Monday, December 5, 2016

Westworld season finale has one big problem

I love the HBO show "Westworld" but there was one big problem with last night's season finale. And before I begin, I'm going to warn you that there's going to be spoilers with the show and the finale revealed. So stop here if you don't want to know them. But come back when you've seen the show.

Okay, first let me say this about "Westworld." I enjoyed all the metaphors the show threw at you. The robots search for meaning in their narrative is like us and our search for a meaning to our lives. There are other themes also such as what it means to be human with our strengths and moral weaknesses.

But if you watch the Westworld's finale last night, you were struck with a nagging question.

Where does Westworld go with season 2?

If you recall the end of the show, robot Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) starts to kill the board members of Delos which owns Westworld. She does this after recognizing her sentience and announcement to Teddy (James Marsden) that the robots own "this world." The slaughter begins with her shooting founder Dr. Robert Ford. (Anthony Hopkins)

Let me digress a little here. I never expect a big movie star actor like Anthony Hopkins to stay in a seasonal TV series. So, I was hoping for a mini-series with a satisfying ending. And yes, it could be a sad ending.  After all , this show is based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film, "Westworld."That had one sequel, "Futureworld" which could be relevant.

Back to the finale, there's a big problem with the ending. If the park is this big a failure, why would anyone in future go to it? Yeah, go to a theme park where you are likely to be killed by murderous robots. Fun for the whole family. Okay, you wouldn't want to take the kids to place where the adults are openly engaging in sex with robots. Then there's this. The government would likely carpet bomb the place and thus end Westworld.

Here's one possibility. The robots replace the board members with look a like robots. No massacre.   The park stays open .   Invite the rich and powerful.  Replace them with robots.   Robots rule the world.   And... we have the plots to "Futureworld" (1976)  and "The Stepford Wives." (1975)  

Don't get me wrong.  This "Terminator" plot line may work out.  I just hope the show continues to be smart.  Don't chicken out like the show "Lost" did in its final two years by forcing a conventional ending.     If smart fans guess the twists, I hope the producers stick to their guns.   Keep up the intelligence and you may have great science fiction.

Right-wing lies lead to a dangerous situation

It's finally happened. With all the right-wing lies peddled in the presidential election, a crazy person took one of them literally. There had been an internet lie which said that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her aide John Depodesta were running a child sex slave operation out of the Washington, D.C. pizza restaurant called Comet Ping Pong. Well, this guy went there with a rifle and shot it. He admitted to the crime. Thankfully, no one was injured. CNN report

Donald, are you listening? Words have meaning. Untruthful conspiracy theories and lies that you have spewed have consequences. Try sticking to the truth. It will be much safer for us.

Trump causes international incident

He hasn't been sworn in yet, and right-wing President elect Donald Trump has demonstrated his total lack of knowledge of foreign affairs and diplomacy. A few days ago, he allegedly took a call from Taiwan president Tsai Ing Wen. CNN report. There seems to be some debate over how the call was set up. `Washington Post.

Sounds innocuous. But the United States has been running under the one China policy for over thirty years. You see, they don't believe that Taiwan is a country but part of China. Yes, the United States and Taiwan do have kind of an informal relationship, however we have been very delicate in not offending the Chinese by say, giving any type of recognition that Taiwan is a country. Until now.

Trump like a bull in a China shop, has created an international incident. And he isn't even President yet. Taking that call if that's what happened, gives recognition to Taiwan. And instead of apologizing, the Donald compounded the situation by attacking China on Twitter. CNN

Look, being racially Chinese, I'm no fan of the Communist Chinese. They are authoritarian. And Trump might be right on their actions with their currency and the South China sea. But the job of the presidency requires intellectual curiosity. I would have hoped as Trump ran for President that he would have at least read up on Chinese-American relations. They are after all, the largest country in the world. He should speak softly and show less of the big stick.