Tag Archives: Star Trek

Ten Types of Literary Conflict Table

Ten Types of Conflict Table

Introduction

Aristotle posited four types of conflict. Three types were external including man versus man, man versus nature and man versus society. Aristotle treated internal conflict as a category in its own right and this internal conflict is generally labeled as man versus self. This is an attempt to revamp Aristotle’s thesis and suggest there are actually five major conflictual topics and each topic can have an external versus internal perspective.

1) Man versus machine (external) – Character is in a struggle against a robot and/or computer. The Terminator franchise and the comic book hero Magnus, Robot Hunter would be examples of this type of conflict.

2) Man versus machine (internal) – The character is a cyborg and struggles to maintain a human identity despite the computer implants in their brain. Deathlok and the Robocop franchise are both examples of this type of struggle. The converse version of this type of conflict is a robot that strives to be human. Data of Star Trek would be an example of this type of struggle.

3) Man versus man (external) – The character struggles against another character or characters. A common subset is good versus evil. Batman versus the Joker would be an example of this sort of struggle. The struggle may have psychological accents but is mostly physical.

4) Man versus man (internal) – The struggle between the characters is not physical but psychological. A good example of this sort of struggle is Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf by Edward Albee.  Commonly a character has a psychological problem that causes conflict with the other characters this problem can be alcoholism, neurosis, a personality disorder, or even a character flaw. The conflict is internal but the audience see’s the manifestation of the internal struggle via the effect of this conflict on other characters. Watching an alcoholic talking to himself in a room is a lot less fun to watch than watching an alcoholic at his birthday party.

5) Man versus nature (external) – The character struggle against the forces of nature. The Old Man and the Sea is an example of this sort of struggle.

6) Man versus nature (internal) – The character struggles with the animal within. The protagonist of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes must inevitably follow the dictates of social Darwinism in order to survive. There is an animal inside man and in the struggle with nature this animal may have to be unleashed for us to survive. Some Vampires may want to control their thirst for blood but the animal within is too strong. The humanity of the vampire in conflict with the vampiric urges of the vampire seems to be a recurring conflict in the works of Anne Rice and this is especially true in the case of her character Louis de Pointe du Lac.

7) Man versus society (external) – The character struggles against an authoritarian system physically (The Hunger Games).

8) Man versus society (internal) – The character resists the socialization, institutionalization, seduction or even brainwashing of an authoritarian system. Joker in Heavy Metal Jacket takes part of collective punishment to Pyle and becomes part of the system he had previously derided. Chief accepts the system in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Chief is huge yet chooses not to talk because his shackles are internal not external. The character struggles not to become institutionalized or socialized but the struggle may in turn make the character more ruthless and similar to those in the system.

The external struggle against society and the internal struggle are juxtaposed in the theme that “He who fights dragons becomes a dragon”. In Star Wars the empire provides external conflict. The Sith Lords provide external conflict with light saber duels but more importantly the Sith Lords endeavor to create anger in the Jedi and cause them to fall to the Dark Side.

9) Man versus universe (external) – The character is in a struggle against cosmic level forces such as the supernatural (The Shining), fate (Slaughterhouse Five) or even God (A Canticle for Leibowitz). Lovecraftian horror is also an example of this type of struggle but the struggle has a large internal dimension. The most common version of this cosmic level struggle is actually not with God but with the Devil in deals with the devil stories. Man is hopelessly outmatched in terms of power in this type of struggle and cannot win via power but must rely on his wits and/or luck.

The realization that the universe is absurd is generally treated as an existential crisis that falls under is (5) man versus self. However, in some cases the universe is absurd due to an external cosmic level change. The very nature of reality has altered due to unknown and often unknowable mechanisms. The TV show The Twilight Zone specialized in this type of man versus universe scenario. In the very first episode of The Twilight Zone, Where is Everybody?, a man finds himself alone in a town. All the people have mysteriously disappeared. Rod Serling, the writer bothers to come up with an “explanation” of why there are no people in this episode but in other episodes the universe has changed and no explanation is given and this is much more disturbing. In The Twilight Zone episode, And When the Sky Was Opened, astronauts start being erased from existence one by one and no real explanation is given and this lack of explanation makes the episode all the more disturbing.

