Nature & Machine Part III
Does “Terminator” mentality spread from individual to society or vice versa, or both? It is easy to blame the movies, but at the time of this post, my country’s representatives have just returned from a climate summit in Qatar in which, yet again, they failed to take vital steps to avert ecological disaster. What kind of outlook can such deliberate denial foster in a people when it imposes a death sentence upon their future? You can’t blame that on the movies.

Does the rest of the world comprehend now how random citizens go on killing sprees in my country? The malfunction of the American dream is not part of some twisted conspiracy, but an unfortunate side effect of toxins churned up by our misuse of machines.

In relation to most of the rest of our breeding, excreting kin on this earthly plane, my country’s an infant that needs its diaper changed. We won’t deal with our excrement so it piles to the ceiling. This lack of hygiene is bound to kill some and spoil things down stream. Toxins, like bad news, beget more of the same. Less than a week after Qatar comes Sandy Hook to heap shame upon shame. Why is it that suburban psychos targeting children and mothers confound us? Was it a wacko’s attempt to spare future refugees from the larger nightmare closing around us?

We overtook this country by force and we’ve been polluting it ever since we moved in. As far back as we are willing to look warnings about the consequence have been pouring in. Back when I first struck out on my own, we were being cautioned about a nasty dragon, somewhere upwind, wielding mechanical limbs beneath human skin. I saw him first on a giant screen at the drive-in. A cold-hearted robot, programmed for obsession, was stalking and slaying with automatic weapons. If you missed that particular sci-fi attraction, just imagine any suburban assassin from last year in action.

The film I was referring to is James Cameron’s “The Terminator”(1984), which features a mechanical hit man dispatched from the future to prevent the birth of a rebel redeemer. It has been said that Cameron took his story from Harlan Ellison, another insightful science fiction dreamer. But their bad guy was clearly nicked from the last book of the Bible in which a dragon threatens the mother of the savior. Both stories’ beasts personify our most toxic behavior.

So, if books of old also illuminate opposing sides of human nature, why blame popular songs, games and movies of the new and future? In the Bible, our internal opposites come to head in bloody war. When the Savior subdues the Beast, it settles the score. Cameron’s tightly plotted Armageddon of ’84 is an American factory assembly line noir, where a robot’s rampage ends with a hydraulic squish under the hand of a mother savior.

But first, the Beast, according to Cameron, arrives disguised as a man. From beside a dumpster, in a garbage truck’s beneficent shade, the monster embarks on its toxic crusade. Any one of the Terminators attempts on Sarah Connor’s life should easily have done her in, but John Connor, her future savior/son, sent to her a brave and horny warrior friend.

Though the Terminator appears to embody the human ideal, what moves him even alien fenders can’t conceal. Once he’s stripped down to the exo-skeletal core, he looks like some ruthless, rolled-Buick man-o-war. But it all comes down to a toxic program. So it is clear. We must extricate the program of the damned, unless we want to live in perpetual fear.

The Terminator’s is the ultimate killing machine. Brute force and hostility are calculated to win everything. It is not another warrior that finally does this Beast in. Mother Sarah pushes a button on a gizmo that caves him in. Let a constructive machine consume its destructive twin.

Part 4, the next in this series delves even deeper into the machinations of man and how they can either halt or hasten humanity’s stand. We’ll crack more clues to the mass executioner’s blues when we next begin. If you haven’t done so already and would like to, read the last book of the Bible, or watch “The Terminator” and “The Matrix,” then check back in.