WestWorld

Straying off topic with my second post… However, I can’t contain my excitement about a show I am currently watching.

Of course, it’s HBO. It’s called WestWorld, a fictitious park, clearly meant to be an amusement park for people. The park’s amusements, however come not from rides, candy cotton or water slides. The people who visit this park are attended by hosts who are actually robots. But so far into the future is this world set that robots are completely life like. They blood, hair, eyes and skin. They can die and compose their own thoughts and opinions (within certain limitations.)

The Crux

The plot of the story begins to unveil when various character hosts being doing strange things. Usually, the hosts reiterate through the same plot every day and new guests arrive and interact with them. For example, the sheriff is always posting a “wanted” poster for famous bandit in the town square and giving a reward for his capture.

Things slowly but subtly change over a couple episodes when the hosts begin to acts strange. In the early episodes this is attributed to a code update that the park’s creator has released. Updates are meant to alter the hosts behaviour so that the plot lines change or their behaviour becomes more life-like. The head of the coding unit notices this change in the behaviour of the hosts but doesn’t tell upper management about it due to his deep loyalty and respect for the park creator.

In an example of how a host changes their behaviour is Delores, the parks oldest host. Delores is programmed not to be able to pull the trigger of a gun. Also, her memory is erased after every night so that she has no recollection of what happened the previous day. Somehow, due to the update she is able to, over time, recollect small bits and pieces of her previous experiences. When, one night, another park host is about to abuse her, she is able to remember some of the horrific experiences she overstep her code so that she pulls the trigger of a gun and shoots him.

Meanwhile, the park creator is becoming increasingly strange. He hints of grandiose plans he has for the park to the park board, represented by a middle aged woman from upper management. The park is in financial trouble due to its high maintenance costs and the board is looking to the creator for answers.

 

Westworld

The creator of the park, WestWorld, played by Anthony Hopkins. From TheVerge.com

 

Is the strange code update causing the hosts to act out of line part of the creator’s plan? What does he want to do? The hosts continue to act more human-like but it sounds like he wants to destroy the park in a grand finale.

The Goat’s Horn

One aspect of Bulgarian history that has shaped much of it’s culture; past, present and future is the fact that it was part of the Ottoman empire. I can’t claim to be an expert in history but I will recount how this, I believe parallels some of Canadian culture in the way of oppressed groups such as the Aboriginal communities or the Quebecois.

A good movie my girlfriend recently showed me, called the Goat’s Horn (Bulgarian: Козият Рог) was about the personal story of one farmer who had lost his wife to a brutal act of rape and murder by the Ottoman overlords of his village. Bound on revenge, the main character burns the family house with his dead wife and goes off to the hills to live with his daughter, tending goats. He raises his daughter as a boy, teaching her how to fight and wield a knife. Years later, they get their revenge. The story turns around when the daughter, instructed to take the life of her mother’s killer sees him interacting in a human way with his dog and wife.

I won’t give any more away!

What can be said as to parallels, besides the obvious? In cases where grave acts have been committed on the large scale such as the enslavement of a whole population and their systematic assimilation into the lording one, there are also billions of small scale crimes such as rape, murder theft that are not accounted for in history due to the lack of a human story. This movie puts a human story to those small scale crimes so that we can examine how a story of revenge can become one of lost love.

The human desire for power will never cease and therefore neither will large scale acts against humanity, but in remembering what those are we should always put a human face to the story. Otherwise it’s just another history lesson.