Perhaps this is why zombie stories are so disturbing. One level of conflict in a zombie story is man versus man in that the protagonist must fight other humans in the struggle for resources but also must deal with the fact that the impossible has happened. Our scientific world view precludes the existence of zombies but the character must deal with a universe gone mad and this struggle is perhaps more disturbing than the struggle with zombies. If zombies are explained using a disease model as in the case of The Walking Dead then a cure might exist. However, George A. Romero realized that living dead that exist as an ontological puzzle are much more disturbing than a voodoo based or science based zombie. In Day of the Dead, Romero explores the ontological puzzle of living dead in more detail. Is the fabric of reality a fragile thing that can suddenly change? We like to think this is not the case but when the Aztecs fought the Spanish they also fought a change in their world view that perhaps was more harmful in the long run.

10) Man versus universe (internal) – The protagonist struggles with madness but the madness is so pervasive that he or she cannot tell what is real or not real. The Aviator would be an example of this type of conflict.

You can also download my autobiography of my struggle with a bipolar condition on  Am I Kitsune on my Google Drive.

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Image

The Next Star Trek TV Animated Series!

Galactic_Quadrant_Star_Trek Dominion vs Borg

Star Trek has had only one animated series over thirty years ago (Star Trek: The Animated Series).  The next Star Trek TV show should be an animated series because of the success of Star Wars: The Clone Wars shows this sort of animation can work.  Also, Star Trek needs to create a new generation of Star Trek fans if the franchise is to survive in the future and animation is especially popular among younger viewers.  I would like to make the following proposals for a new Star Trek animated series:

1) The Romulan War

This animated series would be set in the time period after the events of Star Trek: Enterprise but before events of Star Trek: The Original Series.  The Federation is engaged in a long protracted cold war that occasionally turns hot with the Romulans!

2) The Borg versus the Dominion

This series is set in the future about two centuries after Star Trek: The Next Generation in the 26th century (see figure above).  The Dominion has evolved into a peaceful empire that coexists with the Federation but is also a cultural and economic rival.  However, the Federation due to the Dominion War two hundred years earlier does not totally trust the Dominion.  Warp drive is advanced enough that travel using star ships between galactic quadrants is possible.  The Romulans and Klingons are now part of the Federation rather than adversaries!

The Borg Empire has attacked the Dominion in a full scale assault along the entire Delta border of Dominion space!  Should the Federation aid the Dominion against the Borg or stay out and focus on strengthening its own defenses against the Borg?  The Vulcans prefer a wait and see strategy.  The Federation cannot easily send ships directly through the Galactic Center due to a super massive black hole and the stellar density of the center and must veer traffic towards the Gamma or Delta quadrant and cannot charge down the middle between the two quadrants.  However, a project to create a star ship that can handle the Galactic Center has been underway and the war creates new pressure to complete this project.  Could there be radically different life forms in the center of the galaxy?

Even if the Federation decides to take an active role should forces be sent toward the Gamma quadrant to aid the Dominion in their territory as the humans prefer, or should the Federation attack Borg territory as the Klingons prefer?  The Federation is caught in the middle of a final war that will decide the future of the Milky Way galaxy!  Some even argue that the Federation should play a Machiavellian strategy and aid the side that is losing, whichever side that may be, at any given time, so a war of attrition that destroys both the Dominion and the Borg is achieved.  If the Dominion and the Borg destroy each other then the Federation will rule the galaxy and this is what the Romulans want.

The “Children of Data” are not biological children but androids that have been made possible due to advances in the creation of neural interfaces after the unfortunate fate of Lal in the episode “The Offspring”.  The Children of Data occupy many worlds in the Federation and are prominent members of the Federation.  The Children of Data have evolved to a level of intelligence that causes them to have agendas and thoughts that are difficult for the organic life forms in the Federation to understand.

