Tag Archives: Terminator

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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The Number 888 in the Movies/Television

The number 888 is considered a lucky number in Chinese culture and a license plate with 888 as its number sells for a lot of money in Hong Kong.

 

Outbreak – “1-800-888-0000”

 

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – The T-888 is a Terminator model type.  Irony?  Terminators are not lucky and actually distinctly unlucky.  I would say just a good example of total ignorance of Chinese culture.

 

Tron – Flynn states, “ CODE SERIES HHH-888…activate.

 

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Rai of the 21st Century

Shortly after the death of Bloodshot

(http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/Bloodshot_%28Character%29)

in 2028, a computer network in Japan that had developed consciousness selected the first Rai.  The computer network had no desire for power, sex, wealth or any of the other desires that plagued humans but did have a fundamental desire to survive and came to the conclusion that it could not survive WW III unlike Skynet in the Terminator movies.  The computers calculated that the EMP generated by the explosion of atomic weapons would fry their vital systems and the aftermath would be problematic since they still relied on humans to maintain core parts of their network.  Therefore the prevention of WW III became a priority for the computer network.  Terminating the occasional warlike human leader via computer malfunctions was no longer enough to assure their survival.  Besides too many high profile computer malfunctions might arouse human suspicion.  The computers also had difficulty understanding human psychology and needed a mediator between them and the humans even if that mediator was covert.  The network decided a human agent was needed.  The computer network acquired the nanites (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanobot)

that resided in the blood of Bloodshot and infused them into the winner of Ultimate Survivor. 

 

Ultimate Survivor was a widely viewed virtual reality show. Ultimate Survivor was loosely based on the earlier TV show Survivor.  In Ultimate Survivor the top 1,000 criminals, without super powers, of the globe were stranded on Terminal Island as punishment at the same time. Terminal Island was an artificial island off the coast of the Los Angeles Harbor.  A steel globe surrounding the island, studded with cameras, in a manner similar to the Truman Show, made sure the prisoners could not escape. The location provided easy access to the latest Hollywood virtual reality hardware and software.  A viewer could choose to actually watch was happening from the POV of a particular prisoner due to implants in the nervous system and sensory system of the prisoner that was experimental and could never had been used on normal test subjects.  Initially the viewer could only see what the prisoner saw but later added sensory input implants were added.  The viewer could see, hear, smell, touch and even feel the emotions the prisoner felt.  The implants could be used to knock out a prisoner and new implants were added to the prisoner as new technology came on line.  Being in the brain/mind of a prisoner when they died was considered ultimate entertainment so viewers actively tried to guess which prisoners would die and be at the right place at the right time.  Watching one prisoner kill another prisoner from the POV of the murderer was also considered top-notch entertainment but not as good as experiencing the death throes of a prisoner.  Some liberals complained that such vicarious experience of homicide was immoral but Ultimate Survivor was a top rated show with lots of sponsors.

 

Whoever could survive for the next five years on the island would be paroled. There was a catch. The parole would only come into effect if there were one and only one survivor.  In the case of more than one survivor, then no one would be paroled.  The death penalty had been abolished and this mechanism allowed the elimination of top criminals via the free will of other criminals rather than directly via the will of the tripolar global state of that time period.  The criminals included former mercenaries, assassins for hire and top martial artists.  Survival on Terminal Island even for a short period of time was extremely difficult.

 

The only ultimate survivor after five years was the criminal formerly known as the Green Alienator (https://foxhugh.wordpress.com/hugh-fox-green-alienator-vs-hugh-fox-grenade/) who had become trapped in the Valiant Universe (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valiant_Comics)

after trying to escape from the Ultraverse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultraverse).

The Green Alienator had been a multiverse traveler but five years on the island had changed him physically and spiritually.

 

The Green Alienator welcomed a chance at redemption and readily accepted the offer to become the first Rai and agent of the computer network.  The Green Alienators mutant technopathy also made him a logical candidate for nanite infusion.  The new Rai was able to accomplish tasks with the nanites that Bloodshot could never have imagined.  In particular the Rai of the 21st century could infuse other technological systems with some of his nanites in order to control them.  The technopathy had been the Green Alienators secret super power that along with his hyperkinesic perception (HKP) had kept him alive.  The downside is that he often experienced the pain of the other prisoners via their implants and this had changed his views about human suffering.  He had decided that the number one mission of any moral being was to minimize human suffering and making sure WW III did not happen certainly fit the parameters of his larger views.

 

The Rai of the 21st century gained superhuman speed, strength and endurance as well as mastery of all martial arts due to the nanite infusion.  The Green Alienator had formerly relied heavily on technological gimmicks but decided in the future to use more honorable means more in keeping with his new superhero persona.  The name Rai is derived from the kanji for “spirit” and the Green Alienator found the name appropriate.  The 21st century Rai worked undercover ensuring the survival of Japan and the world.  The computer network did not want humans to know of its existence until it was strong enough to guide Japan directly but did want a human agent that could help it survive before then.  Rai did not always agree with the computer network and felt knowledge of his existence was not directly tied to knowledge of the computer networks existence.  The most famous mission of the 21st century Rai was a time trip 20 years into the past to Tokyo in the year 2008 where he met with members of the superhuman community of that time period and united them on a mission to save the planet from WW III and this mission led to more publicity than the computer network was comfortable with. 

 

Pictures of Rai during his mission in the past are available at: http://www.facebook.com/people/Hugh_B_Fox_III/521247529.  Appropriate internet security clearance needs to be obtained before the pictures can be accessed by the reader of this post in this multiverse.  The first publicly known Rai did not emerge until the 31st century (http://www.valiantentertainment.com/wiki/index.php/Rai).

 

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Matrix vs. Terminator

The Terminator is sent back in Time to kill John Connors.  Instead he finds himself in an alternate Earth were machines control humans via The Matrix. The terminator downloads crucial data about the matrix world and returns to his Earth.  The terminators decide to attack the matrix world and will have crucial advantage since they have first strike capability and knowledge of all the strengths and weaknesses of the matrix machines but not the other way around.  The terminators attack.

The machines of the Matrix Earth are losing and make a desperate deal with Neo.  If Neo will help them halt the terminators then they will free the humans.  The matrix machines will be detected if they visit the terminator world but they figure Neo can work with the human resistance on the Terminator world.  The matrix machines send Neo to the Terminator world with software that will create a virtual reality that will fool the Terminators into thinking that they have won the war.  Neo agrees but makes a backup of the software and gives it to Trinity.  Neo meets John Connor and together they infiltrate Sky Net, the central computer of the terminator machines.  The plan works.  The terminators halt all operations on both worlds.

Neo goes back and asks the Matrix machine to keep their part of the deal.  They refuse.  Trinity pulls out a switch and presses it.  Trinity has guided a group of human computer scientists to modify the software to defeat the terminators and now this same software traps the matrix machines in a virtual world. Neo contacts John Connor and the humans on both worlds celebrate.  Plans are even made to free all humans throughout the multiverse, the infinite Earths on infinite dimensions.

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