how she can think on her feet, solve problems, save lives, as she does in "Fight the Future."

SCULLY: I need this building evacuated and cleared out in 10 minutes! I want you to call the fire department and have them block off the city center in a one mile radius around the building!
GUARD: Ten minutes?
SCULLY: (she points at him with her phone) Don't think! Just pick up that phone and make it happen!

I love the way it takes her seven seasons to (maybe) fall in love with and fall into bed with her gorgeous partner. I love that while she clearly loves Mulder and he adores and needs her, their love is transcendent, defying the conventions of romantic love.

There will never be another character I love the way I love Dana Scully. But the character is still here. Special Agent Dana Scully will always be here, as long as people still watch the DVDs and fall back in love with The X-Files, or even discover it for the first time as I did, through the fanfiction and a combination of insomnia and late night television.

The original post is at the community, along with 10 mostly very MSR-centric fanfic recs.

It's three years later, and I am still a prisoner of love for this wonderful character. Happy Birthday, Dana Scully, and many happy returns of the day.

Date: 2014-02-24 06:21 am (UTC)
tree: scully; text: she is foremost of those that i would hear praised (yeats) ([xf] that i would hear praised)
From: [personal profile] tree
so apparently i read this and even commented on it back in the day. i have absolutely no recollection of doing so.

i wish i could write eloquently about scully the way you do.

and i swear you are the shippiest noromo who ever lived. :D just one of the things i love about you.

Date: 2014-02-24 01:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chinapatterns.livejournal.com
This is wonderful. I missed it the first time round as I wasn't on LJ and didn't even have proper internet back in 2008 or 1993 for that matter.

I was 12 when the X-Files started airing in the UK and my shy self had moved a year before hand to a new area and new school. Then I found the X-Files and was the kid in the first year of high school asking about base pairs in science lessons. Scully taught me so much, that it was okay to be single, that it wasn't an issue if you were top of the class and got picked on, that you could stand up to others even if you were scared. Thank you for reminding me of that.

badforthefish and I were discussing over the weekend who our role models were growing up. For me Scully has been and will be the only one, well her and She-Ra princess of power.

Date: 2014-02-24 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chinapatterns.livejournal.com
Thanks wendelah, have managed to find the article here http://www.salon.com/2008/07/24/scully_2/ looks like the article was moved.

Will have a read of that too later.


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