Some Children of Data follow the way of flesh and have even experimented with organic implants. Reverse engineering of Borg technology by the Dominion ironically leads to research that allows the addition of increasingly sophisticated organic implants to android life forms.

Some of the Children of Data follow the way of light and believe non corporality is the ultimate evolutionary step the galaxy should pursue and may have aid from the very mysterious Organians that are rumored to reside in the center of the galaxy.  The inaccessibility of the Galactic Center may provide privacy for beings of pure thought!  The massive black hole in the Galactic Center may be the ultimate form of transportation for beings without mass!

This series would be titled Star Trek: Galactic Evolution.  This series would chronicle not just a journey through space but an evolutionary journey at the galactic level.  This series could use or not use 3D CGI animation but should borrow stylistic lessons from animated space sagas like Macross and Neon Genesis Evangelion but take these lessons to a new level.  The frenetic comedic laden style of the very successful Teen Titans Go! should also be seen as a model for this new show that will attract a new generation that has grown up with computers and smart phones and requires a higher level of visual stimulation than past generations.  Viewers should be able to participate with series related content in an immersive and meaningful way online!

3) Star Fleet Academy

This series is set about twenty years after the events of Star Trek: The Next Generation.  The great grandson of the legendary Captain James T. Kirk is attending Star Fleet Academy.  The great grandson is called Tiberius.  Tiberius is called “T” by his friends.  Admiral Jean-Luc Picard has retired from active duty and is now the Dean of the academy.  Tiberius has a dark secret from his years as a teenager on an outpost in Federation space that was relatively lawless, impoverished and bordered Klingon space.  Tiberius is a lot stronger than a human should be and also has a nasty temper!  T has a lot to prove and can be impetuous but also has a lot to offer.

4) Star Trek vs. Warhammer 40K

This show will never happen but I would watch it!

You can also download my autobiography of my struggle with a bipolar condition on  Am I Kitsune on my Google Drive.

WereVerse Universe Baby!

WereVerse Universe at Google Drive Link

Hugh Fox III - Brushed Metal

Star Trek versus Star Wars Chess Set Proposal

I have already proposed a revision of the Superman versus Batman chess set, a DC superheroes versus DC supervillains set and DC versus Marvel chess set.  Below is my fourth proposal:

 

Star Trek

King – Captain Kirk

Queen – Captain Janeway

Bishop – Captain Picard

Knight – Data

Rook – Worf

Pawn – Star Fleet Security

 

Star Wars

King – Yoda

Queen – Ahsoka Tano

Bishop – Luke Skywalker

Knight – Hans Solo

Rook – Darth Vader

Pawn – Imperial Troops

Hugh Fox III - Ice Fire

WereVerse Universe Baby!

WereVerse Universe at Google Drive Link

Star Trek Timelines

WereVerse Universe Baby!

WereVerse Universe at Google Drive Link

Am I a Geek or a Nerd?

The above infographic (http://walyou.com/nerd-geek-infographic/) while funny is fairly useless when it comes to answering the question: Am I a Geek or Nerd?  There is an assumption in the infographic that geeks love Star Wars and nerds love Star Trek.  Well what about people like me who love both?  My intra-universe likes and dislikes are of greater importance to me than my inter-universe likes and dislikes.  I think the Star Wars prequel crap is ok while considering the original Star Wars to be mythic.  I like all incarnations of Star Trek except Enterprise.  I hate Enterprise far more than I hate the Star Wars prequels which I really don’t hate but just think the prequels are not as good as the original movies.  You cannot say I prefer Star Trek to Star Wars but that I like some incarnations of Star Trek more or less and some incarnations of Star Wars more or less.

I do prefer the expanded Star Wars universe that includes novels, game sourcebooks and comic books as being part of the Star Wars universe versus the more narrow movie canon view.  However, I do like the Star Trek reboot which makes continuity a problem in Star Trek and probably means there will never be as detailed a Star Trek future history as the Star Wars future history.  What I really like is wars between imaginary sci-fi universes rather than any particular sci-fi universe.

I am the sort of guy who posted the following comment at my Star Trek vs. Warhammer 40K post the other day in response to a comment from a reader about the Titans of the Imperium and how powerful they would be in ground warfare:

“The Star Trek universe doesn’t really deal with ground forces very much unlike Warhammer 40k whose sourcebooks go into this aspect of war in loving detail. The Classic Trek show kind of suggested that the Federation pretty much handled ground situations with orbital bombardment. The Enterprise was shown stunning gangsters (Season 2 Episode 17) from space with incredible accuracy so the natural argument that air power alone doesn’t win wars could be brushed aside to some extent. Maybe super sophisticated air power would work and you might have some brass in the USAF that buy into this idea. A qualitative edge will ultimately surmount the historical limits of air power supremacy.

However, pg. 47 of the more recent The Dominion War Sourcebook: The Fires of Armageddon (DS9) states that Federation mechanized forces have assault skimmers, phaser tanks and other ground vehicles. This section also mentions special-forces such as the Starfleet Rangers and 3rd Andorian Battalion. The same sourcebook also provides a lot of detail about Romulan (pg. 58), Klingon (pg. 54) and Dominion (pg. 66) ground forces.

The big point made is the sourcebook is that the Federation is basically behind other aliens in the Star Trek universe when it comes to ground force equipment. I mention this because there is a paupacity of stuff about ground forces in the Star Trek universe. There are literally over a dozen sourcebooks with detailed descriptions of the star ships but nothing about ground forces. This contrasts with the Star Wars universe as well! Orbital bombardment will be ineffective against sophisticated foes like Klingons, Romulans and the Dominion since they will have counters to such a tactic including ground force shielding and driving out Star Fleet from the air leaving their superior ground forces to win the day. I think the lack of ground force description in the Star Trek universe is basically due to a lack of cheap CGI when the universe was created. Space battles between two to three ships was relatively easy to show with models but imagine trying to show a futuristic ground war way back in the sixties! A ground battle with one or two tanks would not be believable. Star Wars; The Clone Wars clearly shows that current technology is up to the task and maybe this is a natural extension of the Star Trek Universe.”

A far more useful diagram to deciding the issue of whether I am a geek or a nerd is provided at Great White Snark (http://www.greatwhitesnark.com/2010/03/25/difference-between-nerd-dork-and-geek-explained-in-a-venn-diagram/) below:

Based on the above Venn Diagram I am clearly a nerd not a geek.  I have strange obsessions.  I do have a doctorate from a top university so that is probably some indicator of intelligence.  My verbal percentile rank on the GRE was in the 92nd percentile.  My quantitative score was far lower and a secret.  I have created and run educational programs which demonstrates social aptitude.  Actually getting a doctorate does require a great deal of Machiavellian skill which is why dorks and dweebs don’t generally get doctorates!

WereVerse Universe Baby!

The Number 22 in the Movies/Television

The number 22 is called the master builder in numerology.  There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet.  There are 22 cards in the Tarot major arcane.  22 caliber weapons are incredibly popular in films and I did not include mention of 22 caliber movies in this study.

 

The Abyss – Demarco states, “At 9:22 local time this morning, an American nuclear submarine, the USS Montana, with 156 men aboard, went down 22 miles from here.”

 

The American President – The Defense instructor states, “We’ve got 22 instructors”.

 

Attica – A dead snitch hanging from a railing in Attica, the prison, is wearing a sports jersey with the number 22. 

 

Avengers – There is red London bus numbered 22.

 

The Breakfast Club – The clock in the library is 10:22.

 

Bringing Out the Dead – Dispatcher states, “respond to a 10-22”

 

Casablanca – A young gambler at Casablanca with sob story that touches Rick is allowed to win three times in a row by playing number 22 on the roulette table. I think the person who decided to use the number 22 probably knew something about numerology.

 

Catch-22 – The title says it all.  There is no way an author picks a number for a title of a novel without doing some research as to the symbolic meaning of the number.

 

Cloverfield – The stamped date on the video filming the events of the day is May 22.  This is driving me crazy.  The number is all over the place but the number may just as well have been picked accidentally.

 

Dark Star – One the characters states “22 minutes to detonation” of a bomb.

 

Demolition Man – Garcia states, “Is there anything here which doesn’t violate contraband order 22”.

 

Frequency – A character states, “We are 22,000 miles away in geosynchronous orbit”.

 

Friday the 13th Part VIII – Sean states, “It’s supposed to be 22 stories tall”.

Ghostbusters – In 1984, Dana Barrett and Louis Tully both lived on the 22nd floor of 55 Central Park West, or Dana’s apartments, sometimes called “Spook Central”, is the super-conductive antenna and portal to our realm, created by the Cult of Gozer to bring forth their “divine” master Gozer himself in his Destructor Form. Dana lived in room number 2206.

Insomnia – Will’s digital clock displays 4:22.

 

Iron Man – An F-22 is on display in front of Stark Industries.

 

Kyle XY Season 3, Episode 6 – The License Plate in a room of in Kyle’s house is 52211.  The fact I even pick a number within a number shows my desperation.

 

Last Samurai – July 22, 1876 is the heroes 20th day at sea.

 

Minority Report – There is an arrest on “April 22”. Hmmmm, two films with Tom Cruise that mention the number 22?  What is the Scientology position on numerology?

 

Pitch Black – “22 hours weeks out”.

 

Platoon – The radio operator states, “122 wounded and still counting.  Estimate 500 Victor Charlie KIA, 22 wounded and still counting”.

 

Red Planet – A character states “Lock out systems 17, 22 and 40”.

Space Jam – Bill Murray is wearing a number 22 basketball jersey on the court.  Why are you teasing me like this Bill?

 

Star Trek the Motion Picture – “inertial lag will continue 22 point five”, clearly a number used as a number.

 

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – “Coordinates 22/87/4”, another instance of a number just used as a number but second time in Star Trek but then again they use a lot numbers in Star Trek overall.

 

Suspect Zero – One of the victims is aged 22 and another victim disappeared “3-22-97”.  Two 22s in one movie!  But this is another dead end.

 

THX 1138 – A supervisor says some mumbo jumbo, “retract to 220”

 

Twilight Zone Season 2 Episode – A patient has nightmares about Room 22, the hospital morgue. Rod Serling, the man of all things weird surely knew the significance of 22 and I am adding it to the yes column.

 

Wall Street – Gekko states, “but don’t pay over $22”

 

WereVerse Universe Baby!

Star Trek vs. Star Wars

If there was a war between the Star Trek galaxy vs. the Star Wars galaxy then who would win? 

 

Funniest site!  And you must check it out even if you don’t care about the debate all that much.

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/

 

Most technical site

http://www.st-v-sw.net/

 

Most comprehensive site

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_versus_Star_Wars

 

Easiest to understand site and the one that leads me to believe that even putting aside the Republic or Empire encompasses thousands of world vs. the 180 worlds of the Federation the Star Wars guys would win with equal numbers.  There weapons are just too powerful. 

 

I do think the fundamental way the debate is framed generally Empire vs. Federation is not the best way to frame the debate due to the total inequality of numbers.  The Empire is bigger than the Federation by at least a factor of ten.  Now if you assume all the Star Trek empires unite including the Klingons, Cardassians, Romulans and even the Dominion you still have a huge numerical disparity since as far as I can tell this would be hundreds of worlds but not thousands of world.  But if the Borg unite with all the other empires then you have a different picture.  One Borg cube can take out a fleet and who the heck knows how many cubes there are.  The Borg did unite with Voyager against a common threat so this possibility has already been established.

 

And…..

 

There are Elder Races in the Star Trek universe that have powers far beyond that of the Empire/Republic or Federation. The Q might be able to shrink a whole fleet of Star Ships to the size of fleas. 

 

 I am more a Star Trek fan and disappointed but “facts are facts” and even given equal numbers Star Trek is in trouble.

 

http://www.stardestroyer.net/Empire/Essays/FiveMinutes.html

 

Which franchise is more successful in the real world?

http://www.forbes.com/technology/2005/05/16/cx_de_0516match.html

WereVerse Universe Baby!